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Gangster Squad - Film Review

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Published January 14th 2013


Gangster Squad is a crime movie set in the 1940's, focussing on a team of police officers who must remain anonymous to bring down the powerful criminal entrepreneur Mickey Cohen, and restore peace and justice to Los Angeles.

Let's face it - there's something very appealing about being a gangster. The mansions, the cars, the clothes, the lavish lifestyle and the ownership of many businesses, all of which comes from organised crime. But the most appealing has to be how the law turns a blind eye to it all. Al Capone, Joe Gallo, Frank Costello were all real life gangsters and subjects of the above. And this makes Mickey Cohen no different.

Gangster Squad consists of an ensemble cast including Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte, Michael Pena and Robert Patrick who for those that don't remember, played the liquid metal, shape shifter T-1000 in Terminator 2. The stand out actor is Sean Penn, his portrayal of Mickey Cohen and playing the role of villain is very convincing. His accent, movement and mannerisms are realistically scary. As I watched this movie I thought to myself: is this the same man who played Sam in I am Sam? His versatility as an actor is second to none. However Josh Brolin, who is known to play characters that are strong, confident and ones that bend the rules also doesn't disappoint and plays a strong role of vigilante.

Don't expect any twists or turns, it's an easy to follow story line but lacks depth. There's minimal character development. The movie is watchable but violent. Rating: 3/5

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When: Now showing
Where: In cinemas
Cost: Check with local cinema
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