Gangster Squad

Published August 18, 2013

Gangster Squad

Film info

  • Title Gangster Squad
  • Director Ruben Fleischer
  • Year 2013
  • Run time 1hr 53m
  • Genres Action, Crime, Thriller, Drama
  • Tagline No names, no badges, no mercy

Los Angeles, 1949. Ruthless, Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) runs the show in this town . . . that is, until a crew of LAPD officers led by Sgt. John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling) wage war on his empire. Gangster Squad also stars Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Peña, and Robert Patrick.

Live Blog

Time Comment
1:36 They should put the Land back on the Hollywood sign.
3:25 Another film chock full of beautiful cars.
5:58 Maybe it should say Violentland rather than Hollywoodland.
9:38 “You’re kind and you don’t talk too much.” Proper husband qualities there.
17:15 “Just one man did that?” So many more films should have that phrase in them.
20:20 Lots of this era is so beautiful, except for maternity tops.
30:42 “What kills me, is you think you’re something new.” Ouch.
32:57 They were shouting about their plan in the middle of the street. Hardly shocking that someone overheard!
34:38 Eek, the getaway car needs a push start!
39:15 Ryan Gosling does rage weirdly.
42:33 Those pauses when shots are fired remind me of Batman. Bang, biff, shazam, etc.
48:59 These people are quite tricky to understand, even more so with cigarettes in their mouth.
55:53 Ugh. Why can’t gangsters just shoot people? Do they have to keep having more and more extravagant ways of killing?
1:05:11 “Your dad’s a genius. Go tell your mum that.”
1:10:11 You just get the feeling they are celebrating too soon.
1:16:35 Oh god, it’s all gonna go wrong. I can’t stand it.
1:24:36 I suppose normally when you do the “if you want to hit something, hit me” you don’t expect them to do it.
1:34:39 Imagine renting up a whole hotel for your own convenience.
1:44:20 Mm, they got a beach all to themselves. I guess he deserves that.


The original appeal of this one was, of course, Ryan Gosling. Initially upon seeing the trailer, we were keen to watch it, but then having abandoned Lawless because of its unfollowable plot and intelligible accents, we put this one off and off. Eventually, it was the right time for a bit of gangster action!

Overall, I thought this was a good, strong movie - entertaining in the right places, moving in others, and with plenty of action to move the story along. I did think it got a bit too violent in places, and some of it was a bit grim to watch, but I suppose that’s just trying to be hard-hitting. It also felt like it was missing any serious chemistry, between any of the main players.

The relationship between Gosling and Brolin didn’t develop until they were in the midst of the final fight. Stone and Gosling were so much better in Crazy, Stupid, Love. The only one who really seemed to get the right emotional impact was Giovanni Ribisi.

Don’t let that put you off though, it’s still worth a viewing if you’ve got a spare couple of hours.

**Rating: **4/5

Rating: 4 / 5

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