American Gangster Synopsis
A chauffeur (Denzel Washington) rises to prominence as the most-powerful crime boss in 1970s Harlem.
Read Full Synopsis

Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings


Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
This is an engrossing story, told smoothly and well, and Russell Crowe's contribution is enormous.
Full Review

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
Call it the black "Scarface" or "the Harlem Godfather" or just one hell of an exciting movie.
Full Review

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
The movie, based on a true story, takes surprising twists and turns right up to its chilling ending and is probably the best gangster crime...
Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

By Kirk Honeycutt
It's workmanlike and engrossing, but what sticks in the mind are Frank and Richie, not what anybody does.
Full Review

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
In the end, though, the success of American Gangster doesn't flow from the originality of its ideas, or its bid for epic status, as much as...
Full Review

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
Ridley Scott gives it the grand treatment, 157 minutes worth, but in the end, it doesn't stack up as the portrait of an era (the 1970s, in...
Full Review

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Carrie Rickey
It lacks momentum, and thus the propulsion required to rocket it into the movie mythosphere.
Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
Meticulous and detailed, a drug-world epic that holds you from moment to moment, immersing you in the intricate and sleazy logistics of...
Full Review

New York Daily News

By Jack Mathews
The problem is that the movie spends as much time on the boring detective chasing Lucas as on the drug lord himself.
Full Review

Boston Globe

By Wesley Morris
The result is kitschy entertainment that wants to celebrate Lucas's chutzpah and acumen while loosely condemning what they wrought:...
Full Review

A must go, read why!

By xronmcdonx
Richie Roberts (Russel Crowe) gets one of Frank Lucas's (Denzel Washington) cousins to wear a wire after he witnesses him almost kill his girlfriend. Roberts is able to figure out when Lucas's next...

American Gangster

By BJNelson
I was fortunate enough to participate in a screening and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. As everyone knows, this movie is based on a true story and Denzel and the entire cast delivered. It was over...

American Gangster assassinates all doubts

By DoItAgain
I was not sure how this movie would pan out. I am a mafia/gangster movie fan but I did not want to see a story of sex, murder and mayhem with no moral to the story. I was blown away. Denzel...


By karensaucedo
Well acted and a powerful indication of what we're up against in this country with the drug culture....where the commody is sold with unique marketing ideas and pure ruthlessness.......

American Gangster

By kel904
I loved this film, it was long..but never did it loose my attention. I have a hard time watching Denzel Washington be a "bag guy", but he was outstanding. Russell Crowe hasn't been this good since...

American Gangster

By schoolteacher1
The previews lead you to believe that there was going to be a lot more voilence like a Scarface type of flick. However, this movie was to nice. Thank god for the superb acting of Denzel and Russell...

American Gangster

By beedat
Denzel is the best actor of our generation. Totally breathes each role he is cast in. Powerful story and portrayal of a character....

Pretty Good

By mariemon
I liked the movie though it was about 30 minutes too long....

American Gangster

By dsteimle
This film is excellent. Ridley Scott has assembled an excellent ensemble to tell the story of Frank Lucas, a Harlem drug lord of the 1970s, and Richie Roberts, the New Jersey prosecutor who brought...

American Gangster

By gmaddock
Loved it. I even got layed after the movie!...

More Info

Rated R | For violence, pervasive drug content and language, nudity and sexuality
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Violent, drug-fueled drama isn't for kids.
Read the Common Sense Media Review