Gangster Squad
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Gangster Squad

3.5 2
Director: Ruben Fleischer, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin

Cast: Ruben Fleischer, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin

     
 

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An elite police squad fights to save the city of Los Angeles from a power-hungry East Coast mobster in this gritty police-detective film set in the 1940s, and based on Paul Lieberman's seven-part Los Angeles Times series "Tales From the Gangster Squad." Jewish gangster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) is a Brooklyn-born boxer-turned-L.A. kingpin

Overview

An elite police squad fights to save the city of Los Angeles from a power-hungry East Coast mobster in this gritty police-detective film set in the 1940s, and based on Paul Lieberman's seven-part Los Angeles Times series "Tales From the Gangster Squad." Jewish gangster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) is a Brooklyn-born boxer-turned-L.A. kingpin whose brutal ambition has earned him the respect of the Italian mob. He's the kind of crime boss who dines with judges and police chiefs, but still isn't quite sure which fork to use when it comes time for the main course. Just when it begins to look like Cohen owns every cop in the city, however, LAPD Chief Parker (Nick Nolte) enlists honest cop Sgt. John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) to assemble a top-secret task force that will burn the vicious gangster's thriving criminal empire to the ground. With the help of his pregnant wife Connie (Mireille Enos), Sgt. O'Mara handpicks smooth-talking Sgt. Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), heroin-hating Officer Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie), deadeye Officer Max Kennard (Robert Patrick), and brilliant wireman Officer Conwell Keeler (Giovanni Ribisi) for the task at hand. Joined by Officer Kennard's tough sidekick Officer Navidad Ramirez (Michael Peña) as they set out for their first job, the squad strike fast and hard at the core of Cohen's operation. Meanwhile, the charming Sgt. Wooters flirts with danger by starting an affair with Cohen's smoldering paramour Grace Faraday (Emma Stone). Shortly after learning that Cohen is plotting a power play that will cement his stronghold on the city, however, the squad are unexpectedly compromised, putting the lives of all of their families in danger and leaving them with little choice but to step up their efforts and target the ruthless gangster directly. Should they live to accomplish their mission, Sgt. O'Mara and his men will prevent L.A. from becoming a hive of criminal activity like Chicago or New York. But Cohen isn't going down without a fight, and if he falls, the entire city will feel the aftershock.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Don't be duped by the generic title, because on the heels of his sophomore-slump comedy 30 Minutes or Less, Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer is back in top form with Gangster Squad, a pulpy action throwback that effortlessly achieves its goal to entertain thanks to a top-shelf cast, dazzling direction, and a fast-paced screenplay chock-full of snappy 1940s-style patter. Although it arguably lacks the prestige and dramatic impact of its most obvious predecessor, Brian De Palma's The Untouchables, Fleischer's third feature rarely stops to reload while bending every crime-flick cliché imaginable into a relentlessly thrilling tale of cops versus gangsters. Inspired by actual events, Gangster Squad opens by introducing us to Jewish gangster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn), a Brooklyn-born boxer-turned-L.A. kingpin whose brutal ambition earned him the respect of the Italian mob. He's the kind of gangster who dines with judges and police chiefs, but still isn't quite sure which fork to use when it comes time for the main course. Just when it begins to look like Cohen owns every cop in the city, however, LAPD Chief Parker (Nick Nolte) enlists honest cop Sgt. John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) to assemble a top-secret task force that will burn the vicious gangster's thriving criminal empire to the ground. With the help of his pregnant wife Connie (Mireille Enos), Sgt. O'Mara handpicks smooth-talking Sgt. Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), heroin-hating Officer Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie), deadeye Officer Max Kennard (Robert Patrick), and brilliant wireman Officer Conwell Keeler (Giovanni Ribisi) for the task at hand. Joined by Officer Kennard's tough sidekick Officer Navidad Ramirez (Michael Peña) as they set out for their first job, the squad strike fast and hard at the core of Cohen's operation. Meanwhile, the charming Sgt. Wooters flirts with danger by starting an affair with Cohen's smoldering paramour Grace Faraday (Emma Stone). Shortly after learning that Cohen is plotting a power play that will cement his stronghold on the city, however, the squad are unexpectedly compromised, putting the lives of all of their families in danger and leaving them with little choice but to step up their efforts and target the ruthless gangster directly. Should they live to accomplish their mission, Sgt. O'Mara and his men will prevent L.A. from becoming a hive of criminal activity like Chicago or New York. But Cohen isn't going down without a fight, and if he falls, the entire city will feel the aftershock. Originally slated to hit screens in September of 2012 but pushed back for reshoots in the wake of the Colorado theater massacre (the original trailer prominently featured a scene in which Tommy-gun-toting gangsters shot their way through a movie screen as a terrified audience scrambled for cover), Fleischer's take on the true story of Mickey Cohen merges vivid period details with hyper-modern filmmaking techniques to striking effect. Visually arresting from the opening shot of a sinewy Cohen taking his aggression out on a punching bag, it may not be the ideal film to release amidst swelling passions on both sides of the U.S. gun debate, but for better or worse it's precisely the kind of lurid, bullet-laden crime drama that's been Hollywood's bread and butter since the days of James Cagney -- so much so that it's almost shocking you never hear Cohen shout "You'll never take me alive, coppers!" while spitting lead at Sgt. O'Mara and company. As Cohen, screen veteran Penn exudes droopy-eyed menace while casually tearing his enemies in half and delivering thinly veiled threats to inquisitive reporters, and woe unto the henchman who bears bad news, because chances are they'll end up burned alive or on the wrong end of a power drill. Because of this, Penn often comes close to turning this real-life character into a sadistic cartoon villain, but even when he's threatening to fly over the top, his screen-chewing antics certainly succeed in earning our ire. On the right side of the law, Brolin is appropriately hard-boiled as an honest cop barely keeping his head above water in a sea of corruption, and Gosling provides much welcomed comic relief while Nolte croaks out his lines with the harsh rasp of a grizzled vet who's been chain-smoking tailpipes. At the same time, Patrick brings some likeability to the proceedings as the cop who favors a six-shooter over a shotgun, and who would have been comfortable taming the West alongside Wyatt Earp. On the visual front, Zombieland fans taken by the arresting style of Fleischer's eye-popping feature debut will certainly find plenty to please their pupils this time as well. In a number of scenes it seems readily apparent that the director is striving for iconic imagery, and with the help of cinematographer Dion Beebe he occasionally achieves it. Fleischer's flashy flourishes may cheapen the film in the eyes of traditionalists, but they ultimately serve well to distinguish Gangster Squad and prove the perfect complement to freshman screenwriter Will Beall's punchy, vivacious script, which features a surprising amount of humor as the squad establish their rapport and refine their techniques. As with most films, it's difficult to tell exactly how Gangster Squad will age and whether or not it will achieve classic status, but with all of the various elements coalescing as well as they do, it's a pretty good sign that we never have time to stop and think about it until the last shot has been fired and the final blow has been dealt.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/23/2013
UPC:
0883929241576
Original Release:
2013
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Home Video
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:53:00
Sales rank:
4,932

Special Features

Commentary with Director Ruben Fleischer; The Gangland Files; The Set-Up (Focus Points); Rogues' Gallery: Mickey Cohen; Tough Guys With Style; Deleted Scenes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sean Penn Mickey Cohen
Ryan Gosling Sgt. Jerry Wooters
Josh Brolin Sgt. John O'Mara
Emma Stone Grace Faraday
Anthony Mackie Officer Coleman Harris
Michael Peña Officer Navidad Ramirez
Giovanni Ribisi Officer Conwell Keeler
Robert Patrick Officer Max Kennard
Nick Nolte Chief Parker
Holt McCallany Karl Lockwood
Mireille Enos Connie O'Mara
Troy Garity Wevrock
Wade Andrew Williams Rourke
James Hebert Mitch Racine
Ambyr Childers Milk-Skinned Blonde
Mac Brandt Bruiser
Brandon Molale Jimmy "Bockscar" Knox
Michael Papajohn Mike "The Flea"
Jeff Wolfe Giovanni Vacarezza
Anthony Molinari Lorenzo Molinari
Austin Highsmith Patty
Neil Koppel Max Solomon
Jack McGee Lt. Quincannon
Evan Jones Neddy Herbert
James Carpinello Johnny Stomp
Austin Abrams Pete
Lucy Davenport Slapsy Maxie's Singer
Sullivan Stapleton Jack Whalen
John Aylward Judge Carter
Dennis Cockrum Elmer Jackson
Jack Conley Sheriff Biscailuz
Riel Paley City Hall Reporter
Michael C. Mahon City Hall Reporter
David Fleischer City Hall Reporter
Josh Pence Officer Daryl Gates
De'Aundre Bonds Duke Del-Red
Maxwell Perry Cotton Keeler's Son
Haley Strode Keeler's Wife
Scott Beehner Club Figaro Reporter
Matt Knudsen Club Figaro Reporter
Lucas Fleischer Club Figaro Reporter
Jon Polito Dragna
Lance Barber Comanche
Michael Bacall Comanche
Dale Gibson Burbank Cop
Rick Marcus Burbank Cop
Mickey Giacomazzi Hatchetman
Caz Milostan Desk Officer
Don Harvey Officer Funston
Darrell Craig Davis Officer Wyler
Anthony de Longis Burbank Jail Thug
Michael Owen Burbank Jail Thug
Tom Hallick El Dorado Investor
Esther Scott Letty
Jonny Coyne Grimes
Christopher Doyle Edgar Beaumont
Max Daniels Jeffrey Clark
Danny Wynands Grenade Goon
Derek Mears Bridge Goon
Yvette Tucker Carmen Miranda
Derek Graf El Dorado Guard
Anne Marie Leighton Crying Woman

Technical Credits
Ruben Fleischer Director,Executive Producer
Maher Ahmad Production Designer
Alan E. Baumgarten Editor
Will Beall Screenwriter
Dion Beebe Cinematographer
Bruce Berman Executive Producer
Iraina Crenshaw Makeup
Roxy D'Alonzo Makeup
Camille Henderson Makeup
Edouard Henriques Makeup
James Herbert Editor
Steve Jablonsky Score Composer
Vincent Lascoumes Asst. Director
Paul Lieberman Executive Producer
Dan Lin Producer
Elizabeth Mbousia Makeup
Kevin McCormick Producer
Lydia Milars Makeup
Bart Mixon Makeup
Timothy O'Brien Art Director
John Papsidera Casting
Jon Silk Co-producer
Michael Tadross Producer
Thomas T. Taylor Art Director
Tinsley Studio Makeup Special Effects
Mary Zophres Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Gangster Squad
1. Scene 1 [9:53]
2. Scene 2 [10:56]
3. Scene 3 [7:44]
4. Scene 4 [10:46]
5. Scene 5 [10:02]
6. Scene 6 [3:41]
7. Scene 7 [6:51]
8. Scene 8 [9:23]
9. Scene 9 [10:41]
10. Scene 10 [10:55]
11. Scene 11 [7:48]
12. Scene 12 [5:20]

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Gangster Squad 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Nadina85 More than 1 year ago
Movies that are "inspired by true events" should always be followed by a disclaimer that it will play fast and loose with both the historical accuracy and details of the actual story. In all fairness, I really should've should known better. Basically, Gangster Squad is one of those movies that talks the talk but it doesn't walk the walkIt's superficial in that it looks the part but in no way can it run with the big boys. It's all bark and no bite, see. I think you get the point. It actually reminded me a lot of my recent Great Gatsby experience in that the focus seems to be more on the outer surface than the inner core. There's no arguing that it's a beauty to look at --- it's slick and stylised with a neo-noir sort of feel---but the violence is cartoonish, the dialogue hollow and the characters are all parodies of what mobsters and cops should be. We have this amazingly talented cast, yet no one really manages to break out of their stock gangster stereotype. It felt like they were all fighting eachother for the spotlight and the result was that not one of them managed to shine. I guess you really can't do much with a bland character thanks, in part, to poor development and writing. And then there's Sean Penn. There's too much drama, too much make-up, too much of everything. He's way over-the-top with his characterisation of Cohen and hecame off comical, not dangerous. Essentially, he was the embodiment of every stereotypical villainous trait you could think of. It was near impossible to take him seriously! Even Gosling, who is apparently super choosy about his roles, was less than impressive. Well, as less than impressive as a specimen such as himself can possibly be. This is one of those films you've seen before, only everyone else did it better. Don't let your expectations get the best of you like they did with me. While it's all wrapped up in shiny and pretty packaging, it's totally lacking where it counts the most. Very few movies can pull off being so high on action and artfully shot (i.e. - Drive). Gangster Squad is shooting blanks.
Beasto More than 1 year ago
gangster squad is badass, it's got tons of awesome action and great use of slow motion, and i LOVED the last 8 minutes of the movie, the last 8 minutes just rooooocked lol, this is already on my best action movies ever list lol, this and public enemies lol, and also, josh brolin was a badass lol, he's such a great actor :)