Gangster Squad

  • 15
  • Ruben Fleischer (2012)
  • US
  • 108 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Subtlety flies out of the window, along with the baddies, in this action-heavy flick, as LA cops Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin make a stand against Mob kingpin Mickey Cohen (played to the hilt by Sean Penn). It may be based on a true story, but the subject of corruption at the LAPD was portrayed with much more sophistication in LA Confidential. Director Ruben Fleischer takes a basic, gung-ho approach in this adaptation of Paul Lieberman's book, but makes the most of his talent for blending flamboyantly staged violence with dark humour (previously in cult films Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less) and splashes the budget on a glossy re-creation of 1940s Los Angeles. Brolin's upstanding sergeant gives the film a moral backbone, though Gosling upstages him with effortless poise, gradually fraying at the edges after getting involved with Cohen's moll (the doll-faced Emma Stone). Like the mission to bring down Cohen, this thriller is definitely more brawn than brains, but it sets its sights clearly from the get-go and hits the mark with relish.

Plot Summary

Premiere. A New York gangster brings his criminal organisation to Los Angeles in 1949, rapidly seizing control of the city's criminal activity and corrupting the authorities to ensure no one stands up to him. The chief of police discreetly sets up a secret task force with the intention of bringing the mobster to justice. Crime thriller, starring Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Sean Penn.

Cast and crew


Sgt John O'Mara
Josh Brolin
Sgt Jerry Wooters
Ryan Gosling
Mickey Cohen
Sean Penn
Grace Faraday
Emma Stone
Chief Bill Parker
Nick Nolte
Officer Conwell Keeler
Giovanni Ribisi
Officer Coleman Harris
Anthony Mackie
Navidad Ramirez
Michael Pena
Officer Max Kennard
Robert Patrick
Jon Polito
Connie O'Mara
Mireille Enos
Troy Garity
Officer Gates
Josh Pence


Ruben Fleischer

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Warner Bros
Violence and swearing.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 11 Jan 2013
Certificate 15
Warner Home Video Ltd