Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
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
American Gangster is one of the best movies i've recently seen and it is a pleasure to watch even if you are not a gangster movies fan. The story is more captivating than i expected i must say, following Frank Lucas(Denzel Washington) - the afro-American drug lord who raised above all, even the Italian mafia - and Richie Roberts(Russel Crowe), the honest cop in a city full of corruption, sort of Frank Serpico but with less guts.
Denzel Washington delivers a marvelous performance of a man calm and patient yet heart-stopping ferocious at some points, fearless and ambitious but likable as always. His performances are always incredible, he's a great actor, the greatest afro-American actor of all time i dare to say, it's simply a pleasure to watch him in any role.
Russel Crowe delivers a good performance, he's one of the actors that never disappoint in my opinion and i think there's a great chemistry between them (Washington and Crowe) even though few scenes bring them face to face. Richie Roberts is in danger for being one of the few cops that actually do their jobs and refuse to take bribe so i think there's a big resemblance between Richie Roberts and Frank Serpico (Al Pacino 1973).
Cuba Gooding Jr. could have gotten a bigger part, or more scenes because he's a very talented actor and he proved himself many times that he's more than capable of delivering excellent performances.
The drama is less than expected but the movie is very well paced and it never gets boring even if it lasts more than two hours. Everything fits perfectly and there is an excellent antithetical presentation of the wealthy life of Frank Lucas opposite to the lives that he's drugs ruin every day, every hour, every minute...
I strongly recommend to gangster movies fans, actually to those viewers who enjoy good movies because this movie is above average and you will enjoy every second of it.
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