February 3, 2013
Formula? Sure, but a good one.
Everything in this movie has been done before, but rarely so well. While it loses a few originality points, it recovers them in cinematography, soundtrack, and proving again that Sean Penn really CAN act. Twenty minutes in, I had forgotten it was Sean; he BECAME Mickey Cohen, with enough force to convince even his most jaded detractors that he still wields the skills he brought to "Mystic River" ten years ago.
Josh Brolin acts like his father: well, but not outstandingly. His character had the potential for more depth and dimension, and, unless he was directed to play it simple, he missed the opportunity to tap into a more revealing portrayal.
Emma Stone is Emma Stone... 'nuff said. I'm sending a bottle of whiskey to the casting director for that choice.
Nick Nolte plays the part he was born for. I'm glad he's still in the game.
Ryan Gosling turns in another great performance. I'm keeping my eyes on him. I hope he learned from Sean.
*Lots of brutal violence.
7 of 10 stars.
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