7.8/10
371,916
490 user 314 critic

American Gangster (2007)

Trailer
1:57 | Trailer
An outcast New York City cop is charged with bringing down Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas, whose real life inspired this partly biographical film.

Director:

Ridley Scott

Writers:

Steven Zaillian, Mark Jacobson (article)
Reviews
Popularity
1,049 ( 151)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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 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.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn
Man on Fire (2004)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In Mexico City, a former CIA operative 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
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
Inside Man (2006)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 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
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
The Equalizer (2014)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz
Deja Vu (2006)
Action | Crime | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Jim Caviezel
John Q (2002)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

John Quincy Archibald takes a hospital emergency room hostage when his insurance won't cover his son's heart transplant.

Director: Nick Cassavetes
Stars: Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall, Gabriela Oltean
Unstoppable (2010)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 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
Safe House (2012)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 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
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
2 Guns (2013)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two hardened criminals get into trouble with the US border patrol after meeting with a Mexican drug lord, and then revelations start to unfold.

Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Stars: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Frank Lucas
Russell Crowe ... Richie Roberts
Chiwetel Ejiofor ... Huey Lucas
Josh Brolin ... Detective Trupo
Lymari Nadal ... Eva
Ted Levine ... Lou Toback
Roger Guenveur Smith ... Nate
John Hawkes ... Freddie Spearman
RZA ... Moses Jones
Yul Vazquez ... Alfonse Abruzzo
Malcolm Goodwin ... Jimmy Zee
Ruby Dee ... Mama Lucas
Ruben Santiago-Hudson ... Doc
Carla Gugino ... Laurie Roberts
Skyler Fortgang Skyler Fortgang ... Michael Roberts
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:

When Hoodlum Bumpy influences American Gangster Frank Lucas See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Thai | Spanish

Release Date:

2 November 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tru Blu See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$43,565,135, 4 November 2007

Gross USA:

$130,164,645

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$266,465,037
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

SDDS | DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Denzel Washington and Roger Guenveur Smith appeared together in Malcolm X (1992) and He Got Game (1998) See more »

Goofs

When the bad guys are running the screws out of the false-bottom coffins, the sound effect used matches a modern, battery powered (sounds like an 18 volt or 14.4) cordless drill with an electric brake. Cordless power tools were introduced by the Apollo Moon Program and no battery-powered drill available to industry was developed until decades later. 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 »

Alternate Versions

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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Railroad
(2007)
Published by Universal Pictures Music
Produced by Hank Shocklee
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Two Great Actors Elevate This Scarface-Like Story
7 March 2008 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

The best thing this movie had going for it - which is no surprise - is the acting duo of Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. How many bad movies do you see with either of those guys starring in them? Not many, and neither actor disappoints here. Both play fascinating guys, Washington, a big gangster ("Frank Lucas") and Crowe, an honest cop ("Richie Roberts")

This movie reminded me a lot of the '83 "Scarface" film in which Tony Montana (Al Pacino) rises from the bottom up to be a big drug lord, only to have things crumble big-time. We see a similar tale here with "Lucas," except that his fall is sudden in this story, unlike Pacino's character.

Director Ridley Scott and photographer Harris Savides also give us a slick- looking film, very pretty spots and stylishly-directed.

The story wasn't quite as good as the people who photographed it and acted in it. It's still a good one in that it entertains. I was never bored despite the two- and-a-half-hour length of it. I was a bit confused in the first 25 minutes but things straightened out after that.

The supporting cast in here is very deep with a lot of familiar faces, going all the way back to 83-year-old Ruby Dee. A new, young face - Lamari Nadal - is a real beauty. She plays Frank's wife, who is a lot nicer character than the one Michelle Peiffer played in "Scarface."

A key to whether you enjoy this or not - if you haven't seen it - might be your expectations. Know in advance there is not a ton of action in this tough crime movie and don't listen to all the hype that this is "the best film of the year." Just expect a decent movie with good acting and instead of a lot of blood and guts, and you should enjoy it. That's how I looked at it, and it worked for me. It was entertaining enough for me that I'd watch it again.


13 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 490 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed