L.A. Confidential
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Based on the best-selling novel by James Ellroy and directed by Curtis Hanson, this award-winning crime drama explores both the dark side of the Los Angeles police force and Southern California's criminal underbelly in the early '50s, when Hollywood was still seen as America's capital of sophistication, glitter, and glamour. Dudley Smith (James Cromwell) is the head of the LAPD and is loyal to his officers and eager to turn a blind eye to violence or corruption within his department, as long as it's the "bad guys" who are getting hurt. Bud White (Russell Crowe) is a… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 99%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"L.A. Confidential is a movie bull's-eye: noir with an attitude, a thriller packing punches. It gives up its evil secrets with a smile."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"L.A. Confidential isn't quite up there with Chinatown, but it's the closest thing to come down the Santa Monica Freeway in the last 23 years."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"The story is so complicated that the movie can't quite make it clear, but the picture has impressive energy and high-intensity performances from Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, and Guy Pearce."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"It doesn't let up for a second, cramming James Ellroy's sprawling novel into a mere 98 minutes. That's both good and bad. The good? It's an exhilarating, breakneck ride. The bad? It's over far too soon."
‑ Matt Soergel, Florida Times-Union
"This superlative filming of James Ellroy's complex 1950s detective story by director Curtis Hanson fuses period authenticity, fluid direction and searing, full-blooded performances."
‑ Jason Caro, Radio Times
"There are so many things to enjoy here. Director Curtis Hanson... keeps a complex story coherent and absorbing -- if bloody at the end."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"Hanson has made the film noir setting virtually another starring character."
‑ Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Like Chinatown before it, this twisted and twisting tale of cops, crime, corruption and hangers-on in 1950s Los Angeles artfully evokes the flip side of the City of Dreams."
‑ Leah Rozen, People Magazine
"L.A. Confidential is a satisfyingly plotted film with echoes of the 1974 classic Chinatown."
‑ Tonya Pendleton, Philadelphia Daily News
"Though their spirits may seem all but entombed by sin, these men are vividly human, this film savagely alive."
‑ Rod Dreher, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"At the center of the movie are three mismatched cops with separately fueled ambitions, ferociously played by Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce. Their combined charisma almost smashes through the screen."
‑ Jami Bernard, New York Daily News
"Spicy and boiling-hot, this sensational early-'50s crime drama is a morality play disguised as pulp fiction -- a sprawling saga of corruption and redemption set against a flashy West Coast backdrop."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"While not reaching the twisted heights of the superbly sinister Chinatown, L.A. Confidential is smart, complex and engrossing."
‑ Serena Donadoni, Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
"The result is a powerful work of art. Seldom has a study of sleaze said more about what makes us all tick."
‑ Dan Webster, Spokesman-Review (Washington)
"The genius of the film -- and it is a film of genius, without a doubt -- is that it holds an investigation into the human soul's capacity for evil, while somehow still managing to be funny, thrilling, lively, shocking and unremittingly entertaining."
‑ , Total Film
More reviews for L.A. Confidential on Rotten Tomatoes

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