On his first day on the job as a Los Angeles narcotics officer, a rookie cop goes beyond a full work day in training within the narcotics division of the L.A.P.D. with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.
A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can't stand idly by - he has to help her.
After a ferry is bombed in New Orleans, an A.T.F. agent joins a unique investigation using experimental surveillance technology to find the bomber, but soon finds himself becoming obsessed with one of the victims.
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
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 »
In 1968, when Richie is walking with his wife and son, a 747 flies over the park. Boeing 747s started commercial service in 1970. See more »
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 »
The 175 min.-unrated extended version includes approx. 19 minutes of additional footage not seen in the theatrical release. Among the highlights are:
A flashback with Frank Lucas and Bumpy Johnson on a boardwalk
A short scene showing Richie Roberts acquiring office space for his new narcotics task force (this added scene follows immediately after Toback assigns Roberts to head up the federal investigation using honest cops of Roberts' choice)
A nighttime scene where Roberts and his team tail a drug pusher with a stash of Blue Magic to an auto body shop; the next morning, Spearman strikes a deal with the shop owner "Scott" over the phone, which leads up to Roberts under disguise dropping off $20,000 to get a supply of Blue Magic
In the Bronx, right after Spearman drops off Roberts and informs him that he'll circle the block, an extended scene takes place where Roberts sees both Scott take off in his Jeep and Spearman getting blocked by a broken-down truck, unable to reach Roberts. In desperation, Roberts stops a yellow cab and shows his badge, argues with the uncooperative cabbie to use it, and eventually decks the cabbie in the face to take control of the cab and quickly pursues the escaping drug pusher, ending with Roberts following the unsuspecting Scott on foot.
After the Christmas visit with Charlie Williams, there's an extended scene with Frank and Eva back at their home, where Frank reminisces how Bumpy gradually stayed more and more at home towards the end of his life because of constant police surveillance. He then asks Eva if she wants to go out, nevertheless.
An extended ending in 1991 where Lucas upon release from jail is picked up by Roberts, and the two make their way towards the intersection of 116 St. and Frederick Douglass Blvd, conversing while drinking lattes.
Guess Things Happen That Way
Written by Jack Clement
Published by Universal Songs of Polygram Int, Inc.
Performed by Johnny Cash
Courtesy of Sun Entertainment Corporation
By Arrangement with Nola Leone/Ace Music Services, LLC See more »
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.
155 of 233 people found this review helpful.
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