American Gangster
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American Gangster 2007

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 Date:
October 19, 2007
Duration:
157 min
Director:
Ridley Scott ...
Cast:
Enrique Sebastian Rivas, Louis Rosario, Luis Salgado, KaDee Strickland, Armand Assante, John Ortiz, Cuba Gooding Jr., Norman Reedus, Jon DeVries, Kathleen Garrett, RZA, Ted Levine, Brian Albanese, Sarah Hudnut, Linda Powell, Sam Freed, Carla Gugino, Monique Dupree, Jon Polito, Yul Vazquez, Eddie Rouse, Idris Elba, Ray Wineteer, John Cenatiempo, Sandra Park, Eric Silver, Fatima Robinson, Roger Guenveur Smith, Neville White, Scott Dillin, Joe James, Brigid Turner, Chuck Cooper, Janelle Cambridge, Josh Brolin, Richard Nixon, Russell Crowe, Cedric Sanders, Ritchie Coster, Joe Morton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mark A. Keeton, Eddie Goines, Kelvin Hale, Kal Cauthen, Albert Jones, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Bari K. Willerford, Tacuma Vanterpool, Kevin Corrigan, Joseph Ferrante, Robert C. Kirk, Malcolm Goodwin, Denzel Washington, Lymari Nadal, John Hawkes, Ruby Dee, Skyler Fortgang, Common, Warner Miller, J. Kyle Manzay, T.I., Melissia Hill, Quisha Saunders, Robert Funaro, Tom O'Rourke, Tom Stearns, Jim R. Coleman, Lee Shepard, Gavin Grazer, Roxanne Amandez, Pierra Francesca, Maryann Urbano, Jason Veasey, Roosevelt Davis, Roger Bart, Mitchell Green, Saycon Sengbloh, Conor Romero, Daniel Hilt, Daniel Farcher, David Spearman, Maurice Ballard, Paul Doherty, William C. Tate, George Lee Miles, Jason Furlani, Chris McKinney, Ric Young, David Wayne Britton, Tommy Guiffre, Laurence Lowry, Dan Moran, Marjorie Johnson, Larry Mitchell, Kevin Geer, Chance Kelly, Hamilton Clancy, Joey Klein, Anthony Hamilton, Jeff Greene, Tyson Hall, Kirt Harding, Bryant Pearson, Al Santos, William Hudson, Christopher A. Sawyer, Dylan Gallagher, Jehan-Pierre Vassau, Dawn Douglas, Robbie Neigeborn, Clinton Lowe, Wilhelm Lewis, James Hunter, Lonnie Gaetano, Jeff Mantel, Serena Joan Springle, Ron Piretti, Nino Del Buono, Arthur Mercante, Panama Redd, Robert Wiggins, Fab 5 Freddy, Jonah Denizard, Steve McAuliff, Jonathan Aldridge, Mauricio Alexander, Ephraim Benton, Myo Campbell, Ismael Peter Casillas III, Daniel R Cooper, J.W. Cortes, Ernest Dancy, Cris D'Annunzio, Michael Den Dekker, Sharlene Falls, Wanda Ferreiras, Anthony L. Gurino, Hristo Hristov, Atif Lanier, Shawn Luckey, Racheline Maltese, Jerrod Paige, Michelle Joan Papillion, Tasha Perri, Kevin Pinassi, Bartolo Raffaele, Paula Rittie, Germir Robinson, Evelyn Vaccaro, Philippe Vonlanthen, Julian Walker, Adrian Washington, Craig Weintraub, Clarence Williams III, Nick Poltoranin, Vincent James Russo, Jermel Howard, Marielys Molina, Carlos Sierra Lopez, Latonya Tolbert, Cicily Daniels, Johnathan Hallgrey, Daniel Nugent, Nefertiti Robinson, Aija Terauda, Shannon MacMillan, Autavia Bailey, Artie Pasquale, Brevard Hudson, Nicholas Mastromarco, Karl Thwaites, Kevin Van Doorslaer, Tina Lorraine, Karen Adisson, Candyce Barnes, Andrea Edmead, Ortos J. Gutierrez, Celestina Henry, Luam Keflezgy, Flavia Tamara Livolsi, Tamara Marrow, Jonathan Medero, Kesha Nichols, Krista Saab, Yuri Kamino-Fennell, Mark DiConzo, Robert Nicotra ...
Genres:
Drama, Crime, Biography ...
Country:
USA

Your rating: 0

Solar rating: 8.6

13

Imdb rating: 7.8

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Classic from Denzel Washington. And one of my favorites 10/10

No Country for Old Men -- 9

Wristcutters: A Love Story -- 6

Seraphim Falls -- 8

American Gangster -- 7.5

1/1 -- 13 Tzameti (Babluani, 2005, DVD rental): 9
Borderline 10.
An 8/10 doesn't usually mean a dissapointment from me. In this case it does. It offers nothing really new to the genre. Its really made, good entertainment. No way this gets nominated for best picture.
American Gangster, grade: A



Long title, long film. Great title, very good film. So rejoice, rejoice oh yee die hard Malick fans (you know who you are). This retelling of a classic and often told American legend is one of the most noteworthy pictures of the year. Casey Affleck all but lunges for the supporting actor awards in a startling performance of tragic, eerie obsessiveness. I for one didn't know he was this good. The Assassination of Jesse James is compulsively watchable with its enlongated lyrical prose that I'm willing to guess that oh, no one who loved 3:10 to Yuma will love this. For me the film (flawed by length and a slightly pretentious structure in its middle section) is a winner for performances, direction, cinematography, and for the ideas put forward by the smart screenplay. As much as we love our heroes, we really hate our villians. Just ask Robert Ford.
Fantastic. I love it. Dont take kids to see this!
uneventful and mediocre although well performed
In the early 1970s, Frank Lucas rose to prominence as a major player in the Harlem drug trade. Eventually arrested and sentenced to 70 years in prison, Lucas cooperated with state and federal prosecutors in exchange for a reduced sentence (he served 15 years). After coming across a profile of Lucas written by Marc Jacobson Lucas seven years ago in New York magazine, screenwriter Steven Zaillian (Gangs of New York, Clear and Present Danger, Schindler's List, Searching for Bobby Fischer, The Falcon and the Snowman) optioned Jacobson's article and developed a screenplay. Two false starts later, Ridley Scott (Kingdom of Heaven, Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, Blade Runner, Alien) stepped in to direct Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. The end result is an often compelling, visually impressive, if unnecessarily long, crime drama, American Gangster.

Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington), a driver, collector, and enforcer, works for a Harlem gangster, Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson (Clarence Williams III). After Johnson's unexpected death leaves a power vacuum, Lucas decides become his own (gang) boss. Lucas develops a brilliant plan to take over the dope trade in Harlem, going straight to the source in Southeast Asia and cutting out the stateside middlemen. Calling his brand of heroin Blue Magic, Lucas sells it at half the price and twice the purity of the competition. He convinces his brothers to leave South Carolina and come up North to work for him, becomes wealthy, marries a Puerto Rican beauty queen, Eva (Lymari Nadal), and sets up his mother, (Ruby Dee), in a lavish, plantation-style mansion. With the exception of a corrupt cop, Detective Trupo (Josh Brolin), who keeps coming around for handouts and threatening retribution for non-compliance, the future seems limitless for Lucas.

Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe), seemingly the last honest cop in New Jersey, comes across a large stash of cash belonging to a local numbers game. Driven by a code of honor, Roberts turns over the cash to his superior officers, but doing that makes him a pariah with the other police officers. As the drug trade in Harlem, New York, and New Jersey expands exponentially, the feds decide to create a narcotics task force. Roberts' captain, Lou Toback (Ted Levine), taps Roberts to head up the task force. Roberts has to find other detectives who won't be easily corrupted. As Roberts begins and continues his investigation, he slowly realizes that a new player, probably not Italian, has taken over Harlem. Finding his quarry's identity proves difficult, especially as his superiors in New Jersey and the federal prosecutor's office refuse to believe that an African American can run such a sophisticated operation.

Structurally, American Gangster breaks down into two parallel stories, each meant to reflect on the other. In one, the template is Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather, tracking Lucas' rise to power and his efforts to maintain power in the face of opposition from other gangsters, corrupt cops, and federal and state prosecution. In the other, William Friedkin's The French Connection serves as the model, as an obsessive cop methodically pieces together a case against Lucas and his organization over several years. The two stories don't overlap as much as run parallel, converging only in the last half hour. It's almost immediately after the storylines converge that American Gangster loses the energy and momentum that characterized the first two hours (American Gangster runs close to two and a half hours) and gives way to a muddled, overlong epilogue.

The overextended epilogue, however, is only a minor problem with a film that delivers on just about everything else it promises, e.g., a solidly crafted screenplay by Steve Zaillian that, for the most part, will convince moviegoers to cut American Gangster slack for relying on genre conventions, riveting performances by Washington and Crowe, dynamic direction by Ridley Scott, whose attention for period detail is as meticulous as ever, as is his eye for visual composition and fluid camera movements, and taut editing that only goes slack in the last half hour. American Gangster may not belong to the pantheon of gangster/crime dramas, but it comes close.


The bustling streets of seventies' Harlem are shot with a tender justice by Scott, who saturates everything of colour in order to show a City draining of goodness before our very eyes. We have been lucky this year to experience two wonderful reinvigorations of well-trodden genres, with David Fincher's 'Zodiac' joining 'American Gangster' as one of the finest modern portrayals of its respective type. Indeed many comparisons and differences can be drawn between the two. One of the negative aspects of 'Zodiac' was its bloated runtime, and at a lengthy 157 minutes 'American Gangster' could be expected to drag also. But this potential pitfall is skillfully avoided by the director - who's use of a striding score and decidedly restless cinematography ensures that while the film may slow down in places, it never stops outright. The only thing that perhaps proves to be a drawback here is the fact Scott isn't attempting anything drastically new with regard to plot - and although the interesting moral interchange betwen his two leads is unique enough, the sometimes clumsy dialogue lets the film down in places. An element that can be forgiven however when considering how much focus is placed on action and reaction, body language, expression and emotion.

7/10 :fresh:
THIS MOVIE IS JUST GREAT