American Gangster: Extended Edition

American Gangster: Extended Edition

Ridley Scott (2007)

18 Certificate


Our Score
As this true-life New York crime saga (set between 1968 and 1974) evocatively unfolds, master director Ridley Scott makes "big" look easy. Denzel Washington brings a suave tranquillity to his role as emerging Harlem drugs lord Frank Lucas (all the better to explode into sudden violence), while, in parallel, Russell Crowe's honest New Jersey cop Richie Roberts juggles divorce, pariah status within a corrupt police department and, eventually, the logistics of bringing Lucas down. It's as if The Godfather, GoodFellas and Scarface met TV's The Wire: grand overstatement combined with procedural detail and junkie sleaze. Beyond Josh Brolin's poisonously bad cop, a fine supporting cast struggles to make any meaningful impact in the wake of a dominant Washington - not least in the poorly sketched female roles - and fidelity to events takes the dramatic sting out of an operatic climax. Nevertheless, this is still a classy crime fable that succeeds despite sidestepping the electric set pieces of such genre maestros as Martin Scorsese or Brian De Palma.


A longer cut of Ridley Scott's fact-based crime drama about Seventies drug kingpin Frank Lucas, whose innovative methods of smuggling heroin into the US made him one of the leading figures in the New York underworld. A detective is assigned to bring Lucas' empire down, but finds his investigation disrupted by police corruption. Starring Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Josh Brolin.

Cast & Crew

Frank Lucas Denzel Washington
Richie Roberts Russell Crowe
Nicky Barnes Cuba Gooding Jr
Detective Trupo Josh Brolin
Moses Jones RZA
Javier J Rivera John Ortiz (1)
Freddie Spearman John Hawkes
Lou Toback Ted Levine
Turner Lucas Common
Laurie Roberts Carla Gugino
Huey Lucas Chiwetel Ejiofor
US Attorney Roger Bart
Detective in morgue Norman Reedus
Dominic Cattano Armand Assante
Mama Lucas Ruby Dee
Stevie Lucas Tip Harris
Charlie Williams Joe Morton
Rossi Jon Polito
Director Ridley Scott
see more

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: UniversalAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 16 Nov 2007