Would you like an invitation to our beta?
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.
|Russell Crowe||Richie Roberts|
|Denzel Washington||Frank Lucas|
|Chiwetel Ejiofor||Huey Lucas|
|Josh Brolin||Detective Trupo|
|Ted Levine||Lou Toback|
|Roger Guenveur Smith||Nate|
|John Hawkes||Freddie Spearman|
|Carla Gugino||Laurie Roberts|
|Cuba Gooding Jr.||Nicky Barnes|
|Yul Vazquez||Alfonso Abruzzo|
|Malcolm Goodwin||Jimmy Zee|
|Ruby Dee||Mama Lucas|
|Norman Reedus||Detective in Morgue|
|Clarence Williams III||Bumpy Johnson|
|Ric Young||Chinese General|
|Roger Bart||US Attorney|
|Chuck Cooper||Private Doctor|
|Ritchie Coster||Joey Sadano|
|Dan Moran||Army Captain|
|Gavin Grazer||Mike Sobota|
|John Ortiz||Javier J. Rivera|
|Maryann Urbano||Real Estate Broker|
|Linda Powell||Social Worker|
|Jon DeVries||Judge James Racine|
|Cedric Sanders||Serviceman in Cafe|
|Kevin Geer||Law School Professor|
|Joe Morton||Charlie Williams|
|Eddie Rouse||Detective at Party|
|Armand Assante||Dominic Cattano|
|KaDee Strickland||Richie's Attorney|
|Branko Lustig||Executive Producer|
|Harris Savides||Director of Photography|
|Michael Costigan||Executive Producer|
|James Whitaker||Executive Producer|
|Mark Jacobson||Story Contributor|
"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.
Theatrical : 2007-11-02 : United States of America
DVD : 2008-02-19