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American Gangster (2007)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 280,308 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 440 user | 296 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

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.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Storyline

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. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There are two sides to the American dream.

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, pervasive drug content and language, nudity and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

2 November 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Return of Superfly  »

Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,564,853 (UK) (16 November 2007)

Gross:

$130,127,620 (USA) (25 January 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Unrated Edition)

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriter Terry George was brought on to rewrite the script in order to downsize the project's budget to $50 million when it was first revitalized in March 2005. George had planned on reuniting with his Hotel Rwanda (2004) lead, Don Cheadle, to portray Frank Lucas. After George's screenplay was turned down, Steven Zaillian was re-hired to write another draft of his own screenplay. See more »

Goofs

Frank Lucas watches Leroy 'Nicky' Barnes pass out copies of the NY Times magazine with Barnes on the cover. That issue was published in 1977, after Lucas was in prison. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bumpy Johnson: Happy Thanksgiving!
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the closing credits, Frank Lucas approaches the camera and fires one shot from a pistol directly at the audience. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Drillbit Taylor (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Only the Strong Survive
(1968)
Written by Kenny Gamble (as Kenneth Gamble), Leon Huff, Jerry Butler
Published by Ensign Music obo itself and Downstairs Music Co.
Performed by Jerry Butler
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Surprisingly Coherent
26 October 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Watch American Gangster without preconceived ideas. While the film is long it never drags. You don't get the sense that you've seen this movie before. It's not Serpico. It's not The Wire. It's not The Sopranos. While much is going on, the story is easy to follow. There is action, but this isn't an "action movie".

Both Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe act convincingly and give depth to their characters.

The film leaves you wanting to know more about about happened to the lead characters. You care about them that much. Now *that's* film making.


247 of 348 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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