Gangster Squad - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Gangster Squad Reviews

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January 17, 2017
The potential of this movie is searingly obvious, but the dialogue alone doused the flame of whatever Gangster Squad could have been.
½ January 4, 2017
Mediocre movie saved by Penn.
January 3, 2017
It's good movie to watch
Super Reviewer
½ December 29, 2016
ryan gosling surrounded by lots of explosions.
December 8, 2016
Rich period piece with a great cast... A more action oriented version of the approximately same storied Mulholland Falls (1996). On Blu-ray.
November 28, 2016
This film comes with a moment of revelation for me; I am a suckered for a good action Crime thriller. It has an all-star cast that includes Nick Nolte as a police chief and Sean Penn as a mob boss. The movie is a stylized version of True events that occurred in Los Angeles during the same time period. The real stories were released by an author in the LA Times and we're eventually collected in book form. I also don't mind violence, which this film has plenty of.

The first bit of the movie sets up Josh Brolin's character well, giving us his moral code and family life. While this movie is about the squad, Brolin shares the main spotlight with Ryan Gossling, who slides in as my favorite character. 2nd to Sean Penn who is vicious and sells that gangster like it's HIS movie and not a movie about taking him down. The rest of the (truly) ensemble cast are still a group of talented individuals playing characters that work their way from a sort of bumbling team to precise.

Critics say it falls short of anything notable except LA Noir. One can see shortcomings upon examination, as in any film but I rarely focus on the negatives. The dialogue is seen as laughable but honestly captured the mind as being from a different time. The tone is also a point of contention, being funny with such serious subject matter. But Millennials love a touch of comedy in every aspect of life as it keeps it enjoyable. Is it a serious look at the time and subject matter like LA Confidential? No. It's simple and delivered with ease like a pizza. I was completely wrapped in it throughout
November 14, 2016
Style of substance, completely forgettable.
October 31, 2016
The only good thing about this movie is it's production design.
October 25, 2016
Evoking the glitz and glamour of the 1940's golden age of Hollywoodland, Gangster Squad pays fastidious attention to period costumes, architecture and set design almost to a homage fault.

Inspired by true events chronicled by Paul Lieberman, former L.A. homicide detective Will Beall screenplay should be a pulpy, gritty and rich with insider police knowledge crime drama but alas the content falls on the side of superficial lore and plummets into gangster movie clichés.

With minimal consideration for dramatic layering, character complexity and political nuance, the jazzy atmosphere created is easily watchable but just as easily forgettable. Squandering its talented supporting cast ringers with one-dimensional stereotypical characters as the main leads are the only ones to get there moment in the limelight.

Los Angeles 1949, ex-boxer turned crime king pin, Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) ruthlessly controls an ever expanding syndicate of drugs, guns, extortion and prostitution. With and equal balance of hired-goons and key office officials in his payroll, Cohen is reaps the rewards of his ill-gotten gains whilst planning his financial end-game as the only wire-bet service west of Chicago. His berserk erratic outbursts evidence of how fearless he is of retribution or contention.

But Police Chief Bill Parker (Nick Nolte) isn't ready to roll over. Commissioning decorated army officer turn sergeant, John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) to set up a secret crew of LAPD officers to not kill Cohen but pulverize his illegal industries, it is his pregnant wife Connie (Mireille Enos) recruitment advice that leads to strategic magic. No names. No badges. No mercy.

Rejecting the forces choir-boys in favor of a ragtag troupe of specialists, O'Mara seeks out the services of a wire-tap specialist (Giovanni Ribisi), a go-getter (Anthony Mackie), a sharp-shooter (Robert Patrick) and his over-eager apprentice (Michael Peña) but the ace up his sleeve would prove to be his swaggering friend Wooters (Ryan Gosling).

Reluctant at first, it is only after Wooters sees Cohen's brutal aggression up-close and engages in a romantic relationship with his "etiquette tutor" come mistress, Grace (Emma Stone) that he joins the team. Tasked by O'Mara's wife to keep their fearless leader from crossing into dark territory, moral compass Wooters must find a way to bring Cohen without getting Grace caught in the crossfire.

Sticking to modern political/patriotic sensibilities, this bullet-riddled bloodbath ultra-violent melodrama paints the gangster/law enforcement conflicts in its most simplistic terms. After the shooting-incidents of last year, some pivotal shots have been redone a little lighter and more digestible leaving everything about this film is decent but nothing about it as great.

Square-jawed Brolin is at his squeaky-clean best targeting the heavy-hitting and highly talented Penn (Sadly this character has been altered greatly from the real person, which if had have been considered more closely would have been far more engaging). Fast-talking Gosling in the quintessential playboy flirting with danger whilst hopelessly in-love with the sensational attention-commanding femme fatale Stone. Nolte delivers authority, Patrick brings hutzpah, Ribisi has the brains, whilst Peña and Mackie have the required ethnical elements (even if it is in direct discord with the timing).

The Verdict: Gratifying, gruesome, gangsters and Gosling, this easy-watching movie is simply that.


Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 19/01/2013
½ August 13, 2016
Please don't waste your time. Awful all around.
½ July 29, 2016
As beautiful as forgettable.
July 28, 2016
oh yeah! the movie is cool, who doesn´t like to see some badass gangsters shooting each other for 2 hours. but to be honest, that is the only cool thing the movie has. so that´s not saying much.
July 19, 2016
Despite some mixed reviews I'd figure I wanted to point it...it was pretty good in my eyes.
Sure the script was hokey as best the editing was glossy in some moments. And of course Sean Penn for better or worse comes off over the top as Mickey Cohen.
But its still a popcorn action flick; with flawed moments its still fun and engaging to pop into the blu-ray player once in a blue moon!
July 17, 2016
According to the internet there's something wrong with me, but I actually really liked it.
June 28, 2016
Good, mindless fun is the theme of Gangster Squad. It doesn't do anything new or special, but it provides good action and a plot that is well enough constructed to actually care about at least a little bit. The characters were kind of one dimensional, and I wasn't distraught when a few died. If I didn't know any better, I'd say this was a mediocre Zach Snyder film, it just has the look and style to it. Gangster Squad is fun, but it won't do much else for the viewer
June 22, 2016
A pretty cookie cutter gangster movie that doesn't offer too much else. Casting and visuals are all in place, but the entire film feels fake and put together on a set instead of actually taking place in the 40s.
June 9, 2016
Trailer looked great, the concept was exciting, but the movie itself was a disappointment and easily forgotten. It was just boring. I never realized Ryan Goslings voice is so high and annoying.
½ May 31, 2016
If you played L.A. Noire then watch this. If you haven't played that game but have seen Gangster Squad then play it.
Not too serious and a lot of fun, shows that you can turn a noir drama into a vehicle for action with a little taste.
May 24, 2016
One of my secret guilty pleasures. Awful script and inconsistent tone aside the drop dead gorgeous cinematography, slick production design and well done action sequences are a treat for the eyes and senses. At least to me anyway.
May 18, 2016
It's not perfect but it was enjoyable.
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