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January 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Despite a cast that includes Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Nick Nolte, critics are shooting down Gangster Squad as if it were some B-movie wannabe. Indeed, Peter Howell puts it this way in the Toronto Star: “The actors do their best, but they’re bringing their ‘A’ game to a decidedly ‘B’ production.” A.O. Scott in the New York Times remarks that the film seems to have “no reason for being” other than “to give a cast of first-rate actors the chance to earn some money trying out funny voices and suppressing whatever sense of nuance they might possess.” Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune simply dismisses Gangster Squad as “a pretty dull kill-’em-up.” But Rex Reed in the New York Observer veritably apologizes for the shortcomings of the film, writing, “Despite the flaws and the occasional corn, this is still one of the most exhilarating and entertaining action films in recent memory. Whatever else you may think, you’ll go away from Gangster Squad knowing you’ve been to the movies.”