Written July 24, 2014
Decent film. The movie was supposedly based on real life events and I have no idea how accurate it was. Acting was good, for the most part. It was a bit over the top in many fight scenes and of course the industry made sure certain racial groups were represented in a favorable light.
Written January 11, 2013
This movie was a gangster film gone wrong from start to finish. There was no set up to Cohen's life and his running of LA nor Brolin's character, both of which would have been vital to the development of the plot. The dialogue is a miix of cheesy fifties slang and intelligible screaming matches that make no sense. There is absolutely no way to follow the sequence of events in this film. I have fairly extensive knowledge of Mickey Cohen and his crime life and I could not keep up at all. The directing was horribly done, from the camera angles to the ridiculous machine gun violence (which overcompensated for lack of substance) and the writing gave the actors no room to succeed. I'm was extremely disappointed in this movie because it had all the potential with great actors and a riveting gangster story line that is unique from those before it, but the result was abysmal. I shudder to think what made Sean Penn, a respectable actor and director think that this should be in his filmography.
Written January 15, 2013
Well yes, there is a real Los Angeles on planet Earth, and Mickey Cohen and Police Chief Parker and some other characters and locales are real enough. Beyond that the story liberally departs from the historical record, which I have no problem with. Weak script but very stylish cinematography and loud!
Written September 16, 2014
This is a dark movie with humorous jokes, some great performances but then almost comic book fantasy like abandonment of reality. It's not Scorsese reality. It is fun though. Some very good acting, and lots of blood and action. Excellent wardrobe and set- the cars in this movie are amazing and everything true to the era.
I think Penn's character performance would have been better served in a more realistic setting, but nonetheless a fun time of a movie. Just expect something shot well and entertaining while not overly worried about realism or a true story. Think comic book.
Written January 12, 2013
A promising cast (mightily uplifted by Sean Penn's oscar-worthy performance) and a few moments of enrapturing style can't make up for two, terminal flaws—the most inconsistent A-list script of the past ten years and direction that's competent only when the guns are blazing.
Is it a waste of time? No. But don't expect the gangster/mob film classic the trailer or the movie critic shills promise.
So much potential, so much disappointment.