As for Penn's Mickey Cohen, he almost seems like he's been cobbled into the scenes from another movie — his grotesque facial prosthetics and outsized acting make Cohen feel like a “Dick Tracy” villain. In real life, Cohen looked a lot more like Bob Hoskins in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” and the Gangster Squad's pursuit of the man lasted over a decade. This was all detailed richly in the source material, a seven-part 2008 Los Angeles Times series called “L.A. Noir: Tales from the Gangster Squad.” But in Fleischer and screenwriter Will Beall's version, the battle is seemingly over in months and what little substance was left in the final film evaporates. For a film that has dodged controversy for its stylized violence, “Gangster Squad” feels bloodless.
— George Lang