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Plot: It's 1949 Los Angeles, and gangster Mickey Cohen has moved in, with the intention of controlling all criminal activity in the city. He has bought local judges and police, and no one is willing to cross him or testify against him. Everyone except Sergeant John O'Mara, a former World War II soldier,… Runtime: 113 min Release Date: 11 Jan 2013
An all-round great flick, one which I highly recommend you go see. (by Blooner)
Review originally posted on InspirationRation.com - 'Gangster Squad' tells the story of a small team of Los Angeles cops who take on the task of waging war against the swiftly growing East Coast Mafia presence in their city. Set in 1949 LA, this war is fought with tommy guns, fedoras, and style.Sean Penn plays Mickey Cohen, a ruthless mob-boss with great ambitions. He has LA in his grasp. Hundreds of politicians, judges and cops are in his pocket. Still he wants more, and he is poised to take over all off- track betting revenue in the western part of the USA. Sgt. John O'Mara <more>
played by Josh Brolin receives permission to go after him, but he'll have to go outside the law. He gets together a ragtag team of honest cops, and starts a war.The acting is great in 'Gangster Squad'. Especially Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen is impressive; it is evident that he had fun playing such a dynamic and extremely volatile character. But Josh Brolin, Emma Stone and the supporting cast also truly hold their own here. It is not just the acting, but also the way the characters are written that really adds to the movie. As stated, the group of cops is pretty diverse, and each character has its own personality and quirks to play with. This in turn also allows for some good humour here and there. The only odd character one out in my opinion was Ryan Gosling's character, whom I didn't really 'get'.The film features some amazing directing; Interesting and stylistic, with some really great and creative camera shots. Dynamic camera-angle switches, indoor crane shots, long semi-complicated takes, and – most memorable to me – a close-up dolly zoom shot mid-punch in the middle of a fighting scene. A really cool effect.'Gangster Squad' features plenty of impressive action. There are good era-specific gun-and fist-fights, but there is also some more extreme dual tommygun-wielding, stick-grenade hot potato play action going on. Both really nicely done and just plain entertaining. There is a car chase which I would deem uncharacteristically over the top ridiculous, but this is addressed in the plot as well, so I'll let it slide. All the action as well as the rest of the movie is accompanied by good music, not great, but satisfactory.As always with a period movie, I have to take a moment to address the impressive way in which they managed to portray 1949 Los Angeles. The empty skyline in the background, streets filled with old-timer cars, and the classic sign when Hollywood was still Hollywoodland.All combined 'Gangster Squad' is just an all-round great flick, one which I highly recommend you go see. The acting, directing, action, and style of the film are all tremendous. It never bores, but constantly entertains. And if that doesn't convince you, it has Emma friggin' Stone in it, so what more do you want? Go watch this! - Review originally posted on InspirationRation.com
With the cost of a cinema ticket increasing recently, I don't watch as many movies as I would like to. In fact, I rarely watch movies because as a student, it's difficult to afford them.I saw the trailer for Gangster Squad and was intrigued. I'm going to keep this 'review' extremely short. It's not as much of a review, as a recommendation.The movie is about a gangster from the 40's and 50's called Mickey Cohen. I think the film is loosely based on facts. Sean Penn takes the role of Mickey and absolutely nails it.The movie had a Scarface feel to it and was <more>
simply fantastic. With beautifully choreographed scenes and incredible gun-fights, it was a real throwback to the gangsters of that era.I strongly, strongly suggest you go and watch this movie. Don't expect it to be the best movie ever, just enjoy it and you should come away feeling satisfied, like it was money well spent.Thank you for reading, Enjoy the movie! I hope you like it as much as I did.
A harrowing story of corruption and evil (by daniel-968-134260)
Gangster Squad is an exceptional work of art revealing that there is no difference between an apocalyptic world ravaged by Zombies and a post-war City of Angels consumed by malevolent greed. The profound impact of Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer's skillfully crafted portrait of Los Angeles' kingdom of gangster in 1949 is grounded in how delicately he peels away the layers of the shocking and violent nature of human beings, yet manages to deliver a soulful and emotional journey into the compassion of humaneness. Set against the background of an affluent world dominated by power at <more>
its most corrupt and evil, it deals with the relentless warfare between Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen Sean Penn , who 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 Sgt. John O'Mara Josh Brolin , a man who's come back from war, and can't quite figure out how to live in peace time. Ironically, with the outstanding Zombieland, Fleischer placed a group of ill-fated characters in an apocalyptic nightmare; the nightmarish hell of Gangster Squad is not sci-fi, but a fictional account of real life events that shaped our future and is prevalent in daily news headlines where innocent victims are killed in gang warfare. If there's one reason to this film, it's most definitely for Penn and Brolin's outstanding performances, well supported by Ryan Gosling as a charismatic cop, Nick Nolte as Chief Parker, Anthony Mackie as a switchblade-wielding cop, Giovanni Ribisi as a family man and electronics specialist, Robert Patrick as gunslinger Max Kennard, Emma Stone as Gosling's sweetheart and and Mireille Enos as O'Mara's wife. Although the film ultimately belongs to Penn and Brolin, it's a terrific ensemble piece where the faultless synergy and volatile energy between performers allow the characters to burst to life; Fleischer competently commands intimate moments that reveals the true nature of the characters, and vividly uses the language and visual dynamics of film to emphasise the world of the characters and how it motivates and controls their sometimes irrational behaviour A major contribution to the overall impact and success of Gangster Squad is Will Beall's exceptional screenplay. Beall, who launched his writing career in 2006 with the publication of his acclaimed first novel, L.A. Rex, after working for 10 years as a homicide detective and gang investigator with the Los Angeles Police Department, proves that if you write what you are familiar with, the truth and honesty of the telling results in superior storytelling that is provocative, commanding and laced with a wicked sense of humour. Fleischer knows how to make the most of a great script, and turns words into action that is visually arresting, spectacular and filled with meaningful intent. Los Angeles in the 40s was an era of affluence and corruption and Fleischer meticulously captures the period. He allows for a breathtaking visceral cinematic tour de force that culminates in an emotional connection between the audience and film; he masterfully uses the medium to bring the story to life. In one scene, when O'Mara vengefully approaches Cohen at Slapsy Maxie, the nightclub where Cohen spends his evenings dining with the public officials he keeps in his pocket, Fleischer uses Steve Jablonsky's powerful score to turn an ordinary event into extreme suspense; he places a Christmas Tree with all its trimmings in the midst of a thundering shootout, and through meticulous editing by Alan Baumgarten and James Herbert, the popping of bullets in effective slow-motion is intercut with smashing baubles. Another unforgettable moment in the film is when O'Mara bursts into his house to find out what happened to his heavily pregnant wife after the mobsters riddled their house with bullets. In the tradition of classic shootouts like Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde, Brian de Palma's The Untouchables, Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather, and Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch Fleischer pays respectful homage with Gangster Squad; the bloody deaths are voluptuous, shocking and poetic. Flawlessly lensed by Australian-born Dion Beebee, who studied in South Africa before moving abroad, the stylistic Film Noir approach, combined with a contemporary digital format, adds texture and ambiance to the period and gives the film a believable and authentic constructed realism. Beebee's 'nourish' lensing perfectly captures the conflicted lives of men imprisoned by greed and caught between the wholesomeness of family and decadence of corruption. From its shocking opening scene to its illuminating finale, Fleischer and his creative team immerse the audience into the reality of Los Angeles in the late forties. The reality allows for a real connection between the violence, compassion and camaraderie. Gangster Squad is also not just a film about violence, but a powerful statement of how crime and gangs can tear the fabric of family and society to shreds. Fleischer shows that violence in film can be graceful, and its poetic justice underlines the cruel and malicious nature of human beings and their intentional or inadvertent actions. If you enjoy crime films and human dramas with bite and aptitude, Gangster Squad provides ideal escapism into the past, allowing a harrowing story of corruption and evil to resonate and reflect our contemporary crime ridden cities.
Captivating and intense, but lacks some substance for those who can't "let it go and watch the movie" (by LindseyThePirate)
This movie has everything you could ask for, in an action-packed emotional thrill ride, provided that you are able to just let go, and let yourself to be engrossed. For those who prefer films that may have a little less predictability, or people that find themselves unable to maintain the "suspension of disbelief", this movie would be understandably less enjoyable.Right alongside moments that range from somewhat cringe-worthy, to positively grisly, there are enough instances of justice, and pleasant surprises to cause powerful feel-good moments just shortly after even the darkest of <more>
situations. I personally felt a constant paralyzing tension keeping me glued to my seat in the theater throughout the entire movie, and couldn't bring myself to leave and go to the bathroom.The cast and their acting is just about flawless, though admittedly a bit cliché at times , and the sets and cinematography are superb. Sean Penn is positively frightening, and shines in his role as the villain, while Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling perfectly portray the face of their vigilante-style band of misfits; The Gangster Squad.If you are familiar with the story that this movie is loosely based from, you may be disappointed by the fact that it is QUITE loosely based indeed. I feel that this makes is a likable, albeit somewhat predictable movie, but others who expect it to stick with the "real story" may not find it as enjoyable, despite the overall positive tone that the new adaption allows.Though the reviews seem to be a horse-a-piece, I recommend seeing it and judging for yourself, because it truly is an interesting thrill ride that will have you rooting for the good guys, tearing up from time to time, and cringing at the evil that Sean Penn is able to embody in an absolutely brilliant and stylish movie about good guys doing wrong to take down bad guys doing worse.
"The Untouchables" given a stylish glossy action packed updating (by phd_travel)
The Untouchables blueprint has been given a more high octane, fantastical, stylish, romantic treatment. A group of cops takes on the new mob boss of 1940s Los Angeles. The 40s atmosphere is colorfully captured by evocative cinematography and music.It's quite tense waiting to see which of the heroes survives and every encounter is quite nail biting. Expect some over the top machine gun fire, lots of fighting and even car chases.The new "King of Cool" Ryan Gosling and the surprisingly lovely Emma Stone have proved chemistry and their encounters ignite the screen. She has the old <more>
world glamor look in her 40s gowns.Josh Brolin steps into a new role for him - the hero role. Sean Penn is well cast as the evil boxer turned gangster and his ugly looks fit the part.It's a good start to the year for action movies.
Idea Based Upon Actual Events Not Related to Reality, But Fun (by brentmcg81)
I enjoyed it. But this is a violent movie. As adults we all should understand that when Hollywood states that a movie is based upon actual events, we should maintain our objectivity. I don't regret buying the book as a result of seeing the movie, but became disappointed in how far the movie deviated from reality.The movie is a fun thrill ride. I did not feel cheap after watching it. I thoroughly enjoyed the laugh out loud moments. That is real life.You don't have to worry about sending a flawed moral message to impressionable viewers. But there is violence. I will buy the Blue Ray of <more>
Fans of The Untouchables Will Certainly Enjoy this Gangster Movie (by claudio_carvalho)
In 1949, in Los Angeles, the ambitious and ruthless kingpin Mickey Cohen Sean Penn controls drugs, prostitution and gambling and has the local judge and police department in his pocket. When Sergeant John O'Mara Josh Brolin busts Mickey's brothel to rescue a naive newcomer in town, Police Chief Parker Nick Nolte summons him and offers to O'Mara to form an unofficial unit to destroy Mickey's facilities and shipments to take him down. O'Mara and his wife select four incorruptible cops to work with him. Then a fifth police officer joins the team in the beginning of a <more>
war against Mickey's empire of crime."Gangster Squad" is an entertaining movie based on the biography of the powerful and violent gangster Meyer Harris "Mickey" Cohen. This criminal indeed ended his days in Alcatraz but years later, sentenced twice for tax evasion and not for murder. Unfortunately the true story was not written this way.The cast is magnificent, with names such as Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Robert Patrick, Giovanni Ribisi among many others and the art direction and costumes is also excellent. The plot has many clichés and works like a cartoon, with the bullets occasionally hitting the heroes, but all of that is part of the entertainment. Fans of "The Untouchables" will certainly enjoy this effective gangster movie. My vote is eight.Title Brazil : "Caça aos Gângsteres" "Hunting Down the Gangsters"
The action is thrilling and the cast is dynamite! (by Hellmant)
'GANGSTER SQUAD': Four Stars Out of Five Director Ruben Fleischer's of 'ZOMBIELAND' and '30 MINUTES OR LESS' fame take on a gangster film about the LAPD officers who waged war on Mickey Cohen and his gang in the 1940s and 1950s. The script was written by Will Beall who's only previous writing experience is for the TV series 'CASTLE' and it was adapted from the book 'Tales from the Gangster Squad' by Paul Lieberman. It's highlighted by it's all-star cast including Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte, <more>
Giovanni Ribisi, Robert Patrick, Anthony Mackie and Michael Pena. If you don't take it too seriously and are just looking for a good time it's a lot of fun and packs some killer thrills and beautiful visuals.The film is set in 1949 Los Angeles when Mickey Cohen Penn was the most powerful gangster in the California criminal underworld. Chief Bill Parker Nolte makes it his mission to stop Cohen, with whatever means necessary, so he picks Sgt. John O'Mara Brolin to lead up a special task force, after O'Mara recently saved a young girl from one of Cohen's deranged thugs James Hebert . This doesn't sit well with O'Mara's pregnant wife Connie Mireille Enos but she reluctantly gives him her support and helps him handpick his team. Famous gangster-killer Max Kennard Patrick , his partner Navidad Ramirez Pena , wire-tapper Conway Keeler Ribisi and Detective Coleman Harris Mackie all join the team. O'Mara asks his buddy Sgt. Jerry Wooters Gosling , who's sleeping with Cohen's girl Grace Faraday Stone , to join the team as well but Wooters turns him down. Then Jerry witnesses the viscous killing of a young boy, by Cohen's men, and has a change of heart.The movie is all style over substance but it's beautiful that way. The action is thrilling and the cast is dynamite especially Gosling and Penn, who chew through the scenery . It's always pretty to look at and about as cool as a 40s gangster flick can be. It's completely over the top and not believable in any way but it's just a lot of fun like that. You of course can't compare it to classic gangster films like 'THE GODFATHER', 'GOODFELLAS' or 'THE DEPARTED' because it doesn't have the character depth or intriguing plot but it's still as cool as most B gangster/action flicks out there. It wants to be 'THE UNTOUCHABLES' and it doesn't quite live up to that either which is classic as well . It lies somewhere more in between 'UNTOUCHABLES' and 1991's 'MOBSTERS' starring Christian Slater .Watch our movie review show 'MOVIE TALK' at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v K5qSQfmiLqM
Director Ruben Fleischer's Zombieland was a riot, with plenty of fun in its fantasy premise of a group left fending for its survival against a zombie apocalypse, but gets all serious here with his treatment of Gangster Squad, set in the 40s post WWII Los Angeles where its riddled with crime and corruption, with gangsters owning every turf and calling the shots in the running of the city. A few good men get rounded up by a common ideal to take back their city, starting with getting rid of head gangster Mickey Cohen Sean Penn .By the time this film runs into its 30 minute mark, you'd <more>
see all the shades of Brian De Palma's Untouchables, where instead of Capone, we have Cohen, who got introduced to audiences in a more sadistic fashion, making De Niro's scene with the baseball bat look like a stroll in the park, setting the violent tone that's to pepper the film at every opportunity. And given today's standards, who would blame Fleischer in making this ultra-bloody, especially when it boils down to fisticuffs and the bloodying of any pummeling to the face, and expending plenty of lead through vintage machine guns, which pushed back the film's release after the infamous Aurora, Colorado massacre which required scenes to be reshot.Then we have Josh Brolin as Sgt John O'Mara, given the green light by weary police chief Parker Nick Nolte to go under the radar and assemble a crack team of his own to use any means possible to wrest control from Cohen, and cripple the gangster's operations, with a Mission: Impossible styled disavowing hanging over their heads should any of them be caught. If this doesn't sound like Elliot Ness gathering his troops, I don't know what is. Dogged by an inherent sense of righteousness and honour, O'Mara assembles the titular crack squad consisting of marksman Max Kennard Robert Patrick hidden behind thick makeup , his unofficial understudy tag-along Navidad Ramirez Michael Pena , intelligence Conway Keeler Giovanni Ribisi , Coleman Harris Anthony Mackie with throwing knife skills that got severely underused, and then the Romeo of the lot Sgt Jerry Wooters, whose romance with Cohen's moll Grace Faraday Emma Stone, literally a flower vase role brought about an edge to the team.And just like the Untouchables, with its stylish art direction and production values to recreate the aura and romanticism of its early American era, the drama unfortunately centers around a handful of its leads, without giving much of the other supporting characters screen time to get to know them beyond their single-ability that brought them to the fight. And even then we don't get beyond O'Mara's sense of duty, Wooters' rather maverick ways and romance with Grace that didn't threaten the dynamics of the group nor put him very dangerously close to Cohen's gun-sights. This film could have been a lot more with deeper character study since we have five very different kinds of cops each with their own personal agenda brought to the table, but we get none. This instead got traded for its stunning visuals, a combination of slow-motion, stylized action sequences ranging from montages of raids the Gangster Squad undertakes to close Cohen's various operations, to personal one on one fisticuffs, since Cohen is after all a mobster who got to where he is through sheer professional boxing prowess and experience. Camera-work, CGed or otherwise, also made quite an impact with its fluid motions to capture the crux of any situation.There's little to wow on the narrative side of things, since plot development moved in very expected fashion. Probably the sole interesting peak would be how O'mara's wife Connie Mireille Enos got involved in handpicking the Gangster Squad, which boiled down to a pragmatic, selfish and very valid real life reason of keeping her husband alive in a job known to attract Trouble, and surrounding him with people blessed with the necessary skill-set to get their mission accomplished.