Two words. Ruby Dee. Much, much deserved Oscar nomination. She owned this movie.
You know, when I first heard about that Oscar pick, I thought it was just one of those body-of-work/respect-for-your-elders picks, but, man did she steal the show.
How many scenes this she appear in, again? One? Two? All the more impressive! Not just anyone can rack up a nomination for a seven line role. But who can? Ruby Dee can, that's who.
Russell and Denzel couldn't hold a candle to her screen presence because their flame would just be blown out by all the hot air.
Great film though, with a great message, as exemplified by the final shot.
That's right, don't become a ruthless gangster or you'll be punished by the penal system, end up penniless and on the streets, right before Hollywood rewards you for the rights to your life story.
Inspirational stuff. That Frank Lucas sure had his royalties coming.
American Gangster: 7/10