Spoil-Free Reviews!: Gangster Squad

Its about 3 AM on the 11th and I just come back from the premiere of Gangster Squad.  The movie that most people will either recognize as the movie where the most beautiful couple in movies does it again (Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling) or as the movie that got absolutely fucking shafted by Rotten Tomatoes (I refuse to link to that page because it upsets me just so much).

Gangster squad is extremely stylized and often times corny.  But corny in a way that is a staple of the genre, if you’ve ever seen a good 1940’s-1950’s gangster movie or like me if you’ve played hours of L.A. Noire you’ve grown to love the hack and slash manner of of the dialogue.  Every scene was full of sweeping speeches with a slashing punchline to end all of them.  But even when wonderfully corny writing is delivered by excellent actors it sounds genius Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, and Emma Stone manage to carry this movie on their backs to take what could have been garbage and make it a very entertaining movie.  Will it win an Oscar? No. Nor should it (but honestly by the looks of the nominee list this year you really didn’t have to be that good of a movie to get a nod).  But if every movie was an Oscar winner it would be a terrible terrible place to be a movie fan, I mean imagine if every movie was Citizen Kane, you’d kill yourself from boredom.  The movie does have it’s pitfalls though: it is the first movie I’ve seen in a long time that was too short.  I would have liked to care about the characters a little more by the end of the movie the character development was lacking.  Also Cohen was essentially the prince of darkness, yes, it may be a more realistic take on the legendary gangster but I do prefer a movie gangster to be less flat, a little charisma or a moment of likeability.

Key Moments:

Like any good round ’em up and kill ’em movie the drafting scene was essential, especially Officer Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie).

Ryan Gosling “turning” the scene marked in the trailer by the line: “You can’t kill me you’re a cop.”
“Not anymore.”

And my favorite scene the final raid on a Cohen establishment.


Casting: 10/10

Acting (Main Cast): 9/10

Acting (Supporting Cast): 5/10

Directing: 7/10

Writing: 8/10 (I loved how corny it was)

Plot: 7/10

Characters: 4/10

Memorable Scenes: +2

Emma Stone: +2 (I would’ve given her + but I think that might ruin the curve a bit)

Genre Specific:

Action Sequences: 9/10

Fan Service: +3 (Vigilante, Cop, War, Period piece)

Overall Rating: 7.18/10 (great)

Pop Culture Che Suggests: 4/5 (See in theaters a few times)


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