MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 252 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 286,077 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 442 user | 297 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...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 07 Jan 2012
 
a list of 27 titles
created 08 Jul 2012
 
a list of 32 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 21 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 32 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items


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 12 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Training Day (2001)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

On his first day on the job as a Los Angeles narcotics officer, a rookie cop goes on a 24-hour training course with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn
Man on Fire (2004)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In Mexico City, a former assassin swears vengeance on those who committed an unspeakable act against the family he was hired to protect.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken, Dakota Fanning
Inside Man (2006)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A police detective, a bank robber, and a high-power broker enter high-stakes negotiations after the criminal's brilliant heist spirals into a hostage situation.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster
Deja Vu (2006)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An A.T.F. agent travels back in time to save a woman from being murdered, falling in love with her in the process.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Jim Caviezel
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzmán
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Stars: Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson
Body of Lies (2008)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A CIA agent on the ground in Jordan hunts down a powerful terrorist leader while being caught between the unclear intentions of his American supervisors and Jordon Intelligence.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong
Unstoppable (2010)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

With an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train barreling toward a city, a veteran engineer and a young conductor race against the clock to prevent a catastrophe.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson
Flight I (2012)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Denzel Washington, Nadine Velazquez, Don Cheadle
John Q (2002)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A down-on-his luck father, whose insurance won't cover his son's heart transplant, takes the hospital's emergency room hostage until the doctors agree to perform the operation.

Director: Nick Cassavetes
Stars: Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall, Gabriela Oltean
Safe House (2012)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young CIA agent is tasked with looking after a fugitive in a safe house. But when the safe house is attacked, he finds himself on the run with his charge.

Director: Daniel Espinosa
Stars: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Patrick
Robin Hood (2010)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 13th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Matthew Macfadyen
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

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

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

While filming on-location in the Chiang Mai province of Thailand, Ridley Scott hired many extras from the local villages, some of whom were actual participants in the drug-running operation of Frank Lucas during the Vietnam War. See more »

Goofs

In one scene at Fort Bragg/Pope AFB, a modern-day C-17 Globemaster III is in the background. The Air Force added them in 1993. 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 Saturday Night Live: Josh Brolin/Adele (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Amazing Grace
(uncredited)
Written by John Newton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
a big, intense American crime movie, led by stars and director in top form
4 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

American Gangster seems on the surface to be what has been dubbed by some critics as "the black Scarface." As Ridley Scott's new film details, this isn't really the case aside from the point of 'rose up from nothing became something through crime', which could be said about almost every gangster film including the Godfather. Here Scott and screenwriter Steve Zaillian, without calling attention to it ala Paul Haggis, have made a film about class issues underneath the typical gangster-movie form. Even more than the Departed, one sees as the film goes on an environment of paradox: Frank Lucas was a low-life, a killer, a ruthless thug, and at the same time found time to take his mother to church every Sunday and gave out turkeys to folks in the neighborhood while providing them enough dope to die off in the process.

In fact, Scarface has got nothing on Frank Lucas when it comes to moral complexity: here's a man who did rise up out of poverty, learned the stakes of gang life as a driver for the Harlem boss for fifteen years, and then after he died cut out the middle-man as an importer of the freshest product of heroin right out of Vietnam. Then through this there's a whole other level to American Gangster; Scott and Zaillian could have made it simply a saga of betrayals and investigation via Richie Roberts. But the side that one saw in Serpico is amplified here- it becomes all the more engrossing to see how the crooked cops and "honest" gangster Lucas were linked together, which also leads to an ending that amps up the interest. Lucas didn't get out like Henry Hill, but a good man all the same? Probably not (he ended up in jail again, as the film doesn't point out).

So there's a lot of story to explore, and Scott makes it one of the most invigorating, nostalgic (ironically speaking) New York crime films in years, as far as the storytelling goes. And like Heat, Scott gets a lot of mileage from his star power. Washington goes even deeper into the role of the villain than he did in Training Day- he plays him as classic family man, cold businessman, and charming man-of-the-community. He makes it so much his role that you can't imagine anyone else going down a Harlem street shooting a guy point blank in the head. And Crowe also adds some good subtlety to the piece, a flawed man with his family and someone who tries to keep his morality straight (the million dollars given in to the station) amidst total bully-crooks like Josh Brolin's "special" detective. By the time the two stars finally sit down for one scene, it's on par with De Niro and Pacino.

Why not a 10/10 or 4 stars? It is, despite a rightfully fleshed out narrative, with some unnecessary bits (Cuba Gooding Jr, what happened there?) on a two hour and forty minute picture. But Scott does make American Gangster gain momentum as it goes along and reaches a powerhouse climax that is first intense and bloody (it IS Scott after all), followed by a striking human angle. And it holds nothing on Scarface, at the end of it all, as far as being legitimately dramatic without the ham, as the actors and director click for most part on material that just needs to be told without any pretension- and with that dose of significance of real urban crime in the 1970s in NYC.


130 of 188 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is this movie worth watching? pilot-78
movies with the dirtiest cops...brolin(trupo)? markyho
Russel Crowe? SpyderPig
I'm i the only one who disliked Crowes character paomiazoh
Slightly confused about Richie's dual role walter-984-446433
bumpy's comments at the start about pride of ownership lord_kellington
Discuss American Gangster (2007) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page