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3.9 out of 5 stars163
3.9 out of 5 stars
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The mixed reviews this film has received are slightly odd but also fully understandable. I think the problem lies in the type of film it is.

If you're expecting a realistic, Untouchables, God Father, Bronx Tale or GoodFellas type film you might be disappointed because Gangster Squad is a little less serious than that. It's pure entertainment.

It's slightly Dragnet in its feel; slightly "You Dirty Rat" or LA Noir, which works well given the era of the film. And if you just enjoy it for what it is - an fun gangster flick - you're in for a hell of a ride.

Based on true events, the film follows a team of cops put together to take down the notorious LA Kingpin Mickey Cohen. They work completely off the map and have been given carte blanche to take him down anyway they see fit. What follows is mayhem.
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on 10 October 2015
Not bad but not good either. Watch something else!
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on 30 March 2013
I was really excited for this film to come out and i went and saw it on the first day. I then came home and added it to my amazon wish list - i had enjoyed it that much.

I felt that the film had amazing costume and cast, I maybe biased as i loved Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling a lot, and it was well written. At points i found it a little violent and gory (and i do like gangster films so i'm use to gore). The chemisty between Gosling and Stone was good, as always, and i am excited to see the film again.
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VINE VOICEon 8 June 2013
It seems to be more a remake of The Untouchables. At least the scenery is of the supposed time as are the costumes. Sadly a major % of the film is at night and at times difficult to see. I found it quite frustrating trying to work out the 'goodies'and the 'baddies' in the shoot-outs. What is fact and what is fiction is irrelevant really as it is just a run of the mill gangster film with one of the famous 'baddies' of that time as the storyline. It will be on television soon so wait till then to watch it.
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on 16 January 2013
Starting to think that Zombieland was a fluke as director Ruben Fleischer shows just how generic and hollow his films can be. His debut was an astutely observed zombie film, 30 minutes or less was a vacuous, flaccid heist pic and then this. The term `ever-diminishing returns' was made for this guy. A vague sense of film noir style fails to add substance to this empty, stereotyped vigilante pic. Not one character has any personality; they are all archetypes, which for a cast made up of Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Mackie, Robert Patrick and Michael Pena, is pretty much tantamount to a sin. The aforementioned (and stellar) ensemble is a complete vacuum with top honours going to Gosling who is visibly bored (nor does he have any chemistry with Emma Stone) and Sean Penn doing his best Robert De Niro in Goodfellas/Heat impersonation. All told it's a wholesale failure, whether you're looking for violence, period drama or something more demanding.
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on 19 November 2015
I really enjoy this movie. Its a 5* for me, Nice actors And Nice story. Just the soundtrack should be better . Worth a view! 8/10
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 September 2013
Yes, I know my title might be stating the obvious, but hear me out...

If you have either seen a gangster movie, or can possibly imagine what one is like then you have basically seen `Gangster Squad.' It has every aspect (or if I'm being harsh I could say `cliché') that a gangster movie could possible have. But does that make it bad?

Yes and no. It's not that bad. The acting calibre of Josh Brolin, Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling does elevate it over the average sort of crime caper, plus it's stylishly shot and the production values are high. However, for all its gloss and glamour, it's still just a gangster movie.

It tells the tale of a group of police men who are allowed by their boss to lay down their badges and take the law into their own hands (utilising bullets to the max). Naturally, the bad guys don't rake too kindly to this and fight back with everything they've got.

So, if you're in the mood for (yet another) gangster movie then you'll probably enjoy this. It has action, shoot-outs, car chases and uncompromising good guys. Just don't expect anything particularly original/
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on 12 March 2014
Did not like this film at all. A very poor version of the Untouchables and we were very disappointed in it. Gave it away to someone else!!!!!!!!!!
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on 31 May 2013
I suppose that any cop film set in post war Los Angeles will have to be compared the 'LA Confidential', and by that standard will almost certainly fall short. The question by how far does it fall short. The answer in the case of Gangster Squad is it does not even get of the ground. The story is basically a copy of the Untouchables, a group of incorruptible police officers join up to take down a local gangster, in this case Micky Cohen. Sadly however the film is little more than a series of bloody shoot outs with some of the worse acting seen in quite a time. Sean Penn is unbelievable over the top as the gangster Micky Cohen and the others are so wooden as to be in danger of getting splinters. Remember this is the late forties yet the squad with a nod to 21st century correctness includes both a Black and a Mexican member. Not very likely I think. The film is not even historically accurate Micky Cohen was never more than a second rate hood and Jack Dragna died of natural causes.

If you want nineteen forties LA thrillers then either go back to the originals, Kubrick's 'The Killing' for instance or stick to 'LA Confidential' or 'Mulholland Falls' Don't bother with this, one of the worst films I have seen in quite a time
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on 11 January 2013
Considering how exciting and brilliant Gangster Squad is I'm guessing that this film isn't so much 'Based on a true story' but 'Inspired by a true story'. Really though I couldn't care less because in my opinion Gangster Squad is one of the films of the year. 5 or 10 years from now I can see myself still watching this film because it is a really entertaining action film. It might be highly fictionalised and Mickey Cohen might have died quietly in his sleep, but really who cares?

Sean Penn is in the best form of his career (o.k. not his career considering that he is after all an Oscar winner) but he is darn good at doing an over the top supervillian of the Bond variety in his magnificant portrayal of 1940s gangster Mickey Cohen. Ryan Gosling is good as the charming Jerry who steals Mickeys favourite girl; a great Emma Stone. But for me this film belongs to Josh Brolin (who was great in the average MIB3). Brolin is on top form as the honest cop John O'Mara who can't stop fighting even now the war is over. I would mention Nick Nolte but his part is so small its more like a cameo. One more thing about the cast, Robert Patrick also makes an appearance which is nice considering the last film I seen him in had John Cena in it.

The 1940s setting in Los Angeles looks amazing with the old 'Hollywoodland' sign still intact and all the old cars. The style is also matched by the substance. Now one thing that you should know is that this film is highly fictionalised so don't take it too seriously. It is an entertaining, enjoyable and sometimes funny action film set in the 1940s with nearly ever cliche that an action film has. THIS MIGHT BE A SPOILER SO LOOK AWAY: One character has a loving family, no prizes for guessing what happens to him. I mean I laughed so hard when he was being recruited because he was almost guaranteed to meet a sad end.

NO MORE SPOILERS: O.K no more mention of the plot. Now for some plot mentions. The funniest bit in the film is the raid on Cohens casino. Who are they? in reference to two men in costume. O'Maras reply? Movie Extras. Now the raid itself is so brilliant becuase based on the trailers I thought that the 'gangster squad' was going to be superhuman but the raid is botched in the most comical fashion ever.

Gangster Squad is well worth a look and while it will certainly never sit with the classic gangster films like 'The Godfather' and 'Goodfellas' the film never feels like it was ever trying to. The film does exactly what it set out to do which was to entertain its audience with an action film set in the 1940s with some humour thrown in. This film is not a history lesson although I did learn more history from this than from Ice Road Truckers.
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