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Year:
1997
Country:
USA
Genre:
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Mystery
IMDB rating:
8.3
Director:
Curtis Hanson

 

          L.A. Confidential IMDb    L.A. Confidential Wikipedia    L.A. Confidential Soundtrack

Kevin Spacey as Jack Vincennes
Russell Crowe as Bud White
Guy Pearce as Ed Exley
James Cromwell as Dudley Smith
Kim Basinger as Lynn Bracken
Danny DeVito as Sid Hudgens
David Strathairn as Pierce Patchett
Ron Rifkin as Deputy DA Ellis Loew
Matt McCoy as 'Badge of Honor' Star Brett Chase
Paul Guilfoyle as Mickey Cohen
Paolo Seganti as Johnny Stompanato
Elisabeth Granli as Mickey Cohen's Mambo Partner
Sandra Taylor as Mickey Cohen's Mambo Partner
Steve Rankin as Officer Arresting Mickey Cohen
L.A. Confidential Storyline: 1950's Los Angeles is the seedy backdrop for this intricate noir-ish tale of police corruption and Hollywood sleaze. Three very different cops are all after the truth, each in their own style: Ed Exley, the golden boy of the police force, willing to do almost anything to get ahead, except sell out; Bud White, ready to break the rules to seek justice, but barely able to keep his raging violence under control; and Jack Vincennes, always looking for celebrity and a quick buck until his conscience drives him to join Exley and White down the one-way path to find the truth behind the dark world of L.A. crime.
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Reviews
Acivement in world class
L.A. Confidential is perhaps, one of the best and most intriguing pieces of moving picture in the past few decades. The brilliancy of the script itself, deserves a standing ovation, because it is in my opinion, one of the most thought-out and nerve wrecking of its time. The direction by Curtis Hanson gives this intense and complex movie softness and makes a gentle approach to the audience, because none of the material is forced through, but instead it rests quietly in the subconsciousness of the audience the whole time. The plot is just awesome and stands out from any of the former (and later) police/criminal movies, because we get to experience the action behind the curtain, from a passive point of view. The plot has a great balance between tossing us into the action, and gently luring us through one mystery after another, trying to find the answers. The actors give the ideas of the script and the characters faces, and gives us a chance to relate and identify with the characters involved. Each of them delivers great performances: Spacey as always smart, sly and above all believable, though he does not exceed his brilliant performance in "The Usual Suspects". Crowe with his, so far, best performance in my opinion, with temper and depth. Pearce with an OK performance without really reaching the top, but fills out his character nicely. Devito is amusing and cool and does everything he can to contribute to this movie. Basinger with her Oscar-winning role, plays the beautiful blond convincingly and spices up the last aspect of the movie, with splendor and depth as well. Alltogehter this makes one hell of a good movie. Fast, smart, complicated, exciting, raw and above all believable and entertaining. Well done by the creators of L.A. Confidential.
2007-05-14
Couldn't Ask for a Better Movie
Now I would like to say, it is not very often that I give a 10. Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, Kim Basinger, and Danny DeVito, a terrific cast all in a single movie. It is a movie that I doubt will ever fall from the top movie list. It is a Detective Movie basically with the three main characters, Officer Bud White (Crowe), Sgt. Jack Vincennes (Spacey), and Det. Lt. Ed Exley (Pierce), they are all in different divisions of the LAPD and they are all working on the same case from different ends, finally they all get together and the pieces begin to fall into place. There are so many twists in this movie that it keeps you guessing until the end. So with an all star cast, an all star script, the acting was top notch, which makes for an awesome movie. In the end, a 10 out of 10. And for all of you people out there that like good detective movies, and think that you can solve mysteries right away... I challenge you to watch this and test your wits.
2005-12-15
Outstanding!
An astounding film, not to be missed. It gets better with each viewing. It's difficult to believe that Guy Pearce is an Aussie--his accent is flawless.

And Kevin Spacey and Russell Crowe are simply amazing. And yes, even Kim B. plays the part well (for once in her career).

Try your best not to miss this one. It might also get you interested in some of James Ellroy's works. Fantastic stuff.
2000-09-09
Not so great the second time around.
I saw this movie twice in two days. Of course it's an outstanding film, but it didn't get any better the second time around. There were no special vibrations or hidden beauties to be found in seeing it again.
2000-07-24
I Hate Hollywood A Little Bit Less
This film, like the one it gets compared to most often, "Chinatown", can be watched repeatedly and not become at all monotonous. Almost all facets (writing, directing, costume, dialogue, etc.) are dead-on: if I had to pick a favorite, it would be James Cromwell's absolutely menacing performance as Dudley Smith.
2000-01-22
A Totally, I Mean TOTALLY Overrated Movie!
This movie is full of too many negative messages, inconsistencies and stereotypes to be rated anywhere near being a 'classic.' Two police officers are awarded at the end of the film - one gets the beautiful girl, and the other gets his second police medal - and you are left wondering, "huh?" The officer who gets the girl is a complete thug of a police officer with complete disdain for proper police procedures and due process. His method of choice when seeking information and dealing with disappointing situations is to get physical or to abuse and threaten whomever he is dealing with - citizens, his girlfriend or even fellow cops. The film awards him the girl (a high-class hooker) after he established a 'relationship' with her while he was working on a murder case in which she is significantly involved.

The other officer who receives the police medals is suppose to be the films moral compass. During the film he speaks up on the transgressions and immorality in the LAPD, but we too find him later making intense physical sexual advances (he actually literally rapes her)at the high-class hooker who has already been sleeping with his thug cop coworker. At the end of the film, Mr Moral Compass then proceeds,in summary judgement style, to kill another officer -unnecessarily shooting him in the back - after the latter cop had been apprehended for murdering other police officers and aligning himself with the local MOB drug trade. This repeated issuance of summary judgments at the barrel of a gun in this film with no retribution is disturbing.

Also disturbing is the fact that in this film of 1952 Los Angeles, the only Black faces seen in the entire film are three criminal youths who, after being rounded up and interrogated, admit to the senseless rape of a Mexican girl. With aid from an unverified and false police statement from the rape victim, the three youth then are also charged with conducting the multiple diner murders which are at the heart of the movie's story. After somehow escaping police custody, the three youths are later summarily gunned down in a violent police raid at their residence. A fourth unnamed older black man is found watching TV in one of the rooms in the house where the rape occurred, but he is for no reason summarily murdered by the thug cop before he is even questioned on the extent of his involvement. Of course, there is no accountability for this murder, as the officer is later seen riding off in the sunset with the pretty girl at movies end.

Sure its "only a movie," and after all, 'LA Confidential' is all about corruption and vice rampant in the LAPD during this period. However, no "classic" presents all these inexplicable, incongruous and unresolved issues without even attempting to address them. The oversight is too obvious. The 1950's nostalgia, slick production values and sharp wardrobes can't hide these missing elements of the film. It's about as visible as the Grand Canyon.
2006-06-29
Corruption, betrayal, and scandal. But a fight for purity and Kim Basinger giving the best performance of her career support claim to the best film of 1997 and perhaps the 90's decade.
Based on a James Ellroy novel in Los Angeles during the 1950's L.A. Confidential delivers a knockout. Though the first time you watch L.A. Confidential you feel the intensity and high drama to find surprise after surprise in the complex and hidden plot. Then after many viewings and you already know how the story unfolds you still enjoy the great acting and admire James Ellroy for having such a fine script. So well written and directed you find yourself glued from start to finish you can't take your eyes off of it. Corruption runs amok in the L.A. police department only to be exposed by a eager young cop Ed Exley (Guy Pearce). Bud White (Russell Crowe) breaks away from the corruption to help Exley after he learns the third cop in the trio and sidekick Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) is killed by the corrupt force. I must say Kevin Spacey is one of the best actors in Hollywood today I love watching any movie he plays in. The best supporting element of this entire film is Kim Basinger as Hollywood glamour call girl (Lynn Bracken). She did indeed deserve her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Kim gave a performance that just brightens up the film her beauty is touching. That's the best Kim has ever looked everything from her bold blond hair and body you just name it. L.A. Confidential gives a message to me that we should all search and try to experience some purity from time to time. With corruption as found in this film and many other places hope for more honesty and truth can be experienced more. I like the way Pearce, Basinger, and Crowe beat corruption. Now that's some purity. L.A. Confidential is a great movie due to the script, cast, and message it presents, the best of 1997.
2000-12-08
Very good movie BUT Kim Basinger got an Oscar for this ???
This movie is about corruption in the LA police department in the 50's including bribes, pay offs, murder of suspects (hey - if you KNOW they are guilty why waste time with a trial? ), police brutality, prostitution, racism etc. Hmmm - based on current events this movie may qualify as a documentary!

Combine all the avenues of corruption, a lone police officer trying to "do the right thing", a sleazy tabloid reporter (Danny DeVito as Sid Hudgens), a Hollywood Harlot (Kim Basinger) and a multiple homicide to be solved "by any means necessary" and you get over two hours of pure entertainment.

I've seen this movie 4 times - not because it's THAT good but to try and figure out how in the heck Kim Basinger got and Oscar for her limited role in this movie. She IS a beautiful woman, but I thought the Oscar was for ACTING! As far as I can tell, she got it for walking around in slinky robes, getting slapped and using the word "F*CK" as often as possible. I don't think she's on screen for more than 10 minutes the entire movie - GO FIGURE!!
2000-09-21
better than the book
I recently read James Ellroy's novel, and could not see how they could make a movie of it. It's huge and has three major plots. When I read the synopsis here on imdb, I rented the film. My husband, who has not read the book, and I both gave it an 8. The major plot line involving a Disney-like person that was discarded was no loss. It was a bit over the top. The movie is better without it. The characters were very true to the book, and I thought Kim Basinger was very good, but too old for the part. She's supposed to be about 28. Russell Crowe looked like a kid next to her.

I liked the clear sound and the good light. It would have been very easy to make this dark and murky as has been the rage since the really fast films were invented.
2000-10-09
A great film noir
Yes, it is still possible to make a great film noir. Superb acting, directing, dialogue, make-up, and score combine to cast a magical spell. Kevin Spacey is used perfectly, but the entire cast is spot-on. De Vito has never been more naturally cast. David Straithairn is superb in his bit. This should not be missed.
2000-08-16
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