American Gangster


Denzel Washington (Best Actor Training Day) and Russell Crowe (Best Actor Gladiator) make a great pairing for a movie. It is a shame they didn’t have more scenes together. When they finally are together in the interrogation scene, it really is good, the subtle things like pushing the coffee cup back and forth across the table. Just wish there were more of it.

The story is about Frank Lucas and his rise to power as a gangster. Russell Crowe plays Richie Roberts, the honest detective in pursuit of him. Not to give to much away, but I would have have liked to have seen an additional 30 or 45 minutes to the movie and focus on everything that happened once Frank Lucas was caught. That would have added a lot to Denzel’s character and solved the problem of screen time together. As far as the actors and actresses go, Ruby Dee got a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Not really sure why, she was good in her role, but had very little screen time, and her confrontation scene with Denzel was good, but very short.

It sounds like I am being picky here, so don’t get me wrong, this is a very well done and enjoyable film. Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner) does a great job giving the film that 70’s feel, especially with the dulled back, washed out color palate and costumes and garnered an Oscar nomination for Art Direction. Since I do have the special edition of this movie, I am looking forward to watching the director’s cut sometime and see what all was added. This is a film that is worth taking in for sure.