Customer Reviews for

American Gangster

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    the things u learn from dvd's

    what a great movie. i dont know how many times i have watched it (more than 5 if u count cable tv). i never knew this person even existed til i looked more n2, american gangsster here is a good movie 2 watch. <BR/><BR/>it begins by telling of ellssworth "bumpy" johnson (clarence williams). hes an intellgent black gangster who runs alot of harlem. he teaches his right hand man frank lucas (denzel washngton)about life. as the movie continues bumpy dies from a heart attack & guess who now is the boss? from there it tells of frank lucas life as a leader begins & is good ntil the end. if i am not mistaken the real frank lucas is still alive 2day. <BR/><BR/>russell crow ---- what a good comback. he plays richie roberts, a nrwaek, nj detective, whos takin law classes at night. he has personal problems of his own but doesnot let that stop him from capturin frank (& he does a good job). <BR/><BR/>i cant 4get there is a great role played by the legendary Ruby Dee. when they chose her, they chose the right person 4 that part.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Denzel Washington

    This was so diffent role for Denzel....but a very good movie

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Superb Film That Exceeds Expectations

    This viewer rented the DVD form of AMERICAN GANGSTER, having passed it by in the theatrical run, thinking that it was yet another 'crime and corruption in New York' genre film. It was surprising to discover that this very long film (just under three hours in the Unrated version) is completely riveting and in a way far different than the usual gangster film: this story, based on real people as outlined in an article by Mark Jacobson (transformed for the screen by Steven Zaillian), and while it has its share of grisly killings, it seems more concerned with the issues of integrity in the face of police corruption as embodied in the character of Richie Roberts, the etiology of the heroin use escalation following the Vietnam War, and the presence of a 'Black Mafia' lead by one Frank Lucas. It is delivered with compelling gusto and intelligence by director Ridley Scott and has some of the best acting of the year. In other words, this is not a film to be lightly dismissed as a Hollywood retread, but instead it is a tense drama with many very fine points. Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) follows the footsteps of his idol Bumpy (Clarence Williams III) who 'ran' the Harlem streets, and when Bumpy dies, Lucas inherits his mantle. Lucas is wise, cunning, a gentleman, a powerhouse of ideas, and quickly finds a way to bring the best uncut heroin from the Far East to the streets of New York at a price that undercuts the other mobsters' product. To establish his control he enlists his family, including his brother Huey (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and rapidly becomes the kingpin of the streets. Simultaneously within the NYPD we meet Detective Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) whose personal life is a mess but who, with his partner Lou (Ted Levine) discovers corruption in the NYPD and more particularly the Drug Enforcement sector of the police: Detective Trupo (Josh Brolin) works with the existing drug lords, grabs their drugs and money and then recycles both to his benefit. During a particular drug bust, Richie and Lou discover a stash of nearly a million dollars and turn the money into the police - a deed that makes the duo seem foolish and lose the respect of their fellow cops but establishes Roberts as a man who is committed to being a good detective. From these two separate studies the film weaves the development of each character and the interaction between Roberts and Lucas we know will take place. The end result may be known to those who followed the story as it developed in the 1970s, but for those for whom this true story is new information, the resolution of the film is fast-paced, thrilling, illuminating, and just plain fine cinema. Both Washington and Crowe are in peak form, as are those in the many small roles (Ruby Dee, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh Brolin, Lymari Nadal, Carla Gugino, Cuba Gooding etc). This is more of a drama than an action film and while many may feel the final moments of the movie are weak, they do reveal the true ending of the story and say a lot about the narrow line between crime and criminal investigation. This is one of Ridley Scott's most successful films and one that will be around for many years as a model for the medium. Grady Harp

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Definite Owner

    American Gangster is a gripping drama that captures the attention of the viewer very easily. It follows the life of Frank Lucas, a big time drug dealer in New York during the 1960's. It has a lot of action and violence that makes the movie more suspenseful. The acting in this movie is phenominal. It has an all-star cast headlined by Denzel Washington and Russel Crowe. The movie is pretty long, but you will not be dissapointed with one minute of the movie, American Gangster.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Film

    I thought it was a great film top to bottom. It was very riveting, as the character of Frank Lucas had real dynamism from Washington as the dope-trafficker phenomenon of Harlem that sank it into pitiful conditions. Russell Crowe had a comeback as well as the tough, subverting agent of corrupt police, judges, and drug pushers. While I may discredit the more glamorized versions of what they portray as the drug life, I thought the history of the New York drug culture was amazingly accurate and showed a spotlight on a period in America we rather ignore.

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    Posted July 10, 2010

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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    Posted July 1, 2009

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    Posted January 7, 2009

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    Posted November 28, 2008

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