The movie is inspired by real events. Josh Brolin plays the fearless cop who puts together a secret squad to topple Cohen's criminal empire.
Brolin's cop character doesn't hesitate, and that makes him really interesting to watch. The 1940s feel fits Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone very well. Scenes with the cop and the gangster moll seem both of the time and tweaked for today's audiences.
"Gangster Squad" has a terrific film noir feel. It also has some over-the-top moments that feel created solely for the cinematic effect. You might say, "Yeah, right." But you'll still give the filmmakers credit for the way the scenes look visually.
After the Colorado movie theater shooting, a similar scene in "Gangster Squad" filmed at Grauman's Chinese Theatre was replaced by a shooting scene in Chinatown. It's a seamless switch and you still get the point.
"Gangster Squad" tells a heightened tale of a time gone by.
It's fun seeing L.A. transformed back to another time again, and hearing the names of real people who were a part of this story. That includes one-time L.A. Police Chief William H. Parker, played with huff and puff gruff by Nick Nolte.
The entertaining "Gangster Squad" is rated R.