American Gangster
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Nobody used to notice Frank Lucas, the quiet driver to one of the inner city's leading black crime bosses. But when his boss suddenly dies, Frank exploits the opening in the power structure to build his own empire and create his own version of the American Dream. Through ingenuity and a strict business ethic, he comes to rule the inner-city drug trade, flooding the streets with a purer product at a better price. Lucas outplays all of the leading crime syndicates and becomes not only one of the city's mainline corrupters, but part of its circle of legit civic superstars. Richie Roberts… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Ridley Scott's gangster flick aims high and mostly measures up."
‑ Bob Mondello,
"For all its grit, style and atmosphere, Gangster never sweeps you away. It has neither the lurid bravado of De Palma's "Scarface" nor the intimate grasp of the criminal lifestyle you find in Scorsese or Coppola."
‑ David Ansen, Newsweek
"Though it's certainly admirable to aim high, it's like Frank Lucas himself says: "Either you're somebody, or you ain't nobody." Unfortunately for American Gangster, it ends up somewhere between the two."
‑ Ali Gray,
"Flattened by Scott's cardboard evocation of New York in the '70s, Zaillian's shallow criticism of corrupting power, and weirdly bloodless performances"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Washington may have not wanted to glorify the Harlem drug dealer, but with his superb acting skills he has created one of the coolest gangsters since Tony Montana."
‑ Adam Tobias, Watertown Daily Times
"Like much of his oeuvre, Scott's scaled-up movie is bigger than life - and lesser for it. But while never digging deeply or darkly enough to match its own grand vision of itself, slick technique drives the story forward with pace and style."
‑ Jonathan Crocker, Time Out
"Washington's steely grip on his impersonation of Frank Lucas holds the film together."
‑ Todd McCarthy, Variety
"It's 157 minutes long, but immerses its audience with its twists and intricacies as it plays out and considers the logistics and consequences of crime and police corruption, with a plethora of show-stealing performances from the cast."
‑ Alex Fletcher, Digital Spy
"File this one under "American Oscar Wanna-Be.""
‑ Peter Keough, Boston Phoenix
"Telling a true story doesn't excuse a filmmaker from making his movie stand out from the many others that have traversed similar ground."
‑ Alonso Duralde, MSNBC
"How much truth we get in the movie version is hard to say...nobody much cares if it's gospel, as long as it's riveting. Here, alas, it is not."
‑ Jonathan F. Richards,
"Ridley Scott's listless Big Statement is a wheezy, hot air-inflated dud."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
"American Gangster is an epic, true crime drama, that although not entirely original in its premise is excellent in its execution."
‑ Matthew Pejkovic, Matt's Movie Reviews
"When American Gangster was announced, with actors Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe and directed by Ridley Scott, it seemed like a can't miss project. It missed."
‑ Tony Macklin, Fayetteville Free Weekly
"It feels familiar, even Washington's performance of real-life Frank Lucas feels like something we've seen before."
‑ Jeff Bayer, The Scorecard Review
More reviews for American Gangster on Rotten Tomatoes

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