MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 163 this week

American Gangster (2007)

7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 267,842 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 440 user | 295 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.

Director:

Writers:

, (article)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 41 titles
created 31 May 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 03 Jul 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 15 Jul 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 34 titles
created 1 week ago
 

Related Items

Search for "American Gangster" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: American Gangster (2007)

American Gangster (2007) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of American Gangster.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

A Prophet (2009)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young Arab man is sent to a French prison where he becomes a mafia kingpin.

Director: Jacques Audiard
Stars: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif
25th Hour (2002)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Cornered by the DEA, convicted New York drug dealer Montgomery Brogan reevaluates his life in the 24 remaining hours before facing a seven-year jail term.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Edward Norton, Barry Pepper, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.

Director: Tony Kaye
Stars: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo
Lawless (2012)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a trio of bootlegging brothers are threatened by a new special deputy and other authorities angling for a cut of their profits.

Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce
City of God (2002)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.

Directors: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund
Stars: Alexandre Rodrigues, Matheus Nachtergaele, Leandro Firmino
Rounders (1998)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young man is a reformed gambler who must return to playing big stakes poker to help a friend pay off loan sharks.

Director: John Dahl
Stars: Matt Damon, Edward Norton, Gretchen Mol
Wall Street (1987)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Tamara Tunie
Biography | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

Director: Frank Darabont
Stars: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Saga of a group of childhood friends growing up in a Los Angeles ghetto.

Director: John Singleton
Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Hudhail Al-Amir
Felon (2008)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A family man convicted of killing an intruder must cope with life afterward in the violent penal system.

Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Stars: Stephen Dorff, Marisol Nichols, Vincent Miller
Trainspotting (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.

Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Eva
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Doc
...
...
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

heroin | death | mafia | 1970s | vietnam | See more »

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

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)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the Madison Garden Sequence, only 650 of the spectators on camera were real extras, the other 1500 were inflatable dummies. See more »

Goofs

Moses Jones has a prominent Wu Tang Clan tattoo on his left upper arm. It's especially visible in the first briefing scene of the newly-formed narcotics unit. Upon close examination, "RZA" is set inside the Wu Tang Clan logo. 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 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.83 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

How Great Thou Art
(1949)
Music is a Swedish Folk Song
Hymn by Carl Gustav Boberg (uncredited) (1885)
Translation and new verses by Stuart K. Hine (pub. 1949)
Published by Manna Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A cops and gangsters classic!
26 October 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Starting off, this probably shouldn't be grouped in as a mob film. For one, Crowe's character is as much the lead as Denzel, this is a cops catching the criminal movie. But also, there's not much mob, it's Frank Lucas at the top and everyone else trying to attach to him, he's one man and that is made very clear.

American Gangster works on numerous levels. It's in part a portrait of late 60s-early 70s Harlem and America, full of drugs and desperation and weakness, where the strong rise above the rest and the cops are dirtier than the rats. As a crime thriller it's entertaining and at 2 hours 37 minutes, never loses interest. But, maybe most surprisingly, it's also a superb character drama and study. Literally every character who steps on screen is compelling, has depth to them, has their motivations, and is tossed into conflict. For example there's a scene early on where Crowe's character Richie and his partner are searching a parked car and find a very large amount of unmarked money in the trunk. Without giving away more, it and the following scenes lead to some surprising moral and character statements by Scott. Richie's morals vs everyone else the temptation of the streets is commonly laid on him throughout the film, and thanks to Crowe's great great performance, it adds a lot to the movie.

Denzel is brilliant here. Frank Lucas, with his collected yet fiery, always powerfully menacing performance is one of the better king bosses I can think of in recent memory. When he's not talking, just the way his face is set, he totally totally gets in this character. The academy would do right to easily give him a nomination this year. I also wanted to add that while the two leads don't get on screen till the last 20 minutes, they have a long extended scene that is pure dynamite and gold. They play off each other perfectly and it's well worth the build-up, and maybe are among the highlights of each performance.

Going through supporting actors, Josh Brolin gives one of the year's most surprising performances as an insufferable and despicable dirty cop. He's so slimy, money-grubbing, and yet intelligent and an equal, he's just cunning. Cuba Gooding, Jr. is decent in his one scene, though it's hampered by being mostly unneeded. Chiwetal Ejifor makes a believable side character though he's not given as much to do, and finally I think Ruby Dee could be a sleeper Best Supporting Actress contender for her role as Mama Lucas. Every other short and thankless role I didn't mention is acted superbly here as well, it's a sign of a great director that they're all so on their game.

Ridley Scott's direction, brilliant, what can you say. He creates New York and the rats living in it to the point with fantastic attention to detail, and most of the scenes in the film are shot and constructed simply perfectly. This includes the short but brutally effective opening scene, which stands as one of the more memorable openings I've seen in a while. Actually any time there's gunplay or action, even if there isn't that much overall, it's stunning. Particularly, at the end there's a police raid scene that stands as the "holyyyy crap" sequence of the film. Going from a hallway to a heroine preparing apartment, and without revealing anything more, it's incredible, simply incredible. Remember when people were going nuts over the tracking shot gimmick in Children of Men? I felt that way about this one. If there's a god, Ridley will finally pick up his directing Oscar this year, he deserves it for this and his wide career.

American Gangster is probably one of the best cop-based films I've seen, and up there with gangster ones. It does one of the best jobs of examining the rise and fall of a crime or drug boss right from the beginning, and dives right into on the other side what it means to be a cop and to strive for something, as well as just telling an awesome and magnificently directed gangster story.

One of the year's very finest films.


243 of 362 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
movies with the dirtiest cops...brolin(trupo)? markyho
Movie involving Crime = Cliche Wife NieWiernyTomasz
Russel Crowe? SpyderPig
Slightly confused about Richie's dual role walter-984-446433
bumpy's comments at the start about pride of ownership lord_kellington
Even a fool gets to be young once gt530
Discuss American Gangster (2007) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page