By Ryan Parsons | Images property of Universal Pictures.
American Gangster Poster
One of the trends you notice when following a film for a long time is that the earliest 'screening reports' are almost way more positive than the actual reviews. I don't know if the reviewer is positive because they saw the film super early or what, but that's just a fact. The screening reports for American Gangster have been great, so one would expect that the film is close to okay.
Below are snippets from two of the ten reviews now available over at RottenTomatoes. All ten have given American Gangster film positive remarks.
In a season defined by mediocre political movies (“In the Valley of Elah,” “Rendition”) and over-the-top historical epics ("Elizabeth: The Golden Age”), Ridley Scott’s "American Gangster" emerges as one of the most exciting (but not entirely satisfying) features of the year, combining good elements of a uniquely American genre, the crime-gangster, with a fact-based drama about one of the most complex and contradictory figures of the 1970s, drug lord Frank Lucas, splendidly played by Denzel Washington in a grand performance that should be remembered at Oscar time.
Call it the black "Scarface" or "the Harlem Godfather" or just one hell of an exciting movie, but the fact-based, 1970s-era American Gangster is already looking like a major awards contender. Denzel Washington looms like a colossus as notorious drug lord Frank Lucas, and in the still, watchful center of his volcanic performance you'll find the measure of a dangerous man. There's more good news: A combustible Russell Crowe channels Serpico as Richie Roberts, the honest Jersey cop who aches to take Frank down. Steven Zaillian, sourcing Mark Jacobson's 2000 New York magazine interview with Lucas ("The Return of Superfly"), brings scrappy life to a script that spans more than a decade. Camera legend Harris Savides shoots on the fly, as if he'd sneaked into a Seventies time capsule. And Ridley Scott, at the top of his game, directs like a man possessed. Jay-Z did a hip-hop concept album, unconnected to the soundtrack, to pay tribute.
Check out all the reviews for American Gangster by clicking the bold links above.
American Gangster opens to theaters on November 2nd.