'Gangster Squad' Critic Reviews

66%
MovieWeb:   11 reviews
32%
Rotten Tomatoes:   188 reviews
  • Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    42
    The movie, as criminal drama, goes nowhere.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • A.O. Scott New York Times (Top Critic)
    40
    "Gangster Squad" would have been more fun as an animated feature, with fanciful animals in the principal roles.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Peter Bradshaw Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    60
    For all the guns and gore, it's as breezy and uncritical as a tale from the True Detective magazine that the cops can't help reading.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Claudia Puig USA Today (Top Critic)
    50
    A bullet-riddled bloodbath with an all-star cast, Gangster Squad is a lurid and ludicrous Mob thriller that glorifies a gangland lifestyle.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Ann Hornaday Washington Post (Top Critic)
    38
    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.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Wesley Morris Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    50
    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.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Nick Pinkerton Village Voice (Top Critic)
    A crime against cinematic sensibility.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    60
    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.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal (Top Critic)
    There's only so much style can do to spiff up shriveled substance.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Chris Vognar Dallas Morning News (Top Critic)
    34
    What's missing from Gangster Squad is a core, a point of view, something to patch together the cheese and carnage.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Ricardo Baca Denver Post (Top Critic)
    75
    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.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Glenn Kenny MSN Movies (Top Critic)
    20
    '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 ...
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Anthony Lane New Yorker (Top Critic)
    Some of the clothes and makeup feel as glossy as paint, but, those aside, we seem to browsing through a display of secondhand goods.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    50
    By the time it fades to black, "Gangster Squad" has squandered most of its early promise.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Jeff Shannon Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    50
    By the time it fades to black, "Gangster Squad" has squandered most of its early promise.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    50
    A triumph of production design but a pretty dull kill-'em-up otherwise.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • J. R. Jones Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    Apart from the gore -- and there's plenty -- this is basically L.A. Confidential without the script.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    63
    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.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    38
    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.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Adam Graham Detroit News (Top Critic)
    42
    "Gangster Squad" talks tough and hits hard, but it is a victim of its own brute force.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Bill Goodykoontz Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    50
    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.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Rex Reed New York Observer (Top Critic)
    Despite the flaws and the occasional corn, this is still one of the most exhilarating and entertaining action films in recent memory.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Peter Debruge Variety (Top Critic)
    An impressively pulpy underworld-plunger that embellishes on a 1949 showdown between a dedicated team of LAPD officers and Mob-connected Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) for control of the city.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Lou Lumenick New York Post (Top Critic)
    50
    A cartoonish 1940s shoot-'em-up that's impossible to take seriously.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Peter Howell Toronto Star (Top Critic)
    50
    The actors do their best, but they're bringing their "A" game to a decidedly "B" production, with Penn being the most enthusiastic of this game crew.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
AVG. RATING 3.2 WORTHY
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