User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 309 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 309

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  1. Sep 13, 2010
    9
    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.
  2. Sep 15, 2013
    9
    By all accounts, American Gangster is an exceptional film. The story is thorough, character development is deep and there is just so much detail without any fillers. Every moment is suspenseful and enjoyable and has a point. It is a film of few words; where the most powerful moments last a few seconds, and nothing is over-emphasized. If you've been praying for a movie that is pure and hasBy all accounts, American Gangster is an exceptional film. The story is thorough, character development is deep and there is just so much detail without any fillers. Every moment is suspenseful and enjoyable and has a point. It is a film of few words; where the most powerful moments last a few seconds, and nothing is over-emphasized. If you've been praying for a movie that is pure and has no special effects or Hollywood shenanigans, this is it. A must watch for those that like The Godfather or Scarface. Expand
  3. Jan 22, 2014
    9
    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 unbelievably outstanding motion picture. The director Ridley Scott swings together a subject and narrative that is so strong and eminent, you won't know whatsThe 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
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. 88
    Call it the black "Scarface" or "the Harlem Godfather" or just one hell of an exciting movie.
  2. It's workmanlike and engrossing, but what sticks in the mind are Frank and Richie, not what anybody does.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Absorbing, exciting at times and undeniably entertaining, and is poised to be a major commercial hit. But great it's not.