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Generally favorable reviews- based on 258 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 258

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  1. Jan 14, 2013
    Angels: This is a good gangster movie. The dialog is tough, and smart, the characters are interesting, The plot is exciting, the scenery and costumes are very stylish, and the violence is, well, very violent. What is not to like. I have an admission to make. This movie is really an 8/9, but I gave it a 10, because I wanted to raise its average to combat the 'haters'. Because of the negative reviews I almost did not go to see the movie, but my buddy out-voted me, and I am very glad that he did. Did I say that Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling knock the ball out of the park? Look, those boys really get into character, and I am a sucker for pretty boy Ryan. Now, the critics say, this movie is no LA Confidential. Which must be true, because it's called 'Gangster Squad'. A very enjoyable night out. Expand
  2. Jan 14, 2013
    A movie like this should be rated on it's entertainment value, and this movie is brilliant. I don't understand why people don't like it? It is an all round superb movie, in fact i loved it so much i'm going to see it again. It was very emotional at some parts and shocking at others. No major issue stood out at me at all. I love that era and location in history and this movie was perfect for entertaining that. Expand
  3. Jan 11, 2013
    Writing about this movie, but avoiding spoilers, I will say that I'm baffled by the reviews stating it's mediocre or awful. I went into this movie expecting entertainment. Any film by the name of "Gangster Squad" is not expected to be highly storytellling. It's a classier version of a shoot-em-up. Great humor and subtle nuances made this film very entertaining. Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, and even in a quirky way Ryan Gosling all stood out with memorable acting. The only person that felt a little cut-and-dry was the one who played Brolin's character's wife (I'd throw that to the writing and not the actress herself). I honestly felt this movie was somewhat reminiscent of Dick Tracy, but less colorful. The action, the style, and the cinematography were all on point and the edit made to remove the Movie Theater scene (which delayed the movie's release in the first place) and replace it with something else is quite seamless. There were some surprise cast members that I didnt know were in the movie, but added very very well to the story. I give this movie an 8 out of 10 (would be 8.5 if it had the option) as there are some minor flaws and points where I feel it was rushed in some areas, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will buy the DVD when it is released and hopefully there is bonus footage, so it wont feel so rushed. Would recommend to friends and strangers alike. I'd say just watch with an open mind and not for the movie to be taken DRASTICALLY seriously, and just as a friday night flick. Expand
  4. Jan 12, 2013
    It's just a fun movie. I'm a sucker for gangster movies and history, and while at times this is over the top it's still a beautifully shot and decently acted film. Just go in with an open mind and don't be expecting "Goodfellas" and you'll enjoy yourself.
  5. Jan 15, 2013
    I really enjoyed this movie from beginning to end. It COULD'VE been an epic movie like other gangster movies in the past, but sadly it's only 1 1/2 hours long. I think this movie should've been a 3 hour epic, or nearly 3 hours...and more story-focused. But I thoroughly enjoyed it and will be watching it again tomorrow.
  6. Jan 12, 2013
    If Gangster Squad was going to be released in September, then how come the movie pushed back to January 14? This isn't "L.A. Confidential 2.0." I'd say "Gangster Squad," how could you. I was really aware that the film was not just the violence, but the horrific tragedies in Aurora and Newtown. This is one of the most disappointing movies of 2013. Mediocre script, bad choices of picking gangster characters, poor acting. They f***ed up. Expand
  7. Jan 23, 2013
    Really surprised this film has so many positive ratings. Sure, it's a great movie...that should be nominated for Best Picture at the Raspberry Awards. All flash and no substance, which is what the majority of Hollywood dishes out anyway. Minus the big name actors, this movie could go straight to Redbox and nobody would notice.
  8. Feb 5, 2013
    I really, really enjoyed this movie. Excellent acting, and pace. Unlike many movies today, it was not "too long" the script was clean. Sean Penn was ferocious and very scary. I hope he wins an Oscar.
    Good comedic relief also. My expectations were fully met.
  9. Jan 11, 2013
    Great cinematography, but the film itself leaves a lot to be desired, more style less substance. There are a lot of things this movie gets right, but from a narrative perspective, it isn't very strong. Sean Penn, cinematography and the shootouts are the true stars of the film
  10. Jan 11, 2013
    A pulpy action throwback that effortlessly achieves its goal to entertain thanks to a top-shelf cast, dazzling direction, and a fast-paced screenplay chock-full of snappy 1940s-style patter.
  11. Jan 12, 2013
    On paper, and based on the preview, this is a movie that I absolutely should have loathed. Reminded me a bit of the old Warren Beatty / Madonna debacle Dick Tracy. Even as I enjoyed the first third or so, I expected the other shoe to drop. I was happy to be wrong. It's no LA Confidential, but I had a lot of fun with this film. The casting choices are solid (Robert Patrick and Michael Pena are terrific), it's exciting if not extremely profound or innovative in terms of storytelling, but with modest expectations, I think action fans and fans of the lead actors will get what they need out of it. It actually got a rather widespread round of applause in my somewhat film-snobby theater. Expand
  12. Jan 12, 2013
    "Gangster Squad" is a thoroughly enjoyable crime noir flick, resplendent in its violence but lacking in emotional depth. Sean Penn shines in what is otherwise a forgettable film.
  13. Jan 13, 2013
    Don't go into this expecting LA Confidential and you're half way towards enjoying a fun comic book style movie with over the top violence that is almost entirely stylish over any type of content. Reminded me a bit of Last Man Standing with Bruce Willis, although this is slightly more fleshed out, the action is well choreographed and the dialogue is macho more than meaningful. A lot of cool characters including Robert Patrick's bit as a gunslinger who just doesn't miss. Brolin and Gosling play their part to keep everything ticking over whilst Penn is maniacal as Cohen. This isn't a deep film, but it is a good old shoot em up with snappy one liners, cool characters and lots of style. Go to see it! Expand
  14. Jan 13, 2013
    Can't help but think that critics have an agenda. This is a really good movie. I really liked the way it was stylized and filmed. It is a bit funny sometimes but a great experience through and through. Shall watch it again. Highly recommended.
  15. Jan 14, 2013
    Gangster Squad provides exactly what I expected but also wanted. It has violence, tommy guns, cool suits, and a lot of attitude, which is precisely what a gangster flick should contain. The movie is a terrific throwback to the days when mobsters ran wild and had everyone eating out of the palm of their hand. Director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) shows no mercy when it comes to the characters getting their hands dirty. He tells a ferocious and foul tale based on true events, but balances it with some good old-fashioned fun and more humor than one might expect from a film like this. Fleischer creates a thrilling, stylish atmosphere and has a hell of a cast to bring such a flashy yet corrupted, dangerous time in our history to life.

    Set in the City of Angels in 1949, boxing champ-turned-mobster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) is running the streets and owns just about everything and everyone in town. Cohen does not have his sights set on just one or two cities in California. He is way too greedy for that. He wants control over the entire state. While most just turn a blind eye, Police Chief Parker (Nick Nolte) wants to take Cohen down and get him out of his city. But he knows he cannot do it within the confinements of the law so he brings in a war hero turned cop named John O
  16. Jan 19, 2013
    This movie is fantastic. Ton of blood, action, and suspense. If you like those types of movies, than Gangster Squad is for you. Right from the beginning, the movie had my attention.
  17. Jan 24, 2013
    I didn't know what to expect when I considered seeing this film--I was worried that there would be too much action and try to be something that it shouldn't. Gangster Squad is a heavily cliched film which does almost everything right. Are cliches all that bad? I don't think they are. A good introduction to all of the characters is key for this kind of film. The antagonist played by Sean Penn blew my mind and made me enjoy every moment he was on screen. Only problem I noticed with the introduction is that it drags on for longer than it needed to do so--taking up too much of a film which could have been longer. The mind-set needed to watch this film is that of what the classic gangster films used to be like. It's a classically designed and cliche gangster film which blew me away and only just misses out on the perfect score due to length. Collapse
  18. Feb 6, 2013
    What went wrong? I saw the trailers for Gangster Squad and thought that this looks right up my street. Good collection of actors Penn, Gosling, Brolin tied to some lovely art design (I'm a sucker for 1940's America). This should be a great or at least decent slice of the cinema cake. Sadly, it's all frosting. When a film starts with a guy being ripped in half by 2 cars and another guy getting his hand ripped off by a lift, you may be expecting a gritty film. But Gangster Squad is all gloss and the violence, far from being helpful, detracts because its so comical. Think Sin City, but without the subtlety. It sets the scene for an film with a very uneven tone (is it character ensemble, action film, comic book, historical?) and a script that is so simple it would make the A-team look deep. With a gaping plot hole that is signposted miles away. There's very little to recommend here beyond the visuals. The characters are so cliche that the actors cant do any justice with them (Penn could well be basing his character on villains from Dick Tracy) and the twists have so little swerve that you know where the film is going long before you get there. There's nothing original here and nothing to keep you interested. A shame. Expand
  19. May 14, 2013
    The rapidly expanding Los Angeles of the 1940s and 50s the time when the aeronautics industry was becoming prominent, the freeway system being built, Disneyland was launched and the Chicago and east coast mob was moving in on Nevada and southern California has become a favourite subject of the period crime film these past 20 years. It began with Barry Levinson's Bugsy, set in this new criminal milieu, and Lee Tamahori's Mulholland Falls, which centred on the ruthless cops hired to tackle these largely Jewish newcomers (known as the "Kosher Nostra"). It continued with two films based on James Ellroy's fact-based novels, LA Confidential and The Black Dahlia. The vicious New York gangster and former featherweight boxer Mickey Cohen came west via Chicago, sent by Murder Inc's Meyer Lansky to assist Ben "Bugsy" Siegel. In Bugsy, Cohen was on his way up in the mid-1940s and impersonated by Harvey Keitel, and in LA Confidential, when at his 50s peak, by Paul Guilfoyle. In the naive, heavy-handed, handsomely designed Gangster Squad, he's played as a preening, psychopathic monster by Sean Penn. We first see him using two cars to tear a Chicago interloper in two behind the "Hollywoodland" sign, thus establishing him as the monster who's corrupting the pure, law-abiding Los Angeles. The film is virtually a cross between those 1970s thrillers in which Vietnam veterans return home to clean up their tarnished homeland and Brian De Palma's The Untouchables, where Kevin Costner's Eliot Ness recruits an elite band of cops to break Al Capone's stranglehold hold on prohibition Chicago. Expand
  20. Feb 22, 2013
    This film has received many bad reviews, but not because it's a bad movie. The truth is it's just not what people expected it to be. When you hear about a mafia movie, you expect an epic, inside look like with Goodfellas or Casino, but Gangster Squad is from the cops point of view and more like The Untouchables. Gangster Squad is based on a novel and is about an off the books LAPD operation aimed at bringing down Micky Cohen. In the 1940s, LA had a growing mafia problem on it's hands, and Mickey Cohen was set to become the next Al Capone. Unbeknownst for decades, the LAPD sent a group of cops, who didn't play by the book, after Cohen and by going after his business interests, they attempt to destroy his growing empire. The story is a great one, well deserving of a film adaptation, but what people didn't like was how it turned into an action film. This story has all the makings of an epic mafia drama, an you will be hard pressed to find a better performance than the one Sean Penn gives as Mickey Cohen. It was somewhat disappointing that they didn't get more into Cohen and his operation, but for what it was, it was a great film. As for the cast, it features some of Hollywood's best an brightest as old school meets the up and coming stars of the big screen. Every one from the stars to the ancillary characters give Oscar worthy performances that will be sadly overlooked. because of the nature of the film. If you're looking for a classic mob drama, you're going to be disappointed, but if you want to see an action packed cop movie with a mob element, then Gangster Squad is the film for you. Expand
  21. Apr 6, 2013
    Pure garbage. It's a mystery how this cast agreed to such a poorly-designed premise. The result amounts to a complete waste of time. Watch something else.
  22. Apr 8, 2013
    I love 1930s 1950s gangster movies! Everything about them is awesome, This movie has a lot of great actors, good special effects, a lot of great scenes, and a good story. And just because I love gangster movies, 10/10
  23. Apr 20, 2013
    Gangster shoot'em-up movie (with almost no shooting in the first hour), which feels like a mix of short scenes from various, unrelated films. It has a great cast that never manages to meet the expectations, great setting that is never really explored, and mediocre attempts to create deeper characters that fail miserably in a mish-mash of cliches.
  24. May 24, 2013
    Don't let the critics scare you away, because they always tend to hate movies like this one. Obviously people should have a certain mindset when watching a movie called "Gangster Squad". The movie is everything you expected it to be: A stylish shoot 'em up with top notch acting and lots of dead bad guys. It has a ton of humor and I laughed out loud more times than I do in a lot of modern comedies. It had a few emotional moments as well, but nothing to make you tear up. Not that anyone would watch this movie because they want to cry. It's a great story and I love this ind of movie. Expand
  25. May 29, 2013
    Very good movie and as others have mentioned, much more graphic than expected but in a good way. Did a great job of portraying the era and had a little bit of everything.
  26. Jul 22, 2013
    This started out as a serious gangster movie and ended in a wild west shooting style. Interesting characters, while the movie is deep and tells a scary story its full of meaningless shooting and action. An interesting mix thats good for all fans of the wild west and 1940s america.
  27. Dec 16, 2013
    2013 for me seems to be completely over saturated with sequels and copy cats. I know people have been saying that for years but this year I have seen a lot. Its not necessarily a bad thing in my opinion though. Good movies leave people wanting more and therefor its understandable that movies like gangster squad are made. Right away and all the through I was constantly reminded of "The Untouchables", its influence on this movie are undeniable. A group of cops go above the law to bring down the mob. Once I accepted that and moved on I was entertained thoroughly. This movie has loads of action and lots of big name actors who keep it interesting. Most notably is Sean Penn who has a great performance as the mob boss. It makes me wish he played more characters like this because he definitely stuck out as the best. In the end I would call this movie a cross between the plot of "the untouchables" and the characters from something more comical like "Dick Tracy". Although it isn't as incredible as lots of gangster movies its still a good worthwhile watch. Expand
  28. Jan 14, 2013
    5;6; دربار7; ای6; کتاب چیز زیادی 6;5;ید8;6;5; ا5;ا 1;ک ک6;5; خ8;ب باش7; ای6;جا 7;5; کار خاصی 6;دار5; ک4;ا 5;یچرخ5; ببی6;5; ک7; چی 7;ست؟ Expand
  29. Jan 18, 2013
    You can look at this two different ways. As a movie, its fine. It's got gun fights, slow motion, fist fights and car chases. On the other hand, it's supposed to be inspired by the story of the real gangster squad. In a recent article, John O'Mara's granddaughter was interviews to hear about he legend behind the man. She quoted her mother as saying "They used their brains, not bullets" and went further on to explain that violence sells, so violence wins. Her mother also said that her O'Mara fired his gun once in his career, and it was a warning shot.

    So where does this leave us with the ultra violent, hero cop hurrah? in the middle, which is why I gave this movie a 5. I'm a huge film noir buff. I love everything from Bogart in The Maltese Falcon all the way to Pearce Crowe in L.A. confidential. This movie falls short in being a caricature of a golden era, and doesn't do the men justice who helped put Cohen away. It's still a decent movie, and I'm not squeamish towards violence (as long as it has its place). That said, all the style, violence and charisma this movie has still leaves me a bit uneasy knowing the white washing the characters went through to make them square jawed, all American heroes. This movie would have done better with less action and more truth.
  30. Jan 21, 2013
    Nitty and gritty. Lots of very clever dialogue. More style than accuracy but this is intentional. Plenty of blood and stars. With all the stars and testosterone in this movie I have to describe it as The Expendables for 1940's gangster movie fans. If this is what you want then you will not be disappointed. I only gave it a 7 out of 10 since I pretty much had the plot figured out as the movie ran along and got a tad bit tired as the movie came to a close. Expand
  31. Jan 21, 2013
    Good acting, time period cars, clothes and firearms seemed peroid correct. However, the production and directing of this movie is where it loses me. If you got 8 bucks to blow and less than 2 hours to kill go for it, other wise see something else
  32. Jan 21, 2013
    This is definitely a good movie, which I really enjoyed watching. The story is quite okay, and fits the era very good. The characters are all decent at least. Good guy O
  33. Jan 23, 2013
    If there was one movie in 2012 that I was most excited to see, it was Gangster Squad. The trailer had a distinct visual style that impressed me at the time, the cast could not have been any better, and it looked like a fun gangster film that would also be a great addition to the genre itself. Then when it was delayed to 2013 for re-shoots after the Aurora, Colorado shootings I was disappointed to have to wait until 2013 for this movie. Well, I Expand
  34. Jan 24, 2013
    Gangster Squad has a great style and some great actors; unfortunately the writing keeps it from being so much more than it could've been. When coming into this film I expected to be bored to death, but the film is actually very entertaining and fun which will please many audience members. There is a lot of violence and action that made this feel like a mix of
  35. Jan 27, 2013
    This movie has a nice cast, good visual effects, nice operator's work and a great atmosphere of post-WWII Los Angeles. The entourage reminded me of a video game LA Noire. To describe a genre: it isn't a criminal drama it's a gangster style action movie. A nice one to watch it once.
  36. Jan 28, 2013
    Overall, a pretty good gangster movie. The whole feel of the movie is spot on and Sean Penn's role as Mickey Cohen definitely delivered. Pacing can be a bit of a problem. Writing isn't Gangster Squad's strong suit, as the movie can become predictable to some.
  37. Jan 30, 2013
    The movie itself its entertaining but nothing for the ages. Sean Penn is atrocious in my opinion. But I do think Ryan Gosling did a good job. Emma Stone and Brolin where decent too.
  38. Jan 31, 2013
    I was excited when I saw the previews for this one but very disappointed. Reminded me of Boardwalk Empire but without the good characters and twists of storyline. If it wasn't for Sean Penn's character/effort I would have turned this off before it was 30 minutes into the film. Credit the set design and costume design as it was easy to believe the scenery. But, if that is the best thing I can say about the movie (other than Sean Penn) maybe that is enough said! Expand
  39. Feb 1, 2013
    In 1949 Hollywood, a gangster from New York (Sean Penn) muscles his way into the West Coast crime syndicates. To bring him down, a renegade cop (Josh Brolin) assembles a team of outsiders (including Ryan Gosling). This is a time when everybody smoked and women were called "tomatoes." This film's elegant period style and suave, snappy dialogue verge on parody, but director Rubin Fleischer manages to keep a sense of fun, while loading it with plenty of fights (fists and guns). The performances are enjoyable and the pacing never lags. While this isn't exceptional in any way, it's still thoroughly entertaining. Expand
  40. Feb 2, 2013
    It was a nice movie, sure, it does not have great dialog or great acting but it was quite entertaining. I'm picky with the use of my free time, and I must say I had a great time. Maybe in terms of a good movie from a art point of view it would deserve like 4.5 but taking the entertainment value it would be a 7.
  41. Feb 3, 2013
    This movie deserves it's mediocre reviews. The start scene involving the chief over dramatized, the scene with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling horrible and trying to be dramatic. Why are cops attacking the mob with standard handguns? I like the whole the war is over that sentence and theme was repetitive. Don't pay for this film I had such high hopes, especially with the cast. But it's just a let down. Expand
  42. Feb 5, 2013
    The movie fails to entertain period.
    The story-line is a seen it a million times before and it was done better.
    Characters are unbelievable, uninspiring and dull
    There are mediocre special effects thrown in hear and there like car chases and fist/gun fights.
    All in all do not recommend to anyone but people who have absolutely nothing else to do.
  43. Feb 23, 2013
    You've seen Goodfellas, Scarface and LA Confidential? Then you've seen Gangster Squad. All cliches and no substance, the best thing in it are the cars.
  44. Mar 3, 2013
    This is a perfect noir genre film it has grit and nails, and doesn't try to weigh you down with lofty ideals or convoluted nonsense. And I am a fan of lofty ideals and convoluted nonsense. Not everything needs to be a perfect thinkpiece about violence especially when it comes to a gangster film. Detractors would probably feel the same about a Western film or a Kung Fu flick. It has its fans and that it who the film was made for. I understand why people would not like it but I don't care for Michael Bay flicks either so I go out of my way to avoid them. Smarter that way. Expand
  45. Mar 24, 2013
    This film had the potential to be one of the great gangster films of this century. Unfortunately it did not exceed this expectation. The plot was outstanding, the cast was good, what could go wrong? To be frank, a lot went wrong. This film is not worth the watch and i am glad it hasn't won any Oscars.
  46. Apr 1, 2013
    IN MY OPINION **MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS** by CtheTav What can I say about this film? The plot of Gangster squad was so predictable every twist can be seen well before it happens, particularly groan worthy was the ambush in Chinatown. The plot isn't the reason to watch this film however. It's a period action film through and through with fantastic action throughout. Whether it's the Slow-Mo over the top gun fighting or the violent fisticuffs, it kept my eyes glued to the screen the whole time. The voice-over monologue was a bit heavy handed but was dropped a few minutes so that was okay. I think my favourite part was the car chase with the heroin truck which was very fun to watch. Sadly the forgettable characters let this film down as none of the actors deserve to read the dialogue lazily written for them, a shame really as this film could have been brilliant if not for the story. Rating- 7 out of 10 Good action, predictable and stale plot Expand
  47. Apr 6, 2013
    Wow. How some people can rate this movie high goes beyond my imagination. But lets tell why this movie is just a disaster. A historically interesting story is turned into an avalanche of clichés, probably a candidate to one of the biggest considering the cast. Acting, despite this star cast, is absolutely terrible. Story is unlogical and the ending is just one enormous pile of clichécrap. I honestly felt like demanding my money back from seeing this at the cinema. If you want to see a gangster movie from the era, there are plenty of good options. This one is just horrible. Expand
  48. Apr 10, 2013
    A decent movie overall. The movie basically about cop vengeance on criminals in Los Angeles. Main character/actor was pretty good and main bad guy/actor was pretty good as well. But the other cast members sucked. Theres a decent amount of action scenes mixed in with some drama and thriller moments. But the movie just didn't excelled at any particular area that drew interest from me. Its a good guy always wins type of movie, just to point out. Title is a bit misleading.. Expand
  49. Apr 13, 2013
    Gangster squad directed by Fleischer, a really bad movie, almost ridiculous, the director can not make a gangster film, stereotypical characters, in short, the movie is crap boring haphazard.
  50. Apr 14, 2013
    LA Confidential highlighted the fall of Mickey Cohen as a decision made out of greed and corruption within the police force. Gangster Squad argues the opposite, that Cohen failed because of the righteous and the honourable, even if their methods turn out to be questionable. What is ultimately an action film, Gangster Squad delves into the Cohen era but rarely tries to say anything meaningful in favor of the tongue in cheek actioner the studio clearly envisioned. The film opens to Mickey (Sean Penn) owning LA, much to the chagrin of the police commissioner (Nick Nolte). Therefore he sets up an off the book squad of officers with one goal, the destruction of Cohen's criminal organisation, by any means necessary. The film does play like a poor mans untouchables and doesn't hold a candle to the masterpiece that is LA Confidential but Gangster Squad is a solid action romp across the city of angels with a group of actors clearly having a whale of a time. Josh Brolin leads the titular squad with his charming everyman shtick, Michael Pena and Robert Patrick make a great odd couple pair of gunslingers and Sean Penn camps it up the the extreme as Cohen but the charm of the film lies with Ryan Gosling who plays a cop who thinks hes too smart to play cop and get involved. Gosling impresses with the choices he makes for the character and his chemistry with leading lady (if her limited presence warrants the leading part) Emma Stone, although that was already proven by Crazy Stupid Love. Stone herself doesn't really have much to do and therefore doesn't stand out but she's serviceable at least and has a classic noir quality to her. The downside to the film is that it is just a by the book actioner with a workable but not amazing director who doesn't really try to impress. A car chase halfway through the picture is shoddy and highlights the flaws in the direction although a shootout in Chinatown impresses in the moment. The script however is playful and entertaining meaning the character interactions pop. The film ultimately lives in the shadow of other great gangster films and never really lives up to their pedigree but as an action flick it entertains for its run time, just don't try and recount the events of the film a week after seeing it, you might just find you honestly can't remember them. Expand
  51. Apr 20, 2013
    I don't agree with the general critics of this film, it's true that it is not an Oscar film and it could have had more suspense and tension, but it definitely had a lot of action and decent scripts. This movie deserves better numbers than what it has.
  52. Apr 27, 2013
    An unfortunate waste of such great talent. This is just an average film still entertaining, but really lacks when it comes to the script and the tone.
  53. Apr 29, 2013
    This ho hum gangster flick has one of the greatest pedigree in recent months, but has no ambition. Great actors? Check. An acclaimed director? Check. What you have though is simply a straight up action film. nothing more. If you want a more visceral and greater take of this 'rogue cops vs gangsters' sub genre, than look up 'The Untouchables'.
  54. May 4, 2013
    Gangster Squad was a really good movie. The cast is fantastic and they all deliver flawlessly. Josh Brolin and Sean Penn counter one another perfectly and the supporting cast of Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, and so many more all fill key roles. The plot and characters were both developed really well also. There were a few plot holes that can be explained through assumptions but pretty weak ones. That and some of the action sequences, especially early on, is what held the film back. Ultimately I think that's the cause for the lower ratings. I don't think a lot of these "experts" actually watch entire films if they don't like how they start and this movie starts slowly. Once it gets going though, it's a really enjoyable film. And it has freaking Emma Stone in a little red dress, that should be enough reason to watch. In all seriousness though, it's a solid movie that most people were probably enjoy. Expand
  55. May 18, 2013
    Not that good of a movie. Good cast of actors but none of them are put to good use. Dialogue is often very generic and straight forward, The plot is also very generic and at times predictable. Features a few odd attempts at humor which had no business being in this movie, Especially when it's suppose to be an action movie filled with gangsters and brutal murders. The action scenes themselves were nothing special either. Overall, Just another over hyped film that simply fails to live up to it's potential. Expand
  56. May 23, 2013
    I couldn't tell if the scenes and dialogue were meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek or sincere. It felt almost comical in places, like the director was winking at us and saying "don't take it too seriously." But that sense was so uneven as to make me believe it wasn't intentional. I liked the story line: the depiction of a group of anonymous lawmen who go after an omnipotent gangster and the corrupted city officials under his control. I actually enjoyed the movie despite its flaws. I think that may be because the art direction, cinematography, and excellent acting compensated for the predictable story telling and the over the top earnestness of the screenplay and directing. It was enjoyable to watch. I wouldn't recommend it except with caveats. Expand
  57. May 24, 2013
    All style & no substance. Fleischer & company waste the tremendous talents of this A-list ensemble cast so much that even the charismatic Gosling can't save it. -MN
  58. May 25, 2013
    Even though it isn't as good I thought it would be.It still has a good story,great action and a pretty good ending.Even though the end fight was disappointing,it is still a good movie.
  59. May 28, 2013
    With a cast this great, and a premise so promising, one would expect this movie to be incredible. Unfortunately, this movie sucks big time. It's boring, overly long, and it does not utilize the great tools at its disposal. A real disappointment. Yuck.

    Rewatch LA Confidential instead of wasting your time with this drivel. It's a much better crime drama with in a similar setting.
  60. Jun 4, 2013
    "While i was not in love with the film nor is it a masterpiece in anyway, shape or form. But it sets a good tone in its classic backdrop. Featuring some pretty good performances. The bottom line is GS is entertaining but insanely forgettable. Its just good" B-
  61. Jul 7, 2013
    There is no doubting that director Ruben Fleischer produced a stylish film, or perhaps the word flashy is actually more fitting, but to use a line as clichéd as the film itself, it's all style over substance.

    I would like to see the original story behind the unit just to see how many of the unit's members were of the writers own making. The unit is literally an identi-kit of clichéd
    characters, the war veteran, the ladies man, the black dude, the nerdy one with the family, the old-should-be retired one. With the exception of Brolin and Gosling's characters, and Penn's over the top scene chewing Mickey Cohen, the rest of the film's big names are wasted on flimsy two dimensional roles. But hey, the slow-motion gun fire and car chase looks great though right?

    The film's production was not trouble free, what with the re-writing of a pivotal scene following the Aurora cinema tragedy but I really can't imagine that this missing scene could have saved Gangster Squad from being any other than an average crime flick.

    The main problem with Gangster Squad is it's competition. This story has been told before, think of L.A. Confidential (1950's LAPD) or The Untouchables (police unit against Al Capone), and both times the storytelling was superior.

    Considering how good the film could have been with the cast and story at hand, Gangster Squad is a disappointingly average film but it's still probably worth checking out as one of 2013's biggest releases.
  62. Jul 14, 2013
    This movie was a disappointment, but not as bad as some critics make it out to be. I thought it was decent, but the trailers made it look fantastic, and it really wasn't.
  63. Jul 15, 2013
    la mafia domino en los angeles en 1949 por mickie coen pero la fuerza antiganster se pone en medio como una especie de "the avengers" para detener esto a punta de balas y golpes un buen trama pero no un excelente desarrollo
  64. Jul 19, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Hollywood dishes out hundreds of movies each year with the intend of mindless, awe-inspiring entertainment. "Gangster Squad" fits this category appropriately. It is violent, ridiculous, full of clichés, and not to be taken too seriously. The plot itself is something we have seen over and over again: a group of incorruptible cops come together to take down a ruthless gangster. Sounds like Brian De Palma's "The Untouchables." That movie was also a bloody, inaccurate, fun crowd- pleaser, but it had something that "Gangster Squad" lacks, and that is great characters.

    Sure, Josh Brolin embodies the appearance and mind of a tough, take-no-prisoners cop, and Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen is intense and over the top, while holding some bursts of brilliance, but everyone else in this movie is blandly acted. The forced relationship developed between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone's characters feels rushed and uninspiring-as if its soul intend was just for the purpose of having a romance story. Giovanni Ribisis, Michael Pena, Robert Patrick, and Anthony Mackie are not bad sidekicks of the gangster squad, but not enough dedication is given to them. The rest of the supporting cast falls into this shtick.

    "Gangster Squad" makes up for it with its grim cinematography, slowed down and sped up action sequences, and not to mention its nice set pieces and costumes. This movie is fun to watch for a first viewing and for that I give it a 7/10. If I see it again though, I probably would not be so inclined to score such a high rating.
  65. Jul 25, 2013
    Don't mistake Gangster Squad for a serious gangster movie. It's an action movie that features A-listers and decent production design. Let's all just acknowledge this is the best we're going to get from the multiplex this early in the year.
  66. Aug 28, 2013
    I had very high hopes for this movie. Unfortunately I couldn't tell if it was even meant to be a serious film or a spoof of mob movies. I feel like Fleischer was trying to make a Sin City version of The Untouchables and somehow wound up with The Dirty Dozen, but with even less soul. I understand that Gangster Squad is just an action film, but a little depth or even slightly cleaver dialogue would have made this film worth watching. Expand
  67. Sep 11, 2013
    Gangster Squad is the cheesiest, most unrealistic, cliche ridden and overblown crime film you could ever think of. But man oh man is it fun! Ice cool guys get the beautiful dames, old haggard badasses get to be, um, badass and Sean Penn gets to spew such ridiculous gold as "Here comes Santa Claus!" with a Tommy-gun in his hands. Expecting L.A Confidential? You'll leave disappointed.Go in expecting a cop-based version of Scarface and you'll walk away with a mile-wide grin on your face. Fantastic stuff! Expand
  68. Oct 5, 2013
    No amount of flashy cinematography, classic callbacks to gangster films of the past or an all star cast can save Gangster Squad from being a mediocre mess of mixed tones, laughable dialogue and over the top drama that is based on a true story, with obvious elements entirely fictionalised for the big screen. Sean Penn puts in what can only be described as an exaggerated performance as Mickey Cohen, a powerful gangster in the west coast who wants to control the whole lot, he talks confidently and is surrounded by an entourage of cronies and paid off cops who help him sleep easy at night. Penn's physical appearance in the film is quite comical, with one shade of orange too many, but hot-headed cop John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) is always right behind Cohen, picking up his mess and causing problems as a one man wrecking crew, until he is assigned as the head of a special group tasked with taking down Cohen, guerrilla warfare style. This is where the onslaught of violence ensues which seems unnecessary, each and every big member of the cast, whether its O'Mara, Wooters (Ryan Gosling) or the secretive and deceiving Grace Faraday (Emma Stone) are underdeveloped with next to no motive for going "off the books" in their attempt to bring down Cohen. It isn't all a lost hope though, it's been ramped up and glamourised to combine classic elements of noir films to create a visually striking piece, but this always falls flat with the films content, the biggest downfall being cartoonish and amateur writing that tries to be smart but comes off as a TV movie with a Hollywood budget, the cast can are only as good as the material, Sean Penn showing signs of excellence as the ever unpredictable mob boss, but the film film keeps going on a tone that almost feels like a parody, an inconsistent tone doesn't help the situation, we see hotshots and pretty girls, then we are introduced to a barrage of gunfights and car chases, but then we have retaliation that is muddled and brought down by that damn dialogue, seriously, the film is way out of its depth. A chemistry between Gosling and Stone is non-existent, while the film delves deeper into predicability with a final act that only solidifies this stance, it's fun and enjoyable, but writing on the wall. Gangster Squad should be seen for its visual spectacle and talented cast which also includes Robert Patrick, Michael Peña, Anthony Mackie and Giovanni Ribisi, but certainly not for its attempts at a serious tone which is dragged to the mud with a questionable script and cartoon whims from its characters, who just appear to enjoy playing dress-up, looks can indeed be deceiving. Expand
  69. Nov 10, 2013
    Ferociously edited and directed with some style even if the screenplay is some what suspect. As written here this gangster squad veer between, at best, opportunistic and, at worst, downright inept. The film is always fast moving and entertaining and the production values are excellent. Josh Brolin gives the best performance as the squad's leader John O'Mara. Sean Penn is at his scenery chewing worst as arch villain Mickey Cohen and Ryan Gosling, in an unusually bland role for his superb actor, is rather colourless. Emma Stone has little to do as the obligatory female love interest as is also the case with many well known faces in supporting roles. Still, as undemanding entertainment you can do a lot worse. Expand
  70. Jan 25, 2014
    The movie is buoyed by snappy lines ("go buy an ice-cream" being one of the dumbest and best screen line), good looking cast, beautiful 1940s scenery and yes, some really funny scenes, but it lacks sorely in its storyline. The ending was almost an anti-climax, (being a mindless shoot-out) and Emma Stone's role is reduced to that of a beautiful moll who pretty much has little use in the screen. If it worked on all these things, the show could really be a great blockbuster. Expand
  71. Feb 3, 2014
    Great, snappy dialogue. Story was a bit all over the place and there was none of the elegance or "cleanliness" of Mulholland Falls or Chinatown but my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. Wonderful sets, solid acting. I'm a sucker for these LA 1940s period pieces so what can I tell ya? Great watching.
  72. Feb 16, 2014
    Gangster Squad, was better than my expectations.I can`t say it has much in it that are memorable moments, but it`s a movie worth watching. It has some great characters on the good and bad side of things.The ending was satisfying.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 38
  2. Negative: 10 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Feb 27, 2013
    The violence is so indifferently presented that it has no kick; it’s not grim or graphic enough to shock, but it doesn’t rev us up, either. The picture’s various shoot-’em-up sequences are so generically conceived and shot that each one is indistinguishable from the next – by the movie’s end, they may as well all collapse into an exhausted heap.
  2. 75
    Gangster Squad is a gang war drama built on Western conventions, a rootin' tootin', Camel-smokin', whiskey swillin' shoot'em up.
  3. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Jan 19, 2013
    The over-all result is a misstep for Fleischer. [21 Jan. 2013, p. 78]