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American Gangster (2007)

aka American Gangster

"There are two sides to the American dream."

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 157 mins · English · R (USA)


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Not a bad movie, great casting, but somehow, I felt it to lack... something. I think this had the potental to be so much better.

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Small Richie Roberts
Small Frank Lucas
Small Huey Lucas
Small Detective Trupo
No_movie_poster Eva
Small Lou Toback
Small Nate
Small Freddie Spearman
Small Moses Jones
Small Laurie Roberts
Small Turner Lucas
Small Stevie Lucas
Small Nicky Barnes
Small Alfonso Abruzzo
Small Jimmy Zee
No_movie_poster Mama Lucas
Small Doc
No_movie_poster Judge
Small Detective in Morgue
Small Rossi
No_movie_poster Bumpy Johnson
Small Campizi
No_movie_poster Chinese General
Small US Attorney
No_movie_poster Private Doctor
No_movie_poster Joey Sadano
No_movie_poster Army Captain
No_movie_poster Mike Sobota
Small Javier J. Rivera
No_movie_poster Real Estate Broker
No_movie_poster Social Worker
No_movie_poster Judge James Racine
No_movie_poster Serviceman in Cafe
No_movie_poster Law School Professor
Small Tango
Small Charlie Williams
Small Detective at Party
Small Seller
Small Mechanic
Small Dominic Cattano
No_movie_poster Richie's Attorney


Small Brian Grazer Producer
Small Ridley Scott Director
No_movie_poster Branko Lustig Executive Producer
No_movie_poster Pietro Scalia Editor
Small Steven Zaillian Screenplay
No_movie_poster Avy Kaufman Casting
No_movie_poster Harris Savides Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Michael Costigan Executive Producer
No_movie_poster James Whitaker Executive Producer
Small Ridley Scott Production
No_movie_poster Mark Jacobson Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Pietro Scalia Editing


"There are two sides to the American dream."


In 1968, Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington), the limo driver-turned-right-hand man of Harlem gangster Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson (Clarence Williams III), inherits his gang once Johnson dies of a heart attack. Frank decides to take control of Harlem's crime scene as he dislikes the new, flashy gangsters of the neighborhood who are trying to take over Harlem.

Meanwhile, Newark detective Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) is hated in his precinct for being honest. After his exiled and addicted partner (John Ortiz) dies from accidentally overdosing on a relatively low-priced but unusually potent brand of heroin called "Blue Magic", Captain Lou Toback (Ted Levine) puts Roberts in charge of a task force targeting major drug trafficking in Essex County, New Jersey. The investigation will focus the actual supplier rather than the middle-men.

Blue Magic is being supplied by Lucas, who has decided to buy his drugs directly from producers in Thailand, which is then smuggled by U.S. servicemen returning from the Vietnam War. This allows Lucas to provide a higher quality product at a cheaper price than his rivals, eventually wholesaling drugs to most of the dealers in the New York area. With Blue Magic's monopoly, Lucas quickly makes a fortune, buying several nightclubs to control the casino and prostitution ring as well, and a large estate in New Jersey for his humble mother (Ruby Dee). Lucas' five brothers are enlisted as his lieutenants in the drug trade. During his rise to becoming the biggest gang leader and drug dealer in Harlem, Lucas meets and falls in love with Eva (Lymari Nadal), a Puerto Rican beauty queen.

As Lucas' business prospers, he makes a point of operating quietly and dressing with a modest conservatism both as a sign of strength and to avoid attracting the attention of the police, since he is relatively unknown to them and they are still far from finding the supplier of the Blue Magic, and he also himself stays away from the drugs to avoid making hard decision under the influence. However, Lucas disregards this habit while attending the Fight of the Century with Eva, sporting a gaudy chinchilla fur coat and hat given to him by Eva; Roberts attends the fight, notices the previously-unknown Lucas with the coat and questions the better seats he has even than the Italian mobsters, and decides to investigate him.

Meanwhile, Lucas is forced to contend with Lucchese mafia boss Dominic Cattano (Armand Assante), who threatens him with destroying his family unless he gets a cut of a deal and corrupt NYPD detectives such as Nick Trupo (Josh Brolin), who attempts to extort and blackmail him to give him a cut. Lucas must also compete with local crime figure Nicky Barnes (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), a young gun who is motivated to take over Harlem. Things take a turn for the worse when the Fall of Saigon cuts off Lucas' supply, forcing him to rely on the other crime rings.

Roberts' detectives witness Frank's cousin (Malcolm Goodwin) shooting a woman, and then use his driver's predicament to get him to wear a wire. This allows Roberts and his task force to identify and search one of the last planes carrying Lucas' stock, discovering Blue Magic in the coffins of returning war dead; this evidence allows them to obtain a warrant to follow drugs into Newark's projects and Lucas' heroin processing facility, causing a shootout, in which Steve Lucas (T.I.), his young cousin who gave up a promising career to join the New York Yankees to join Lucas' family. Meanwhile, Trupo and his men break into Lucas' mansion and immediately kill his dog in order to steal his emergency cash supply hidden under the doghouse. Lucas initially sets out to kill Trupo, but his mother manages to dissuade him, and so he has his prized 1967 Ford Shelby GT500 destroyed. Lucas is arrested after Roberts' team conducts a raid on the drug processing facility located in the Newark projects.

In the police station, Roberts gives Lucas a chance at a shorter jail sentence if he aids his investigation. Lucas initially offered to bribe Roberts but in the end, provides names of dirty cops in the NYPD, out of respect for the officer's incorruptibility. In the end, three quarters of the New York DEA are arrested and convicted, and a distraught Trupo commits suicide to avoid arrest. Roberts, having passed the bar exam, prosecutes Lucas, who once condemned provides evidence that leads to more than one-hundred further drug-related convictions, while he himself is sentenced to 22 years of prison, being released in 1991.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 2007-11-02 : United States of America

DVD : 2008-02-19