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3.9 out of 5 stars
Gangster Squad [DVD]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2014
one of my favorite gangster movies of all time. I found it riveting with no 'slowness' that I sometimes find with gangster movies that make me lose interest. Wonderful film if you don't mind an easy to follow plot.
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on 2 July 2013
Not a great movie but not a bad one either.
There are more memorable gangster movies out there but this is a great pleaser as long as your expectations are not too high.Everybody in the movie gives a great performance and they are all pleasing to the eye (even sean penn with the stranger nose and droopy eyebrows)but the storyline is weak and the historical facts are thin on the ground.
If there's nothing on T.V and you just can't drag yourself up and out to the local cinema give this a go.
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on 21 May 2015
good cast, stellar performances, Dull, predictable plot.

The final shootout; is lacking; though fairly good - it is what it is.
with all the great cast I was saddened that it wasn't more spectacular and moody - it just sometimes seemed too staged, contrived, and stereotypical. There wasn't really much male bonding going on; which generally makes a film like this more appealing.
Worth a watch; but I had to do it in two sittings as it dragged a little.
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As far as Gangster flicks go this is good quality. Fast paced & action packed for sure. The plot is a bit weak, but then are action gangster films meant to be plot heavy. I confess this is not really my favourite genre of film, but i like to vary my viewing, I quite enjoyed it. A couple of hours of pleasure. It does follow a fairly safe Gangster film template, but if you want to just see an action packed film this is a good choice.
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2013
Gangster Squad
Dir. Ruben Fleicher / Cert 15 / 111 minutes)

How can a film with so many guns, so much blood and such a fine cast fall so flat? I'm a big fan of the genre, so I had high expectations for Gangster Squad, but everything here has been done before and done better. It feels to me as if the filmmakers worked to a shopping list of ingredients, a tick-list of `must-include' tropes thrown together, checked off one-by-one by cautious, smug Hollywood execs, dollar signs for eyes, staring greedily out of empty bloodless sockets.

The result is a workmanlike, shallow and impassionate jigsaw of mismatched pieces, all style and no substance, all pizazz and no plot, with dialogue that sounds like it's come straight out of `How to Write A Gangster Movie for Dummies'. I couldn't even enjoy it as a piece of pastiche because the characters were so utterly dimensionless Performances are weak across the board - Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone can't decide whether to go for ham or cheese, and have none of the chemistry (sexual or otherwise) that they brought to Crazy Stupid Love and somebody really needed to take Nick Nolte and Sean Penn aside and tell them that this wasn't a pantomime. Perhaps I should lighten-up - from what I understand, many people have enjoyed Penn's over-the-top villain, but I'm sorry, having him snarling lines like `Out here, I'm a GOD!!!' took me completely out of the story and the drama. Admittedly, the shoot `em up climax is well-shot and slickly executed, and the closest the film ever comes to having a pulse, but by this point, the damage is done and I couldn't care less who lives and who dies, who wins and who loses.

If you want super-slick 1940s noir-thriller, look no further than Curtis Hanson's superb LA Confidential (1997), or do yourself a favour and invest in HBO's continuing masterwork Boardwalk Empire, a contemporary example of how to do period-set gangster drama intelligently and unpredictably. If you want to waste your time and your money, see this.
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Thoroughly enjoyed this and will definitely watch it again.The acting is good,the guns sound beefy and the score is good too.Could have done with a bit more gore and some of the scenes are too dark but i recommend this blu ray.Oh and if you can only afford one and it's between "Gangster Squad" and "Lawless",no contest L.BANG!.AW.BANG!BANG!.LESS.....
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 November 2013
In 1949 Los Angeles, gangster Micky Cohen (Penn) is on the verge of taking over the entire West coast of America. With the head's of law enforcement & judiciary on his payroll, no one dare step in his way. However, one man that wont sell his office, is Police Chief Parker (Nolte), who has had enough of Cohen's reign, and enlists like minded stand out Homicide detective & ex-elite solider Sgt. John O'Mara (Brolin), to form a squad of 4 or 5 men, leave they're badges at home & wreck havoc on Cohen's industry to bring him to his knees. They are, The Gangster Squad.

This offering will be a familiar story to some, it's essentially a re-touchable i guess you'd call it, of the 1987 film The Untouchables. Moved from the prohibition era of the 1920's-30's to the eve of that classic ring a ding ding 50's era America. It introduces us to the key players early on in the first 30 minutes or so. Sean Penn (Mystic River) with heavy facial prosthetic's as the ex-boxer turned gangster, who if you thought De Nero's intro. was sadistic in the Untouchables as Al Capone, goes the whole 9 yards with an extremely gruesome scene. While Josh Brolin's (The Goonies) honorable cop whose sense of righteousness wont allow him to sit idly by & watch injustice being done no matter the cost. Both sport blood spattered intros. that set the tone for the whole film.

The rest of the squad, interestingly hand picked by Mr's O'Mara (Mireille Enos-World War Z) who selfishly picks the men that can keep the husband to her baby alive. Old West style gunslinger, Max Kennard (Robert Partick -Terminator 2), who looks like he was plucked out of Fallout New Vegas, was a highlight. His sidekick & trainee Navidad Ramirez (Michael Peña -End of Watch). Knife throwing specialist Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie -The Hurt Locker)). Intelligence man Conwell Keeler (Giovanni Ribisi -Saving Private Ryan) . And Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling-(Drive) as the smooth wolf in sheep's clothing. Whose love affair with Cohen's mistress Grace Faraday (Emma Stone -Zombieland), makes for an interesting distraction, that could had seen more daylight, along with the other members.

The story itself is quite predictable in places if you've seen The Untouchables, but there is still plenty to like about it if you don't mind it's style over substance approach. A few main characters have a decent back story, while the squad members themselves are mostly introduced by name, ability & a small reason why they want in. But it's hard not to like them none the less, just that more about them would had been great given the acting ability. There is some quality writing in this movie underneath it all, which offers up some great lines, like Ryan Goslings ""The whole town's underwater. You're grabbing a bucket when you should be grabbing a bathing suit"". epitomized these little gems of dialogue that were a treat. The style & setting of the film with the backdrop, props & cars etc.. is brilliantly brought to life, with the glitzy clubs, smokey bars & cabaret entertainment typical of the era. While this visual attention to detail leads into Gangster Squad's overall focus on the visual effects, either with it's frantic shoot out's, car chases or violent fistycuffs, mixed with slow-motion fights with great use of lighting effects, guns firing & bullet casings individually dropping to the floor as we see every detail on them.

In conclusion, the story & characters of Gangster Squad support it's visuals & action set pieces fine. If you want a prohibition-era film with a deeper story & characters then you may want L.A Confidential instead. Recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 30 December 2013
My wife had seen this film at the Cinema with my Son and she was keen to see it again so i purchased the Blu-ray with UV.The UV option lets you create an account online so you can share the film with up to 5 people wherever they may be located as the film is held on your Cloud Account.You can leave this option alone and still run the film,no problem.The film starts off with a violent scene and straight away i was struggling.Was it tongue in cheek,was it a serious mobster film? The plot is pretty thin with lots of violence that is filmed in such a way as to let your imagination run riot and you're spared the actual blood and guts.The film runs for around 105 minutes and after an hour,it was all pretty much to previous the mobster genre formula you've seen many times before.Almost boring but then it springs back to life with plenty of action and a little emotion.I think the film is ok if you don't take it too seriously,it's entertaining enough with all the acting out of the top drawer.It could have been so much better with a better storyline and a more serious attitude to making a great film.I think 3 stars is fair.
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on 18 July 2013
Having seen many negative critics reviews for this film ive put off from seeing it for a while but the movie was a pleasnt suprise for me, good story, good cast, evil baddie, action and sum strong violence, a very good gangster movie
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A movie with an identity crisis if ever there was one. Trying too hard to force a noire atmosphere with a corny Dragnet voice-over & shallow stock characters, the film has more of a Marvel comic and perhaps even a Bugsy Malone feel than any sort of credible tale of corruption & vice in 1940's L.A. The linear and utterly predictable plot, the wooden acting, laughable shoot-outs and the lacklustre script all combine to produce a deeply unsatisfying experience.

A real vacuous nothing of a film, so bad that it would probably have had more substance if done Manga/anime style.
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