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  • L.A. Confidential is, without a doubt, the best film of the 1990s, and quite possibly one of the best films ever made.

    As with any great film, it all starts with the writing. The story is riveting, the dialogue is smart and quite funny, and the characters are written in three dimensions.

    The acting is phenomenal. Perhaps a bigger tragedy than L.A. Confidential's loss to Titanic in the Best Picture race is that none of the three lead actors even garnered nominations. Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, and Kevin Spacey are absolutely phenomenal; it is their characters that drive this fascinating story about police corruption in 1950s Los Angeles. We get to know these people, to understand who they are and why they do what they do, and to root for them to overcome their imperfections.

    The directing is fantastic. Curtis Hanson doesn't shove anything in the audience's face; instead, he allows the audience to discover the film's nuances on their own. (That makes this an excellent film for repeat viewings, you truly catch something new every time). 1950s Los Angeles is reproduced beautifully. The editing is quick and seamless, the music is perfect for the film (Hanson should teach other directors how to do a montage effectively), and the cinematography is great.

    I can't find a negative thing to say about this film. It's truly a masterpiece.
  • Six years ago, a director by the name of Curtis Hansen came out with a small time film named L.A. Confidential. Though the movie garnered several big nominations at the 1997 Academy Awards, the nation had been swept up by the gigantic and romantic blockbuster, Titanic, thus shrinking the chances of this brilliant movie from garnering any real awards. 1997 completely screwed this phenomenal film, in which three brilliant actors gave the performances of their careers.

    Russell Crowe plays Detective Bud White, a tough L.A. cop who bends the rules in order to bring justice to the city. He is ruthless, and unforgiving of anyone, which brings him into direct conflict with Detective Lieutenant Ed Exley, played by Guy Pearce. Russell Crowe became with this role a full pledged character actor,: the cop with a steel physique, and a vulnerable heart. He becomes so believable and real to the audience, you can not help but sympathize for his character under the circumstances. From this role, Crowe went on to garner three best actor nominations, winning for his role in Gladiator.

    Guy Pearce, the little known Australian body builder, became the character known as Ed Exley, a straight, uptight detective trying to live up to the legend his father created before him. Exley has so much to prove to the LAPD, trying to show them that he is just as good, maybe even better, than his father. He plays the politics in a corrupted police department very well, and is able to use these skills in solving the corrupt and mysterious case of the Night Owl murders. This film officially put Guy Pearce in the big leagues of film, making his next appearances in Memento and The Count of Monte Cristo. He is a severely underrated actor who deserves better than what he has been getting.

    Finally, the ever wonderful Kevin Spacey. Spacey plays Lieutenant Jack Vincenes, a cop who gives a popular LA police show, Badge of Honor, real solved cases in return for money. Jack sees his life as an ever going soap opera, until he comes across a case that somehow has a connection to the Night Owl murders. Kevin Spacey has proved time and again his abilities as an actor, and he continues with this performance.

    Curtis Hansen does a wonderful job bringing this story to the big screen. His talents, although recognized, have not been awarded as of yet. I can only hope that someday, someone will give this amazing director something worthy of his talents.

    Highly Recommended.

  • Give a collection of great actors a great story to work with and you are likely to end up with something rather special. Such is the case with L.A. Confidential. The boldface names jump off the page...Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito, James Cromwell and, in his first big-time role, Guy Pearce. And none of these big names are just mailing it in, here to collect a paycheck. They're all on top of their games, undoubtedly helped to no small extent by the wonderfully nuanced and utterly intriguing story.

    This story takes place in 1950s Los Angeles but this is a side of L.A. most people don't get to see. Behind all the Hollywood glamour L.A. has a seamy side which will be the focus of this tale. At the heart of the movie are three cops who ostensibly are supposed to be working together but who go about the business of dispensing justice in very different ways. Crowe plays aggressive hothead Bud White. Spacey is Jack Vincennes, who takes more pride in his work as an adviser on a popular television cop drama than he does in his actual police work. And Pearce plays Edmund Exley, a young up-and-comer in the department who plays things by the book. As we will soon see Exley is rather unique in an LAPD which believes in doing whatever is necessary to bring the guilty to justice. Even if it means becoming a little guilty themselves.

    The movie really begins to move forward with a massacre at a coffee shop. It seems a pretty cut and dried case but initial appearances can be deceiving. Soon White, Vincennes and Exley will find themselves caught up in a maze of lies, deception and mystery. It will be a great test for these very different men as it appears they may well need each other's unique talents to solve this puzzle. And quite the elaborate puzzle it is. One important piece is Lynn Bracken, a high class call girl played by Basinger. Tying together many of this complex story's strands is gossip writer Sid Hudgens who is played with appropriate sleaziness by DeVito. And in the background the whole time is the somewhat mysterious Captain Dudley Smith, played by Cromwell. Here is a man who believes in bringing the guilty to justice by any means necessary. That's all well and good if you know who the guilty are but in L.A. Confidential you're never quite sure who to believe. The viewer is guessing right along with the investigators on the screen. And in the end it all comes together and pays off brilliantly.

    L.A. Confidential is first and foremost a great story, with many fascinating twists and turns along the way. The film also serves as a showcase for some of this generation's finest acting talents. Each of the main characters is wonderfully unique and each of the actors involved does a terrific job in bringing those characters to life. These are complex characters in a complex tale. It's so involved that the acting had to be stellar if this film was going to work and none of the stars disappoint. Terrific storytelling brought to life by a collection of inspired performances makes L.A. Confidential an absolute winner.
  • "L.A. Confidential" is brilliant. The screenplay and direction are second-to-none. The performances by the ensemble cast are also superb. Kim Basinger stands out the most with her Oscar-winning role. Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, David Strathairn, and Danny DeVito all have their moments as well. The film deals with the seamy side of Los Angeles in the post-World War II 1950s. Los Angeles is a place of shady dealings and police corruption. To add to those problems is the creation of the smutty tabloid. Multi-layered and smart, "L.A. Confidential" will be the greatest survivor of the films released in 1997. 5 out of 5 stars.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Although this movie 'flopped' at the box office at $53 million, this just may be one the smartest movies you haven't seen. With great performances from an ensemble all-star cast and a clever script, the dramatic tension of this modern film-noir classic is an absolute must-see! Told through a variation on the theme of "good cop, bad cop" with an overarching corruption angle, this film cleverly deals with issues of racism, social justice and ethics in a non-discriminatory manner. Character development is well-done and the dramatic tension is superb. If you are a fan of crime-drama and detective stories, you won't be disappointed!
  • When a film evokes an era as well as L.A. Confidential does, people take notice. It could be argued that it is easier to replicate the recent past than the distant on film, and in a sense this is true. Costumes, language, and the necessary absence of the modern in "period pieces" make them expensive and difficult to film. But couldn't it be argued that it is just as difficult to make a film about more recent periods? I have no knowledge of how a Victorian era table was set, or what a knight really spoke like; we are subject to the directors view of reality. But what if a good deal of your audience lived through the time you are portraying, as in the case of the 1950's? I can even envision my grandfather coming back from WW2 to a booming economy, and living in the world Curtis Hanson created.

    The real genus of this film is that it creates not only a physical world, but one with all the politics, corruption, racism and inequity of the time. As a result we feel the characters motivations and understand their faults all the better; Bud White, Ed Exley, Lynn Bracken and Lana Turner all live here.

    This film, like others that make us believe we are there for two hours (and $7.50), will endure. I was thinking a perfect double feature would be with Chinatown, another film that will stand the test of time.
  • L.A. Confidential is the most classy, intriguing, thought provoking and sexiest detective movie ever to be made in the history of detective films.

    When you look back at it and see that Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey and Guy Pearce actually appeared in the same film back in 97 then you wouldn't have believed it since they have all gone on to better things but before that we had L.A. Confidential which was Crowe's and Pearce's ticket into Hollywood. Spacey had already made it with his Best Supporting Actor nod for The Usual Suspects but what puzzles me is how everybody apart from Kim Basinger didn't get any acting nominations at the Oscars. James Cromwell is the most chilled out villain you'll ever going to see in a film like this and has been criminally ignored by the Academy. Curtis Hanson was also someone who had made some good films but no masterpieces till this came along.

    They all must have sold their souls to make this because when you get big cast get together to make a Hollywood film then you become a bit intrigued by it because if the cast is big then is the story any good? In L.A. Confidential's case it had both and a lot more to say the least.

    I still think that this is Spacey's, Crowe's and Pearce's best film of there career. Russell Crowe as tough guy but sentimental towards women Bud White is flawless and is quite like the real Russell Crowe which is scary. Guy Pearce as the quick witted but dumb looking Ed Exley is someone one you either love or you hate as the annoying rookie. Kevin Spacey is just as cool as anything that Bogart and Mitchium could have pulled off as Jack Vincennes and there is the movie along with a great script by Brain Heagland of Mystic River fame and Curtis Hanson himself who put together a great script from James Elroy's novel.

    Kim Basinger is as sexy as she is going to get and her acting is very good and well deserving of her Oscar if the boys were robbed. I liked how we had three different stories and one case that all had something to do with another but were all separate anyway till the end. It was like watching a movie with three stories based on a trio of detectives. L.A. Confidential was a treat as far as storytelling goes because it enthrals you into the film straight away as well as it being more exciting than a night out in Vegas.

    We don't see Detective films like this so we should be grateful that this came along when it did.
  • L.A. Confidential most likely falls into the category of one of the best movies of the past twenty years. The complex story line seemed to burst at the seams with intelligence. I found the complexity of several different sub-plots working together challenged the intellectual part of my brain while the intense action through out the entire movie satisfied the craving of the not-so-intellectual part of my brain that enjoys seeing a good brawl followed by a good shoot-out. Brian Helgeland and Curtis Hanson did and excellent job of combining many elements of several different kinds of films into one. They seem to have made this movie with several different audiences in mind. I for one, as I have mentioned, enjoyed the intellectual aspect as well as the action, while my wife enjoyed the combination of a love story with drama. It really has something for everyone. Bringing together all of these elements into one film sets it apart from many others. Of course the best aspect of L.A. Confidential is the way that not everything is as it seems, and then, in an instant, all of the plots are sprung like a trap and come together for a grand finale. Overall L.A. Confidential is an exceptional film that contains something for everyone.
  • Sickfrog14 August 1998
    Warning: Spoilers
    Truly, one of the greatest mistake the Academy has made is not awarding this film the Best Picture award. For months, I argued that while "Titanic" was a nice spectacle with great special effects, the script, the directing and the acting was all rather mediocre. However, here we have "L.A. Confidential." Perfection in script. Perfection in directing. Perfection in cast. Obviously, because Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce and Kevin Spacey all gave Oscar worthy performances, the voting was split, and therefore, none got enough votes for a nomination.

    Crowe gave an invigorating performance and Bud White, a man who knows that he is not very smart and has instead relied on pure brawn all his life. But as the film progresses, you watch him yearn to put his strength aside and become self-reliant, instead of being purely muscle for the cause of justice, which has become obscured as he has had to resort to violent and debatably immoral method to preserve peace in Los Angeles. And yet, while he does make us question whether he is going to end up on the side of good or evil by the end of the film uncertain, we do empathize enough with him to hope that he does redeem himself by the end.

    Pearce delivers Ed Exley as a man who is wholly set on the purest means of justice. While he follows his father into the same profession, his goals are unique; to uphold the law without having to bend or break it. And yet, his good aspiration are certainly out of place in the corrupt organization of the police of that time. He slowly becomes drawn into the graft. He becomes glory-hungry, pulling whatever strings he has to in order to be promoted or be seen in a good light by the press. And yet, he does begin to find himself giving into exactly the cause he fought against. And so, throughout the film, he struggles to overcome the instinctive nature of man to achieve power and glory. He has to be a better man than that. And so, the audience can quickly see the nobility in that. He is not perfect. But at least he tries to be.

    And probably the best performance in the film comes from Spacey. Here we see what Exley might have become in a few years if he wasn't careful. Jack Vincennes has succumb to the call of money and celebrity status. He does not care in the least about duty or about justice. It's all become simply a matter of vanity. And yet, he begins to see through his own fault. Spacey's performance is undoubtable the best, because he is one of those actors who doesn't have to try to communicate his emotions in order to communicate them (or, at least, he is good enough not to show the strings). I had to watch this film several times to really take in the impact of his role, and fully absorb his character. His key moments within the middle of the film are absolutely unforgettable. When he stares into the mirror of the bar after receiving the hundred dollar bill, that scene is a turning point for the character. And he was able to convey the message of that scene without saying a thing. And also, when asked why he became a cop, the delivery of that next line, just that, was Oscar worthy on its own.

    Even aside from those three performances, it would have been totally respectable if James Cromwell or Danny DeVito had received a nomination. Truly, this film had one of the greatest ensemble casts ever captured on screen.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Rollo Tomasi" is a name that anyone had seen this movie should remember for the rest of his life or at least be aware of the existence of the name, because this is the key to the spirit of this whole story. Due to the setting of this clue, there is no doubt one great movie had become a classic!

    As a Taiwanese, I saw a lot of Hong Kong movies about police and gangsters while I was a child, and they were all very impressive. Therefore, the particularly genre has been promoted to such high levels in my mind that I can hardly be pleased. Fortunately, "L.A. Confidential" satisfies me not only with its thoughtful scenario, but also with several great actors' performances. More specifically, the story is not just about justice versus evil, there are also many elements such as passion, wisdom, greed, friendship and of course love which all made this movie more than fun to watch. In other words, you might feel angry at this moment, shocked latter, and finally moved by their insistence on doing the right things which made us believe there are still several police worth our trust.

    Guy Pearce was one big surprise in the movie not because he played the leading role of the movie, but for his courage and wisdom, and most important of all, his slightly pride that caused admiration accompanied by hostility at the same time. Because the complexity he showed, we couldn't help but be deeply attracted, and that's when we built connections with the character inside the frame. Secondly, Kevin Spacey was not the one who would gain our trust at first, but no one ought to disagree with his contribution after the shocked "Rollo Tomasi" scene. Likewise, Russell Crowe twisted his role impressions only after his cooperation with Guy Pearce, but he really needed to adjust his tempers for his own sake. Such a crew made this great movie never out-of-date, not even after similar stories keep brainwashing our minds.

    How lucky I am to see such a classical film. As a matter of fact, I haven't found one movie that reaches the same level as it did, at least not in the genre. Thus, I just have to repeat watching the film again and again, and I believe many people are doing the same thing I do.
  • kyra169 February 1999
    This is the ultimate movie on the corruptness of the police force during the 1950's. No one is going to make a better movie than LA Confidential, the cast is perfect, the direction is superb, the screenplay is amazing, the choice of music, the graphic brutality, the not so fine line between good and evil.

    When I saw this in the theatres, I came out of the theatre and couldn't say anything because I was awed. And I was amazed by how wonderful Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce were, I had never heard of them before, so I didn't know what to expect, but now I have two new favorite actors. And I couldn't believe that Russell was a New Zealander and Guy was an Aussie. They had great American accents. And of course Kevin Spacey was superb as always.

    Any way, this is an awesome movie, go rent it if you have not seen it.
  • Bil-317 February 2000
    Hands-down my favourite American film of the nineties. Curtis Hanson shocked the world by proving to be not only a great director but an auteur with this unbeatable adaptation of James Ellroy's terrifying novel about corruption and crime among members of the LAPD in the 1950s. The hard-boiled detective story angle is brought to life so beautifully, mostly because Jeannine Claudia Oppewall's production design recreates the dark underside of the 50s to such perfection that not even a Coke bottle label is missed. Add to that Dante Spinotti's stunning lighting that rides the fine line between artistic and believable comfortably (as all period camerawork should), Ruth Myers' costume designing and a script by Hanson and The Postman scribe Brian Helgeland (I know, I don't get it either) that pares down Ellroy's mammoth plot about a multiple murder in a local diner involving a policeman with suspicious ties without sacrificing the density of the story or the spiderweb of events involved with it, and you have the best movie of 1997, not to mention the most fascinating detective film ever made since Orson Welles' Touch of Evil. The cast is all brilliant, most notably Kim Basinger as a wordly prostitute who has not only a heart of gold but a mind of steel--Basinger is so strong in her character's every nuance you'll find yourself forgetting she's even acting--and Kevin Spacey as a Dean Martin-esque detective who not only solves an important part of the puzzle, he even discovers he possesses a soul beneath his flashy suits. I just can't get enough of this film.
  • LA Confidential is a sprawling epic tale of crime, corruption and justice in Hollywood and the LAPD, with a cast to match. A truly gripping crime saga exposing the seedy underbelly of the City of Angels, where cops never let the truth get in the way of justice, and everyone knows everyone else's dirty secrets.

    Criminally overlooked at both the box office and the Academy thanks to the all-conquering and over-achieving Titanic, LA Confidential will far more likely stand the test of time to be thought of as one of the best films of the 90s, and possibly the best cop film ever.

    After cops give a number of inmates a beating in retaliation for two of their own being put in hospital, the career-minded Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) agrees to testify to what he saw, turning in his fellow officers. When one of the cops forced out turns up dead as a result of a shooting, Exley, hothead detective Bud White (Russell Crowe) and fame-obsessed Sergeant Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) all work to find the answers. However, as they uncover the truth, it leads to more questions, of corruption, blackmail, bribery and conspiracy.

    The film superbly portrays the dual nature of Hollywood; glamorous parties and beautiful people, and the seemingly ever-present crime and corruption, even in the police. Danny Devito's opening monologue perfectly sums it up - 'There's trouble in paradise'. This is not the city at the end of the rainbow, the city where dreams come true.

    A series of stellar performances from an all-star cast makes it impossible to pick the star, although Kim Basinger richly deserved her Best Supporting Actress. Kevin Spacey is terrific as ever, while Russell Crowe shows that Gladiator wasn't his first muscles-with-a-heart role. But the real standout is probably Guy Pearce in a career-making performance as the one officer determined to what is right and just, regardless of the potentially disastrous consequences for him. However, LA Confidential is a true ensemble piece, and everybody holds their own among the starry cast. Few will have made many better films, before or since.

    Curtis Hanson directs in a career-defining role, the sweeping direction echoing the sprawling nature of both the story and the city. The story is a slow-burner, gradually unraveling all the twists, but instead of clearing up the mystery, the waters become muddier as the trio of officers are forced to work together. Hanson masterfully commands the James Ellroy's source material, weaving it into a gripping multi-layered tale. The characters are extremely well developed, all three-dimensional, with no clear-cut heroes and villains. White (Crowe) in particular is the classic film noir anti-hero, the violent cop with a heart-breaking story, thinking with his muscles rather than his brain. LA Confidential is a classic 50s noir film told for the 90s, and keeps you guessing right up to the final scene as to how high the corruption goes. The two-hour running time is never felt.

    A superb thriller and the perfect antidote to the rash of mindless action-comedies that frequently come out of Hollywood today, LA Confidential harks back to how film-making used to be – all about telling a story. And what a story it is. One of, if not the best film of the 90s.
  • sallyshirla11 March 2019
    We've not come very far since this classic in terms of high quality cop crime dramas. Acting and direction is perfection.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Reading the comments, I find few viewers seemed to have read James Ellroy's LA Trilogy, on which LA Confidential is based. The Big Nowhere, LA Confidential and White Jazz comprise the Dudley Smith story; Smith is the only constant in all three. None of the heroes are in Nowhere, Buzz Meeks being gunned down by Dudley while trying to escape, having hidden the heroin. Buzz White survives Confidential along with Exley, and White does go off to Arizona, but Smith still lives and rides high. In Jazz, Ed Exley~~Guy Pearce~~and Smith do battle for the soul of David Klein, who in the end brings down Smith. Of the three, Confidential is surely the most complicated since with the heroin out there somewhere, many more players are involved.

    Hanson's genius is to shorten the story, eliminating Nowhere entirely, and bringing Dudley his retribution without Dave Klein being involved. He eliminates so many back stories: Exley's father is alive in the book, and a powerful politico to boot and this is just one difference, but in clarifying and making the story shorter, he almost makes it better. The murder of Vincennes is a brilliant touch, along with the code name Rollo Tomassi.

    Both the books and the film are pulse pounders, intense to the core. My late wife, who could never sit through any film without getting up for a cigarette, was immobilized, and by the end was screaming "Kill him" as Exley watched Smith depart. If I had one slight criticism, it would be the cleaning up of some of the language about the original suspects in the Nite Owl killings, but make no mistake about it, this is the film for the 90's, and the only 1997 Oscar nominee worth watching. Hurrah for Curtis Hanson.
  • In the gritty LA of the 1950's, stardom is the boom industry and all is about appearance and visual image. However under the surface drug use is rife, prostitution is rampant and the police officers are violent thugs. In the middle of this are three officers with different aims. Ed Exley is an ambitious young officer who will do anything to climb the ranks, Bud White is a muscle man and gets the job done while Jack Vincennes is only concerned with celebrity busts and getting his face in the paper. When the three come together on a coffee shop killing that brings in elements of cases they are following they solve it together. However each has suspicions that something is not right.

    I'm sorry to say that I didn't pick up on this at the cinema and it wasn't until the Oscars brought it to my attention that I first saw it. Since then I have seen it several times and have enjoyed it every time. The plot is slightly complex (although maybe not by the genre's standards) and it isn't simplified for the audiences sake – it respects the audience enough to trust us to keep up with it's pace. The film is split into three strands dictated by the characters, they are not quite distinct but are mostly intertwined the whole way through – coming together in the final hour to great effect.

    The pace of the telling is great; it has moments of drama, of tension and great action. Hanson has done a great job with the direction, he has a great sense of place and time to his 50's Hollywood – whether it be the stars' lives or the black suburbs – but he directs each scene with a sense of tension and urgency that the material deserves. The final twist is OK if not great but it is more the telling of the story that is enjoyable, not just the denouncement.

    The casting did a great job of getting growth names and established qualities but no one huge star who could dominate the film. It is the Australian stars that stand out here. Pearce is excellent with a subtly changing character but it is Crowe that sticks in the memory with a very strong character and a performance to match. Spacey is as quality as he ever is (or at least, was for a few years either side of this film) and the support cast is as good with De Vito, Basinger, Cromwell, Rifkin, Strathairn and Guilfoyle.

    There is nothing I really dislike about this film. The longer than average running time is not a problem as it easily fills it without dragging at any point. The film oozes class and has a great tough plot from Ellroy where nothing is as simple as right/wrong and everything comes together at the end. A real classy film with brains and brawn which continues to be one of my favourites of recent years.
  • doctorx29 November 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    LA Confidential has all of the qualities that, over time, earn a film the honorific, "classic." The story is involved and involving, and quickly pulls the viewer into trying to solve the mystery along with the main characters. The script is brisk and clever, the editing moves along at a solid pace that builds toward the end, the images of old LA are realistic and convincing, and the character portrayals are more than wonderful, they're truly memorable. It's safe to say that in many respects this film provided break-out roles for Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey, and Guy Pearce.

    Crowe's Bud White steals the show -- brutal, tender, complex, and in his own way, rigidly principled, White is a powerful character whose presence dominates scenes. Crowe's earlier role in Virtuosity showed a tiny, violent piece of Bud White, but lacked his complexity and depth. Bud White showed the world what Russell Crowe can really do on screen.

    LA Confidential similarly makes the best use of Kevin Spacey's abilities, in his role as the world-weary, cynical, smart and smarmy Jack Vincennes. Spacey's earlier work (e.g., The Usual Suspects) is terrific and memorable, but Jack Vincennes paved the way for the Spacey characterizations viewers love in his later films (e.g., Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, American Beauty, Pay it Forward, and the less acclaimed Beyond the Sea).

    The role of Edmund Exley provided Guy Pearce with an opportunity to demonstrate some of his enormous range as an actor, alternately appearing naive, self-righteous, scared, street-wise, and menacing. These qualities appear in the widely varied but dynamic characters he has created in subsequent films (Memento, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Time Machine).

    More than reliable, the supporting cast also creates characters that are believable, complex, and a pleasure to watch. Kim Basinger's wise and weary Lynn Bracken may represent her best work on screen. James Cromwell, often cast as a failed administrator, is wonderfully hate-able as the cool and corrupt Captain Dudley Smith. Danny DeVito romps as slimy Sid Hudgens, and David Strathairn's Pierce Morehouse Patchett is subtle and believable. Patchett almost certainly brought Straithairn the role of Edward R. Murrow in 2005's Good Night, and Good Luck. Ron Rifkin, Matt McCoy, and the rest of the cast also bring realism and energy to their roles, making the film solid and believable.

    The story itself is compelling and enjoyable, a cops-and-robbers whodunit with several twists. The dialog ranges from moving to hilarious to terrifying to inspiring, without losing the story's consistency. The story's conclusion is dramatic, action-packed, and contains a few sweet surprises.

    Anyone interested in seeing the early work of Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey, or Guy Pearce should see LA Confidential. Anyone interested in seeing a great film should see LA Confidential. It's one of those films worth owning and watching a few times a year. Which is to say, it's a classic.
  • Hard to imagine now but in 1997 many of the cast in LA CONFIDENTIAL weren`t well known . Kevin Spacey had an Oscar under his belt but hadn`t appeared in many starring roles , Guy Pearce was known only to NEIGHBOURS fans while Russell Crowe was remembered only for his powerhouse performance in ROMPER STOMPER . In fact it sounds ridiculous in 2003 but the two best known members of the cast when this was released were Danny DeVito and Kim Basinger

    The real star of LA CONFIDENTIAL is the script . I`ve never read the novel but I`ve often heard it`s unfilmable . Never once did I get the feeling this was true while watching the film adaption because the only thing to strike me about the script was its intelligence , yes you`ve read that right an intelligent Hollywood script complete with violence , wit and a couple of shocking twists and turns . The only criticism about the story is the old cliche of one of the cops being a naive idealist while the other cop is a violent fascist thug .

    LA CONFIDENTIAL was stuffed at the Oscars by TITANIC but that`s not surprising . How many academy voters are going to love a film about corruption , vice and murder set in Hollywood ?
  • auuwws19 November 2020
    Warning: Spoilers
    A wonderful movie and the performance of most of the actors was excellent and the development of Ed Exly's character was excellent and the ending was good. I did not expect the death of jack. The film discussed the issue of corruption among the police officers in an excellent way and the directing was very good and the writing was good, but at the end of the film I felt very bored
  • Everything aside, my opinion is the best movies shot between 93 and 2002. I think it's the golden age.
  • Modern classic, great cast of characters and a story line that keeps you hanging on until the end.
  • It's a work of art it is a pretty mix between the classical police's movie and philosophy of pragmatism
  • "L.A. Confidential" is the kind of film that will make you laugh; make you gaze in amazement at its appeal, and become immersed in a murder mystery with so many twists and tangles that it could make your head spin. With one of the strongest plots I've ever seen, which is executed masterfully by Curtis Hanson, also has eye candy and sex appeal. The direction really is wonderful. The art direction is fantastic and brings you right back into the 50s. The acting is very good even if it comes off as 50s styled acting proving that todays actors are far superior than the actors of the 50s. "L. A. Confidential" even goes as far as poking fun at the sensationalized way films were made in that time period with a hilarious sequence where a cop on a show called, "Badge of Honor," interrupts a women giving him details about some crime, and he says, "Just the facts, ma'am. Just the facts."

    The tangled and twisted plot is engrossing and filled with seduction, cons, lies, betrayal, killings, and corruption. The acting is terrific from a slew of great actors including Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, and Walter Cromwell plays one of the great villains I've ever seen. All of these guys have a lot of fun with their roles, and do an excellent job. Kim Basinger plays a prostitute who tries to look like a movie a star so that her pimp, Pierce Patchett (David Stratharin), can reap the benefits since everyone wants to be with a celebrity. "L. A. Confidential" is as much a look at the culture of the 50s, both commercially through television and the dirty business of police officers exposed, as it is being a stylized homage piece. This is a film that's done exceptionally well with some great lines, great performances, and a plot that will force you to watch it again and again. It hardly misses a beat. This is one of the few films that can recreate the 50s with its acting and style and still hold up with todays society. It works well as a film and exceptionally well as an homage piece.
  • MaxBorg8915 January 2006
    L.A. Confidential, one of the best pictures of the '90s (in fact, it could have won the 1997 Best Picture Oscar: it's so much better than Titanic), is the definitive proof that there is no such thing as an "unfilmable" book: Curtis Hanson (with the help of co-writer Brian Helgeland) has turned James Ellroy's noir masterpiece (which is 800 pages long) into a 135-minute long modern classic. It's THE noir of the '90s!

    The story takes place in L.A., early '50s. It's a city where everything looks perfect, where everybody goes to become a movie star. But, as Danny De Vito's opening voice-over informs us, it's not as good as it looks: the "City of Angels" is actually run by Al Capone-clones such as Mickey Cohen (Paul Guilfoyle, aka CSI's Brass), and the police... Well, it just so happens a lot of the LAPD is among the mob's unofficial employees. And it's in this kind of environment that we first meet the three key players: Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) is an ambitious young man who wants to be as good as his dad and do his job properly, even if that includes turning in his colleagues; Bud White (Russell Crowe) is a disillusioned cop who not only accepts violence as part of the job, but even uses it as often and much as possible in his personal crusade against wife-beating men (as his partner puts it:"You're like Santa Claus with that list, Bud, Except everyone on it's been naughty"); and Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) is the classic "Hollywood Cop", who gets paid by tabloids to bust coke-snorting celebrities. These three men, so different, will have to join forces when they discover their respective cases, which involve corruption, drugs, prostitution and various murders, are all linked to the Nite Owl massacre...

    The award-winning script's focus is on the differences and similarities that connect the three protagonists and their views on the law. Hanson has completely removed the subplots concerning Vincennes and Exley's love lives (which occupied quite a bit of the book), preferring to show us only the bond between Bud White and Lynn Bracken, a whore but also the one person who truly understands the conflict and hatred that are at the center of the brutal cop's mind and soul. She's an extraordinary person, and she's played by a great actress: Kim Basinger, who was justly given an Oscar for her performance. As for the other actors, L.A. Confidential kick-started Pearce's career, confirmed Spacey's status as Best Actor of the Decade and reminded us that James Cromwell and David Strathairn are two of the best character actors around. But it's Crowe, in his Hollywood debut, who really steals the show. Forget A Beautiful Mind, The Insider, hell, even Gladiator: this is the role that should have obtained the Academy's attention.

    New to the genre? This movie is a good start, alongside The Untouchables. Already a fan, and excited about Brian De Palma's upcoming adap of Ellroy's The Black Dahlia? Just keep watching L.A. Confidential in the meantime.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    LA Confidential oozes with the 50s style it's going for. Every aspect of the production from the costumes, the sets, cars, music, and dialogue is spot-on for the era, and in no way feels like actors from the 90s playing for a bygone time period.

    This is a far superior, more historically honest production as opposed to movies like 2013's "Gangster Squad" that had a racially diverse, politically correct depiction of a similar era, or the revisionist history remake of The Magnificent Seven (to go further back). The racism, sexism, and bigotry of the 50s are on full display in LA Confidential, and the film isn't even always apologetic about it. Your mileage may vary on how much the depiction of this kind of content affects you. As time goes on, the American public seems to be more and more aware on average of police corruption, racial profiling, and unnecessary violence used by police departments, so a movie like LA Confidential, where these elements are shown as a harsh reality of the time period (not that they don't happen today) and a reality of police procedure, might be hard to watch. I was impressed that the movie was so honest about this content, it's more or less always been a part of the police system, even when criminals are successfully dealt with. The politics and power-plays shown in police departments are what elevates this over a typical shoot 'em up thriller. The entire cast is excellent, especially vintage Russell Crowe in his prime, even pre-Gladiator, who's an ass-kicking force of nature as hard nosed detective Bud White. LA Confidential impressed me a lot, but it's held back by some scenes that stretch what's an otherwise very believable setting and premise. *Spoilers ahead*

    The scene where Guy Pearce and Russel Crowe's characters threaten and assault a sitting District Attorney to get information on the corruption case is over the top. There's dozens of witnesses on the street who can see he's being dangled above a sidewalk. Whether or not he confessed to collusion, he could always say his confession was given under duress, Exley and White would've never made it a step further in their investigation after that. Also, in the shootout at the end, White gets shot at least twice, maybe three times in the body, and once in the jaw, and is shown several scenes later alive and relatively well. He would have a tough time surviving that if that happened today, much less with the medical technology available then.

    Despite a few scenes that stretch beliveability in its otherwise gritty, down to Earth setting, LA Confidential is a solid watch for anyone who enjoys detective drama and action, dressed up in the glowing sheen of a vintage era of Hollywood history that gives refreshing contrast to the bloody, harsh underbelly of Los Angeles.
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