L.A. Confidential (1997)
IMDB Rating 8.4/10 138 min - Rated 18 Crime | Drama
Stars: Kim Basinger, Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe Director: Curtis Hanson
The seedy side of 1950s Los Angeles is the setting for this complex tale of Hollywood sleaze and police corruption. An investigation into a series of unexplained murders draws together three very different cops. Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) is the high-flyer of the police force, honest, straight-laced and bespectacled. Jack Vincennes (Spacey) is urbane and suave, a cop by day and TV personality by night and always on the lookout for a quick buck. Bud White (Crowe) is the maverick, willing to bend the rules in his passionate quest for justice but his brutal temper is always simmering just below the surface. With such an array of stars as this film boasts there is always the worry that egos will be bruised, directors bullied and the whole will not be equal to the sum of the individual parts. In L.A. Confidential however, Hanson has created a film which dispels any such doubt. All the cast are on wonderful form; none more so than Basinger, as the high class hooker and 'ringer' for Veronika Lake, and Crowe, as the brooding Bud White. While L.A. Confidential is imbued with much of the mood and tradition of film noir, it doesn't have the feel of a period piece. Hanson weaves a tangled storyline, but razor-sharp characters and excellent timing mean that following the plot is a great ride. As you watch the film it is difficult not to be drawn into the lush sights and sounds of Ellroy's Los Angeles, which is at times cynical but always seductive.