Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Living the American Dream

Academy Award winners Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe team with director Ridley Scott in this powerful, epic story. Armed with ruthless, streetwise tactics and a strict sense of honor, crime boss Frank Lucas (Washington) rules Harlem's chaotic drug underworld. When outcast cop Richie Roberts (Crowe) sets out to bring down Lucas's multimillion dollar empire, it plunges both men into a legendary confrontation.
Title: American Gangster
Release: November 2, 2007
Genre: Crime Drama
Writer: Marc Jacobson (article) & Steven Zaillian
Director: Ridley Scott
Music By: Marc Streitenfeld
Produced By: Brian Grazer & Ridley Scott
Distributed By: Universal Pictures
Run Time: 176 minutes
Official Site

Ridley Scott has directed a few wonderful movies like Hannibal, Gladiator, & Thelma and Louise (just to name a few) so I knew American Gangster should be good and the trailers just about confirmed it for me. Even though it was met with quite a few mixed reception by the critics, the box office numbers (and the many award nominations... and wins) don’t lie, this was one fantastic film!

Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe's characters were so compelling that even I wasn't sure if I should root for the gangsters or the cops- especially since a good majority of the cops were dirty. One of the reasons it was hard to pick a side was that the two main adversaries (Frank Lucas played by Washington and Detective Roberts played by Crowe) were a lot alike but just happened to be on opposites sides of the law. I also loved Ruby Dee in this film (she plays Washington’s mother) and apparently I’m not alone because she was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar and quite a few other awards as well.

An amazing, edgy, dark film that was even more interesting since it was based on the story of Frank Lucas; the real drug lord and one of the most notorious gangsters in America, whom I must say Denzel Washington should have won, or at least been nominated for an Oscar for playing. I thought it was really interesting that they had some of the actual real people that the movie portrays on set too. Of course, more than half of the film was more “Hollywood than real,” I still thought it was a great “crime” movie with an incredible cast and even better plot.

Reelz Channel has tons of interesting behind-the-scenes looks, interviews, and even reviews on their page about American Gangster (all in video format). Wikipedia and Imdb.com have their own respective pages as well.


Original Song:

Washington Talks About Lucas:


  1. Even though I love both actors, I have avoided this film. I think it will be too dark for me to enjoy.

  2. Yes!! This is a fantastic movie! Glad you liked it, too!

    You are right, it is interesting that they had some of the original people there on set for added "realism".

    Good one.

  3. I havent seen this one, it does look good. Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe are 2 of my favs.
    great review!

  4. I am in full agreement with you. This one was great, and with two of my favorite actors, especially Russell Crowe, despite his off-screen persona.

  5. Oo! I loved this movie! It went a lot deeper into the drug trade history than I expected--but that just made it all the more interesting. Great review, Jen!



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