Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe don't share screen time in Ridley Scott's American Gangster so much as split it. The film tracks the rise and fall of Frank Lucas (Washington), a mid-1970s New York City heroin kingpin, and the efforts of New Jersey detective Richie Roberts (Crowe) to catch him. But the two screen giants don't meet until the last 10 minutes of the film, at a point when the story is all but done, and they hardly generate enough heat to light a cigarette.Washington brings a certain appealing complexity to his family-man gangster, dominating the film and making Crowe's honest-cop womanizer seem almost unnecessary. But the real problem with American Gangster is Scott's unimaginative direction. At various times, the movie brings to mind HBO's The Wire, The French Connection, Goodfellas and the Godfather movies, but it never truly finds a voice of its own. Still, Scott succeeds in invoking the crime-ridden Big Apple of the '70s, not yet hooked on crack but strung out on heroin and corruption. Ultimately a viewer gets solid entertainment, but don't expect Oscars for anyone, except maybe the art director.