Gangster Squad Reviews

  • The movie, as criminal drama, goes nowhere.

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • "Gangster Squad" would have been more fun as an animated feature, with fanciful animals in the principal roles.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • A bullet-riddled bloodbath with an all-star cast, Gangster Squad is a lurid and ludicrous Mob thriller that glorifies a gangland lifestyle.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • Slick, sick, self-consciously stylish and defiantly shallow, Gangster Squad is one of those movies you can't talk about without invoking other (often better) movies.

    Ann Hornaday — Washington Post

  • It's almost terrible. It's almost entertaining. But it's missing the shameless insanity of a wonderfully bad movie, and the particular vision, point of view, and coherence of some very good ones.

    Wesley Morris — Boston Globe

  • A crime against cinematic sensibility.

    Nick Pinkerton — Village Voice

  • Fleischer's noir-influenced focus on O'Mara and Cohen offers hints of interesting commentary about Hollywood's historical visions of good and evil. But it's a strong starting point that fizzles by the finale.

    Elizabeth Weitzman — New York Daily News

  • There's only so much style can do to spiff up shriveled substance.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • What's missing from Gangster Squad is a core, a point of view, something to patch together the cheese and carnage.

    Chris Vognar — Dallas Morning News

  • It might sound like a stretch, imagining Penn playing that intense, indiosyncratic a villain. But the lauded, veteran actor pulls a left hook, then a right, and after a wild bodyshot at the tail end of the film, you see the true mania behind his eyes.

    Ricardo Baca — Denver Post

  • 'So it's a shame that "Gangster Squad" is nothing like a good old-fashioned gangster picture. While it's a period piece that clearly relishes its evocation of neon-bright Los Angeles in 1949, it's hardly old-fashioned. And it's no good at all ...

    Glenn Kenny — MSN Movies

  • Some of the clothes and makeup feel as glossy as paint, but, those aside, we seem to browsing through a display of secondhand goods.

    Anthony Lane — New Yorker

  • By the time it fades to black, "Gangster Squad" has squandered most of its early promise.

    Jeff Shannon — Chicago Sun-Times

  • A triumph of production design but a pretty dull kill-'em-up otherwise.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • Apart from the gore -- and there's plenty -- this is basically L.A. Confidential without the script.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • Gangster Squad's violence has a graphic, contemporary feel that's at odds with the vintage crime pics the film wants to celebrate. This isn't the heavy-handed CG-noir of Sin City, but even so, it feels fake.

    Steven Rea — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • Despite a cast of gifted actors, lush 1940s production design and suave costumes, it's bereft of inspiration, plowing familiar terrain past the point of tedium to impatience.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • "Gangster Squad" talks tough and hits hard, but it is a victim of its own brute force.

    Adam Graham — Detroit News

  • Bits and pieces here and there entertain. But it never really comes together in a satisfying way, and given the talent involved, that adds up to a big disappointment.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

  • Despite the flaws and the occasional corn, this is still one of the most exhilarating and entertaining action films in recent memory.

    Rex Reed — New York Observer

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