To Live and Die in L.A.
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William Friedkin's crime thriller, based on a book by U.S. Secret Service agent Gerald Petievich, concerns an arrogant Secret Service official who wants to get his man at any price. Willem Dafoe plays Eric Masters, an ultra-smooth counterfeiter who has managed to sidestep the police for years. He is so up-front about his dealings, in fact, that when some undercover agents try to make a deal with him at his health club, Eric tells them, "I've been coming to this gym three times a week for five years. I'm an easy guy to find. People know they can trust me." But when young… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Engrossing and diverting enough on a moment-to-moment basis but is overtooled."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"The film isn't just about cops and robbers, but about two systems of doing business, and how one of the systems finds a way to change itself in order to defeat the other."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A profoundly ambivalent motion picture... completely upends every convention of its hidebound genre without even seeming to notice that it has done so."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"William Friedkin returned to form with this tough, stylish and gutsy crime thriller enhanced by one of the great soundtracks of the 1980s."
‑ Chuck O'Leary, Fantastica Daily
"Action set-pieces are brilliantly blocked and shot, but never to the detriment of the unnerving unspooling of the universally unsavory cast of characters."
‑ Phil Freeman, culturevulture.net
"Friedkin plays it as brutal and cynical as he ever did with The French Connection..."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"The film is cheesy as hell but it is a ton of fun for someone who remembered how this passed as uber-edgy back in the day."
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"[William] Friedkin creates a jittery atmosphere of adrenaline and corruption and danger..."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Seanax.com
"To Live and Die in L.A. is undeniably very well made - from the performances to the more technical aspects - but the bottom line is, it's just not all that compelling."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Visceral just often enough to allay the infuriatingly generic shortcuts Friedkin and co. take to a finale that throws the film triumphantly off its Hollywood-conventional axis"
‑ Bill Chambers, Film Freak Central
"On its own terms, it's a considerable success, though it's a film that sacrifices everything in the interests of style."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"The action thrives on overkill."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Friedkin's 1985 film To Live and Die in L.A. may be one of his very best, though it did not reach the level of acclaim and support of his earlier films."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"There's not much substance here, but the film ... showcases a grabber of a car chase that compares favorably with the classic one from Friedkin's The French Connection."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"A sylish bit of 80's action-noir, with an amazing original soundtrack by forgotten one-hit wonders of the decade, Wang Chung."
‑ Brian Mckay, eFilmCritic.com
More reviews for To Live and Die in L.A. on Rotten Tomatoes