A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.
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
The film gives the impression that the Gangster Squad were responsible for Mickey Cohen's arrest. In reality, Cohen was arrested in 1950 for the more mundane crime of tax evasion. He was also not sent to Alcatraz until 1961, over a decade after the film's time frame. See more »
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.
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All style and no heart in badly directed 40'ies gangster-western
I vote: 10 idea, 9 the cars, 8 shooting, 7 footage, 6 cast, 5 humor, 4 excitement, 3 believability, 2 execution, 1 Sean Penn.
And this is from a film lover which loves most of what Sean Penn delivers on and behind the screen. The director really messed this film up, obviously wanting Penn to be a Caricature of some lame gangster here. I think he realized what an amateur the director was, and gave up, to start playing like it was a joke Because this film is that - a joke.
I'll sum it up to a 4, for the wasted potential in a movie which promises I certainly will keep distance to next time Ruben Fleischer directs a movie, though I liked Zombieland, which was funny. Has he tried making this like Zombieland? I just wonder...
Even the kids and the births in this movie are violent, and there's put quite a lot of nastiness and graphic violence into this flick, but the problem is that it's far from what it wants to be. It's colorful and quite beautifully shot, many of the scenes. It's almost like a comic book.
It's probably the most boring gangster-flick I've seen, and the cast promises more. So far I'm glad I don't know what the budget of this is, though it's likely to be more than a handful of millions, because it's a waste of money and potential.
If you love the Godfather, Tarantino, The Untouchables and LA Confidential, stay far away from this. If you love good films, stay away from this!
The folks behind this don't deserve the money. Except Nolte, which actually gives a good role as head of police. The trailer gives it all. All style, nothing else, the film tries to be a bad ass movie, but falls on the ground as a flying turkey.
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