February 19, 2008 01:05 PM

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Cast: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Ortiz, Josh Brolin, Lymari Nadal

Script: Steven Zaillian, Mark Jacobson

Director: Ridley Scott

Rated: R, for violence, drug use, strong language, nudity and sexuality

Grade: B

Acclaimed actor Denzel Washington portrays heroin trafficker Frank Lucas in American Gangster, and like most heroes in the gangster movie genre, he can’t shake the notion of the American dream. Intelligent and cold-blooded, Lucas quickly becomes the number-one drug dealer in the United States, taking the place of the Italian mafia.

Russell Crowe plays Ritchie Roberts, an honest cop attempting to track down the high-class criminal. Crowe gives an energetic and effective performance, but the occasional pop-up of his Australian accent is distracting.

Three different editions of the DVD are available Feb. 19: a two-disc collector’s edition, a three-disc collector’s edition, and an HD DVD.

DVD extras:

– Includes commentary from director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Steven Zaillian.
– Deleted scenes, including an alternate ending
– A behind-the-scenes documentary called “Fallen Empire: Making American Gangster”
– An unrated extended version, in addition to the original version
– A booklet with production notes and photos from the film
– Widescreen format
– Dolby Digital 5.1
– Subtitles in Spanish
– Disc three of the collector’s edition includes a digital copy of the unrated extended version for your computer

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