365 films in 2016: film 40 (American Gangster 2007)

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 16.55.11yesterday we looked at a not so good ridley scott film and today we’re gonna be looking at a much, much better one. I wouldn’t go as far as to say American Gangster is underrated but it definitely deserves a lot more attention than it gets.

When i first saw this film years ago i was shocked to find out that Ridley Scott directed it, it feels so out of character for him to create something so true-to-life gritty, if that makes sense? it doesn’t have a Ridley Scott dream like darkness to it the way something like Blade Runner does, instead American Gangster feels kind of cold yet alluring, it’s different to other gangster movies in the sense that in most films the lifestyle of the mob is painted out to look kind of charming and like a family barbeque. That’s what sets American Gangster apart, Denzel Washington makes this almost 3 hour movie feel like a joy to sit through and i’m gonna go out on  a limb and say this is his best performance of his entire career. Denzel isn’t the only big name in this film either, he’s joined by Russell Crowe, Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Josh Brolin who are all fantastic in their own right.

something i found kind of strange was the amount of rappers that had smaller roles in this film, RZA from wu tang, Common and T.I. all appear in the film which i thought was pretty cool as a hip hop fan but as a fan of interesting actors maybe RZA was not the best choice for his role. But other than that i struggle to find things i dislike about this film, Russell Crowe might not have been the most capturing actor at times but he didn’t really leave me anything to complain about, but then again i’m sure when compared to Denzel Washington a lot of people might come off as meek. One thing i particularly enjoyed about American Gangster was its structure and the way it’s shot, Frank starts the story in front of the same building he finishes the film on except we see him as a older more out of touch,  lost man the way his mentor Bumpy Jhonson was, instead of the eager young man he once was. It’s things like this that make American Gangster such a great film, there isn’t much else i can say about this movie other than its fantastic, American Gangster is a 9/10.


In 2016 i will be watching 365 films (yes, i know there are 366 days this year) and writing about how I felt about them, I decided to do this just because over the last year or so i’ve Sort of pulled away from film and I wanna start to enjoy watching movies again. This will normally be just notes I made or thoughts I have about the film.


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