‘Gangster Squad’ a Thumbnail Review

Gangster Squad

“Gangster Squad” is bad. It’s very bad. It’s even very, very bad. I laughed several times in fact, despite my best efforts not to. I’ll write more later but here’s a start:

I should say something about a spoiler alert — but really, you cannot spoil a movie like this.

Production design good, costumes good (except the hats, which were dreadful, especially Mickey Cohen’s. I mean the guy was a clotheshorse and ran a haberdashery!), the hairstyles were generally pretty good (i.e. appropriately short in the back for most of the men).  Score, heavy-handed and obvious. Cinematography first rate and a nice to see Caleb Deschanel in the credits.

Dialogue: Awful.
Script: A joke.
Acting: Meh.
Direction: Over the top.
Sean Penn: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over the top.
Casting: Meh.
Historical accuracy: Jack Dragna dies in a mob hit? WTF?
Locations: Clifton’s, City Hall, exterior of the Biltmore, various downtown bridges, LAPD museum, Chinatown, Union Station.
More later.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Books and Authors, Film, Hollywood, LAPD and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to ‘Gangster Squad’ a Thumbnail Review

  1. I hope your upcoming review has lots of details about hats!! Seriously.


  2. Lee Rivas says:

    I hadn’t planned on seeing it on the wide screen, but now you’ve piqued my interest.

    I knew it was just a matter of time before someone came up with a script involving Mickey Cohen (he of the charmed life) and the LAPD gangster squad. But Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen? Gimme a break.

    Will I be the only one laughing?

    Anyway, I too am anxiously awaiting your full review.


  3. Ah, it’s politically correct “Gang Squad.” I see history has been re-written and there is racial diversity in the Detective Bureau, within the LAPD, back in the 40’s and 50’s. I still say there was a better script job with LA Confidential or Mulholland Falls, than with Gangster Squad.


  4. Lynne Ray says:

    Is it safe to say the movie has a bad… hat-itude? I’ m here all night!


  5. Don Danard says:

    Having once obtained the book, which is really bad as well … and I never finished reading it .. I’m not planning on seeing the film anyway because of Sean Penn. And as shown in the photo, when did Mickey Cohen ever look that bedraggled?


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