Sunday 20 Apr

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Drama · American Gangster

American Gangster

None November 3rd, 2007


Reviewer's grade: B+


Like the drug kingpin at the center of "American Gangster," this crime thriller is tough, exciting and occasionally spellbinding - but what it really craves is respectability. Based on a New York magazine article by Mark Jacobson, it tells the true-life story of Frank Lucas, who rose to underworld prominence in the early Seventies by selling high-grade heroin on the streets of Harlem.


Denzel Washington portrays Lucas with the actor's customary smoothness, with Russell Crowe in rumpled mode as the straight-arrow New Jersey prosecutor hot on his trail. Employing documentary-like camerawork and naturalistic lighting, director Ridley Scott beautifully mimics the gritty urban stylistics of the Seventies, hearkening back to the days when New York was a cesspool of sin and corruption.


Despite an indulgent running time of 157 minutes, "American Gangster" isn't quite the epic it aspires to be, but it does make for a raw and raucous time at the movies. R


-Phil Bacharach    


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  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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