Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 258 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , , , , ,
  • Summary: 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 and Jerry Wooters, who come together to try to tear Cohen's world apart. "Gangster Squad" is a colorful retelling of events surrounding the LAPD's efforts to take back their nascent city from one of the most dangerous mafia bosses of all time. [Warner Bros. Pictures/Village Roadshow Pictures] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 38
  2. Negative: 10 out of 38
  1. 75
    Gangster Squad is a gang war drama built on Western conventions, a rootin' tootin', Camel-smokin', whiskey swillin' shoot'em up.
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jan 10, 2013
    Gangster Squad provides a welcome burst of heat and color, even if those qualities are more illusory than real and subject to a fast fade.
  3. Reviewed by: James Mottram
    Jan 7, 2013
    Typified by Penn's blustery performance, Gangster Squad is sleek, stylish but superficial. Easy on the eye, even easier on the brain, it doesn't last long in the memory.
  4. Reviewed by: Louis Black
    Jan 9, 2013
    Despite the unrelenting action and the terrific cast, Gangster Squad comes up more scattered than successful.
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jan 9, 2013
    Though based partly on actual events, Ruben Fleischer's ludicrous shoot-'em-up plays fast and loose with the facts, and plenty else besides.
  7. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jan 10, 2013
    His (Fleischer) first feature, "Zombieland," was a half-witty genre parody. This one might be described as genre zombie-ism: the hysterical, brainless animation of dead clichés reduced to purposeless, compulsive killing. Too self-serious to succeed as pastiche, it has no reason for being beyond the parasitic urge to feed on the memories of other, better movies.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 75
  2. Negative: 11 out of 75
  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 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. Expand
  3. 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. Expand
  4. 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. Expand
  5. 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- Expand
  6. 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. Expand
  7. 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.

See all 75 User Reviews


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