American Gangster ★★★ 2007 (R)
Director Ridley Scott's shot at the gangster genre hits the mark, transcending the tough-guy norm in its purposeful juxtaposition of the two main characters: Frank Lucas (Washington), the near-perfect, respectable, yet cold-blooded criminal genius who is pursued by the unkempt, womanizing, but razor-straight cop, Ritchie Roberts (Crowe). Washington and Crowe are mesmerizing in this powerful story of the brutality and excess of the '70s era Harlem drug trade that would be over-the-top if it weren't true, and that revolutionized both the drug trade and the law enforcement of the period. 157m/C DVD . US Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Cuba Gooding Jr., Josh Brolin, Ted Levine, Armand Assante, Clarence Williams III, Lymari Nadal, John Ortiz, RZA, Ruby Dee, Idris Elba, Carla Gugino, Common, Joe Morton, Jon Polito, Kevin Corrigan, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Roger Bart, KaDee Strickland; D: Ridley Scott; W: Steven Zaillian; C: Harris Savides; M: Marc Streitenfeld. Screen Actors Guild '07: Support. Actress (Dee).