User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 193 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 0 out of 193

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  1. Dec 26, 2011
    9
    "L.A Confidential" is not JUST a gangster movie. It's one that's cheerfully paced yet cynically written, where the three main characters compete against each other with beautiful state-of-art cinematography.
  2. Mar 9, 2011
    10
    A masterpiece, combining a complex storyline with an amazing cast. A must see for all movie fans. The twist at the end will definetly make you want to watch it again to see what you missed. Remains one of my favorite films.
  3. Oct 30, 2011
    10
    L.A. Confidential may be one of the few book adaptations that holds up (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo does too) and despite its very loose adaptation it is flawlessly executed with standout performances from the likes of Kevin Spacey and James Cromwell. However the film really belongs to Guy Pearce's Ed Exley who is the by the book character everyone loves to hate. This may be an oversimplification on my part but his performance is flawless, invoking all the emotions, especially as he reminisces about the death of his father in a gripping scene between him and Spacey's Jack Vincennes (whose answer to why he became a cop is brilliant). At its best LA Confidential is a film of two halves but each episode is cleverly put together with each character shining. The film embraces the period, including the obsession with noir and pulp to great effect with Kim Basinger bringing to life the role of the Femme Fatale as she effortlessly manipulates those she sees while also showing her vulnerable side during her scenes with Russell Crowe's Bud White (A career highlight). The story follows the brutal murders of the staff and customers of a late night coffee shop called the Nite Owl. However a plot that starts out simple frays off into multiple sub plots that are equally intriguing and cleverly put together providing one of the most intelligent look at the inner workings of a police station and the people we trust to solve our crime (The game L.A. Noire tries to do the same but falls flat). The film is a exhilarating tale of corruption, murder, sex and general wrong-doing that shows that there is no black and white, only shades of grey. Its everything a perfect noir should be and more. A timeless classic. Expand
  4. Oct 29, 2011
    9
    L.A. Confidential perfectly captures the dark and dirty world of a 1950s pulp-noir. The film, as is often the case with noir, is all about contrast - whether it's the contrast between sun-kissed villas and dingy slum interiors, or the contrast between a cop following the law to the letter and another bending the rules to get the job done, or even the contrast between steamy romance and brutal violence. The various plot-lines that run parallel to each other feel episodic, but all are engaging and build to an immensely satisfying conclusion.The performances across the board are strong,but of particular note are Guy Pearce's by-the-book lead protagonist, Kevin Spacey's celebrity super-cop and James Cromwell's formidable police chief - they cast make the already excellent script shine. You have all the usual noir hallmarks - the femme-fatale (Basinger), the quick-talking, smart-ass reporter (DeVito), dirty criminals and even dirtier cops, yet L.A. Confidential still manages to be creative. For instance, few films that I can think of put such a focus on the public face of a police force - the maintenance of a media machine that is required to keep the authorities looking like the good guys. The film is nigh-on flawless, and a joy to watch. Expand
  5. Feb 22, 2013
    9
    This film is the true definition of a blockbuster, that met and exceeded every expectation. L.A. Confidential is loaded with star power and filmed in a style of films thirty years it's senior. Based on a true story, Three L.A. Detectives, with different reputations and personalities, team up to solve a brutal murder that involves one of their own. The film is loaded with twists and turns that will lead you down many different paths and thanks to the quality of the acting, it's all believable. Just how good was this movie? In 1998, it received NINE Academy nominations, one of the highest number of nominations ever. L.A. Confidential also put Russell Crowe on the map. This film is an extremely exciting 'who done it' mystery that will leave you on the edge of your seat and begging for more. The story is top notch, the acting is just about as good as it gets, and you will be hard pressed to find a better mystery. I can't possibly recommend this film enough! Expand
  6. Jul 6, 2012
    9
    This is the best movie all the time! I don't kidding. I saw this movie about ten times and I always enjoy it. If you don't see it, you must watch it! I hope you like too.
  7. Dec 23, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. With it's brilliant pacing and neo-noir crime drama elements. L.A.
    Confidential stands one of the best crime films ever made. The
    incredible thing about this movie is acting,seems like every actor is
    living the character they are in. Russel Crowe just stands out as the
    tough cop and a man who hates women beaters,rapers and killers.His
    voice tone through the entire movie helps building his character,the
    other great aspect as anti-political. Kevin Spacey ,what could i say
    ,he is just awesome,his turn as a likable and smart Sgt really gives
    the plot a go-ahead.Especially the scene where with James Crowell. Guy
    Pearce ,just nailed the character of Ed Exley.His transformation from a
    fame-lover and political smart officer to a real justice seeking man is
    very good. Kim Basinger ,she is just beautiful and clever.she doesn't
    look so aged and her charm and acting deserved the academy. Every other
    supporting actor Danny DeVito,James Cromwell and David Strathairn are
    all good. Under Curtis Hanson's brilliant direction and Curtis Hanson
    Brian Helgeland's cleverly adapted screenplay from the novel of same
    name is quite interesting. Overall,this is a thrilling and one of the
    best neo-noir drama film with unexpected and great twists.
    Expand
  8. Jan 10, 2014
    9
    Awesome film. Great acting, directing, and wow, I was left guessing all the way until the end. Not many flaws I can think of and certainly worthy of all the praise it has received. Brilliant.
  9. Nov 8, 2012
    9
    L.A. Confidential is a startling, beautiful police drama that is flawless except for one aspect. Its characters escape tragedy far too often and easily, but that is a small flaw, and it is overshadowed by the power of the performances the actors give.
  10. Mar 10, 2013
    9
    Strongly written and acted, this film is an instant classic.
  11. Mar 16, 2013
    9
    L.A. Confidential is a superb noir classic with a stylish atmosphere that makes L.A. Confidential smoother then jazz. This noir classic is a thrill ride that is one of the greatest films of all time.
  12. Jun 21, 2014
    10
    One of the greatest crime thrillers, 'L.A. Confidential' is a flawless film with the direction, acting, cinematography, and script to support it. It defeats 'Titanic' numerous times over, and it never gets tiresome. This should have swept the Oscars, unfortunately 'Titanic' was sad enough for people to love it.
  13. Jun 29, 2014
    10
    L.A. Confidential has terrific performances from a talented cast. The action scenes are fuelled by an old-fashioned detective yarn. The movie never drags and no other movie has featured Basinger, Crowe, Spacey and Pierce together. A fantastic crime drama set during the 1950's that will delight you.
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. A movie bull's-eye: noir with an attitude, a thriller packing punches. It gives up its evil secrets with a smile.
  2. A juicy noir stew of amorality that's the best thing since "Chinatown."
  3. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    100
    A tough, gorgeous, vastly entertaining throwback to the Hollywood that did things right. As such, it enthusiastically breaks most rules of studio filmmaking today.