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90

Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 185 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Based on James Ellroy's novel about the movie industry, corrupt cops, tabloid journalism, gangsters and sexual obsessions of every stripe, L.A. Confidential is set in 1950's Los Angeles.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Michael Sragow
    100
    He's (Hanson) never before generated the kind of heat inside a picture--and out of it--that he has with L.A. Confidential.
  2. One of the best crime dramas to come along in years.
  3. 100
    Seductive and beautiful, cynical and twisted, and one of the best films of the year.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    You have to pay close attention to follow the double-crossing intricacies of the plot, but the reward for your work is dark and dirty fun.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    88
    This sleek adaptation of James Ellroy's dauntingly complex novel has the black-and-white tabloid soul of an old "Confidential" magazine.
  6. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    80
    A movie of shadows and half lights, the best approximation of the old black-and-white noir look anyone has yet managed on color stock.
  7. 60
    Director Curtis Hanson keeps the hugely complicated story zooming along the boulevard of broken dreams without losing sight of the details that make the trip worthwhile.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. 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. Expand
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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. Expand
  5. 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. Expand
  6. Sep 19, 2013
    8
    L.A. Confidential is a well-made drama that may get a little dry and stale at parts, but immediately picks up the action again and delivers an Oscar-worthy scene that keeps you engaged, so you decide to watch it until the end. Expand
  7. Aug 26, 2012
    7
    The best thing about this film is the plot. But because it's just a film adaption of James Ellroy's novel I won't give bonus points for that. A bit too slow sometimes but they've got a good cast and a nice 50's feeling. Story is still the best, however. Expand

See all 35 User Reviews

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