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L.A. Confidential

1997 Mystery & Suspense

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 police detective whose violent and cynical nature is often at war with his basic sense of decency and justice. Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) is a beat cop-turned-detective whose strict by-the-book philosophy and willingness to blow the whistle on other officers is balanced by a shrewd and opportunistic understanding of the internal politics of the department. And Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) is a flashy "Hollywood" detective who serves as technical advisor for the TV series Badge of Honor. He is also in cahoots with Sid Hudgeons (Danny DeVito), publisher of the scandal sheet Hush Hush, who throws kickbacks to Vincennes in exchange for being brought along when showbiz figures get busted. White, Exley, and Vincennes find themselves drawn into a tangled and sticky web of violence and betrayal following a multiple murder at a coffee shop that is believed to be part of an effort by Mickey Cohen (Paul Guilfoyle) to consolidate his hold on organized crime in L.A. This lead appears to be connected to the discovery of a bizarre pornography and call-girl ring operated by Pierce Patchett (David Strathairn), whose women are given plastic surgery so that they more closely resemble well-known movie stars. White's role in the investigation is complicated when he falls for Lynn Bracken (Kim Basinger), one of Patchett's prostitutes, who is the spitting image of Veronica Lake. L.A. Confidential was nominated for nine Academy Awards and netted two, with Brian Helgeland honored for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Kim Basinger taking home a statuette as Best Supporting Actress. more..

Director: Curtis Hanson

Starring: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, David Strathairn

Reviews

  • Seductive and beautiful, cynical and twisted, and one of the best films of the year.

    Roger Ebert - The Chicago Sun-Times

    26 April 2013

  • Voluptuously engrossing.

    Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly

    26 April 2013

  • One of the best crime dramas to come along in years.

    Mick LaSalle - The San Francisco Chronicle

    26 April 2013

  • A movie bull's-eye: noir with an attitude, a thriller packing punches. It gives up its evil secrets with a smile.

    Michael Wilmington - The Chicago Tribune

    26 April 2013

  • This sleek adaptation of James Ellroy's dauntingly complex novel has the black-and-white tabloid soul of an old "Confidential" magazine.

    Mike Clark - USA Today

    26 April 2013

Awards

  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role

    Academy Awards (1998)

  • Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film

    Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films (1998)

  • Best Edited Feature Film

    American Cinema Editors (1998)

     
  • Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases

    American Society of Cinematographers (1998)

     
  • Best Foreign Film (Mejor Película Extranjera)

    Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards (1998)