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TRAILERS: Gangster Squad Vs. Lawless

TRAILERS: Gangster Squad Vs. Lawless

By Tim Wainwright

Two new trailers are out for the crime movies that are sure to be competing for box office glory at the end of this summer. Both feature some of today’s hottest stars and both involve mayhem with Tommy guns, so let’s see if we can get a sense of which one will be most worth our time based on these new trailers.

Gangster Squad

Here are some of our thoughts as we watched this trailer:

- We're liking Sean Penn’s take on the traditional “open the trailer with a forboding soliloquy from the villain” device. Every castle built on a pile of bones? I can dig it. He’s got the acting chops to make this role transcend the gangster villain stereotypes, methinks.
- So the heroes are the cops in this one. But don’t worry—they don’t have to follow any laws that would prevent this movie from being full of butt-kicking.
- Possible rethink of my take on villain Sean at 1:16... Penn punctuating his sentences with fake punches and shouts of “bam” could get a bit awkward. Unless that actually causes explosions every time.
- “It doesn’t seem right that he should have so much while others have so little." Very subtle tip of the hat to our political climate.
- I’m a fan of the cast. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone? Hey girl.
- At the end of the day, there were guys in trench coats shooting through a movie theater screen while Jay Z was bumping in the background. What more do you want?

Lawless

Hmm. Here are our thoughts on this one:

- This will be much more of a period piece. The aesthetic of The Great Depression is clearly something they’re taking seriously here.
- TOMHARDYTOMHARDYTOMHARDY. “Ahhh ain’t dancing fer you two” is already quote worthy.
- I love that Gary Oldman is in this, too. Another talented British actor playing a Virginian bootlegger! This should be interesting.
- The villainous government official looks promising! He has an air of the “Colonel Hans Landa” from Inglourious Basterds about him.
- Okay, so this film will obviously have more story. The fact that the heroes are all brothers will, I think, add some depth that the usual “LAPD comrades in arms” dynamic.

In the end, strictly from the trailers, Lawless gets our vote. But we'll have to wait till the end of the summer to truly know which movie will reign supreme!

Which one do you think looks better, Masterminds?

Tags: movies, summer movies, ryan gosling, emma stone, sean penn

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About the Author
Tim Wainwright

Tim Wainwright writes about monsters, sexual ethics, and public sector employee pension reform--and sometimes other things. You can follow him on twitter @Tim_Wainwright , because he has a strange desire to have people read the things he writes. He is growing to accept the fact that people will always call him "bud", and that he will never pull off the cowboy hat look.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.