Josh Rottenberg
October 19, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

American Gangster

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
158 minutes
Wide Release Date
11/02/07
performer
Russell Crowe, Denzel Washington, Brian Grazer, T.I.
director
Ridley Scott
distributor
Universal
author
Marc Jacobson, Steven Zaillian
genre
Mystery and Thriller, Drama

We gave it an A-

The highlight of magazine journalist Mark Jacobson’s collection is the title piece, a profile of ’70s Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas that inspired the Denzel Washington/Russell Crowe film. That riveting account of Lucas’ rise and fall is reason enough to pick up American Gangster, but Jacobson’s other stories, spanning 30 years of NYC history, offer gripping reading as well. Whether covering the high life or lowlifes, Jacobson boasts a novelistic eye and muscular prose in the tradition of urban chroniclers like Joseph Mitchell, A.J. Liebling, and Pete Hamill. A-

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