suspense DVD and movie reviews and previews from - curled up with a good dvd
suspense DVD reviews and previews from - curled up with a good dvd
DVD reviews, previews and info - suspense
  action movies on DVD
  animation on DVD
  art house and international / foreign language films on DVD
  comedies on DVD
  documentaries on DVD
  dramas on DVD
  children's and family DVDs
  horror and sci-fi on DVD
  suspense on DVD
  television series on DVD
  Blu-ray DVD reviews


American Gangster (Two-Disc Unrated Extended Edition) - suspense DVD / mystery DVD / thriller DVD review
rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 4 stars
Actors: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Josh Brolin, RZA, Cuba Gooding Jr., Armand Assante
Director: Ridley Scott   Studio: Universal
DVD release: 19 February 2008   Runtime: 174 min.
(2 discs)
Format: Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled
DVD features: Audio tracks (English, 5.1 Dolby Surround; French, 5.1 Dolby Surround), Subtitles (English, Spanish, French), Unrated extended version, Original theatrical version, Deleted scenes, Alternate opening, "Fallen Empire: Making American Gangster," "Case Files" - three in-depth behind-the-scenes segments

The gangster flick has a long and storied history in cinema. Martin Scorsese is the master of the genre with his films Goodfellas, Casino, and most recently The Departed. These and other classics such as Brian De Palma's Scarface, the Coen brothers' Miller's Crossing, and let's not forget The Godfather set a very high watermark for a film such as this, and American Gangster answers the challenge with some fine moments.

The movie features two powerhouse performers. Denzel Washington plays Frank Lucas, a man who rises to the top of the drug trade in Harlem in the late '60s and early '70s by importing pure heroin in the coffins of soldiers from Vietnam. He also sells it cheaper (and with a better quality) than his competitors, which becomes a key point in the movie when Lucas discusses "branding".

Russell Crowe portrays honest Jersey cop Ritchie Roberts, who has problems with the job (he and his partner found one million dollars and turned it in, causing massive distrust between him and the other cops) and strife in his family life as well: his wife is divorcing him and wants to take their son across the country to Las Vegas to live. Eventually, Roberts is placed in charge of a federal task force in an effort to halt the flow of drugs into the country.

On top of all the on-screen talent, you have director Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Hannibal, Black Hawk Down) working from a script by Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List, Awakenings) based on an article by Mark Jacobson. With all this talent at work, you would think the film would bristle with fire and passion; sadly, it does not. That's not to say it's a bad film. The actors give fine performances (you can add Josh Brolin to that mix) and the film is well crafted, but one expects more cinematic fireworks between Denzel and Crowe; when the characters finally meet, it's anti-climactic. Maybe not the greatest film of its kind, but certainly very good.
  buy this DVD now or browse millions of other great products at
reviewed by Bobby Blades
    action | animation | art house/international | comedy | documentary | drama | family | horror/sci-fi | suspense | television    
    browse DVDs alphabetical by title    
    contact | home