American Gangster

November 2nd, 2007

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American Gangster

Denzel Washington and Ridley Scott in American GangsterStill of Denzel Washington in American GangsterLymari Nadal at event of American GangsterStill of Russell Crowe in American GangsterStill of Denzel Washington in American GangsterStill of Denzel Washington in American Gangster

In 1970s America, a detective works to bring down the drug empire of Frank Lucas, a heroin kingpin from Manhattan, who is smuggling the drug into the country from the Far East.

Release Year: 2007

Rating: 7.8/10 (162,033 voted)

Critic's Score: 76/100

Director: Ridley Scott

Stars: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Following the death of his employer and mentor, Bumpy Johnson, Frank Lucas establishes himself as the number one importer of heroin in the Harlem district of Manhattan. He does so by buying heroin directly from the source in South East Asia and he comes up with a unique way of importing the drugs into the United States. As a result, his product is superior to what is currently available on the street and his prices are lower. His alliance with the New York Mafia ensures his position. It is also the story of a dedicated and honest policeman, Richie Roberts, who heads up a joint narcotics task force with the Federal government. Based on a true story.

Writers: Steven Zaillian, Mark Jacobson

Denzel Washington - Frank Lucas
Russell Crowe - Richie Roberts
Chiwetel Ejiofor - Huey Lucas
Josh Brolin - Detective Trupo
Lymari Nadal - Eva
Ted Levine - Lou Toback
Roger Guenveur Smith - Nate
John Hawkes - Freddie Spearman
RZA - Moses Jones
Yul Vazquez - Alfonso Abruzzo
Malcolm Goodwin - Jimmy Zee
Ruby Dee - Mama Lucas
Ruben Santiago-Hudson - Doc
Carla Gugino - Laurie Roberts
Skyler Fortgang - Michael Roberts

Taglines: There are two sides to the American dream.


Official Website: Universal [United States] |

Release Date: 2 November 2007

Filming Locations: Briarcliff Manor, New York, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $43,565,135 (USA) (4 November 2007) (3054 Screens)

Gross: $265,495,454 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | USA: (unrated version)

Did You Know?

Antoine Fuqua was originally set to direct this project in 2004 with Denzel Washington and Benicio Del Toro starring, but production was halted one month before shooting after Universal Pictures canceled the film over budget concerns. However, Washington and Del Toro received their salaries nonetheless. A pay-or-play deal was stipulated in both of their contracts that Universal would pay Washington $20 million and Del Toro $5 million regardless of whether the film was made or not. Once this project was green-lit by Universal a second time, under Ridley Scott's direction, Washington returned to the project without an upfront fee. He also received half of his $20 million salary for the previous year's Inside Man, another Imagine Entertainment production.

Anachronisms: During the period of the film's setting, subway subway cars would've been BMT standard, R1/9, R10-R33 cars. Cars similar to the 1986 model shown would've been very new and very rare.

[first lines]
Bumpy Johnson: Happy Thanksgiving!

User Review

Detractors of this film were fooled by the trailer.

Rating: 8/10

American Gangster has been really hated upon in many of the former posts I have read. Yet it seems like they are all saying the same thing, that Gangster didn't have enough action and was really drawn out. Anyone who has every seen a Ridley Scott film will know that his films are long! Blade Runner, A Good Year, Matchstick Men, Hannibal, Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, G.I. Jane, Thelma and Louis, and Alien all ran for at least two hours or more, so big surprise there guys. In addition Scott didn't set out to film another scarface, he set out to tell a story not just about Frank Lucas but rather a tale of corruption and how pervasive it is. One user commented that this film had many side story lines that "bloated" the story. This is completely untrue as every "side story" is actually the overarching story about the fight against corruption in every facet of life, even Frank Lucas attempts several times to eradicate the corruption in his organization.

Over all this is a great film which really gets into every nook and cranny of an issue. Don't see this film if your just looking for cheap thrills, this is a thinking film about the pervasive dishonesty of our culture.

I gave this film 8 stars because i could find nothing solid that detracted from it, but rather a slew of minor details which gradually brought its score down. But I will put this film in my top films for the year, if only because I have been immensely unsatisfied with the bulk of releases this year.

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