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American Gangster
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American Gangster

2007
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
2h 37m
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 in the coffins of soldiers returning from the Vietnam War. (imdb)
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American Gangster

2007
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
2h 37m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 58.39% from 7194 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(7194)
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Rated 09 Aug 2018
70
65th
I wouldn't put this anywhere near the top of gangster movies, but I would put it next to Scarface. Zing! Better than Black Mass, on par with A Bronx Tale, but not quite as good as Oscar. One of those is bunk.
Rated 27 Nov 2007
50
38th
Gotta love Denzel's go-to move. When in doubt, violently sideswipe the nearest receptacle of water.
Rated 04 Nov 2007
74
63rd
Ridley Scott's film holds back and remains reserved when it should be spiraling off the charts. Denzel's performance as crime-lord, Frank Lucas, seems more humbled than expected, and Crowe has all the good-cop smarts, but can't make the chase pulsating enough. The movie lacks fear and intensity, but brims with obvious star-power and continual interest and care for its subject matter. While gripping, that desire lingers for what seems to be missing from such a boiling mixture of talent.
Rated 27 Aug 2009
85
71st
The biographical film about Frank Lucas created a hero from a drug dealer. The movie was a great portrayal of the American dream - no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you do, opportunities exist, and success can be attained. The movie followed the life of a crime boss that created an illegal drug dealing empire. He was heroic in that he aided his family, took care of his mother, followed his principles, and did not let the money go to his head. The movie was excellent.
Rated 12 Aug 2019
75
69th
Great MOVIE ! Based on true events Superb cast Plenty of " Guy Candy" in Supporting roles My only complaint the stories too long
Rated 06 Jun 2017
77
77th
A thoroughly competent, if unspectacular crime yarn. It would be hard to make a stinker with this cast, even if they all seem to be playing largely to type. The underlying story is solid, but perhaps feels like there was a lot more artistic license taken than was necessary. Fine entertainment.
Rated 07 Oct 2019
62
42nd
For Denzel’s performance, for Scott’s excellent direction and period creation, and a story that moves at the right pace, American Gangster is worth a watch. But standing on the shoulders of classics, this film itself is not one. The good-bad guy, bad-good guy contrast gets no new life in Scott’s version, and there’s not enough true complexity to Frank Lucas to make him feel like more than a glorification of a man who destroyed thousands of lives with heroin.
Rated 04 Nov 2007
89
90th
Brilliant film. Scott manages to avoid a lot of gangster and cop flick cliches and creates a compelling crime drama that shows you both sides of the law. Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe are in top form for the entirety of the film. As well the supporting cast is very good. Essential viewing for any crime movie fan.
Rated 07 Nov 2007
83
67th
Ridley Scott has had sort of a weak... twenty years. American Gangster marks the greatest achievement in his catalog since Blade Runner came out. While Denzel Washington is superb, the movie is overlong and tries to keep the story too even-handed when it should be clearly about Frank Lucas. Russel Crowe does a fine job, but it should be a supporting character, not a secondary leading character. It feels unfocused and often times it falls to the crime drama cliches. Good, but not superb.
Rated 19 Nov 2007
3
48th
It's ok, but nothing special. The Wire has taught us to expect more from this kind of story.
Rated 29 Nov 2007
78
73rd
A substantially decent crime drama. It features excellent cinematography despite the script's lack of originality. The film doesn't deliver like you would expect it to either. With Ridley Scott at the helm of a project featuring Washington and Crowe; this movie doesn't create any emotional or memorable character.
Rated 18 Feb 2008
7
68th
Had it not been for the montage of Denzel turning into the stereotypical Denzel character at the end this would've been great. That ending was just too dumb. Come on, Ridley.
Rated 17 Jul 2009
3
38th
American Gangster has some great characterizations and a fantastic portrayal of 70s era NY, but it's a bit overambitious, attempting to draw the material out to nearly three hours and combining two storylines that only intertwine towards the end, when Lucas' story is the more interesting of the two. Both would have made good movies on their own, but they don't seem to mesh all that well here. But it's still a fun, even gripping at times, crime flick, even if it falls short of its goals.
Rated 21 Dec 2008
70
35th
Somewhat muddled pacing (I watched the theatrical version, not the director's cut) and not terribly original, but an entertaining watch. It feels a bit like Ridley Scott is doing his best Scorsese impersonation. Denzel Washington's presence is compelling and charismatic as always, while Russell Crowe is as bland and boring as ever.
Rated 13 Jun 2010
50
43rd
It's Washington as... himself in a wildly uneven story, with too many uninteresting threads, such as everything regarding Lucas' wife. On the other hand the magnitude of the story does not deny itself, so overall it's a decent gangster flick.
Rated 06 Nov 2007
75
71st
Definitely a really solid crime drama, but parts of it were just really reminiscent of other gangster movies, so it didn't seem particularly original, and I was slightly let down. I think I'm just being too harsh because I expected a collaboration of Ridley Scott, Denzel, and Russell Crowe to be one of the most amazing movies I'd ever seen. It wasn't, but it's still pretty damn good.
Rated 10 Nov 2007
87
87th
A great film that's solid all around. Great acting, an interesting story and it captures the feel of the 70's perfectly. It's only problem is that it's a bit unfocused, but never enough to distract
Rated 22 Oct 2009
84
89th
Comfortably Scott's best film since Blade Runner. American Gangster is an engaging and thoughtful crime drama, with two very good lead performances. The ending is a touch messy, but certainly does not hinder the film. If you can, watch the Extended Version, it's worth it.
Rated 17 Nov 2007
60
13th
Well acted -- especially by Crowe -- but with excrutiating pacing while, at the same time, too little time spent on certain crucial elements. A missed opportunity, in my mind.
Rated 18 May 2009
75
56th
The individual performances were quite good, although (somewhat unfortunately) Russell Crowe's characters, performances, etc., are becoming so predictable for me, I can almost sit there and predict lines - see State of Play. But it's a strong movie in and of itself, and the time in History in which it's set makes it all the more interesting for me. I have a soft spot for both Crowe and Denzel Washington - and any time I get to see Josh Brolin on screen, it's a good day.
Rated 11 Apr 2015
67
38th
Plenty of interesting stuff in the story but kinda doesn't know what to focus on. Ends up feeling disjointed and long. Could use some merciless editing. Still some impressive going and technically very well done. Has a nice period feel and actors are fine.
Rated 05 Dec 2007
74
55th
The story is compelling and the film manages to effectively capture the gritty 70's NY feel. Denzel is outstanding as the lead, a complex and charismatic entrepeneur who really drives this movie. Crowe is good, too, but his storyline is definitely the less interesting one. The film is kind of formulaic and drags in places (the 160 minute running time makes it feel somewhat bloated), but overall it's entertaining and a fine, if not superlative, entry into the crime genre.
Rated 08 Dec 2007
65
38th
A well produced and directed film, it just didn't click with me. Maybe it was the similarities to greater movies drawing attention to the film itself, or that I didn't really care about Crowe's character for whatever reason.
Rated 09 Dec 2007
2
21st
I enjoyed the depiction of 60's and 70's New York and Jersey. It was pretty seedy and gave Denzel plenty of room to work with. The progression of revealing Frank Lucas is great; at first you're struck by his charisma and street smarts, then by the sheer ruthlessness of his will. Unfortunately the Crowe character is completely useless, and the whole thing ends up a bit bloated.
Rated 27 Dec 2007
30
6th
Well, that was a waste of time.
Rated 23 Dec 2016
7
49th
"American Gangster" cycles through the familiar procedures in the gangster movie formula; in that regard, it's unexceptional. But the film distinguishes itself from other genre pictures with some vital moments of execution. The firefights are few. The real contest is a battle of convictions between the leads (played with expected prowess by Denzel and Crowe.) As shown by their climactic confrontation, compromise makes the difference between a penthouse, a jailhouse, and a morgue.
Rated 02 Jan 2008
7
84th
Pretty much everything in it - from the acting to the lighting to the locations to the camera motion to the music to the editing - is slick, glossy, and tightly produced to well-lubed, Oscar-friendly perfection, which makes me want to dislike it, but damn if it isn't good entertainment from one end to another. It feels like an attempt to make the black Godfather, and is partially successful.
Rated 04 Jan 2008
78
38th
It's good and all, but nothing really stuck out about it... A little on the slow side as well.
Rated 04 Feb 2012
85
63rd
An overall solid film, some of the characters were lacking and the sub-plots were quite vague and redundant. Good acting and cinematography. Frank Lucas fulfilled the American Dream, but at the cost of his family, wife, and the lives of the thousands of people who's lives were destroyed by the infamous "Blue Magic". You can have all the money and power in the world and still be completely and utterly alone. This film shouldn't glamorize the lifestyle, but show you the underbelly of it.
Rated 15 Jan 2008
50
29th
Unoriginal and unimpressive on all counts. And I hate that Ruby Dee received an Oscar-nomination simply because she's old.
Rated 02 Feb 2008
86
92nd
The story is interesting and is a fun crime story. Denzel Washington is as charismatic as ever as Frank Lucas, the seemingly first black drug kingpin. The real draw to this movie is the rousing drug bust climax. It's one of the most intense action sequences of the year.
Rated 27 Feb 2008
83
79th
Ridley Scott directs Crowe and Washington in another great film. This is a different side of Scott. It is different from most of his films and he does a tremendous job in this, but the films lacks a script. Scott also gives us a few memorable scenes, but the films lack of characterization was disappointing.. Overall, American Gangster is a great crime film with great performances from both Crowe and Washington especially, who is very charming as Frank Lucas. Scott did it again.
Rated 05 Feb 2017
80
67th
Doesn't appear to tackle its subject matter very accurately, but hey, it was a damn good crime drama. Denzel is the star in both character and performance, giving genuine life to another role in his career, and the rest of the great cast did what they had to do as well. It's put together well in almost every way; the only real problems is that the script isn't necessarily strong enough to prevent this from feeling a little bloated. You need more from a movie this long.
Rated 23 Mar 2008
71
41st
Had huge potential, and is certainly a very moody piece of filmography. But the plot has holes you can fly a 727 through. And the presentation jumps forward at times, leaving the viewer behind. We found ourselves backing up the DVD several times to try to interpret things; I feel sorry for those who saw this in the theater who had no such luxury. The scenes of the junkies on Thanksgiving was powerful filmmaking--if only the rest of the film were as good.
Rated 05 Apr 2008
75
74th
Denzel Washington is absolutely brilliant in the leading role. The latter part of the movie goes good, but the beginning of the story lacks the interesting, coherent script. I know that the idea is that police is out of the map to find out the main man, but it lasts too long, because viewer is as well loosing an interest on the movie. Crowe's character was quite hollow to be in the key role after the bad guy.
Rated 18 May 2008
84
86th
Since the year 2000 almost every movie Denzel is in makes him more bad ass than the last, and I love it. This movie has him slightly villianized, even though it's probably for realism. Packed full of suspense and action.
Rated 13 May 2011
40
27th
Wow, a suprising bromance turn, huh - didn't see that coming...
Rated 28 May 2008
65
31st
Somehow I feel I have seen it all before.
Rated 06 Feb 2011
60
63rd
Fairly interesting investigation of gangsterism-cum-capitalism that strives (with moderate success) to be more thematically interesting than the standard generic fare (far better, for example, than Mann's HEAT). The characterisation was OK, although almost certainly distant from the real-life characters on which it is based. Just a little less Hollywoodisation and mythification, and this may have turned out a fine movie. Some nice cinematography. Score is for the extended version.
Rated 21 Apr 2010
82
75th
I don't think there will be many people out there who don't like this. It's well paced (although very long!), well acted, it's a good story, has some great scenes, and a good ending. It's not groundbreaking by any means, but it is a very solid film indeed.
Rated 17 Apr 2009
9
91st
Washington is the ultimate presence actor. Only matched by how well Ridley Scott crafted this movie. Enjoyable on many levels.
Rated 26 Oct 2008
75
85th
Very long movie (extended version) with my favorite actor D.Washington who plays a brilliant role as badguy. Not so much violence in this movie and it was not boring. Interesting story and worth-seeing !
Rated 13 Feb 2012
63
42nd
If you had told me I was only going give this a rating in the low 60s, I would have laughed in your face and maybe punched you. I don't know why this movie didn't work for me, but it just seemed forgettable and uninspired. What a shame.
Rated 07 Dec 2008
71
79th
good movie
Rated 07 Dec 2008
4
56th
Such a terribly formulaic plot; nearly 3 hours in length but things never feel connected here, it's just sloppy. The two leads play the same role they've been doing since.......yeah a while, but they still do it well [nice to see Cuba Gooding Jr. doing something worthwhile again, at least].
Rated 15 Oct 2019
50
37th
An introduction of two hours and then the movie begins.
Rated 03 Nov 2007
66
44th
It's good but didn't reach me as I was expecting. It has almost nothing special or new. I wish the story & the characters would have more layers about the environment etc. But anyway, it has good craftmanship and great performances.
Rated 04 Nov 2007
5
18th
It's a good movie--I wasn't bored and there are a lot of terrific scenes; unfortunately, it wants to be a GREAT!! movie--and it's not.
Rated 21 Nov 2016
93
91st
Awesome and entertaining movie, hard not to remove some points for how completely made up it is. They should call this "inspired by a true story" at best because there is almost nothing true story about it
Rated 02 Feb 2012
45
11th
Same un-engaging, poorly-paced gangster movie we've seen before. Can't shake the feeling I'm missing half the plot, and can't get invested in awful leading men.
Rated 17 Oct 2010
10
9th
"Not only is American Gangster dumb as a rock, but it's also far too convinced of its import to be any fun." - Nick Schager
Rated 06 Nov 2007
85
79th
Somebody's probably going to get an Academy Award for this. Not sure who, but somebody.
Rated 10 Jun 2016
85
82nd
A great crime film with great performances. The writing could have used some work, but the story held my attention.
Rated 17 Nov 2007
85
92nd
Just brilliant. The scene where Crowe and Washington finally meet is awesome.
Rated 22 Nov 2007
90
94th
Phenomenal performance by Denzel Washington and almost as good by Russel Crowe. One of the best crime movies ever.
Rated 17 Mar 2010
70
56th
I recognize that it's a well crafted movie, but I couldn't get too into it. I really liked Crowe and thought Washington was good as well (although he had a tendency to overact at times). Overall, I just felt underwhelmed. I would have thought Ridley Scott directing some highly talented actors would be a sure favorite but it just felt a bit too generic and didn't give me anything I hadn't felt like I've seen before.
Rated 22 May 2020
50
23rd
Too long. I happen to hate Washington and Crowe but for some reason decided to punish myself by watching a movie with both of them. Worth having on in the background but wasn't as engaging as I hoped it would be. Gangster movies are all pretty much the same.
Rated 30 Nov 2007
50
39th
Just an average gangster/crime movie.
Rated 01 Dec 2007
81
67th
A great gangster movie.
Rated 02 Dec 2007
60
17th
Well done but forgettable.
Rated 14 Dec 2007
86
90th
As a standalone film its very good - against its ambitions to join the top table of film it just falls short. Not sure why but it does.
Rated 21 Dec 2007
95
98th
One of the best movies I've seen. Great character development and story.
Rated 25 Jan 2012
90
93rd
It's a long movie but wow... the story is your typical cop drama, but the pacing and the acting give such a fantastic sense of immersion. The extended edition is 3 hours long, and I was sucked into every second of it. Brilliant movie.
Rated 15 Mar 2010
55
67th
Denzel is being Denzel and the others do just enough to carry him but not more. It is hardly original, but maybe that is too much to ask in this conservative genre. The photo is striking and there are a few great scenes, but they are connected by a long and plodding narrative. Confusingly, some scenes end in very sudden cuts that I have a hard time seeing the point of.
Rated 19 Aug 2009
85
22nd
Preety long I thought, but Crowe and Denzel shine in their roles.
Rated 02 Jan 2008
68
47th
It's exactly what you think it will be.
Rated 05 Jan 2008
80
80th
Inconsistent at times, but overall great. The final shot is brilliant.
Rated 25 Jan 2015
99
83rd
All the actors do a great job--from Denzel Washington to Russell Crowe to Cuba Gooding, Jr. The scenes of people doing drugs made me uncomfortable, as if the movie were glorifying it, but it also showed the reality the life of junkies, so I guess that's just life. The movie is 3 hours long, but so well-written and well-paced that I didn't really notice the time. The last scene felt a bit off, as if something essential was to follow but accidentally got edited out. Otherwise, an excellent job.
Rated 20 Dec 2009
80
42nd
Interesting but overlong and poorly edited film. I like the way it sees gangsterism as just an extention of capitalism.
Rated 01 Mar 2024
74
62nd
Basedontrue-harlem68+newssogetsheroingoin:P+infrontofeverybody?lol+usinarmyplanes+momsaysevenshe'llleavehimetc+hastogiveupcops-3/4'sothedrugcopslol-richielawyer1stclientfrankout15+somehowifeellikealotdidntshowenough/wasntlongenough-especiallythelastscenefeltreallyweirdlol
Rated 28 Jan 2008
91
75th
one of my favorite crime movies. excellent performances from denzel washington and russell crowe. the movie has an amazing storyline. it's a little boring at times but the acting and the story is too good.
Rated 06 Feb 2008
90
94th
Brilliant criminal movie. Director and competent Actors. One of the best in 2007.
Rated 03 Dec 2014
82
88th
(2nd viewing, 1st:90)
Rated 02 May 2009
76
61st
not bad..but nothing great..maybe my expectations were higher considering de presence of both russel crowe nd denzel washington-an extra point for their electrifying performances though!
Rated 27 Feb 2008
58
47th
eng
Rated 28 Feb 2008
74
83rd
Nice.
Rated 17 May 2011
79
54th
American Gangster is a gritty and entertaining throwback to classic gangster films, with its lead performers firing on all cylinders.
Rated 16 Jul 2012
65
40th
Very cheesy, especially in the dialogue. But kinda cool, kinda moody and with great performances. Ending of the Extended Cut is pretty weird, though.
Rated 20 Apr 2008
66
37th
The problem here is this world and this story has been explored so completely by 'The Wire' that this feels like it's picking at the leftovers. Essentially there's nothing new here.
Rated 09 May 2008
80
95th
Excellent.
Rated 15 May 2008
80
84th
Doesn't really bring anything new to the table as far as crime dramas are concerned, but it's definitely got that Ridley Scott flavor. The (theatrical) ending was a little underwhelming, but I chalk that up to Scott's haphazard subtlety. There's really not too much I can say about this movie. It's a solid Ridley Scott crime-drama.
Rated 20 Aug 2021
75
71st
The cast is amazing in this one, but this movie is just way, way too long. It drags on in places in what really is a very simple story. It doesn't really amaze you or really entangle you in its plot, but the actors manage to keep it afloat.
Rated 20 Apr 2009
80
79th
This is ok, but seemed like a remake of Scarface in too many ways.
Rated 05 Jul 2008
70
50th
Overhyped, but still good, cause Denzel is a great lead.
Rated 14 Jul 2008
90
84th
Ignored by the Oscars, which is a shame. American Gangster is a throwback to films like The Godfather. Not quite on a Godfather level, but gritty and smart just like it.
Rated 19 Jul 2008
85
83rd
A pretty awesome movie. I was expecting more of an action film, but this was a total drama.
Rated 28 Jul 2013
75
23rd
Denzel Washington is excellent in the lead role. It's not the cinematic masterpiece of other gangster movies but is just as enjoyable to watch
Rated 01 Jul 2009
72
46th
Denzel Washington holds the audiences interest even when the script doesn't.
Rated 29 Sep 2008
40
54th
For lang, for kedelig, for lidt spænding, for lidt konfrontation og kant. Se hellere French Connection igen
Rated 17 Oct 2008
80
59th
This movie was pretty ill and i'm a sucker for anything based on a true story. Denzel is one of my favorite actors and once again pulls out another great performance here alongside Russell Crowe.
Rated 23 Oct 2008
100
95th
best movie ever
Rated 25 Dec 2009
62
19th
This movie just seems to redo the typical gangster theme but this time with a gangster (and not even an "original gangster") that is black. That's not enough and this movie never becomes more than a jaded copy of a mob-movie.
Rated 22 Dec 2008
80
53rd
It got a little cartoony at times. Like when he gets up from breakfast, shoots dude in the face and sits back down. I know it's suppose to shock you or something, but I just rolled my eyes. Biggest saving grace of the movie is the performance by Josh Brolin.
Rated 07 Jan 2009
93
84th
Best Denzel Washington film I've ever seen.
Rated 24 Feb 2013
90
63rd
its a powerful engaging film. denzel is strong in this. 9/10
Rated 28 Jun 2012
55
61st
I haven't seen the extended version.
Rated 27 Jun 2009
55
42nd
Overall Enjoyment: 25/40, Plot/Themes: 10/20, Cinematography/Direction: 10/20, Acting/Writing: 10/20
Rated 03 Feb 2009
24
23rd
Someone answer that fucking phone! Jesus Christ, why won't anyone answer that fucking phone!!
Rated 09 Feb 2009
75
84th
I saw a documentary about Frank Lucas before seeing this film. Look the movie is good, don't get me wrong I loved it, but after hearing the real Frank Lucas in that documentary, this film's Frank Lucas is a pussy in comparison.
Rated 19 Jun 2024
6
53rd
It's rather violent. I guess you knew that.

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