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Ridley Scott's American Gangster is a brutal, slick, and stylish portrayal of real life cult figure and international drug smuggler Frank Lucas. With tangled webs, deceit, strong aggression, shady characters and sinister plans, American Gangster has the gritty and pleasurable nostalgia of classic gangster films such as The Godfather and Scarface.
Drug-kingpin Frank Lucas smuggles heroin into the US by hiding it with the bodies of soldiers killed during battle in Vietnam. By delivering a product that is far superior to his competitors, Lucas has rapidly established his status as Harlem's most innovative drug dealer. While Lucas delicately constructs his own criminal empire, Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe), one of the few honest detectives in a corrupt system, senses a sizeable shift within the hierarchy of the drug underworld and sets out to investigate this hitherto unknown power player that has come out of the shadows to dominate the drug trade. But with Detective Trupo (Josh Brolin), Roberts' crooked and jealous colleague, wanting to obstruct and ruin the integrity of his idealistic counterpart, Roberts is left with little option other than to take desperate measures to end Lucas' rule in Harlem.