Monday 28 Jul

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

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
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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