When American Gangster was released in 2007, it has earned praise from critics and moviegoers alike. In fact, it was so well received that it earned more than $266 million at the box office. The movie presents two parallel stories of living the American dream – one, a drug lord, and the other, a police officer bent on bringing down the drug lord.
American Gangster experienced box office success, both domestically and overseas, making it to the list of one of the top-grossing gangster movies of all time. The same warm response was seen for the movie’s DVD release on February 19, 2008. It was ranked as one of the highest in DVD sales.
For the critical reception, most critics agree that the movie is an engrossing story with the main characters throwing in powerful portrayals of their role. Rotten Tomatoes certifies American Gangster as FRESH!, getting an 80% rating with an audience like rate of 87%. Metacritic gave it a 76% rating too.
It’s no surprise that when the awards season came, American Gangster was able to gather 37 nominations and went on to win 12 awards out of it! The categories varied from the actual film to the screenplay to individual recognition of performances, especially that of Denzel Washington and Ruby Dee.
Most notable of these nominations include the Academy Awards. Ruby Dee received the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role nomination and another for Set Direction. In the Golden Globes, American Gangster received a nomination for Best Motion Picture, Drama category as well as a nomination for Denzel Washington as Best Performance by an Actor and Director Ridley Scott for Best Director.
Actress Ruby Dee was the favorite performance, winning the best actress supporting role from the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the AARP Movies for Grownups Awards, the African-American Film Critics Association, Alliance of Women Film Journalists, and more.
While the movie wasn’t entirely free of issues and controversies, critics and award-giving bodies agree that American Gangster is one of the best movies to come out of 2007!