Universal Pictures | Release Date: November 2, 2007
7.5
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 365 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
283
Mixed:
56
Negative:
26
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10
JaredC.Oct 30, 2007
"American Gangster!" Who wouldn't enjoy a film directed by Ridley Scott, the director of Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven, and Oscar winning starts, Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. These actors have finally collided into an "American Gangster!" Who wouldn't enjoy a film directed by Ridley Scott, the director of Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven, and Oscar winning starts, Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. These actors have finally collided into an electrifying performance. I saw the poster of this film in a run down theatre and it looked pretty exciting because at the time, I was into Scorsese Mob films, and the title said: American Gangster Starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. What I film. After watching the trailer, I couldn't wait a damn moment until it came out. All these sweat and awesome commercials viewing it, my god, I wanted to watch it so badly. But apparently, I saw it in a special screening a week before it came out. There were lots of folks there from all walks of life and all ages - the movie seemed to go over very well with everyone in the room. Washington and Crowe work well together as the troubled stars in this film and basically the main attraction for people to go see it was their appearance. It was also a little too long and more dramatic than expected, but it still had good dialogue to make it entertaining. Also, I've seen some real stinkers at the movies recently (I won't bother you with the list because it's too long) so it was refreshing to see that movies can still be well made with characters you can care about and root for. Since the movie wasn't finished at the time I got to see it, I look forward to enjoying the movie again at local movie theatre. A pure modern-gangster classic. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
7
louiseG.Jan 4, 2008
Good. But in connecting the dots you find there are some dots missing. The end feels like an uneasy compromise for the film's length and had enough morla and character content to have filled another movie. The relationship and respect Good. But in connecting the dots you find there are some dots missing. The end feels like an uneasy compromise for the film's length and had enough morla and character content to have filled another movie. The relationship and respect between Russel Crowe and Denzel was a refreshing idea, and could have floated a boat in itself. The relationship at the beginning with his boss gets your attention and feels important and intrigues you, but those elements are left to just taper off. Perhaps a prequel and a sequel were aces up the sleeve of the film from the very beginning. A taunting idea, yet doubtful. Still, even with a tease of a start and a rush of an end, the middle should not be ignored. Solid and very respectable. A must-see for sure. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
devo-ncJan 22, 2014
The ultimate 21st century gangster picture, not as seemingly good as 2006's The Departed, American Gangster plunges into the realm of harsh Harlem as daunting as ever. It's driven by a great performance by Denzel Washington in an unbelievablyThe ultimate 21st century gangster picture, not as seemingly good as 2006's The Departed, American Gangster plunges into the realm of harsh Harlem as daunting as ever. It's driven by a great performance by Denzel Washington in an unbelievably outstanding motion picture. The director Ridley Scott swings together a subject and narrative that is so strong and eminent, you won't know whats coming or what may happen next. Especially being based on a true story, to authenticate a story and make it feel like true cinema without reminding yourself of history and just drawing out the vision is amazing. This movie sky rockets and something that you cannot miss. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
All this user's reviews
9
KalenC.Nov 6, 2007
This American classic crime film was very well executed. From scene to scene I was in the edge of my seat. The violence involved in the plot of the story took me by surprise, other than that the violence portrayed in the film was up to par. This American classic crime film was very well executed. From scene to scene I was in the edge of my seat. The violence involved in the plot of the story took me by surprise, other than that the violence portrayed in the film was up to par. To my understanding, most of the scenes in the movie were based on true events. In my opinion, any film that is based on a true story makes the movie experience more entertaining. As always, Denzel Washington played the role of an American gangster to perfection. Even though, he plays similar roles in other movies he did a superb job. Expand
2 of 4 users found this helpful
10
ChristianS.Nov 12, 2007
The movie is brilliant. Daniel was tremendous. Crowe was spectacular.The support characters were equally impressive. I love the movie. I won't mind watching it again.
1 of 2 users found this helpful
5
HughieNov 5, 2007
Nothing all that special. Great actors in an ok film.
2 of 6 users found this helpful
4
[Anonymous]Feb 29, 2008
Movie itself was good.. the story sucks. He should have been shot for getting his entire family killed or arrested, and being a snitch, Good acting, poor story.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
0
JakeD.Nov 2, 2007
I mean really, Scott is THE most overrated director working. Gladiator was such a horrible mess that we might have to go back and rethink Alien and Blade Runner. The two leads are of course spectacular, but what waste, what kitsch, what crap!
0 of 1 users found this helpful
2
DenS.Nov 5, 2007
In Philadelphia we believed Denzel Washington's transformation. In Glory we believed his hatred and pride. There is no question that he is one of our finest actors. But this is not one of his finest moments. Nothing in this movie makes In Philadelphia we believed Denzel Washington's transformation. In Glory we believed his hatred and pride. There is no question that he is one of our finest actors. But this is not one of his finest moments. Nothing in this movie makes us care about any of it's actors. The performances seem wooden. Because I know that we're dealing with fine actors and one of the best directors of all time, I have to blame the script-- It gives none of its actors a platform to create a character or a sentiment that we care about. It's all facts. But even if it was a documentary, it still wouldn't be a good one. Information you don't need is all over and information you want is lacking. Plot points are explained in 30 second sequences and then left. There is not one single moment in this movie where I felt the least bit connected to these characters. And I'm pretty much a master of SoD. Where are the Emperor's cloths? He has none. This movie sucks. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
2
NMJan 3, 2008
Very boring.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
10
sylvioJan 7, 2008
Great mafia and drug-dealer movie.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
3
GinaD.Nov 17, 2007
The movie was too long! It truly was not worth it. I felt as if I had seen this Denzel performance 1,000 times. Great build up to a complete let down. Definitely does not rival any of the Godfather sagas. It's more like New Jack City The movie was too long! It truly was not worth it. I felt as if I had seen this Denzel performance 1,000 times. Great build up to a complete let down. Definitely does not rival any of the Godfather sagas. It's more like New Jack City meets the Departed meets the Goodfellas. Yet, it pales in comarison to all. I love you Denzel and Russell but this was a complete let down. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful
9
AntwianF.Feb 22, 2009
a black man's scarface. a rise in the ranks that is not shown on film but also a bit of a modest guy that embodies family and culture. denzel at his best.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
0
JoyceC.Nov 2, 2007
A bore, carries on in a stupid script, the actors do not magnify, they suck. The direction is poor, and the whole production is just over the top crap.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
2
ShaunJ.Nov 7, 2007
Keep your money in your pocket. Wait for it to come out on HBO or something. Trust me!
0 of 1 users found this helpful
3
DexterB.Nov 9, 2007
Derivative and formulaic. I mean how many lame movies do we have topless women packaging drugs for "security" purposed. The lame white cop is just cliche "good guy" against the world. The gangster love interest is an impossible bore. You may Derivative and formulaic. I mean how many lame movies do we have topless women packaging drugs for "security" purposed. The lame white cop is just cliche "good guy" against the world. The gangster love interest is an impossible bore. You may be sucked in in the first half hour... the film looks good cinema-wise (how did they make NY look decrepit again?). But you are soon sucked right back out by the over-all low bar the film weakly hops over. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful
2
BarryJan 24, 2008
Overrated crap like every other Drug dealing & gangster movie out there. Goodfella's, The Godfather and this..they're all the same. Take a tough guy who uses the same phrases in every other movie in the genre with the same Overrated crap like every other Drug dealing & gangster movie out there. Goodfella's, The Godfather and this..they're all the same. Take a tough guy who uses the same phrases in every other movie in the genre with the same references and plots and you get American Gangster. Nothing but a completely overrated movie that is reliant on gun's, drugs, sex, violence and 'backstabbing' Anyone who thinks this film is amazing or a masterpiece are bandwagon jumpers and extremely deluded. Don't feel pressured to falsely praise a film you deep down don't rate so much..be honest with yourself and don't follow the crowd. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
2
RichardR.Feb 24, 2008
This is a boring, plodding mess. Denzel should stop playing villains, and Russell should stop playing good guys. Both are powerful actors, used to being surrounded by hapless sycophants, but this is a waste of time.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
9
gamefriekSep 13, 2010
I thought gave a very good insight on life during the time period it took place in. The acting was absolutely amazing and the story in general was fascinating.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
All this user's reviews
0
gm101May 7, 2011
Watching this movie felt like doing chores. Plot didn't make me interested at all. Didn't see anything special from performances by Denzel Washington and Russel Crowe (who is one of my favorite actors, so seeing him in this piece of turd wasWatching this movie felt like doing chores. Plot didn't make me interested at all. Didn't see anything special from performances by Denzel Washington and Russel Crowe (who is one of my favorite actors, so seeing him in this piece of turd was very disappointing). Overall, an overrated movie. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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10
YueXNov 3, 2007
here we go again, People are giving one of the greatest movie this year a bad rating, but are support stupid movies such as Dragon wars, Transformers, and the Saw 4, omg, people study film first, dont just watch it without looking into the here we go again, People are giving one of the greatest movie this year a bad rating, but are support stupid movies such as Dragon wars, Transformers, and the Saw 4, omg, people study film first, dont just watch it without looking into the storyline, this has one of the best story line, I mean, sure, there has been a lot of gangster movies where it shows the cop and the gangster's side of the story but this was based on a true story. I thought it was one of the best this year. And also, it has two of the world's most talented actors; Denzel Washington and Russel Crowe. Now who ever is saying that this movie sucks, take film studies, and also to those who supports cheesy movies such as Dragon wars,Transformers and Rush Hour 3, you should stop reviewing movies, cause you have no idea, what youre talking about, thank you. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
DarrylNov 3, 2007
Somewhere between The French Connection and The Godfather.. an amazing film that took me back in time, GO SEE THIS MOVIE !
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
ChadS.Dec 4, 2007
If "American Gangster" began with Frank Lucas' formative years as "Good Fellas" did with Henry Hill, the filmmaker would be accused of slavish imitation. But "American Gangster" needs to know what makes Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) If "American Gangster" began with Frank Lucas' formative years as "Good Fellas" did with Henry Hill, the filmmaker would be accused of slavish imitation. But "American Gangster" needs to know what makes Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) tick. Despite the long running time, the story feels rushed. Not enough time is spent between Frank and his mentor. We're denied "the making of a criminal" portion of the film. When Frank assumes the leadership role in Harlem, we feel no palpable excitement. We don't know him. "American Gangster" gets off to a slow start, but hang in there, things improve considerably when we finally learn where Frank's roots are planted. The film also concurs the long-held belief by conspiracy theorists that drugs could be prevented from entering the country if law officials wanted this to be the case. But the drug business employs too much people. Frank Lucas is despicable. But he doesn't beat his wife, or rather, did Denzel Washington not want to put his screen image at further risk by hurting a woman? Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
ClintT.Jan 20, 2008
This is a thoroughly overrated film certainly undeserving of the rave reviews it got. I wasn
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
KenishaINov 10, 2007
Excellent!!! Screenplay, writing, production!!!! Kudos to all !!!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
AndyL.Nov 2, 2007
Fantastic cinematography, acting, and producing.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JordanF.Nov 24, 2007
Brilliant acting... A terrific movie all around.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
GrantW.Nov 3, 2007
Not the best gangster movie ever, but pretty close. Great story, great acting, overall a great movie.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
BrentoniNov 3, 2007
Convincing acting. Well directed. Suspenseful score. I highly recommend it.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JayH.Nov 3, 2007
Denzel Washington's performance was stunningly superb, perhaps his finest yet. The sheer ability to mold and delve into his character shows that he has reached the highest echelons of acting. Crowe, on the other hand, was slightly Denzel Washington's performance was stunningly superb, perhaps his finest yet. The sheer ability to mold and delve into his character shows that he has reached the highest echelons of acting. Crowe, on the other hand, was slightly disappointing. The character seemed to large for the actor. There were several moments where he seemed quite "cheesy" and unconvincing, definitely not the Gladiator material we have seen before. Washington's dramatic display clearly overshadows that of Crowe. Ridley Scott's direction was sublime, as he flawlessly portrayed Harlem during the time period -- a period of darkness for New York City in the 1970's. The ending was somewhat unsatisfying, as the recently released Frank Lucas stands on the sidewalk, pondering his fate, and his next move. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
Sydneyf.Nov 5, 2007
mesmerizing! Awesome performance by Denzel Washington. The next American crime film classic.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
HannahF.Nov 6, 2007
Great film by a great director! Denzel continues to amaze.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
BillCNov 6, 2007
I can think of nothing they could have done to make this film better.Based on true charactors and set in the 70's ,the story , acting and props were all first rate. This may not be the best movie ever , but it's as good as it ever I can think of nothing they could have done to make this film better.Based on true charactors and set in the 70's ,the story , acting and props were all first rate. This may not be the best movie ever , but it's as good as it ever could be,and the best thing I've seen in 2007. I knew it was 2.5 hours long going in , but it didn't seem like it. There's not a weak or unnecessary frame in the entire film. Bill C. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
JosieQ.Nov 7, 2007
I thought the action was slow and lame, the focus seemed to be in all the bad places and some important details we're misplaced. Even thought, Denzel kept us entertained with his amazing acting.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
MarkCNov 7, 2007
Well crafted crime movie that is a cut above the average dross. Don't go in expecting the next "Godfather" or "Goodfellas" and you wont be dissapointed. About as good as The Departed (which as everybody knows was not as good as the Well crafted crime movie that is a cut above the average dross. Don't go in expecting the next "Godfather" or "Goodfellas" and you wont be dissapointed. About as good as The Departed (which as everybody knows was not as good as the original HK flick) Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
BrianRNov 8, 2007
There was much to look at, but little to really appreciate. In terms of story, there is nothing new to this film in the least. There are visual and thematic reminders of many other, and many better, crime films. In the end, this film There was much to look at, but little to really appreciate. In terms of story, there is nothing new to this film in the least. There are visual and thematic reminders of many other, and many better, crime films. In the end, this film strangely glorifies a truly dangerous and despicable man -- someone who has contributed mightily to the detriment of black and inner city people in America. The film seems to be mostly indifferent to that fact. The acting is fine (Denzel is getting to mannered, though -- whats with the "My man" phrase in every performance now?) and the look is accomplished, but the movie is generally a bore. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
GCDec 10, 2007
Great film, could of done with a bit more between frank (Washington) and his mentor, but other than that its a good story which does make you think. Also in response to Ben B (Who did make me laugh) The film is based on a true story!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
OmarC.Oct 30, 2007
I hate you this movie.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
RandallV.Feb 27, 2008
Great acting, Shakespearian plot, where all characters get their just desserts in the end, but the story moves along too inevitably and predictably for the viewer to feel it is true-to-life.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
ThatemW.Mar 24, 2008
Really great movie. From what I can, a accurate protrail of New York in the 70's. Great mix of action and detective. Crowe and Washington do great. Not too gory either.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
JackB.Mar 24, 2008
This film is completely watchable, and not boring. But given that you had a formerly great director (Ridley Scott) working with a truly great actor (Denzel Washington) on a story with real potential for depth, it was amazingly flat. No real This film is completely watchable, and not boring. But given that you had a formerly great director (Ridley Scott) working with a truly great actor (Denzel Washington) on a story with real potential for depth, it was amazingly flat. No real development of Denzel's character, despite some interesting possibilities (he'd just gotten back from Vietnam in 1968! And he came back to Harlem in the middle of one of its most vibrant and, yes, messed up periods!) You never even get a feeling you're IN Harlem here. Really a surprising failure of a movie. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
OssobucoMar 29, 2008
Denzel is a snore (though that might just be his signature method), Crowe is so-so, the movie is a chaotic mess and soooooo pointlessly long and I love the scene towards the end where this psycho who has destroyed more live than your average Denzel is a snore (though that might just be his signature method), Crowe is so-so, the movie is a chaotic mess and soooooo pointlessly long and I love the scene towards the end where this psycho who has destroyed more live than your average serial killer is portrayed as a deep down inside nice guy. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
TurnerB.Apr 9, 2008
This is perhaps one of Denzel
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
AmilcarM.Jan 4, 2009
Amazing. it's a typical Ridley Scott movie. Specially and most of all the intense drill down in the personalitties of Mr Washington and Mr Crowe as the Gangster and the Policeman.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
KalenC.Nov 14, 2007
This American classic crime film was very well executed. From scene to scene I was in the edge of my seat. The violence involved in the plot of the story took me by surprise, other than that the violence portrayed in the film was up to par. This American classic crime film was very well executed. From scene to scene I was in the edge of my seat. The violence involved in the plot of the story took me by surprise, other than that the violence portrayed in the film was up to par. To my understanding, most of the scenes in the movie were based on true events. In my opinion, any film that is based on a true story makes the movie experience more entertaining. As always, Denzel Washington played the role of an American gangster to perfection. Even though, he plays similar roles in other movies he did a superb job. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
EnyaT.Nov 1, 2007
Really solid film.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
JeffWNov 14, 2007
Ridley Scott comes back with a great movie. Denzel brings back his bad side from Training Day. A must see in theaters if you are a fan of movies.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
danielwNov 10, 2007
Very good, but not great. Certainly not in the league of Godfather I and II or Goodfellas, as some have suggested. There is some bravura filmmaking to be sure, and the quiet menace in Washington's portrayal is often chilling. The scene Very good, but not great. Certainly not in the league of Godfather I and II or Goodfellas, as some have suggested. There is some bravura filmmaking to be sure, and the quiet menace in Washington's portrayal is often chilling. The scene in which he confronts Cuba Gooding's character (could this be Gooding's return from a ten year celluloid purgatory?) is actually better than the climactic scene between the two leads. But as always, Scott is more concerned with filling the screen than he is with convincing portrayals of characters or of social context. You're never bored, but you leave the theatre no clearer about the characters' motivations than when you went in. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
JamieC.Nov 19, 2007
This film is one I can see being great to watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon in the future, but is not particularly thrilling. It is a tad long, and the ending is a bit like "oh, was that it??" BUT, the story is still very interesting once This film is one I can see being great to watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon in the future, but is not particularly thrilling. It is a tad long, and the ending is a bit like "oh, was that it??" BUT, the story is still very interesting once the two characters become intertwined and Crowe and Washington both offer solid performances. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
ArthurC.Nov 20, 2007
Great acting, great story, and truly compelling motion picture. It's biggest flaw make come from the lack of time spent with the Frank Lucas character. Important events seem to get glossed over quickly, but Washington keeps things Great acting, great story, and truly compelling motion picture. It's biggest flaw make come from the lack of time spent with the Frank Lucas character. Important events seem to get glossed over quickly, but Washington keeps things interesting. I found, however, myself more vested in the Russell Crowe storyline. I found myself rooting for Crowe's success as opposed to Washington's downfall. The direction was top notch, and when everything came together, it worked as a sublime bit of entertainment. It's just those minor flaws that keep it from being the next great crime movie in the vein of The Departed. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
donttownNov 2, 2007
Denzel is amazing as always!!! awesome movie i think i wanna see it about 700 times then get the dvd, watch all the features, then get all the merchandise, then model my life after Denzel's performance.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JohnP.Nov 20, 2007
This film has been maligned by some critics, I nearly gave it a pass and waited for the DVD. Well I'm glad I didn't. Ridley Scott as in many of his movies manages to take you into the world he has set out to show you. Never pretty This film has been maligned by some critics, I nearly gave it a pass and waited for the DVD. Well I'm glad I didn't. Ridley Scott as in many of his movies manages to take you into the world he has set out to show you. Never pretty but never overboard. The juxtaposition of the righteousness and violence of the Lucas character was overwhelmingly disarming. I didn't know how I felt about him even though you know he is destroying countless lives. Great moviemaking. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
DT...Nov 2, 2007
Great movie based on a great story.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
RobertI.Nov 23, 2007
Chilling, ironic portrait of a real killer and dope kingpin, with juke and jive of the sixties brought to life in the clubs. Denzel Washington manages the steely look of a man focused on results, at whatever cost.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
JanNov 3, 2007
A bit too violent, but the acting was superb!!! Denzel and Russell should both have academy award nominations for this movie
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
LamarW.Nov 3, 2007
Really, really, good movie. I don't see why people have a problem with this movie. I saw it today and I loved it. 10.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
BibliotechaS.Nov 3, 2007
Great movie! I don't usually watch black movies, but this one was awesome! Denzel's mom was strong! Reminded me of the oracle in the Matrix. Anyhow, this movie was bad Ass. Nudity, drugs, violence, what more could you ask? The Great movie! I don't usually watch black movies, but this one was awesome! Denzel's mom was strong! Reminded me of the oracle in the Matrix. Anyhow, this movie was bad Ass. Nudity, drugs, violence, what more could you ask? The camera work rocked! The movie was dark. Cuba Gooding, usually a sucky actor, did good. While long, it didn't Feel that long. I don't know why Denzel would marry Miss Puerto Rico, though. Why doesn't he just stick to his race? That in itself should have gotten him 10 years sentence at most. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
BJonesNov 3, 2007
"Pretty disappointing. Had a great story, great actors, and a great director/producer - but somehow it didn't all add up. Overly long and lacking character development." What Andy said a few posts down could not be more true. If the "Pretty disappointing. Had a great story, great actors, and a great director/producer - but somehow it didn't all add up. Overly long and lacking character development." What Andy said a few posts down could not be more true. If the movie were to be summed up in two sentences, those are them. I feel it could have been great if I cared about the characters. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
MyraMNov 3, 2007
Great performances by Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
KarthikR.Nov 4, 2007
Excellent movie to watch. Denzel Washington is great. He is the probably one of the best actors in American Hollywood history. I like to watch Denzel Washington's movies.He is great as a gangster in the movie. Russel Crowe also has done Excellent movie to watch. Denzel Washington is great. He is the probably one of the best actors in American Hollywood history. I like to watch Denzel Washington's movies.He is great as a gangster in the movie. Russel Crowe also has done a great job in the movie.overall the movie is great. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
PepperD.Nov 5, 2007
Though not perfect, "American Gangster" is good enough to be rated with some of the very good gangster movies, such as "Scarface". I was mesmerized and it didn't seem like a 2-1/2 hour movie!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
JAyE.Nov 5, 2007
With the caliber of actors and directing I expected much more. The attention to minor details left the movie lacking depth.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
BillyS.Nov 6, 2007
I think the critics went a little overboard on this one, it's a very good crime drama but not in the league of The Godfather, Goodfellas or even The Departed. This is more like separate stories of Serpico and Tony Soprano, with a little I think the critics went a little overboard on this one, it's a very good crime drama but not in the league of The Godfather, Goodfellas or even The Departed. This is more like separate stories of Serpico and Tony Soprano, with a little of Michael Mann's Heat as the two above-the-title stars don't actually meet up until one scene near the end. Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe have become a potent box office team but American Gangster belongs to Denzel Washington, once again playing the heavy and like Training Day, a probable Oscar nod for Best Actor. He is brilliant and it's his storyline that really makes the movie sail through 2 and a half hours. All credits are superb especially Harris Savides' cinematography. If you're expecting this years The Departed you'll be disappointed, but go if you want to see Denzel Washington at his absolute best. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
KathyT.Nov 7, 2007
Rating this movie as a 5 is being generous, and I concede that it only rates that score because of Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. I, too, felt that Frank Lucas was portrayed as somewhat of a hero in this movie and that was terribly Rating this movie as a 5 is being generous, and I concede that it only rates that score because of Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. I, too, felt that Frank Lucas was portrayed as somewhat of a hero in this movie and that was terribly offensive to me. He was an illiterate, cold-blooded, murdering drug lord who used the coffins of our young American soldiers to smuggle his drugs into this country. He killed a lot more people than we can count. Frankly, there had to be more interesting, worthy stories out there to tell. I am even more offended that this man, when interviewed, comes across as very proud and arrogant. After watching his interview on The History Channel, I regret having spent the money to support this movie. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
NickA.Nov 7, 2007
With 11 Oscar nominations and three wins between them, Ridley Scott (3 noms), Denzel Washington (5 noms, 2 wins), and Russell Crowe (3 noms, 1 win) make one of the most decorated trios this year has seen at the movies
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
LuraD.Nov 7, 2007
Great acting, especially by Crowe, but needed to be more exciting, less detailed.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
TomIDec 21, 2007
Movie was very well done. Denzel creates powerful character like always. A must see.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
ZachHDec 9, 2007
Agree with Ben B above- this is really a very formulaic gangster movie with little originality other than the protagonist being black. The acting was good, but overall I was disappointed.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
ChrisCCJan 11, 2008
Take goodfellas - Chop some off for the brothers - water down some - sell it on cheap. That's the irony right there - shame. But the 7 stands cos it ain't bad. Is this really the BladeRunner Ridley at work here or an old man cappin Take goodfellas - Chop some off for the brothers - water down some - sell it on cheap. That's the irony right there - shame. But the 7 stands cos it ain't bad. Is this really the BladeRunner Ridley at work here or an old man cappin off his pension? Prove me wrong Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
LindaJan 27, 2008
Excellent film. It doesn't contain gratuitous violence or the same played out gangster tale. The beauty is not only the acting, but the fact that you don't know which character you're pulling for - they're edgy and full Excellent film. It doesn't contain gratuitous violence or the same played out gangster tale. The beauty is not only the acting, but the fact that you don't know which character you're pulling for - they're edgy and full of inconsistencies. It may not be The Godfather, but what else is? This is an effective piece of narrative which captures a time period which is increasingly out of our reach. The director does an excellent job of capturing the feel of the times and weaving the various political and social turmoil. Expand
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7
ChristianP.Feb 20, 2008
I have my complaints like most people here (the music -- "Amazing Grace" at the end was so trite and a couple of times the score seemed to echo that of The Godfather, but in an awkward way that didn't fit/there was very little I have my complaints like most people here (the music -- "Amazing Grace" at the end was so trite and a couple of times the score seemed to echo that of The Godfather, but in an awkward way that didn't fit/there was very little development of Washington's character. We know he learned from the previous boss, but why is he so ruthless?) All that being said, this movie was very enjoyable. I feel like Crowe is easily one of the best actors of our time (A Beautiful Mind, The Insider, Cinderella Man, etc.) and although he didn't have much to work with here, he delivers a very believable performance. Scott might not be at the top of his game, but this film is made will skill and precision. A very entertaining watch that leaves you wanting a bit more. Expand
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8
AngelicaH.Feb 24, 2008
Ok, movie as long as you don't expect too many historical accuracies. Some of the scenes were overkill (junkies shooting up; once is ok, twice is I got the point, anything over is a filler because the director is not sure how to make a Ok, movie as long as you don't expect too many historical accuracies. Some of the scenes were overkill (junkies shooting up; once is ok, twice is I got the point, anything over is a filler because the director is not sure how to make a point). Entertaining enough. Expand
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8
JoshP.Apr 11, 2008
I thought this movie was slow in some parts and I zoned out during a few parts but other than that I thought the movie was awesome. I like movies that are based on true stories cause its always better when you know something like that really I thought this movie was slow in some parts and I zoned out during a few parts but other than that I thought the movie was awesome. I like movies that are based on true stories cause its always better when you know something like that really did happen. I recommend this movie to anyone of appropriate age. Also you cant go wrong with a Denzel movie, hes usually pretty bad ass. Expand
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9
LorenzoM.Nov 11, 2007
Fireee.... That's the only word I could come up with that would do this film justice in describing it....Denzel's performance is nothing less than spectacular. All of the greatest actors can envoke emotions throughout it's Fireee.... That's the only word I could come up with that would do this film justice in describing it....Denzel's performance is nothing less than spectacular. All of the greatest actors can envoke emotions throughout it's audience without even saying a word....Denzel possesses this ability and uses it almost at will to reinforce every ice cold line in the film. You can't have a championship team without one star...Denzel is this films Montana...and there are a host of great supporters. Expand
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6
GeneLNov 12, 2007
Similar to Michael Mann's Heat, in that the two main actors, Crowe and Washington, do not share the screen until the tail end of the movie, but this film is not as good as Heat. Ridley Scott does a good job of developing the two primary Similar to Michael Mann's Heat, in that the two main actors, Crowe and Washington, do not share the screen until the tail end of the movie, but this film is not as good as Heat. Ridley Scott does a good job of developing the two primary characters, but I found myself not engrossed by their motivations. In the end it really is a run-of-the-mill cops and bad guys flick with some corruption thrown in and cliches. For ex, the obligatory "wife" of the gangster who we don't really care for since her character was not developed. Moreover, we don't care about many of the supporting actors here because the story doesn't really flush them out. I honestly don't understand why the critics are crazy about this flick. It's okay, but really not an instant classic. Performances good. Story mediocre. Expand
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6
HalB.Nov 14, 2007
A disappointing film. Wants to be Godfather (or maybe Scarface?), but falls well short. The performances are solid, the direction is strong and there are some good scenes. But the story as a whole just doesn't rise above a good A disappointing film. Wants to be Godfather (or maybe Scarface?), but falls well short. The performances are solid, the direction is strong and there are some good scenes. But the story as a whole just doesn't rise above a good made-for-TV effort. There's one particularly senseless scene of violence that I guess is supposed to depict just how brutal Denzel's character is... but it's pretty unbelievable when you think about it. And the ending, after all the horrible things that Denzel and his crime organization is responsible for, falls flat. Suddenly he and Crowe's character are good buddies? Please... Expand
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6
JanaW.Nov 15, 2007
At the beginning the movie is quite confusing. For a long time one cannot really see what the strand of the black gangster boss who sets up his business with drugs has to do with the strand of the detective and his strange friends. Only when At the beginning the movie is quite confusing. For a long time one cannot really see what the strand of the black gangster boss who sets up his business with drugs has to do with the strand of the detective and his strange friends. Only when the cop becomes the head of a special comission against drugs one starts to understand. Sometimes the movie is quite cruel but I really like the end with the two opposites of the church and the raid and the following trial. Expand
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9
ColinS.Nov 17, 2007
It's odd when I call a film with a score of 76 "underrated," but that's exactly what American Gangster is. This is a shocking, captivating, yet soulful portrait of Frank Lucas and 1970s Harlem. Denzel ignites the screen with It's odd when I call a film with a score of 76 "underrated," but that's exactly what American Gangster is. This is a shocking, captivating, yet soulful portrait of Frank Lucas and 1970s Harlem. Denzel ignites the screen with Lucas' cocky, confident swagger, loathing his ememies yet loving his family twice as much. And Crowe matches him stride for stride as Richie Roberts, the morally righteous cop who can't seem to find a balance in his own life. Alonside the performances is miraculous set design, aborbing the essence of 70s Harlem, plus a bonus trip to Bankok and Vietnam. Also, this film in necessarilly long...a shorter film wouldn't do justice for the dozens on intriguing characters that leave lasting impressions, from the watchful eye of Frank's mother to the 4 brothers and their lust for...well...whatever Frank does. American Gangster will rattle you emotionally, but it's still too entertaining to be missed. My only complaint: the bad, bad fake confetti snow...I think Ridley Scott used the shreddings of all the poor scripts he's written.... ...just kidding, I love you Ridley! And may the Academy bestow upon you many Oscars! Expand
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10
RE.Nov 2, 2007
Excellent movie. Great action. Great tension. Very realistic. It kept me interested throuhout.
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5
HeatherNov 2, 2007
High expectations leave a lot of room for disappointment. The film didn't compel me and I wasn't emotionally touched by any of the characters. Just when I started to feel some interest, it fast-forwarded in time, leaving the most High expectations leave a lot of room for disappointment. The film didn't compel me and I wasn't emotionally touched by any of the characters. Just when I started to feel some interest, it fast-forwarded in time, leaving the most important details to be told in words, and not through story development. A real disappointment! Expand
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6
BenB.Nov 30, 2007
I'm sorry to all those who liked this movie, but I was very disappointed. The brilliant advertising campaign for this movie forgot to include that this movie was only for those with time to waste. Russell Crowe's performance was I'm sorry to all those who liked this movie, but I was very disappointed. The brilliant advertising campaign for this movie forgot to include that this movie was only for those with time to waste. Russell Crowe's performance was very believable, with Denzel Washington's less impressive, but decent. The script here (Scarface with a conscience?) was pretty much like every gangster movie ever made but - guess what! - the main character is African American! That's a great reason to rehash every sad gangster cliche ever penned! The writers of this movie should be forced to make the script more intelligent and the character of Denzel Washington more believable. A disappointment. Expand
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10
AnonymousNov 3, 2007
Incredible movie. Denzel Washington's performance alone is worth the price of admission.
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9
TimmyT.Nov 3, 2007
Great movie and the acting is terrific. By the way, the moderators should remove the JCs below because he/she is trying to influence the score by posting under different aliases of 'JC' in a number of forums on this website.
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10
JoeW.Nov 3, 2007
Beautiful in all the right ways, harsh in the same ones.
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7
LiefS.Nov 4, 2007
Denzel saved the movie a bit too much, he played an awesome gangster but there were few moments it seemed that you noticed the week points, like who put t.i and common playing along side Denzel. it only created a cheezy feeling you kept Denzel saved the movie a bit too much, he played an awesome gangster but there were few moments it seemed that you noticed the week points, like who put t.i and common playing along side Denzel. it only created a cheezy feeling you kept getting reminded of Expand
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4
SoWeightlessNov 4, 2007
To mention this film alongside an original crime masterpiece like Scarface or a modern epic like Heat is a travesty. Surely, the actual events the film is based on carried more insight, intrigue, intensity and human emotion than what is To mention this film alongside an original crime masterpiece like Scarface or a modern epic like Heat is a travesty. Surely, the actual events the film is based on carried more insight, intrigue, intensity and human emotion than what is presented on screen. I love a lot of Ridley Scott's films, Bladerunner, White Squall, Aliens, you name it, but what made those films great and entertaining was their fresh look and depth - depth for detail and fashion, but also character depth. Denzel Washington's character is given presidential treatment here, and the film makes the case for Frank Lucas as a modern day hero. Offensive to me as a black man, that a drug dealer who smuggled heroin in the coffins of U.S. soldiers is immortalized in such a positive light. But besides the ethical questions, the film is all style, boring structure and faux important. Gangster films can be great, but this is posturing. Admit it. Expand
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5
SusanS.Nov 5, 2007
Let me preface this by saying I saw this movie at a 10:15 showing, and I hadn't looked up the run time of the movie, so maybe I was just tired. But I definitely felt every single one of those 157 minutes. I was psyched going into this Let me preface this by saying I saw this movie at a 10:15 showing, and I hadn't looked up the run time of the movie, so maybe I was just tired. But I definitely felt every single one of those 157 minutes. I was psyched going into this movie, but I left feeling tired and slightly irritated. What was the movie about? I don't know, and I don't think Ridley Scott knew either. It's very disjointed and, to me, slightly racist. There didn't seem to be an argument being made, nor was there any definitive through-line. I wanted to care more about Washington's character, but the film wouldn't let me, and I wanted to be more angry at Crowe's character, but he kept being vindicated like a saint. The only message I got in the end was that the good white cop will always win. And that irritated me severely. In conclusion, it was too many characters, not enough plot development, and no message, not even a morally ambiguous one. I realize that it's based on real life, but that's no excuse for shoddy storytelling. Expand
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4
RichardW.Nov 5, 2007
Long, tedious portrayal of a drug lord as relatively heroic was arduous as opposed to epic.
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9
RobertL.Nov 6, 2007
Good acting - builds and holds interest until exciting finish.
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4
DWillyNov 8, 2007
After the huge star salaries for blah their performances and the huge Zallian payday for his blah script, I guess there wasn't any money left to buy the real music playing in Harlem in the early 70s. But since this was actually shot in After the huge star salaries for blah their performances and the huge Zallian payday for his blah script, I guess there wasn't any money left to buy the real music playing in Harlem in the early 70s. But since this was actually shot in nondescript blah Canada that's really fitting. Without a single surprising, moving or gratifying moment. Expand
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7
AdamK.Dec 17, 2007
A mostly decent flick with a solid cast. Its a gangster movie set in the early 70s based on the heroine drug trade in America, mostly NY. The stand out actor in this movie for me was Josh Brolin...plays a dirty special detective in NY. A mostly decent flick with a solid cast. Its a gangster movie set in the early 70s based on the heroine drug trade in America, mostly NY. The stand out actor in this movie for me was Josh Brolin...plays a dirty special detective in NY. Anyway - t...(read more)his is a "new" take on the typical gangster movies you've been watching for years but it is still littered with the dirty cop, Italian mafia, ghettos full of junkies stereotypical images you've seen on TV and the big screen in those same years. Most of the actors seem to stretch themselves except Denzel...he plays Denzel playing a drug trafficker. Denzel's base is good, but it'd be nice to see him get out of his comfort zone...a lot. Make this part of your Netflix list. Expand
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5
TonyB.Dec 17, 2007
This is one of the more overrated films of the year. Oh, it has its good points; Washington and Crowe are superb; the supporting cast is fine and the cinematography and production design are firstrate. However, its much too long and really This is one of the more overrated films of the year. Oh, it has its good points; Washington and Crowe are superb; the supporting cast is fine and the cinematography and production design are firstrate. However, its much too long and really hasn't much to say that hasn't been said before, and said much better. Anyone remember "The Departed?" Expand
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9
davids.Dec 21, 2007
very good a brillant part from both washington and crow v sad at the same time and a bit to long for 3 hours but excellant
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9
PhilP.Dec 3, 2007
Well scripted and interesting story with excellent camera work and directing. Superb performances from Washington and Crowe makes this a must to see.
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7
MichaelT.Dec 9, 2007
Good movie, good plotline, good acting... However the entire movie never really seemed to get a steady pace, and after two something hours, they rushed to the ending.
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10
MichaelA.Oct 29, 2007
Fantastic film. Great director, actors!
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9
JerryWOct 29, 2007
I guess I can understand what David Edelstein is saying in his review, but he's not understanding what the point of the movie is. It's not about blood, or long violent scenes like Scarface(that's what sells, right?). It's I guess I can understand what David Edelstein is saying in his review, but he's not understanding what the point of the movie is. It's not about blood, or long violent scenes like Scarface(that's what sells, right?). It's about history. It's also about telling the truth while keeping it interesting. Weird, isn't it? This movie is not "rapid" or "hectic", it's perfect in pace. Is it "poised to be a major commercial hit"? Depends on your definition of poised. This movie certainly has what it takes to get under the skin of the average movie goer, and still entertain those who truly love Hollywood when it allows real style and grace to the surface, while still shocking us with truth. Washington is as good as he'll ever be, and, don't fool yourself for a moment, he'll get a best actor nod for this. Crowe is a little light, but being honest isn't supposed to be any other way. He'll get a nod for supporting actor. The movie will surely be on the "best" list as well, and it deserves to be. A true American Classic! Expand
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6
AndyOct 31, 2007
Pretty disappointing. Had a great story, great actors, and a great director/producer - but somehow it didn't all add up. Overly long and lacking character development.
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7
JackS.Dec 17, 2008
Fair movie. Not my favorite, but not bad. This was an intresting movie. however, to much senseless acts, like when Densel shot that guy from point blank in the street. I was lost at that part. More of a rip off of The Godfather just it is Fair movie. Not my favorite, but not bad. This was an intresting movie. however, to much senseless acts, like when Densel shot that guy from point blank in the street. I was lost at that part. More of a rip off of The Godfather just it is the Black Mafia instead of the Italien Mafia. Yes, wasn't that bad of a movie. Definately doesn't deserve below a 5. P.s. To all those people who don't like the really good movies calling them over rated or that there is better movies of this genre, I'm sorry, but you have to think in the mind of the people who DO like this genre. Maybe you don't like the type of genre. But, the people who don't like the genre arn't going to see the movie. It's the people who do like the genre that are going to see it. Expand
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8
MichaelJFeb 24, 2008
Amazing idea. needed better execution. it was missing the bad ass moments that make him look like the boss. such as him blowing off a guys leg or throwing a guy off the roof or something like that. thats what these kind of movies prey on. Amazing idea. needed better execution. it was missing the bad ass moments that make him look like the boss. such as him blowing off a guys leg or throwing a guy off the roof or something like that. thats what these kind of movies prey on. still a good movie. and the director is a cool guy. Expand
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