HOLLYWOOD (WWJ) – Ruthless gang lord Mickey Cohen was not to be denied. At least he thought. Cohen wanted to rule Los Angeles, and with police, local government officials and judges in his pocket, he had created a massive criminal enterprise.

You heard of Manifest Destiny? That’s when
you take what you can, when you can…
And I’m gonna take it all…and not just
because I can, but because this is my destiny.
Los Angeles is my destiny.

But, LAPD Sgt. John O’Mara has other ideas. When he returns from World War II, O’Mara finds that Cohen has taken over the city, and has corrupted it with gambling, prostitution and drugs. To right the wrongs, he begins to take things into his own hands, but it’s when he’s recruited by Police Chief William “Whiskey Bill” Parker, that the tide begins to turn.

Gangster Squad is based on the book by the same name, written by Paul Lieberman, a former Los Angeles Times writer/editor and the winner of dozens of journalism awards. The book chronicles the story of the real-life Gangster Squad, who – according to Lieberman, were “eight men who met covertly on street corners and slept with Tommy guns under their beds while combating what city fathers saw as an ‘invasion of undesirables’.”

The movie version, penned by screenwriter Will Beall, a former LAPD homicide detective, and a writer/executive story editor for the hit TV show Castle, follows six police officers who make up the Gangster Squad: Sgt. O’Mara (Josh Brolin); Sgt. Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), who’s at first reluctant to team up with O’Mara but changes his mind when it becomes personal; Coleman Harris (Anthony Mackie), who keeps a switchblade in his arsenal while patrolling one of the most dangerous parts of Los Angeles; Conwell Keeler (Giovanni Ribisi), an electronics expert; Max Kennard (Robert Patrick), who plays “an iconic Old West-style lawman”; and Navidad Ramirez (Michael Pena), a rookie cop, who Kennard gives a chance when other’s won’t.

When Gangster Squad gets underway, it’s apparent that Cohen is a gangster who – as the saying goes – “doesn’t take any prisoners.” He’s cold-blooded and ruthless, feared even by those he’s enlisted to do his bidding.

Gangster Squad is a mesmerizing tale about Mickey Cohen and the dedicated police officers who refused to give in to his ruthlessness. Definitely a worth see.

This movie is rated R for “strong violence and language,” of which there is plenty. But, it’s a gangster movie after all, so that’s to be expected.


Click here for the official website and trailer.

See you at the movies!

Follow Terri on Twitter @TerriJLee

Follow Terri’s entertainment blog here.


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