‘Gangster Squad’ Trailer: Crooks & Cops Collide in 1940s Los Angeles

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 8th, 2012 at 9:21 am,

Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad managed to land a spot on our 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 list – and today, we have a trailer that should make it pretty crystal clear why.

Stylish 1940s atmosphere, a star-studded cast that includes Sean Penn owning the screen as a power-hungry crime boss – with Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling as the heads of a hard-boiled police unit, which is operating outside the law in order to take the mobster down – plus some creative set pieces (see: the theater shootout, featured in the trailer) and Emma Stone as a sultry femme fatale, to top it off?

More of that, please.

Here is an official synopsis for Gangster Squad (followed by the film’s banner):

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.


gangster squad movie banner 280x170 Gangster Squad Trailer: Crooks & Cops Collide in 1940s Los Angeles

Former LAPD employee Will Beall (a onetime executive story editor/writer for Castle) penned Gangster Squad, which was based on Paul Lieberman’s famous collection of LA Times articles about the city police department’s attempts to take down Mickey Cohen (a real-life head of the “Jewish Mafia”) around the mid-20th century. Cohen, as it were, is such a larger-than-life figure that he’s also the inspiration for The Walking Dead TV show creator Frank Darabont’s upcoming television series, L.A. Noir.

Penn looks to do justice by the actual Mickey Cohen with his portrayal in Gangster Squad – in fact, every cast member featured in the trailer looks spot-on for their respective parts. Similarly, this early footage suggests a slick cops & crooks drama along the lines of American Gangster or Public Enemies; with a little luck, this could even prove to be a crime tale that follows in the footsteps of The Untouchables. (Not exactly what you’d call shabby company to keep, right?)

One thing’s for sure: Gangster Squad should help wipe away lingering memories of Fleischer’s uninspired, sophomore feature-length directing effort, 30: Minutes or Less.

Gangster Squad is currently without an official U.S. theatrical release date (despite having one previously). We will let you know when that changes.

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers

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  1. I was sold when I read the cast, but this looks like its going to be really great

  2. Looks awesome.

  3. Yeah my mind is b l o w n

  4. 2012- the year the crime thriller was reborn!

    Between this and Lawless AND Argo..i’m like..bonkers

  5. about time they do a movie like this, kinda reminds me of bugsy siegel!

  6. wow haven’t seen a great gangster movie since the untouchables this might be it.

  7. Everything great apart from the inclusion of Sean Penn. Can’t stand him, don’t watch his films. Will have to give this a miss.

    • What a sin you are committing! Sean Penn is one of the only actors whose acting completing blows me away. Besides, I have a friend who worked for him and with him in Haiti after the heart-quake and says the man is amazing.

    • I am debating whether or not to give up my boycott of Penn films to see this one. So I’m not sure if I’ll miss it or not. I gave it up for Into the Wild so I guess I can for this one.

      • Penn sticking his nose into the Falklands debate annoyed me, and the last couple of Penn films I watched (Or, at least the one I managed to watch more than 20mins of) did not impress me. Or rather his performance didn’t. However, he looks really good in this.

        It seems pretty much similar in plot to “The Untouchables” (probably based on the same events), but this looks like it’ll be handled in a different way. It really does look interesting.

  8. wow. the cast/director had me looking forward to this but that trailer…wow

  9. untouchables remix?

  10. This and Wettest Country in the World (Lawless) are must sees.

  11. Awesome cast and tone,cant wait.

  12. ya this looks really, really good…the trailer def exceeded my expectations…gosling is the man and sean penn looks like he will have a great turn as the villian

  13. . . . So no one else is concerned that the title of this is ‘Gangster Squad’? Why didn’t they just call it ‘Mobster Team’, or maybe Organized Criminal Group’?

    • I think the title refers to them unknowingly becoming the new gangsters in their efforts to eradicate the old ones..so they’re like a police squad..of gangsters and around the precinct are known as The Gangster squad

    • “Gangster Squad” was the title of the award winning series of articles in the LA Times that this was based on. It was the unofficial name given by the LA PD to this secret REAL LIFE team.

  14. Looks good. This is something I’d like to see on the big screen so I hope Hollywood lands this a date and not straight to DVD/BRD. Since they pulled the date it was suppose to have

  15. Good Lord, that looked AWESOME!

  16. its amazing that movie trailers now always use Jay-Z songs

  17. Looks like it was cribbed from a half dozen other crime films, L.A. Confidential, Chinatown, The Untouchables, Mulholland Falls, The Big Heat. Everything in the trailer looks like a terrible cliche. I do think Gosling makes a good Cole Phelps from L.A. Noire. I do look forward to many, many slow motion action sequences.

    • It wasn’t cribbed from those movies. This is based on real people and events. Those other movies cribbed from these real life episodes for their stuff. If you’re going to tell the real story then you’ll be including the things that have already inspired others, but hopefully real life will be even more compelling than fiction.

      And before you say it, The Untouchables movie was far more fiction than fact.

    • I was thinking the same thing. Great cast, but same old school LA gangster movie, but I am still going to see this.

  18. I guess I watched a different trailer than the rest of you because that looked like complete ass. The Untouchables for the MTV audience. Rap playing during the trailer of a movie that takes place in the 40’s? Ugh. Token black guy in the all white group? lol. And the best they could do for a ‘femme fatale’ is EMMA STONE???

    • wtf is wrong with emma stone, shes freakin hot!

    • Bitter bitter troll. And who still watches MTV? lol.

    • The token black guy bothers me too. And I’m black.

      There are enough Fast & Furious type action movies for the MTV generation. When last did we grown-ups have a proper gangster-type drama to enjoy? Public Enemies with Johnny Depp was a major disappointment. The last one was The Town, which was absolutely fantastic, and before that No Country for Old Men.

      When I see Sean Penn and Josh Brolin doing an act-off like they did in Milk, I get a dramagasm. I just hope they don’t ruin it by stylising it for the Twilight generation.

      • I believe the character he plays, Coleman Harris, was a real life LA cop and member of the real police squad portrayed in the movie. He is, however, quoted as saying “I’m the black guy in ‘Gangster Squad’”

  19. Yes she is hot! And talented too! The movie looks great!

  20. Sweeet, did i spot Giovanni Ribisi and the T-1000 in there as well??

  21. “Coming Soon” How soon? Looks a bit over the op, but then it also looks very stocked with great performers….

    As for the comment about the bum,per music in the preview…Do you really think those under 40 would even pay much attention had they used music appropiate to the time? Hell…If there isn’t some thick back beat in there it sould be ignored once they splashed it on the tube….

    • To Hell with those who need rap music. I’m still under 40, and I’ve been watching and loving hardcore drama for over a decade. When you try to make a drama that also appeals to the Twilight crowd, you end up pleasing neither the drama fans nor the twilight crowd.

    • Release date reset this week for September 7 (the beginning of Oscar season). It lost it’s October 12th date to the reschedule of Argo.

  22. WOW! Great casting! I’m checking this one out for sure!! Looks Intense.
    I hope Giovanni Ribisi’s role is solid in this one. No ‘Rum Diary’-esque debacle. He’s a great actor otherwise.
    Penn’s gonna kill it too. Can’t wait.

  23. I was already sold on this movie after finding out on the cast, but that theater scene made me wanna stand up and throw my money at my screen.

    Love the Untouchables comparison, because that’s exactly what I thought of when I saw this trailer. In a perfect world, this might be the next Untouchables. That movie was so flippin awesome.

  24. looks great,good character actors etc..id question the choice of music in the trailer…i hope its not used in the actual film..!!

  25. OMG This looks amazing I cannot wait to see it!!! Looks like real film making is back

  26. the untouchables all over again so i cant wait to watch it

  27. Just finished reading the book the film is based on. If the film is half as good as the book we’ve got a heck of an exciting movie coming our way. Can’t wait until the film comes out.