We Review ‘Gangster Squad’ (Stand. Theat. Vers.) “A bullet riddled, over acted, glimpse of LA’s history” MR

Gangster Squad

 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gangster Squad
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Produced by Dan Lin Kevin McCormick Michael Tadross
Screenplay by Will Beall
Based on Tales from the Gangster Squad by Paul Lieberman
Starring Josh Brolin Ryan Gosling Sean Penn Nick Nolte Emma Stone Anthony Mackie Giovanni Ribisi Michael Peña Robert Patrick
Music by Steve Jablonsky
Cinematography Dion Beebe
Studio Village Roadshow Pictures
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s)
  • January 11, 2013 (2013-01-11)[1]
Running time 113 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $75 million
Box office $6,665,000

Gangster Squad is a crime film directed by Ruben Fleischer,[3] from a screenplay written by Will Beall, starring an ensemble cast that includes Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, and Sean Penn.

It is the story of a group of LAPD officers and detectives called the “Gangster Squad” who are attempting to keep Los Angeles safe from Mickey Cohen and his gang during the 1940s and ’50s. The film was originally set to be released September 7, 2012,[4] but in the wake of the 2012 Aurora shooting, the film was bumped to a January 11, 2013 release date by Warner Bros. Pictures.[


In post-WWII Los Angeles, gangster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) has become the most powerful figure in the criminal underworld, and intends to continue to expand his criminal enterprise. The police have not been able to stop Cohen’s ruthless rise, as witnesses are afraid to testify, and Cohen has bribed many cops and influential political figures to maintain his control.

Determined to put a stop to Cohen, Chief Bill Parker (Nick Nolte), the head of the Los Angeles Police Department, creates a secret police unit with the sole mission of stopping Cohen. Respected police officer Sergeant John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) is placed in charge of recruiting additional officers. With the help of his wife, Connie (Mireille Enos), he recruits Sergeant Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling) and detectives Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie), Conway Keeler (Giovanni Ribisi), Navidad Ramirez (Michael Peña) and Max Kennard (Robert Patrick). Calling themselves the “Gangster Squad”, the unit begins the task of destroying Cohen’s criminal operations.

Our Thoughts

This was based on a true story, but I’m not sure how close to reality this was rendered. Over the top Tommy-gun fights, wild -AMAZING- car chases, with the heavy, old 1940-50’s time-period tanks they drove back then, were exciting to watch. The plot was solid and the characters (save for one) were all well played. The bad guy, Cohen, played by Sean Penn, was terribly overacted. Penn is clearly trying to play his “lifetime gangster” character. It looked like Penn was playing Pacino’s ‘Scarface’ – playing Cohen. He was intense, but without a full cast of over-actors to compliment him, the effort it was wasted. Josh Brolin’s character, and the others, were into their roles, just not into trying make an Academy Award role out of a spot in an action flick.

Recommended for action movie lovers, and shoot-em-up movie fans. 4 stars – M.R.

Find Gangster Squad at Amazon here.

About twittersfantasyebookguide

We watch and review fantasy and Sci-Fi movies. (Both new releases and classics via - Amazon Streaming) We also tweet about fantasy genre news from across the blogosphere. Follow us @WizardWyrm on twitter. View all posts by twittersfantasyebookguide

One response to “We Review ‘Gangster Squad’ (Stand. Theat. Vers.) “A bullet riddled, over acted, glimpse of LA’s history” MR

  • Adriana

    Just saw this movie last night and I loved it except for Ryan Gosling character, which is a bummer because I love him and his acting in his other movies.
    I did find the LA history interesting being I was born and raised in Santa Monica ;D

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