Narc on Me
American Gangster
Review by Ross Anthony

With all the awards buzz on this film, academically I tagged it as required viewing, despite the more emotional feeling that it'd be a bit of a dud. The first 30 minutes or so, pretty much confirmed my suspicions; I even considered giving up on the 2 hours to come. But that slow rolling pebble starts to pick up momentum and depth until it very nicely fills out the production's ambitious duration. Happily, the climax and resolution of this gangster film detour from others in the genre. The apt and artful direction bring the film through an extremely healthy arc to a powerful conclusion. Very well done.

In fact, little about this film isn't well done. Yes, the first 30 minutes might have you a bit antsy in your seat. Yes, a few cops-tailing-bad-guys without-getting-detected scenes are a little implausible. But, other than that, this seemingly hokey 70's-TV-style production determinedly matures into a motion picture with cinematic impact. Washington plays the role with welcome understatement, and Crow shows off his ability to make major impact in any role he takes on. Emotionally, the film is a bit barren, save for the powerful conclusion and the scenes with Ruby Dee as Frank's mom.

A very strong B+ or weak A-. I'll round up. (Reminded me a tad of "Copland" which I really enjoyed.)

-- Book Contest --

  • American Gangster. Copyright © 2007.
  • Starring Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Josh Brolin, Chjwetel Ejiofor, Carla Gugino, Ted Levine, John Hawkes, RZA, Ruby Dee, Cuba Gooding, Armand Assante, John Ortiz, Common, T.I.
  • Directed by Ridley Scott.
  • Screenplay by Steve Zallian.
  • Produced by Brian Grazer, Ridley Scott at Universal

Grade..........................A- (3/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Friday, 25-Jan-2008 15:45:43 PST