Gangster Squad

Gangster Squad


No names, no badges, no mercy.

Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin and Sean Penn star in this 1940s chronicle of the LAPD’s battle with the East Coast Mob. Helmed by Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer. The story is based on fact, revealed in a series of LA Times articles by Paul Lieberman.... More

In late '40s LA, the ruthless, Brooklyn-born mafia king Mickey Cohen (Penn) wears the crown, spinning a fortune from drugs, guns, prostitutes and—if he has his way—every wire bet placed on America's west coast. Despite doing so under the protection of his mob, aided by corrupt local police and politicians, a small crew of LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O’Mara (Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Gosling), come together to try and bring Cohen down - prepared to do whatever it takes, even if that means going beyond the letter of the law.Hide

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Flicks Review

Ruben Fleischer's Zombieland was a double tap of fresh air in an overcrowded genre. And with its outrageously alpha-male cast (Brolin, Gosling, Penn, Nolte, Patrick) and noble lineage (LA Confidential, The Untouchables), the augurs looked good for this 1940s-set second effort.... More

Delayed by reshoots following the Aurora, Colorado, massacre, the result is a mess, however. As post-WW2 LA falls under the control of a Chicago mobster (Penn), Brolin’s honest cop is charged with assembling a covert unit to take him down. But this “battle for the soul of Los Angeles” is a scrap that soon gets personal, not to mention highly improbable.

Though none of the actors shower themselves in glory (particularly Penn, doing a bad De Niro impression with Nicole Kidman’s fake nose from The Hours), Will Beals’ script can’t be what anyone signed on for: a Dick Tracy knock-off with far too many dicks.

Emma Stone’s moll talks entirely in hardboiled cliché (“Where have you been all my miserable life?” she asks Gosling), and the film seems neurotically keen to highlight its own failings. “We’re going to have to be smarter next time, playing hot potato with a grenade isn’t much of a strategy,” says Gosling after another harebrained action sequence ends in unremarkable pyrotechnics. “It worked, Jerry,” is Brolin’s constipated answer, “Get in the car!”

With logic lapses aplenty - why is Penn’s house never guarded? Why do undercover cops meet in public bars? - and an uncertain tone, it feels like Fleischer couldn’t decide between homage and spoof, leaving us, instead, with a farce.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 7 ratings, 7 reviews
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I liked it! I went into the theatre expecting a lot of shooting and not much else, I got the shooting AND some real fancy camera shots and enough pace to keep me interested all the way through! Brolin is real good and Gosling is excellent as always!

In 'Gangster Squad', director Ruben Fleischer ('Zombieland') doesn't so much pay homage to Brian de Palma's The Untouchables' (1987) as rip it off wholesale. But where de Palma's movie was a loving homage and a brutal updating of the Warner gangster flicks of old, 'Gangster Squad' is a far less complex affair.

Bad guy (an over-the-top and overly made-up Sean Penn) must be stopped by the good guys - led by chisel-chinned shotgun-wielding boy scout, Josh Brolin. At the behest of his boss (a... More grizzled and growling Nick Nolte), Brolin sets up a squad of vigilante cops to bring down the bad guy. The movie pretty much follows 'The Untouchables' plot, minus de Palma's Hitchcockian cinematic flair, and is a pretty two-dimensional, straightforward, morally black and white, affair. That said, it's hugely enjoyable macho, gun-toting, good vs. bad, popcorn crunching fun.

There's a nod to feminism with the character of Brolin's intelligent and understanding wife, but at heart 'Gangster Squad' is a boys own adventure with little for the ladies to do but play supportive stay-at-home wives or glamourous gangsters' molls. Ryan Gosling squeaks with an annoyingly high-pitched voice and some pretty naff sub-Bogart dialogue; Emma Stone makes a sultry red-headed temptress and Penn doesn't so much chew the scenery as swallow it whole in greedy gulps, barely pausing for breath. But the movie belongs to Brolin, who plays the straight-laced, no-nonsense good guy cop with the determined resolution of a bulldog set on tearing apart a tennis ball.

'Gangster Squad' suffers from delusions of grandeur, convinced it's 'The Untouchables' for a new generation. Whilst it's undeniably entertaining while it lasts, it stays too close to de Palma's 'Untouchables' to ever come out from the long shadow cast by Costner, Connery and De Niro's far superior movie.Hide

BY JackWallace superstar

Gangster Squad isn't anything extraordinary, but there's still lots of fun to be had. The cast is excellent. Sean Penn, one of the best reasons to see this, plays Mickey Cohen, the most feared gangster in Los Angeles. Josh Brolin also nails it as Sgt. John O'Mara, an honest cop who gathers a team to stop Mickey Cohen's crime wave and bring justice. I love Ryan Gosling and I can wait to see him in The Place Beyond the Pines. Gosling plays himself as Sgt. Jerry Wooters, a member of the gangster... More squad and friend of John O'Mara, having an affair with Cohen's wife, Grace Faraday, played by Emma Stone. It's a shame Emma Stone's character is underused. There's a lot of action and style that will appeal to the guys. Ryan Gosling will attract female audiences, but they may find the gratuitous violence off-putting. This is nowhere near as bad as Rotten Tomatoes says it is. Sure it isn't greater that other superior crime films like L.A. Confidential and The Departed. Gangster Squad is stylish, ultra-violent and very entertaining.Hide

So I went to this movie expecting the worst and I have to say it really wasn't that bad.
Josh is a bad ass.
Emma is hot.
Ryan is hot.
Sean is maybe a bit too Dick Tracy.
Mireille is the same as she was in The Killing,
and the rest of the cast were cool.

Its not on the same level as the great gangster films of yester-year but its a more than ok action blockbuster.....more like a Boardwalk Empire styled movie than a Scarface-esque epic.

This movie won't be as good on a small screen so spend a... More buck and go see some Hot and Cool people doing some acting in your favorite cinema.

This is not the worst movie you will see this year....not by a long shot.Hide

BY JayC4Shaw superstar

Loved the script loved the casting loved the costumes loved the special effects. Was expecting more gore and expecting an ending that was less cheesy but all in all I loved it and wish there was more gangster movies made, much more often!

Showing 5 of 7 reviews. See all reviews

The Press Reviews

32% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Sean Penn's not been this fun since Jeff Spicoli and there's plenty of rip-roaring action, but proves a minor entry in the annals of LA noir. Full Review

  • For all the guns and gore, it's as breezy and uncritical as a tale from the True Detective magazine that the cops can't help reading. Full Review

  • These are good actors, but aside from Brolin and Gosling, they're barely given any special moments of their own to make their marks here. Full Review

  • A big waste of a lot of talent. Full Review

  • Sleek, stylish but superficial. Easy on the eye, even easier on the brain, it doesn't last long in the memory. Full Review

The Talk
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