Bottom Line: Stylishly sleek yet simplistically shallow, this homogenized hybrid of L.A. CONFIDENTIAL and THE UNTOUCHABLES fails to reach the levels of intrigue, suspense and excitement that those aforementioned classics dealt in spades. Some of the pulpy, wannabe-gritty contrivances work (from time to time) and the A-list cast are definitely working hard to deliver something of note from a paper-thin story - but this slickly talented, multicultural squad of hard-ass, do-gooder misfits barely bond, blindly follow and end up doing very little in the way of gritty mob regulating. Dutifully recreating the hi-gloss, oasis-like shimmer of late 40’s Los Angeles and leaving little to be desired in terms of story, urgency or depth of character, this colorfully flashy gangster flick simultaneously dazzles the eyes…and dulls the mind.
Starring: Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Emma Stone, Michael Peńa, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Mackie, Robert Patrick and Nick Nolte
Directed by: Ruben Fleischer (ZOMBIELAND and 30 MINUTES OR LESS)
Running time: 113 minutes
Story: Los Angeles, 1949. Ruthless, Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) runs the show in this town, reaping the ill-gotten gains from the drugs, the guns, the prostitutes and-if he has his way-every wire bet placed west of Chicago. And he does it all with the protection of not only his own paid goons, but also the police and the politicians who are under his control. It's enough to intimidate even the bravest, street-hardened cop...except, perhaps, for the small, secret crew of LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), who come together to try to tear Cohen's world apart. -- (C) Warner Bros