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American Gangster
(2007)

Idris Elba as Tango in American Gangster
Idris Elba as Tango


Elba's role as crime boss Tango is short on screen time but lasts long in the memory. For one, he does have the film's most memorable death (not exactly a spoiler, given the genre), but also most of his time is spent going toe-to-toe with none other than Denzel Washington, of whom he's often given that annoying "the next..." designation from the media and masses alike. That one wishes the showdown lasted longer says just about everything about how Elba holds his own and commands the screen; that legendary director Ridley Scott snapped him up for another project, the upcoming science fiction thriller Prometheus, says everything else. The years to come may prove this project to have even greater impact outside of the film realm as far as Elba's concerned: he is not only featured on but also produced the intro track to Jay-Z's tie-in album of the same name, marking the first large-scale music release from this lifelong musician.

--Michael Dequina, September 6, 2011



The Gospel (2005) Daddy's Little Girls (2007) The Reaping (2007) 28 Weeks Later (2007) American Gangster (2007)
This Christmas (2007) Prom Night (2008) RocknRolla (2008) The Unborn (2009) Obsessed (2009)
The Losers (2010) Luther (2010) Takers (2010) The Big C (2010) Legacy (2010)
Thor (2011) Luther II (2011) Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012) Prometheus (2012) The Pavement Psychologist (2013)
Luther III (2013) Pacific Rim (2013) Thor: The Dark World (2013) Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom


Photo courtesy Universal Pictures
The Films of Idris Elba/text and site design Michael Dequina
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