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Gangster Squad [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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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 (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), who come together to try to tear Cohen’s world apart.
The turf explored in Gangster Squad may not be entirely accurate to historical truth, but it sure looks like the world of the movie mobster: the basics are instantly recognizable if you've seen L.A. Confidential and The Untouchables. Take a post-World War II Los Angeles, plunge it in noir, drop a ruthless gangster into the mix, and let loose an extralegal squad of cops to break the mob's rule. The crime kingpin in question is Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn), and his LAPD adversaries include a detective so square his fedora appears permanently affixed to his skull (Josh Brolin) and a ladies' man (Ryan Gosling) whose dalliance with Cohen's escort (Emma Stone) might not be the best idea for a smooth relationship. Their squad includes stalwart character actors such as Anthony Mackie, Michael Peña, Giovanni Ribisi, and an especially droll Robert Patrick. With all this talent on display, the movie must surely have some bang in its Tommy gun--but alas, director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) has opted for a peculiarly lighthearted, bantering tone for much of the action, which sits oddly with the gun massacres and dismemberments on display. He's also got Sean Penn in full Actor mode, snorting and stamping and wearing his prosthetic nose like a badge of pride. All of which might make for a juicy piece of entertainment, if the film didn't keep tripping over its own clichés and periodically losing its momentum. (Gangster Squad was bumped from its original 2012 opening date after the mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater; a shootout scene set in a movie theater was cut and re-shot in a different location for the film's eventual January 2013 release.) --Robert HortonSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This was a complete shock. Expecting a drawn out drama with a few action beats it was a surprise when this lit up the screen. Loads of great action set pieces and some great characters to root for this was pure entertainment.
Gangster Squad doesn't have the brains of LA Confidential or the emotional core of The Untouchables but is a helluva lot of fun. Led by Josh Brolin and superbly backed up by Ryan Gosling, he and his band of merry men set about wreaking hell on Cohen's empire. The shoot outs are fast and frenetic and a exhilarating car chase mid way through mixes things up a little.
Sean Penn is Mickey Cohen and he clearly relishes this role. This is the most fun he has had in years and it really shows. Apart from some dodgy prosthetic work, he embodies the pure evilness of this well renowned gangster.
The film is really a three starrer, but four stars are given for the sheer enjoyment it provides. It really shouldn't be this fun but it works entirely. The Gangster Squad are a fantastic bunch of guys and you are with them every step of the way.
Violent, action packed, this is pure entertainment!
Guns and carnage and sensual beautys are the order of the day and the day is good, get this and look at that price now, £3 wouldnt get you a pint but it will get you a classy film,end of story.
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.
Yes it's clichéd but so what? IT'S ENTERTAINING. The good guys are flawed-but-good and the bad guys are really nasty. And boo-hoo, so the love story didn't convince? Who cares? It's a gangster film for crying out loud! It has groups of people shooting at each other with tommy guns whilst rarely hitting each other! It has 1940's car chases! It has close-ups of newspaper headlines!
What more do you want?!
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sean Penn is fantastic in this film. That's where the good stuff ends. The story line is unoriginal. The acting seems forced and unnatural, and the film verges on the ridiculous. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Karrie
good acting from start to finish with a great ending I can reccPublished 3 months ago by Mr. P. Smith
Attention-grabbing throughout. So evocative of the era. Marvellously gentle humour.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Not the Untouchables or LA Confidential. Poor screenplay and direction. Brolins wasted and Gosling gives us his usual phoned in performance. How this guy gets on I do not know. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Paul Norton