American Gangster is a 2007 crime film written by Steven Zaillian and directed by Ridley Scott. The movie stars Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. Washington portrays Frank Lucas, a real-life kingpin from Harlem who smuggled heroin into the US on American service planes returning from the Vietnam War. Crowe portrays Richie Roberts, a detective attempting to bring down Lucas' drug empire. Filming was done on location in New York City. American Gangster was released in the United States and Canada on November 2, 2007.