Critic Reviews

76

Metascore

Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
This is an engrossing story, told smoothly and well, and Russell Crowe's contribution is enormous.
100
Denzel Washington dazzles in his best screen performance to date as Frank Lucas.
90
Finely made and richly satisfying film.
88
Call it the black "Scarface" or "the Harlem Godfather" or just one hell of an exciting movie.
88
The movie, based on a true story, takes surprising twists and turns right up to its chilling ending and is probably the best gangster crime drama of the year.
88
Miami Herald
What American Gangster does have -- what makes it such a commanding, exhilarating movie -- is a consummate love and understanding of story.
80
In the end, though, the success of American Gangster doesn't flow from the originality of its ideas, or its bid for epic status, as much as from its craftsmanship and confident professionalism. It's a great big gangster film, and a good one.
80
The Hollywood Reporter
It's workmanlike and engrossing, but what sticks in the mind are Frank and Richie, not what anybody does.
75
Meticulous and detailed, a drug-world epic that holds you from moment to moment, immersing you in the intricate and sleazy logistics of crime. Yet the movie isn't quite enthralling; it's more like the ghost version of a '70s classic.
75
Ridley Scott gives it the grand treatment, 157 minutes worth, but in the end, it doesn't stack up as the portrait of an era (the 1970s, in this case) or an important tale of a criminal mastermind.
75
It lacks momentum, and thus the propulsion required to rocket it into the movie mythosphere.
63
The problem is that the movie spends as much time on the boring detective chasing Lucas as on the drug lord himself.

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