Gangster Squad


Gangster Squad

Critics Consensus

Though it's stylish and features a talented cast, Gangster Squad suffers from lackluster writing, underdeveloped characters, and an excessive amount of violence.



Reviews Counted: 203

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 128,179


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.4/5

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Movie Info

Los Angeles, 1949. Ruthless, Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) runs the show in this town, reaping the ill-gotten gains from the drugs, the guns, the prostitutes and-if he has his way-every wire bet placed west of Chicago. And he does it all with the protection of not only his own paid goons, but also the police and the politicians who are under his control. It's enough to intimidate even the bravest, street-hardened cop...except, perhaps, for the small, secret crew of LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), who come together to try to tear Cohen's world apart. -- (C) Warner Bros

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Ryan Gosling
as Sgt. Jerry Wooters
Josh Brolin
as Sgt. John O'Mara
Nick Nolte
as Chief Parker
Sean Penn
as Mickey Cohen
Michael Peña
as Officer Navidad Ramirez
Emma Stone
as Grace Faraday
Anthony Mackie
as Officer Coleman Harris
Giovanni Ribisi
as Officer Conwell Keeler
Robert Patrick
as Officer Max Kennard
Holt McCallany
as Karl Lockwood
Mireille Enos
as Connie O'Mara
Troy Garity
as Wevrock
James Hebert
as Mitch Racine
Michael Papajohn
as Mike "The Flea"
Jeff Wolfe
as Giovanni Vacarezza
Anthony Molinari
as Lorenzo Molinari
Neil Koppel
as Max Solomon
Jack McGee
as Lt. Quincannon
Evan Jones
as Neddy Herbert
James Carpinello
as Johnny Stomp
Lucy Davenport
as Slapsy Maxie's Singer
Sullivan Stapleton
as Jack Whalen
John Aylward
as Judge Carter
Dennis Cockrum
as Elmer Jackson
Jack Conley
as Sheriff Biscailuz
Brandon Molale
as Jimmy "Bockscar" Knox
Riel Paley
as City Hall Reporter
Ambyr Childers
as Milk-Skinned Blonde
Michael C. Mahon
as City Hall Reporter
Mac Brandt
as Bruiser
David Fleischer
as City Hall Reporter
Josh Pence
as Officer Daryl Gates
De'aundre Bonds
as Duke Del-Red
Haley Strode
as Keeler's Wife
Scott Beehner
as Club Figaro Reporter
Matt Knudsen
as Club Figaro Reporter
Lucas Fleischer
as Club Figaro Reporter
Jon Polito
as Dragna
Lance Barber
as Comanche
Dale Gibson
as Burbank Cop
Rick Marcus
as Burbank Cop
Caz Milostan
as Desk Officer
Don Harvey
as Officer Funston
Darrell Craig Davis
as Officer Wyler
Anthony De Longis
as Burbank Jail Thug
Michael Owen
as Burbank Jail Thug
Tom Hallick
as El Dorado Investor
Christopher Doyle
as Edgar Beaumont
Max Daniels
as Jeffrey Clark
Danny Wynands
as Grenade Goon
Derek Mears
as Bridge Goon
Yvette Tucker
as Carmen Miranda
Derek Graf
as El Dorado Guard
Anne Marie Leighton
as Crying Woman
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News & Interviews for Gangster Squad

Critic Reviews for Gangster Squad

All Critics (203) | Top Critics (43)

Audience Reviews for Gangster Squad


This film just confirmed for me not to always listen to Rotten Tomato's reviews. The reviewers seem to feed off each other lately and not make reviews for themselves. This was a really entertaining film. It had a really good cast and a simple script. The level of violence is not for everyone, but the characters were great.

Jon Lantz
Jon Lantz

Super Reviewer

While the characters remain a tad underdeveloped, it is still fun to watch them take on Sean Penn as brutal mobster in 1940s LA. The squad consists exclusively of great actors and that helps connect more than their somewhat superficial character traits. The result is highly entertaining and offers plenty of action and style. That's more than enough for a pleasant movie night.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer


The direction is visually compelling and true to its time but the film doesn't have enough bullets to obtain this mob/gang/undercover police drama as a whole. Gangster Squad's clichés in plot and dialogue, as well as lackluster humor dwindles down the spark, even if its powerful all-star cast is a delight to see on screen. 2.5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

I loved this based-on-a-true story American good vs. evil saga. Reminiscent of The Untouchables and LA Confidential, this gritty, stylish film is more melodramatic though. This is gripping entertainment, not realism. The all-star cast is great, both the stars and the supporting characters as well. Sean Penn's craggy features and real-life tough guy persona make him perfect for the role as crime boss Mickey Cohen. Josh Brolin is a good foil to Penn's character and a compliment to Ryan Gosling's character. Much like the characters played by Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce in LA Confidential, the are two very different types of cops. Penn's Cohen is better than even most Bond villains in his vision of domination. Emma Stone I is certainly beautiful and a good femme fatale in this movie, torn between love and the gritty reality of the LA underworld. Robert Patrick, Michael Pena, and Haley Strode, among others, offered up memorable contributions. The squad's even multi-racial! I'd like to have seen more of Nick Nolte; he's fantastic in roles like this- see The Tin Red Line, Mulholland Falls, and the 2 48 hours movies. He even spoofs the type in Tropic Thunder. "Los Angeles is my fu*#in destiny roars Sean Penn's Mickey Cohen, and you believe he means it. The destiny of LA is up for grabs in 1949, and no tactic is too brutal for either side to employ in this battle for supremacy. I identify with the cops, the streetwise enforcers from another era, reminiscent of Dirty Harry exclaiming, "I'm all broken up about his rights!" The final shootout is good, but probably not not as memorable as Scarface .That film sets the standard for operatic shootout/death scenes. Recommended for action fans.

Clintus Maximus
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer

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