Critic Reviews

40

Metascore

Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
The best thing about Gangster Squad is how they got the 1940s accoutrements right.
75
Gangster Squad is a gang war drama built on Western conventions, a rootin' tootin', Camel-smokin', whiskey swillin' shoot'em up.
63
Philadelphia Inquirer
Penn's over-the-top tirades and bullying threats are still there - it's a wild and woolly performance that isn't always as menacing as perhaps the actor intended it to be.
63
Gangster Squad provides a welcome burst of heat and color, even if those qualities are more illusory than real and subject to a fast fade.
60
Instead of expanding their sights, Fleischer and Beall narrow them, into a repetitive and increasingly exhausting series of shootouts. By the end, those guns might as well be held by extras, rather than some of the most talented actors of our time.
60
Made up of synthetics rather than whole cloth, this lurid concoction superficially gets by thanks to a strong cast and jazzy period detail, but its cartoonish contrivances fail to convince and lack any of the depth, feeling or atmosphere of genre stand-bearers like "L.A. Confidential."
50
Brolin and Gosling are both supposed to be playing World War II veterans who bring their knowledge of battle into the tough turf of the streets, but that's just a concept that the sketchy, half-baked script tosses out there.
50
Josh Brolin plays the leader of the gangster squad as a kind of dedicated dunce, which is appropriate considering their clumsy antics. Ryan Gosling has more nuance as his right-hand man, but Emma Stone is completely out of her element as a slinky film noir heroine, a walking anachronism.
50
In the last five minutes the film shifts gears and offers a tribute to law enforcement. But this tacked-on resolution is as sticky and fake as Sean Penn's make-up job.
40
The soul of the era is missing, and with it any reason to care. In Fleischer's hands, the high-stakes shootouts are as stylish as a GQ spread, but it's nearly impossible to figure out who's zoomin' who.
30
Mr. Beall, a former LAPD cop, has written a script so devoid of feeling that the cartoons blur into thin line drawings, while what's been done with the marvelous Ms. Stone - i.e. next to nothing - is downright criminal.
25
This movie made my ears hurt. Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and James Ellroy could have turned this pulp into insinuating jazz. What's here is a cartoonish bore.

More Critic Reviews

See all external reviews for Gangster Squad (2013) »

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews | Message Board