Netflix is always adding new movies to its catalog, and one of the latest dramas to hit the streaming service is American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. The crime drama was released in 2007 and was directed by legendary director Ridley Scott. Scott Is having a huge year in 2021 with the releases of The Last Duel and House of Gucci, so that could explain the film's rise in popularity on the Netflix charts. American Gangster is currently at #8 In Netflix's top 10 for movies, reminding people why Washington and Crowe are two of the greatest actors of their generation.
American Gangster tells the story of a New York City cop (Crowe) who is charged with bringing down Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas (Washington), and while It is a fictional account of what happened, It Is In part based on an actual article and historical events. The film also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh Brolin, and Ruby Dee, who earned an Oscar nomination for her performance. The film was a commercial success, earning $269,755,430 at the worldwide box office. American Gangster was also a hit for critics and audiences alike; Rotten Tomatoes reports an aggregate critics score of 81% and an audience score of 88%.
Initially, Washington was wary about taking on the role of Frank Lucas because he worried about glorifying the drug lord lifestyle. "Early on, I actually wasn't that interested in doing the film," he told Charlie Rose during an interview. He originally agreed to do the project with director Antoine Fuqua, who directed Washington in Training Day. However, that initial plan fell apart, but Washington was brought back onboard when Scott was attached to direct. "When Ridley [Scott] came aboard ... everything changed," Washington explained.
Crowe also looks on the experience of making American Gangster with Scott and Washington with pride. "I've always seen it to be a privilege to make movies," he told First Showing. "It's a really expensive, creative medium. There's things that I can do as an actor that I couldn't do in any other form of life -- and I've got a strange personality. But film requires strange people, so I've got a nice comfy home. That's what I do and I'm really happy with that. And when I know I'm getting up to go to work with Ridley and I know the time and effort he would have put into whatever it is that we're about to shoot that day, to me it's just a great privilege, and every day I kind of look around and thank the lord that it's still going on, and I just get to work and do the thing I'm doing that day."