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"Gangster Squad": Reviews are in

"Gangster Squad" is finally hitting theaters after its release date wasmoved back so the studio could re-shoot a scene that mirrored the real-life mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.


The film, set in Los Angeles in 1949, follows Brooklyn-born mobster Micky Cohen (Sean Penn) who runs Los Angeles, including the police and politicians. But, a small secret group of the LAPD led by Sgt. John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling) has it out for him.

"Gangster Squad," which also stars Bryan Cranston, Anthony Mackie and Emma Stone, isn't being well received by critics. The film scored at 35 percent on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.

See what critics had to say:

Ann Hornaday of Washington Post: "Slick, sick, self-consciously stylish and defiantly shallow, Gangster Squad is one of those movies you can't talk about without invoking other (often better) movies."

Claudia Puig of USA Today: "While there is little to recommend this movie -- and the excessive gun violence could put viewers off -- it does evoke a glamorous era, with close attention paid to period costumes, architecture and set design."

Mick LaSalle of San Francisco Chronicle: "A movie like this - set in the film noir days of postwar Los Angeles - gains a lot from its historical authenticity (or even the illusion of it). But by the second or third time the gangster squad provokes some insane public gunfight with Cohen's army, you catch on that you're not seeing something real or almost real, but an attempt to ramp up an old story for maximum action. With that realization goes the illusion of this movie's integrity. What's left is nothing terrible, just typical."

Michael Phillips of Chicago Tribune: "A triumph of production design but a pretty dull kill-'em-up otherwise, the post-World War II-set 'Gangster Squad' comes from the director of 'Zombieland,' Ruben Fleischer."

Joe Morgenstern of Wall Street Journal: "The second part pays off for a while with audaciously lurid characters and over-the-top action, but there's only so much style can do to spiff up shriveled substance."