Monday, November 19, 2007

‘American Gangster’

Since seeing this movie last weekend, I’ve been through one of the toughest work weeks of my life. Thus, I’m a little worse for wear and severely lacking in the eloquence this fabulous film deserves.

So let me just say this is the best movie I’ve seen this year. Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe are absolutely phenomenal; both play their characters down a bit, an excellent choice in a genre that lends itself to excess (it would have been easy for Washington to go into “Scarface” territory). Director Ridley Scott takes his time in letting his epic’s deep and complicated storylines play out. This movie never rushes, and yet it never drags, even at 157 minutes long.

“American Gangster” doesn’t make the crime life look sexy, nor does it lionize law enforcement officers. Both sides of the drug war are treated fairly and with depth. Oh, and the music is fabulous.

It’s a shame this film comes on the heels of last year’s Oscar-winning “The Departed,” because “Gangster” is actually better but probably won’t get the recognition it deserves due to stupid Academy politics.

Grade: A

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