Review: American Gangster

American Gangster
8 10

This is a biopic of Harlem gangster Frank Lucas set in the 1970’s New York underworld. The film explores the quiet rise and fall of Lucas who also happens to be the guy who was above the Italian mafia at that time. Meanwhile, throughout Lucas’s rise, an outcast cop named Richie Roberts begins to put the pieces together and discovers that Lucas is the next big crime boss and at all costs wants to bring him down. A great gangster film ensues!

This is how movies are supposed to be made. Great acting, great directing, and most importantly, a great story. How can you go wrong? You can’t and as a result, we get an excellent gangster film here folks. It’s well paced, a tad long but that’s ok cause you’re glued to the screen the whole time anyways. This is one of the Gangster films that it can stand on its own, it has the same sophistication has GOODFELLAS but just not as funny but that’s ok. This isn’t a shoot’em up crime movie, it is violent but that comes with any good gangster flick and it’s expected. The story has great character development. We get this in depth exploration of each of the main characters. We get a real sense of where they’re coming from, we see their strengths and weakness and you can’t help but feel complete interest in each character. You want both guys to win.

Denzel Washington plays Frank Lucas. Scene one…BOOM! Doesn’t say one word but right away you know who this guy is and what he’s all about. His character’s business philosophy was brilliant…just cut out the middle man. His love for his family was inspiring and if you catch him on a bad day you see this cold unforgiving individual that can be very scary. Denzel delivers once again and this is probably one of his finest roles to date.

Russell Crowe plays Richie Roberts, the outcast cop for being a goody two shoes and the guy who’s pursuing to take down Frank Lucas. Russell delivers too. He brought this intensity to the character that was incredible. He was able to depict this character where we he was a man of the law, a real good guy but at the same time we see that he was deeply flawed. His look and accent where all bang on. Despite the fact that Crowe has a very distinctive look, I didn’t see Crowe I just saw the character he was portraying. For those who have seen it already, that “thing” Richie gives back…I would have kept it!

Riddly Scott…oh how I love the Scott brothers! This guy could make a movie about pie baking and I would probably go see it. Ridley has created an excellent crime, Mafioso piece that’s up there with the best of them. There was no fancy camera work, just clean simple visuals that told an excellent compelling story! Look for the big family dinner scene with Frank Lucas at the head of the table; it looked like a Norman Rockwell painting. The story was centered mostly on the two main characters but Scott gave us all the secondary players that were awesome as well. Props to RZA, he’s probably one of the only rappers that should be allowed to act, he was truly exceptional! I also wanted to point out Josh Brolin’s acting; he pulled off the perfect corrupt cop.

Definitely check this one out. Mafia lovers will dig this. Scott fans will appreciate it. The Washington and Crowe fan section will go cocoa for cocoa puffs all over it. Most importantly, civilians will enjoy it too!

300 (10/10) Blades of Glory (8/10) Black Snake Moan (8/10) Catch and Release (5/10) Deja Vu (6/10) Eragon (4/10) Factory Girl (7/10) Grindhouse (9/10) Premonition (3/10) Reign Over Me (8/10) Shooter (6/10) The Astronaut Farmer (8/10) Norbit (6/10) The Departed (9/10) The Lookout (7/10) TMNT (8/10) Wild Hogs (5/10) Zodiac (7/10)

-- by Tim Goernert

Source: JoBlo.com



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