American Gangster (2007)

dir. Ridley Scott. Based on the true story of New York City gangster Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington), his rise to power as a drug-lord, and about how Detective Richard “Richie” Roberts (Russell Crowe) builds a case against him. The film covers a the period from 1968-1991, and should have an epic feeling, but feels strangely flat. Disappointing, I expected so much more from a Ridley Scott directed crime movie starring Denzel Washington. Washington’s character keeps the same cool demeanour for the entire story, from his beginnings as a driver, to the height of his power. There is plot development, but no character development. I found Russell Crowe’s New Jersey accent to be very distracting. My favourite performance was Josh Brolin as the moustached, black leather trench-coat wearing, corrupt cop. Part of the plot involves smuggling drugs through Thailand, so there are some scenes filmed in Chiang Mai.

By Nicholas Hudson-Ellis

Co-Founder & Film Programs Manager of Bangkok Screening Room.

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