265 user 417 critic

Gangster Squad (2013)

2:25 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

It's 1949 Los Angeles, the city is run by gangsters and a malicious mobster, Mickey Cohen. Determined to end the corruption, John O'Mara assembles a team of cops, ready to take down the ruthless leader and restore peace to the city.



, (book)
1,307 ( 277)
4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.

Director: Derek Cianfrance
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A middle-aged husband's life changes dramatically when his wife asks him for a divorce. He seeks to rediscover his manhood with the help of a newfound friend, Jacob, learning to pick up girls at bars.

Directors: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Stars: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore
Drive I (2011)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A mysterious Hollywood stuntman and mechanic moonlights as a getaway driver and finds himself trouble when he helps out his neighbor.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.

Director: George Clooney
Stars: Paul Giamatti, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Lawless (2012)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Set in Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a trio of bootlegging brothers are threatened by a new special deputy and other authorities angling for a cut of their profits.

Director: John Hillcoat
Stars: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce
Fracture (2007)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An attorney, intent on climbing the career ladder toward success, finds an unlikely opponent in a manipulative criminal he is trying to prosecute.

Director: Gregory Hoblit
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The Feds try to take down notorious American gangsters John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd during a booming crime wave in the 1930s.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, Christian Stolte
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia.

Director: David O. Russell
Stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Mr. David Marks was suspected but never tried for killing his wife Katie who disappeared in 1982, but the truth is eventually revealed.

Director: Andrew Jarecki
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The relationship of a contemporary married couple, charting their evolution over a span of years by cross-cutting between time periods.

Director: Derek Cianfrance
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, John Doman
Flight I (2012)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Denzel Washington, Nadine Velazquez, Don Cheadle
Action | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Two top CIA operatives wage an epic battle against one another after they discover they are dating the same woman.

Director: McG
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy


Cast overview, first billed only:
Mitch Racine (as James Hébert)
Milk Skinned Blonde
Detective Sgt. Will Hendricks
Jimmy 'Bockscar' Knox
Mike 'The Flea'
Lorenzo Molinari
Neil Koppel ...
Max Solomon


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 Seargant John O'Mara, a former World War II soldier, whose goal is to settle with his family in a peaceful Los Angeles. Police Chief William Parker decides to form a special unit whose mission is to take down Cohen, and chooses O'Mara to lead the unit. O'Mara chooses 4 cops and asks another cop and vet, Jerry Wooters to join him but Wooters is not interested. But when he witnesses the murder of a young boy by Cohen's people, he joins them, and they decide to take apart Cohen's organization. Cohen wonders if a rival is going after him, but eventually he realizes it's the cops. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


No names. No badges. No mercy.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 January 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fuerza antigángster  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$17,070,347 (USA) (11 January 2013)


$45,996,718 (USA) (29 March 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone previously played love interests in Crazy Stupid Love (2011)_. See more »


Daryl Gates didn't join the LAPD until September 16th 1949 and didn't become Chief Parker's driver until many years later. See more »


[first lines]
Sgt. John O'Mara: Every man carries a badge. Some symbol of his allegiance. His were the scars of a boxer who'd used his fists to climb the social ladder of the mob. A Jew who'd gained the respect of wops through a homicidal lust. He'd sworn an oath of violence. And his master? His own insatiable will to power. He wanted to own this town. His name was Mickey Cohen.
See more »


Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Gangster Squad/A Haunted House (2013) See more »


Big Jay's Hop
Written and Performed by Big Jay McNeely
Courtesy of Vee-Jay Limited Partnership
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Stereotype-ridden Snorefest
26 January 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Though made for a plethora of reasons, a film need only achieve one goal to be successful: it needs to be entertaining. Engaging characters, good performances, and a story that is engrossing, even if a bit cardboard or cliché. When a film ultimately fails, it is because its characters are wooden or stereotypical, the storyline is boring, and the only question it might raise is, "was this intended to be sleep therapy for a study on insomnia?" Set that film in 1949 and make it about gangsters and cops, and you've got Gangster Squad, a film so inept that Ruben Fleischer should win an award for managing to make a violent action movie that could put an Olympic sprinter to sleep in mid-stride.

Josh Brolin stars as Sgt. Something-or-other, a no-nonsense cop who is recruited by the grizzled police chief (Nick Nolte, who eats sandpaper, apparently) to stop a gangster from taking over Los Angeles. Brolin broods as the take-no-prisoners Sarge, his squad rarely referring to him by name because they probably can't remember his name either. Despite how stylized the trailers may seem, how action-packed and exciting it promises to be, this is little more than a stable of stereotypes loosed upon mid-twentieth-century Los Angeles and hoping not to bore it half to death. It becomes exhausting to try to care about what's going on in the film because the characters haven't got a shred of credibility between them; the only enjoyment comes from Robert Patrick, himself packed tightly into the stereotype of the sharpshooting old westerner.

Sean Penn's utterly ham-fisted Mickey Cohen is taken down, but who cares? The film never makes you care about the struggle against him or the city under his rule; he's ruthless, he's tough as nails, and he's every other stereotype of the evil gangster that Sean Penn could look up the day after he got cast and decided to cram into the character. Every single actor in this film has been utterly fantastic in other films; how could the ensemble be so frightfully uninteresting? The utterly versatile and likable Ryan Gosling is so bland and watered-down that he seems confused as to why he is even in the film. Emma Stone is rendered to eye candy, a crime given her considerable talents.

Yet, as contrived as the characters are, it doesn't come close to touching how terrible the script is. Penn mugs at the camera, his only character direction seemingly "sound more angry" or "be more gangster-y." The film does itself a disservice to not show Cohen's rise to power- it wants the audience to see how powerful Cohen is, but killing his own men for their ineptitude and eating a steak dinner at a fancy restaurant does nothing to imbue the fear that Mickey is supposed to represent into the script. He quite honestly seems rather harmless, and without a villain to care about, the gangster squad's mission to tackle said villain becomes even more pointless.

The real tragedy here is the fact that for two hours, there are guns firing, flashy action sequences and big period set pieces, yet none of it seems all that interesting. It needed to be longer; it needed to go deeper. Having Sarge's wife tell the audience that he'll pick duty over family is supposed to be meaningful, but the scene is unnecessary- the opening sequence with Brolin's character tells everyone that. Too much time is spent between characters needlessly talking exposition at the audience. Time better spent developing a camaraderie between the squad members is instead spent on slow-motion sequences or on Brolin's chin-set, Mickey-Cohen-is-bad speeches. If Mickey Cohen is so terrible, why doesn't a film about his downfall just show the audience that? Not to say that Gangster Squad is completely bereft of enjoyment. The period setting was very well done, with some magnificent costume and set design. It may have been senseless and boring, but at least it felt like it was boring in 1949 and wasn't really out of place. A chase sequence early on with some vintage automobiles is excellently handled, filled with some great explosive tension, figuratively and literally. The film handles most of its gunplay and action sequences quite well, it's just a shame that all the bullets are coming from guns shot by gunmen and are flying at targets that are equally vapid and meaningless. These aren't characters, they're shells, into which an actor was poured and just told to act like a single-line description from an old pulp novel about gangsters.

Despite a moment here or there of decent action, there's nothing redeemable about the entire experience that is Gangster Squad. It is empty, boring, and ultimately will leave the audience feeling... well, nothing. What should have been an excellent period film with gangsters and cops with some depth and character exploration is instead ripe with brevity, with everything thrown at the screen wrapped in a stereotype with so little substance, you can almost see through Mickey Cohen.

Check out my profile for links to my other reviews!

71 of 122 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Sean Penn is terrible as Mickey Cohen helgahelment
Ryan Gosling... Really? ahamoudhy
100 things I learned from Gangster Squad alifeatthemovies
Why can't movies be just entertaining anymore spotramer
Throwing his badge into the ocean? gunnershiloh
Honestly, if you hated this movie probably took it WAY too seriously! cjhestand-668-550616
Discuss Gangster Squad (2013) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: