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Rated R · 160 minutes · 2007

Drama
Director Ridley Scott pays lavish homage to New York true-crime movies of the '70s with this exquisitely detailed, excitingly paced cops 'n' robbers saga (adapted by Steven Zaillian from Mark Jacobson's magazine article) about a Newark, New Jersey cop named Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe, in full working-class American mode) battling the heroin king of Harlem, Frank Lucas (princely, soft-spoken Denzel Washington). Armand Assante hams it up annoyingly as a mafia don, but that's probably the worst you can say about the sprawling story, which zigzags from squad rooms to Thailand's Golden Triangle to explain how cheap, pure heroin flooded the New York metro area during the disco era. Glimpses of The French Connection and Serpico abound, but Scott manages to update the production values without losing the helter-skelter mood of the times. Josh Brolin, Ted Levine, RZA, Joe Morton, and John Hawkes provide fine support. Veteran up-and-down filmmaker Scott (Gladiator, Thelma & Louise, Blade Runner) hits the high notes on this one (157 min., 2007).
Official Site: www.americangangster.net
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Steven Zaillian
Producer: Brian Grazer and Ron Howard
Cast: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Dania Ramirez, Josh Brolin, Carla Gugino, John Hawkes, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Common, Clifford Harris and Robert 'RZA' Diggs

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