Warner Bros. Pictures | Release Date: January 11, 2013
6.3
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 295 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
161
Mixed:
89
Negative:
45
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7
SpangleMay 23, 2016
I really liked Gangster Squad, which surprised me given the poor reviews. Beautifully shot with fantastic cinematography, Gangster Squad is an impeccably stylish and well put together gangster flick. With good turns from its impressive cast,I really liked Gangster Squad, which surprised me given the poor reviews. Beautifully shot with fantastic cinematography, Gangster Squad is an impeccably stylish and well put together gangster flick. With good turns from its impressive cast, Gangster Squad matches its good actors with a compelling plot that keeps you hooked with its real life basis. The characters are hit-and-miss (Emma Stone's character in particular is a miss), but otherwise, I thought they were well crafted or at least satisfyingly so compared to other movies out there nowadays. The action is well shot and the violence is nowhere near as bad as some critics would have you think. While not as good as classic noirs or modern day takes on the genre, Gangster Squad is a flashy, lavishly shot gangster film that satisfies the eyes more than the mind, but that is okay in my book given its good pacing, compelling story, and again, its over-abundance of style. Expand
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7
TVJerryFeb 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 whenIn 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
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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5
BrianMcCriticApr 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.
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10
ThegodfathersonMay 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 andThe 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
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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7
Tss5078Feb 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, butThis 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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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9
Meth-dudeDec 19, 2015
The acting was really good,the special effects were good and the movie was entertaining.Sure there was some unbelievable scenes and the movie was predictable at times but it's still one hell of a great movie.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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6
cameronmorewoodJul 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.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
TokyochuchuSep 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 getsGangster 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
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6
foxgroveNov 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 andFerociously 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
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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7
MarcDoyleJan 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.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
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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5
StevenFOct 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 trueNo 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
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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7
Bruce722May 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 allGangster 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
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4
geedupJan 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 offI 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
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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6
hoops2448Apr 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 theirLA 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
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8
oblique15Feb 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.
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4
KadeemluvmusicJan 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 theIf 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
2 of 5 users found this helpful23
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6
dharmaApr 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 moreThis 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'. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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6
Forrestgump1Jun 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."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- Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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8
StaticSpineJan 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 styleThis 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. Expand
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6
A_NorthernerJul 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
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.
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7
analogkid280Jan 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 movieNitty 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
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5
SimpleMethodJul 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.
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5
JmsbppJul 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
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8
keve16Mar 26, 2015
7.9/10................................................................................................................................................
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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7
tropicAcesJan 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'llIt'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. Expand
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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2
GreatbealloMay 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 realWith 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.
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6
SolInvictaMar 7, 2016
It's like watching a live action cartoon with an A-list cast. The actors try to make this movie believable but it's so over the top and ridiculous you might as well shut off your brain and pretend you're playing a video game. Hammy dialogueIt's like watching a live action cartoon with an A-list cast. The actors try to make this movie believable but it's so over the top and ridiculous you might as well shut off your brain and pretend you're playing a video game. Hammy dialogue all over the place, soulless shootouts. Gangster Squad is a classic case of style over substance. Expand
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6
DollisJan 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.
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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5
JudgeHoldenApr 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 reallyGangster 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. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
Sir_BrandonJan 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 whenGangster 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
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