American Gangster

Release Date: November 2, 2007

Movie of the Day for Tuesday, February 20, 2007
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So, where do you keep *your* Oscar?

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
21/214 Max Braden A solid street drama. Not quite Goodfellas or Casino, but up there.
35/46 Les Winan Disappointing considering the talent involved. Crowe is great, Denzel plays Denzel, but generally it's a mess.
48/94 Shane Jenkins Makes a fatal error by splitting its time between Denzel (interesting) and Russell (not so much).

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American Gangster, formerly known as The Return of Super Fly and Tru Blu portrays the real life story of Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) who grew up in the segregated South. Witnessing racism at its most ugly, the murder of his cousin for looking at a white girl, he came to be one of the most successful and powerful heroin dealers in Harlem. Traveling to Southeast Asia, he networked with local suppliers and is said to have shipped the illegal narcotics in the coffins of deceased US soldiers killed in Vietnam.

It is also the story of the other man, Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe), who finally brought him to justice and the work they did together later to dismantle some of the most profitable drug smuggling networks of the time.

With the many locations and stories there is tremendous opportunity for a fascinating investigation into a variety of social and political topics. And with a powerful male cast, it’ll be interesting to see what comes of this. In Washington, Crowe and Benicio Del Toro you have three intense and dedicated actors under the directorship of Ridley Scott (Kingdom of Heaven, Blackhawk Down, Hannibal, Gladiator, Bladerunner and Alien). The addition of two well known and respected rappers also makes for interesting casting choices.

This has the feel of a very well crafted and audience triangulated dramatic film. (D. James Ruccio/BOP)

Vital statistics for American Gangster
Main Cast Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Benicio Del Toro
Supporting Cast Dania Ramirez, Josh Brolin, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Common, RZA
Director Ridley Scott
Screenwriter Steven Zaillian
Distributor Universal
Awards Awards page for American Gangster
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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