“L.A. Confidential” Review ✦✦✦✦✧

21 September, 2017

Year of Release: 1997
Curtis Hanson
Curtis Hanson, Brian Helgeland
Director of Photography: 
Dante Spinotti
Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey

Synopsis: Three cops stationed in Hollywood during the 1950s come together in response to a string of murders which all point back to the Los Angeles police force.

L.A. Confidential Review:

“Chinatown” for the 90s with a horn blast Jerry Goldsmith score made to match the bleakness of a face-job murder mystery, “L.A. Confidential” is tuned to the click of a typewriter, uniting lawmen, showmen, and newspapermen as snapshot drug busts and late-night shootings hit the headlines before a body even hits the ground. Filling the morgue faster than it can put together a case file, the film sees compliance work hand-in-hand with corruption as either a bullet to the head or a shot to the heart puts a cap on the truth, reassessing the glitz of Hollywood behind bandaged faces and bloodied suits.

A quick-fire crime drama with “Double Indemnity” inflections, “L.A. Confidential” distorts the face of professionalism, creating a position that cannot be withdrawn from while throwing good cops and bad cops under the bus. Constructing a pastiche Noir out of seedy lives and curious tip-offs, with Russell Crowe and Kim Basinger mirroring an iconic Nicholson-Dunaway hook-up as a detective wrestles with both his weakness for romance and his desire for information, Curtis Hanson ensures that there’s more than enough drama to go around in his iconic brawling police movie.

While a trio of officers with conflicting methods hunt for a greater justice, “L.A. Confidential” fixates on the scoop at the end of its towering piles of bodies, forcing the good, the bad, and the ugly to link arms as they join together to crack the case of their career. Working towards a common goal but unwilling to alter their temperament, a celebrity crime-stopper, a grudge-bearing thug, and a squeaky clean lawman prove that sometimes you need brains, sometimes you need brawn, and sometimes you need to bend the rules a little to get to the truth in a film with enough murder, romance, and socio-political commentary to fill an entire library.


Review Date
L.A. Confidential