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76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 317 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Nobody used to notice Frank Lucas, the quiet driver for one of the inner city's leading black crime bosses. But when his boss suddenly dies, Frank exploits the opening in the power structure to build his own empire and create his own version of the American Dream. Through ingenuity and aNobody used to notice Frank Lucas, the quiet driver for one of the inner city's leading black crime bosses. But when his boss suddenly dies, Frank exploits the opening in the power structure to build his own empire and create his own version of the American Dream. Through ingenuity and a strict business ethic, he comes to rule the inner-city drug trade and floods the streets with a purer product at a better price. Lucas outplays all of the leading crime syndicates and becomes not only one of the city's mainline corrupters, but part of its circle of legit civic superstars. Richie Roberts is an outcast cop close enough to the streets to feel a shift of control in the drug underworld. Roberts believes someone is climbing the rungs above the known Mafia families and starts to suspect that a black power player has come from nowhere to dominate the scene. Both Lucas and Roberts share a rigorous ethical code that sets them apart from their own colleagues, which makes them lone figures on opposite sides of the law. The destinies of these two men will become intertwined as they approach a confrontation in which only one of them can come out on top. (Universal) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. 100
    Denzel Washington dazzles in his best screen performance to date as Frank Lucas.
  2. 89
    Crowe has rarely been better, and the same goes for director Scott, who parallels and then dovetails Lucas and Roberts' stories with sublime, gritty precision, working up to a magnificent "Godfather III"-style crosscutting sequence that electrifies an already explosive tale.
  3. 83
    Only Washington stands out; he's charming, intense, and charismatic as ever.
  4. It lacks momentum, and thus the propulsion required to rocket it into the movie mythosphere.
  5. Often best around the edges. Without making a big deal about it, Scott reveals how the Mafia, while putting up a businesslike front, deplored the incursion of black gangsters into the drug trade.
  6. Greatness hovers just outside American Gangster, knocking, angling to be let in.
  7. 50
    Offers only the stingiest platform for its actors, and as a piece of storytelling -- built on the foundation of a great story -- it's an epic that's been sliced and diced into so many little morsels that almost nothing in it has any weight.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 89 out of 117
  2. Negative: 13 out of 117
  1. ChristianS.
    Nov 12, 2007
    10
    The movie is brilliant. Daniel was tremendous. Crowe was spectacular.The support characters were equally impressive. I love the movie. I 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. Expand
  2. YueX
    Nov 3, 2007
    10
    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, 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
  3. ThatemW.
    Mar 24, 2008
    9
    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 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. Expand
  4. RobertI.
    Nov 23, 2007
    8
    Chilling, ironic portrait of a real killer and dope kingpin, with juke and jive of the sixties brought to life in the clubs. Denzel 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. Expand
  5. ChrisCC
    Jan 11, 2008
    7
    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 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
  6. JosieQ.
    Nov 7, 2007
    6
    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 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. Expand
  7. OmarC.
    Oct 30, 2007
    0
    I hate you this movie.

See all 117 User Reviews

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