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L.A. Confidential
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Mystery
IMDB rating:
Curtis Hanson
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
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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Don't like cop movies? - Watch this anyway!
I am a hardened hater of cop movies, especially 50's cop movies. So, having been forced onto the sofa to watch this supposed "gem" of a movie by an ardent Russell Crowe fan, I settled down reluctantly to what I thought would be over two hours of stereotypical pap.

Was I ever wrong! Forget the old stereotypes - good cop/bad cop, buddy cop movies and the rest. This takes all of those and twists them out of all recognition. Every character has his or her lovable side but you end up resenting the fact that you like them because of various other angles of their personalities.

The ensemble cast is superb! Kevin Spacey is on form as ever, Russell Crowe deservedly broke into Hollywood with this role and, hopefully, so will the excellent and much underrated Guy Pearce. And as for Kim Basinger, well, having thought of her acting as a somewhere between mildly amusing and downright irritating for some years I have had to re-evaluate and now think she's totally amazing. Talk about versatility! Even the ever type-cast Danny DeVito is splendid as the narrator and two-bit hack who coins the title to the movie.

The friend who made me watch the movie is now living in delighted smugness in the fact that I have to admit that this has to be my favourite film of all time and also that I have watched it at least a dozen times.

Just two words can now set the hairs on the back of my neck on end (you'll understand if you watch it) - "Rolo Tamasi"!
Kim Basinger was really sexy!
SPOILER ALERT This film was so interesting that I couldn't stop watching it even though it was past 2 in the mid night. I had never imagined that Kevin Spacy would be killed. The film was series of unexpected scenes. What was the most impressed for me was, of course the story was amazingly good, but how Kim Basinger was beautiful, attractive, and sexy. Was she really 43years old at that time? I hardly believed how old she was. Who can resist her temptation? I envy her beauty.
A good, old fashioned movie
What I love about this movie is the film noir quality that keeps you wanting more. Each body in this film is not just a person, they're a character. They each have something to gain, whether noble or not, and that is what makes this film interesting. The shootouts are fun, but the plot and characters are what drives this movie.

My one criticism is the length. There were parts where the movie just seemed to drag a bit. In my opinion, the "Bloody Christmas" bit could have been cut altogether, or, if they needed a way for Guy Pearce's character to get his Detective badge, it could have started with him as detective and then been mentioned in passing. It wasn't really necessary to the rest of the plot.

Other than that, however, this movie is excellent.

Read my original review of this movie at
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.
I know everyone loves it but...
...I didn't. I found the movie to be very convoluted and I didn't care enough about any of the characters to stay with it. I keep hearing this was one of the top movies of all time but I would recommend you skip it or just not expect much.
A "Chinatown" for the 1990s
"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.
One of the best movies ever made...
L.A. Confidential is a thrilling film-noir about three cops who are trying to solve a mysterious murder case. On the surface it sounds like every other crime thriller, but the movie itself goes beyond that and becomes one of the most fascinating experiences I have ever had at the movies!

I must tell you, before going into the movie, I knew NOTHING about it except that Kevin Spacey was in it.

I don't want to go into plot details but will say that this movie was the best movie of 97 and probably one of the greatest movies ever made. Titanic beat this out at the Oscars? You have GOT to be kidding me. Russell Crowe should have at least garnered a nod for best supporting actor. He was absolutely stunning, as was Pearce and Spacey as the other two cops.

Scale of 1 to 5: 5
At last -- an IMDb rating really close to what it should be...
Whatta cast. Whatta movie. From beginning to end of the best cop flicks ever shot anywhere and while I gave it a perfect 10, the current IMDb rating (8.3) is pretty darn close. Crowe and Spacey, two Oscar winners in their own right, as cops, that's enough to make you want to sign up for the force yourself. The other reviewers are right, this film was CHEATED in all the awards categories that year; in decades to come, will viewers want to get seasick one more time on the Titanic -- a story where we know exactly what is going to happen before it does -- or will they want to watch this story unfold moment by moment..? To this reviewer the larger "crime" in this "crime tale" is Pearce. How good was he here as Exley? How hot is the sun? How high is the sky? He gave the single best performance of his life here and the buzz was that it would launch him into other projects...? But for some reason that never happened. Pearce did a few name films here and there (a forgettable remake of Monte Cristo for example) and even went back to AussieLand to pick up work there, but never again (sorry to say) flew the heights he flew here. Minute for minute and pound for pound, one of the best films of its kind with one of the best ensemble casts on the planet.
If you like good movies this is for you
I'm not worthy to review this film. However, I need to write some sort of glowing praise of this masterpiece though just to satisfy myself. Wow! What a movie. Fast paced, very tight, well written story, superb acting by all. Russel Crowe seemed to play a typical role, but very well. Kevin Spacey is always excellent. I'm sure Kim Basinger's acting was marvelous as well but I was so distracted by how gorgeous she was I could hardly pay attention. The plot ranks up there, probably above The Usual Suspects. I think the twist at the end of Usual Suspects was better, but everything in LA Confidential is brilliant. The characters are all so well developed. My only complaint is that Guy Pearce's character seemed too easily accepted after his ratting out other officers. Not downplay Guy Pearce's performance which was also quite good. I can't believe I hadn't heard more about this movie before. This movie is to film and the 1950's LA scene what The Great Gatsby was to literature and the 1920's Jazz Age, but much more entertaining than the Great Gatsby.
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!!
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