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Gangster Squad (Blu-ray+DVD)
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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.]]>
Top Customer Reviews
As the story opens, Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) is staking out his criminal turf, while most of the police force has been paid to look the other way. The police chief (a grizzled Nick Nolte) taps honest police sergeant John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) to set up an off-the-books gangster squad. With the help of his wife, O'Mara picks five other police officers prepared to take on Cohen and his mob. Among them is Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), O'Mara's army buddy, who also happens to have a very dangerous thing going with Cohen's moll (Emma Stone). The gangster squad gets to work, and Mickey Cohen soon becomes aware that his operation is being dismantled right under his nose. Cohen will come after the gangster squad, and their friends and families, setting up a big finale at an L.A. hotel.
The pacing of the movie is perhaps a little uneven, but its best moments make up for it. The gunfights are pretty exciting, and the movie makes the good guys worry about the collateral damage. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are quite good together, as in a different way are Josh Brolin and Mireille Enos, who plays his wife. The movie has an old-fashioned ending, but that is the point. Recommended.
John has a pregnant wife (Mireille Enos) who would rather leave town than have her husband take on the mobster. Saddled with the fact it won't happen, she helps her husband assemble a squad which includes Jerry (Ryan Gosling) a playboy cop who is seeing Mickey's girlfriend (Emma Stone). Emma Stone has played too many down to earth women to pull off a swanky mobster girl. She looked like a kid who was playing in her mommy's make-up box. Perhaps that was the genius of the film as she was to suppose to be a small town girl out of place.
Jerry uses a pick up line from 1941 comedy "Hold That Ghost" when he talks about playing post office. Again, was this bad writing or would have someone used a line from a film? At times the characters acted like they came out of "Sin City," stereotypes of themselves. Where do they get all these new Packards to shoot up?
The film had some good lines such as Sean Penn: "All good things must one day be burnt to the ground for insurance money." There is enough humor in the film to keep it from becoming dry.
Now the bad news is that Mickey Cohen was actually brought down by the IRS and not the gangster squad. His girlfriend Liz (not Grace)did three years because she wouldn't testify against him. So as far as facts go, rate this well below an Oliver Stone film. I liked the film, but not because there was any truth to it.
Parental Guide: F-bombs. No sex. Stripper with large pasties.
Most of the characters are fairly one-dimensional, which does not give the actors much room for nuance. Out of the leads, Sean Penn puts in the stand-out performance as mobster Mickey Cohen. He seems to relish playing a truly diabolical dude. Josh Brolin does pretty well as the simmering, itchy trigger fingered good guy, but I think Russell Crowe put in a more complex and interesting performance with a similar role in 'LA Confidential'. With little room for exploration given the source material, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone seem content to phone in their respective roles as suave, carefree partner and femme fatale.
Overall, if you're like me and you find it intrinsically enjoyable to watch gangsters fire tommy guns at one another, you won't regret putting in the two hours to watch this movie.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gangster Squad is very underrated. Its a very well made, thrilling, fast paced and engrossing gangster movie. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Films4Life
Very well scripted - very well acted - very well casted - Good stuff !Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
Came on time. The movie itself is prwtty good if you like movies within the time period well done for a newer styled movie.Published 2 months ago by M.D.Geist
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