American Gangster is
a well-made true story with a striking level of realism. It's
a gritty, brutal, fact-based tale of a criminal named Frank Lucas
taking over the drug trade in NYC.
The film throbs with energy and is well
acted and directed.
It shows a portrait of a time of outrageous
greed and dangerous excess and corruption.
It takes a little time to convince yourself
that Denzel Washington is a stone-faced killer, but believe me
American Gangster works
because of its actors; without them, it would play like just
another mob film.
Academy award winners Denzel Washington
and Russell Crowe sink their teeth into the characters and play
them with conviction.
This loosely based "true story"
of the rise and fall of Harlem's most notorious drug lord may
not be a masterpiece, but it is a solid gangster film with some
of this year's best performances.
When two Oscar-winning powerhouses face
off in an organized crime tale like American Gangster,
you can expect the drama to be forceful, engrossing, and interesting.
I was not disappointed. There was plenty
of material to fill up the more than 2-1/2 hours running time.
I didn't find a dull moment. It was like
two Hollywood heavyweights taking on a gritty true-crime story.