And while American Gangster isnt in the league of prime Scorsese and Coppolla classics (such as Goodfellas and The Godfather), its the nearest weve come in quite some time to something of that ilk. Its all based on a true story, which does mean you need to forgive it some of its obvious narrative conventions, yet this also lends it a gravitas that the film eagerly makes the most of.
Its great too to see British director Ridley Scott tackling meatier material again. This is the man, after all, who gave us Blade Runner, Alien and Gladiator, and he duly delivers with American Gangster. His finest work it isnt, but an engrossing, explosive and hard-as-nails drama it absolutely is.
Whats more, American Gangster is powered by two of the finest leading man working in Hollywood right now, and its terrific to see Washington and Crowe on top form here. And while in cinematic terms its hardly a film that treads new ground, its nonetheless a proper, grown-up and engrossing movie, and a very good one at that. --Jon Foster