American Gangster 2007 R CC

Amazon Instant Video

Available in HD
(503) IMDb 7.8/10
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Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe team with Director Ridley Scott in this powerful epic inspired by a true story. American Gangster is "a gritty masterpiece" (GQ).

Starring:
Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe
Runtime:
2 hours, 38 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Ridley Scott
Starring Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe
Supporting actors Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh Brolin, Lymari Nadal, Ted Levine, Roger Guenveur Smith, John Hawkes, RZA, Yul Vazquez, Malcolm Goodwin, Ruby Dee, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Carla Gugino, Skyler Fortgang, John Ortiz, Cuba Gooding Jr., Armand Assante, Kathleen Garrett, Joe Morton
Studio NBC Universal
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Great acting, great story.
Erika Croy
The movie dragged at times and it was hard to really connect with either character, because the film never tells you what drove them.
Kara Lane
Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe are great actors.
Joseph

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Mark #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 3, 2008
Format: DVD
American Gangster 2-Disc Unrated Extended Edition

In American Gangster Ridley Scott has created the perfect storm of an American movie masterpiece. An amazing group of actors, headlined by Denzel Washington and Russel Crowe, produces a very convincing period piece of 1970s New Jersey and New York and the crime culture that existed there. It's hard to feel anything but shame watchig this movie. This movie is both believable and tragic, and it startles me that neither Crowe nor Washington received nominations for two incredible performances.

The Story and the Script

The story is supposed to be based on the real life exploits of Frank Lucas. Movies like this usually exaggerate. The fact that this movie is so believable makes it all the more tragic. There are no black and white characters and we are left to choose between murdering drug pushers and crooked cops.

The writing and the story structure are both excellent. The plot is developed slowly and masterfully. While there is less shooting and action than one would expect from such a tale, the movie is filled with drama and suspense.

Cinematography

They have managed to create a period piece here that is beautiful, gritty, real and romanticized. The framing of the actors and the skylines are beautiful. Much of the scenery and shots are darkly lit. This is most often used in the scenes with the police in their shadowy research rooms, clearly to juxtapose them against the Lucas empire, almost always shown in the light.

The first disk in the unrated edition is in a beautiful widescreen.
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80 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 18, 2008
Format: DVD
This viewer rented the DVD form of AMERICAN GANGSTER, having passed it by in the theatrical run, thinking that it was yet another 'crime and corruption in New York' genre film. It was surprising to discover that this very long film (just under three hours in the Unrated version) is completely riveting and in a way far different than the usual gangster film: this story, based on real people as outlined in an article by Mark Jacobson (transformed for the screen by Steven Zaillian), and while it has its share of grisly killings, it seems more concerned with the issues of integrity in the face of police corruption as embodied in the character of Richie Roberts, the etiology of the heroin use escalation following the Vietnam War, and the presence of a 'Black Mafia' lead by one Frank Lucas. It is delivered with compelling gusto and intelligence by director Ridley Scott and has some of the best acting of the year. In other words, this is not a film to be lightly dismissed as a Hollywood retread, but instead it is a tense drama with many very fine points.

Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) follows the footsteps of his idol Bumpy (Clarence Williams III) who 'ran' the Harlem streets, and when Bumpy dies, Lucas inherits his mantle. Lucas is wise, cunning, a gentleman, a powerhouse of ideas, and quickly finds a way to bring the best uncut heroin from the Far East to the streets of New York at a price that undercuts the other mobsters' product. To establish his control he enlists his family, including his brother Huey (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and rapidly becomes the kingpin of the streets.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Scott T. Rivers VINE VOICE on August 17, 2008
Format: DVD
There's little new in director Ridley Scott's "American Gangster." However, the emphasis on characterization over violent action is refreshing. Denzel Washington gives a compelling performance as real-life Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas, with Russell Crowe equally impressive as New Jersey detective Richie Roberts - the man determined to bring down Lucas' heroin empire. An excellent supporting cast features standout portrayals by Josh Brolin and Oscar-nominated Ruby Dee. Regardless of the predictable outcome, Scott manages to keep the pot boiling for 157 minutes. "American Gangster" does not rank with the classic crime epics, but remains a solid achievement.
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84 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hedge on December 11, 2007
we've been here many times before. This film offers nothing new to the genre, but it is still a terrific film.

Ridley Scott is an already proven director who is well overdue for an Oscar, but just what attracted him to this story is something of a mystery. Perhaps being a diverse director with films like the first Alien and Gladiator he wanted to add another genre to his credits and that is admirable (more admirable than Martin Scorsese who keeps making the same film over and over again and then wonders where the Oscar is). However, Scott could have selected a gangster film that didn't include so many tributes to better films in the genre (The Godfather, The Untouchables and Serpico come to mind). In this regard the film disappoints even though Scott directs his great cast in both subtle and stylized fashion. He deserves kudos for his efforts if not for the end result.
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