No names. No badges. No mercy.

Kaela Mason

On Jan. 11, 2013, Warner Brothers released its newest mob hit, Gangster Squad. Albeit a somewhat corny title, Gangster Squad does not fail to keep the audience entertained and wanting more. The film was originally set to be released in September 2012, but was pushed back because some of the scenes were reminiscent of the recent shootings in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. The film was sent back into production, and new scenes were shot.

The film takes place in Los Angeles during the year 1949. Ex-boxer Mickey Cohen has become the most powerful figure in California’s drug scene, and has plans to take over the Chicago branch as well. In order to ensure smooth sailing with his business, Cohen has bought over most of the leaders in the court, and the police as well.

Finally fed up with the town being run by the mob, a small group of soldiers-turned-cops band together to try to bring down Cohen once and for all. They call themselves the Gangster Squad. As the tagline suggests, this is a task that goes far beyond their police badges. Their plan is to strike at the heart of Cohen’s operation and take down his empire. After a couple of successful hits, Cohen finds out that his attackers are cops whom he was unable to buy over. He then begins to seek his revenge on the Gangster Squad.

With a star-studded cast including Academy Award winner Sean Penn (Milk, Mystic River), Academy Award Nominee Josh Brolin (Milk), Academy Award Nominee Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson), Emma Stone (Easy A, The Help) and Academy Award Nominee Nick Nolte (Warrior, Affliction), this cast does not lack in talent.

As much as it pains me to criticize Ryan Gosling, I did have one issue with his performance: his usually soft-spoken and calming voice sounded a little like a pre-pubescent teenage boy. It made some his serious scenes somewhat painful, and took away from the swagger he was trying to emit.

This film is loosely based on the actual events that occurred during the 40s and the 50s in Los Angeles, and I think the cast did a very good job at representing the time period. I give this film a four out of five, and recommend it to anyone who enjoys action films or is interested in the 1940s era.