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American Gangster (2007)

R  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  2 November 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 308,387 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 448 user | 297 critic | 38 from

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 11 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lou Toback
Skyler Fortgang ...


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


There are two sides to the American dream.


Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

2 November 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Return of Superfly  »

Box Office


$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$24,028,445 (USA) (2 November 2007)


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Unrated Edition)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Frank Lucas was excited about the film; however, he admitted that only a small portion of the film was true, and that much of it was fabricated for dramatic effect. Similarly, Richie Roberts criticized the film for its inaccuracy and said it made Lucas too noble. See more »


In the climactic church scene, when the congregation sings "How Great Thou Art," the third and fourth lines are out of sync with how the parishioners' lips are moving. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 21 August 2015 (2015) See more »


Checkin' Up On My Baby
Written by Sonny Boy Williamson
Published by Arc Music Corp.
Produced by Hank Shocklee
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.

256 of 359 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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Is this movie worth watching? pilot-78
movies with the dirtiest cops...brolin(trupo)? markyho
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
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