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L.A. Confidential

L.A. Confidential

1997
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
2h 18m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 70.67% from 10024 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(10023)
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Rated 31 Aug 2012
99
99th
Looking at the careers of Hanson and Helgeland before and after, there's nothing to indicate the level of filmmaking reached in 'L.A. Confidential'. The ultimate neo-noir, it's as flawless as movies get. Excellent production values and beautiful editing realize one of the most tightly plotted screenplays ever written, streamlining Ellroy's brilliant, convoluted novel. Pearce's Edmund Exley and Crowe's Bud White are two of my favorite cinema heroes.
Rated 27 Apr 2008
90
92nd
Slick neo noir with great cast, intricate plot and snappy dialogue. The story really zips along, weaving about introducing colourful characters and various puzzle pieces, punctuated with energetic action sequences. The script also delivers. Great quips abound, allowing exposition to be absorbed painlessly. Pearce and Crowe are engaging, a contrast in styles, while Spacey is just so damn cool. There's a seamlessness to this film, a uniform level of quality, that renders it supremely enjoyable.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
35
19th
Despite this film's reputation, it is conventional and contrived, with some poor acting as well.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
90th
A fantastic little crime drama with strong performances from everyone involved. Danny DeVito even steps it up a notch above his usual schtick, proving that this is a serious piece of film.
Rated 27 Aug 2021
60
22nd
Even for a film starring Kevin Spacey, this didn't age well. The love affair with classic Hollywood & Chinatown is both myopic & distracting. It's as if Fox News wanted to do their own nostalgic trip down a previous era's approach to law and order. But the racism, sexism, police brutality, and corruption are so over-the-top macho that it becomes a parody. Marginal recommendation for the picture's artistic/technical feel--although that makes it more a look book and less a movie you can quote.
Rated 27 Feb 2008
90
91st
Fantastic movie. Everyone in it provides a top-form performance. The story is fantastic with twists and turns that aren't absurd and forced to be there just to make the movie complicated.
Rated 12 Dec 2008
2
16th
People like this? ...............seriously?
Rated 12 Oct 2008
8
93rd
One hell of a cop movie, seamlessly merging a dark and gritty vibe with 1950s L.A. glamour to intoxicating effect. It's got some shocking twists, an awesome climax, and Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe both give explosive performances. The musical score is a bit over the top, but besides that, it's terrific neo-noir and cinematic crime fiction done just right.
Rated 05 Dec 2008
93
96th
Excellent, excellent film noir with great performances all around. The best James Ellroy film adaptation to date questions how far one must go to sustain the law, exploring the morals man is willing to break in the pursuit of "justice" and self satisfaction. Everyone has flaws in this film and all bets are off. One of the best films of the 90s.
Rated 21 Mar 2012
91
90th
Few modern noirs are as effective and even fewer perfectly capture the essence of a crime novel (moreso than historical realism). The dialogue sizzles and the action pops. The music makes you want to snap your fingers. The cinematography and set design really bring to life that L.A. mystique that was immortalized by old Hollywood. It's refreshing to see some of the leads play against character and the intricate plot lined with moral dilemmas keeps the tension alive up until the explosive ending.
Rated 22 Jul 2008
80
80th
The plot is involving and perfect, in each scene something different is discovered. A perfect reconstitution of the sceneries of the decade of 50 and great actors.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
93
94th
L.A. Confidential is an all around super-cool movie. The story is terrific with a lot of twists, and the pacing is amazing. Any down time is well spent building up to something great, and it delivers. The gritty underbelly of a corrupt police force has never been shown better. Awesome!
Rated 28 Apr 2008
58
46th
It's as if they sterilized and spayed the novel, and removed some of its vital organs to make it commercially filmable.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
90
97th
Some of the best noir I've seen in quite some time. Amazing cast and story here. This film single-handedly made me a Guy Pearce fan.
Rated 11 May 2010
97
99th
The Ozzies clean up the city of Angels. This movie is an all time favourite of mine. A modern film noir with a great soundtrack. The casting is some of the best I have ever seen. The actors are made for the parts. Pearce as the scheming political animal, Crowe as the simple but good brute and Spacey as the the slick fame seeker. The plot is great and the directing is so subtle that it isn't being thrust upon the viewers. One of the best movies of its decade.
Rated 22 Feb 2007
80
95th
Great crime film with outstanding performances from Pearce Spacey and Crowe.
Rated 21 Jun 2008
66
14th
The best actors in the world don't save this bastard from being yet another contrived by-the-numbers mystery thats too wrapped up in itself to bother being entertaining. It's like all the uninteresting parts of The Godfather novel (i.e. all the Johnny chapters) made into a film. Tedious as hell.
Rated 01 Mar 2009
97
90th
Excellent top form detective film with fine performances all around the block, especially from Pearce and Crowe, and it carries a heavily gritty vibe and depiction of a 1950s crime-ridden Los Angeles. Everything tightly smooths together and virtually nothing seems out of place at all. One of the high defining movie moments of the 90s and arguably one of the best thrillers ever made in the past couple years.
Rated 18 May 2007
93
91st
Surprisingly clever. Great mix of characters and subplots for an interesting end.
Rated 18 Aug 2011
100
99th
*Spoilers* Incredible crime drama, with a top-notch array of actors all in peak form; Crowe and Pearce are great as flip-sides of naive newcomers, Cromwell unforgettable as their venal captain, DeVito wonderful as a sleaze purveyor; Basinger, Strathairn both terrific. Highlight is Spacey's cynical, weathered detective looking for redemption (and what a death scene!) Hanson makes his world of 50s L.A. strikingly convincing without being ostentatious. A rare film that never puts a foot wrong.
Rated 15 Dec 2006
50
26th
I love the noir feel but this movie was crushingly boring for long stretches.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
98
98th
L.A. Confidential is based on the belief that there are thousands of hidden stories and concealed lives that simmer in the backgrounds of everyday life. Hanson and his writing partner Brian Helgeland weave a powerful, intricate portrayal of how a city can be overflowing with corruption, celebrity drugs and sex parties, multiple divorces, and spouse swapping and yet brush it all under the carpet for the rest of the world. It is one of the most creative detective films ever and the best of 1997.
Rated 22 Mar 2008
87
87th
A strong, well acted, well told crime story with original characters and fascinating twists.
Rated 24 Sep 2010
82
95th
I actually really enjoyed the look and feel of everything. Then only thing I felt lacking was character development but everyone fit into their niche so well I overlooked it.
Rated 02 Feb 2023
95
97th
The plot/mystery is never boring, has some fun twists, but is also easy to follow. They also took the time to make characters worth investing in, not that it's a deeply emotional film; they're just memorable. Great sense of style and directing, with music that pops. Uses its runtime effectively. Action is exciting when it's there. It shows seediness and corruption exceptionally well.
Rated 14 Mar 2007
80
77th
Everything in top form and it's extremely entertaining. It's like watching 5 movies in one. And how could you forget that it features a brothel with golden era star look alikes!
Rated 05 Sep 2009
91
96th
Such a good film... A strong cast and plot, and exquisitely stylish from beginning to end. This has become an all-time favorite of mine for its ability to instantly engross the viewer in its glamorous and yet seedy noir world.
Rated 10 Feb 2010
79
70th
I expected much more from this movie, considering its reputation. All it really is, is a decent movie, nothing spectacular. I was fairly impressed by a few scenes, but a lot of it is boring filler.
Rated 18 Mar 2007
86
76th
Great take on the 50s noir style mystery movie, but lacks that particular push that a lot of the past films of this sort had. It's smart and well acted but not overly spectacular.
Rated 18 Dec 2009
96
96th
A superb screenplay that makes a complex story seem simple, Artful direction, with many rich performances.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
99
98th
Russell Crowe's first scary good performance, although Spacey and Pearce are a solid match for him. Hell, they even wrung an Oscar performance out of Kim Basinger! Fascinating study of 1950's Hollywood and the most interesting part about it is the evolution of the relationship between Crowe and Pearce.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
98
98th
Wonderful stuff. Deep, engrossing, flawlessly acted - a masterpiece.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
93
98th
This is an AWESOME movie. It's got style and substance and is just plain cool to boot. The characters are well portrayed and the mystery plot is fun to follow.
Rated 15 Feb 2012
94
96th
Until last night, I had only watched this once nearly a decade ago, and while I had fond memories of it, I really didn't remember much and found it confusing and hard to follow. This time around it was far more rewarding with a complex plot that was tied together nicely at the end. Every single performance from this perfect ensemble cast was believable and convincing. As a huge fan of film noir it made me question what took me so long to revisit it. One of the best films of the 1990s.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
92
91st
Spacey again. And Danny DeVito, David Strathairn, and James Cromwell. A GREAT film, deserving of every award going. Stupid Titanic....
Rated 15 Sep 2022
35
6th
This Chandleresque noir about Hollywood's sleazy upper crust is too by-the-numbers to leave a mark, frequently whiffs the genre dialogue with clunkers like "Go back to Jersey, kid. This is the city of angels, and you ain't got any wings", and personally, I just can't stand Russell Crowe.
Rated 21 Aug 2007
91
96th
Excellent crime noir about corruption in the 50's era Los Angeles.
Rated 05 Sep 2007
86
93rd
Really great detective story with a very noir feel. The cast is fantastic and they all deliver, and the script is absolutely incredible. It's complicated and intricate but not so much so that it's impossible to follow. The pacing is perfect too, giving little pieces of the puzzle the whole way, leading up to an exciting climax.
Rated 27 Feb 2007
4
70th
It may be playing dress-up, but it sure does so convincingly.
Rated 21 Mar 2009
91
92nd
This is the yardstick from which all future police detective films should be judged. Quite simply a brilliant movie !
Rated 27 Mar 2009
94
98th
For me the only flaw is the body count is too high - cops and criminals dropping like flies - cheapening it. Otherwise this is filmmaking at its best. We have great acting, smooth noir dialogue, a cool arc with Guy Pearce's character, Kim Basinger as the tough but vulnerable dame, Russell Crowe in his breakout role as a tough son of a bitch, a twisting, turning, brain-frying storyline (that I finally get after this recent second viewing), and Rollo Tomasi.
Rated 17 Apr 2012
75
80th
I don't remember if everybody was likable or unlikable, but it's definitely one of the two.
Rated 07 Jan 2015
100
97th
Finally, a neo-noir obsessed with the noir period. A detective thriller which has such a massive hard-on for the Golden Age of Hollywood that it's willing to take everything noble from the period and shred it to corrupt, shitty ribbons. Great performances, slick dialogue and a colour palette that's all muted browns/rosy bloodstains, and not in an obvious 'Sin City' way.
Rated 27 Jul 2009
98
98th
It's hard not to rank any facet of this film among the best in cinematic history. The ensemble acting is phenomenal. The editing is near perfect. Hansen completely immerses his audience in the tension of the moment. But most of all, the screenplay is absolutely FLAWLESS. Just a goddamn brilliant movie that I can never watch without being floored.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
96
97th
Suspense, interesting characters and oooh, a twist... My kind of movie!
Rated 15 Jan 2015
80
77th
These people put scotch on their god damn frosted flakes.
Rated 24 Dec 2008
95
95th
Brilliant film. Great writing, great direction and great acting.
Rated 16 May 2016
5
92nd
Despite the fact that I normally don't enjoy 50's gangster movies as much, this one had something to offer that even I found interesting and very well executed. Especially Mr. Crowe impressed me. *Very good.
Rated 23 Sep 2011
75
29th
Silly and fun.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
73
29th
I just don't remember being all that impressed although I do remember thinking that I should be.
Rated 18 May 2010
75
35th
This is a much better movie than my ranking would indicate, but I was not grabbed by it. I've never really liked the slick talking poseur world created by intellectuals on the inside looking out.
Rated 23 Mar 2014
75
42nd
Oh look, another film about machismo.
Rated 31 Jul 2008
40
18th
So very overrated. Some of the acting is just dreadful and by the end I was bored to tears.
Rated 06 Nov 2010
11
25th
Interesting serpentine plot. Some people apparently love this film for its acting, but I thought the characters were a bit unrealistic and tropey. I couldn't relate to most of them. The main villain really reminded me of Minority Report. Might rewatch at some point.
Rated 28 Nov 2023
9
90th
(after repeat viewings) An absolutely home run, it embodies all the elements that make up a great noir film while giving that very same genre a run for its money. Less than 2 years after 'Heat', the great Dante Spinotti shoots another great L.A. film, only this version of The City of Angels is populated to the gills with a ragtag group of sleazy characters one would expect to operate on the opposite side of the moral spectrum. Together with Boogie Nights the best American movie of 1997.
Rated 13 Jun 2007
91
88th
wonderful film
Rated 18 Jul 2018
83
76th
Why did Danny DeVito never play a hobbit in any of the Lord of the Rings films?
Rated 14 Mar 2010
100
98th
One of those movies that could be considered perfect. There is not a single aspect that is not top-notch. Highly recommended. "Some men get the world. Others get ex-hookers and a trip to Arizona."
Rated 12 Aug 2015
80
91st
Thrilling and intriguing. The complete backstory is rather hard to follow, but the outstanding cast and the elaborate sets make up for smaller deficiencies.
Rated 22 Nov 2012
73
35th
Feels more like a cop drama in old clothes than a real continuation of the noir tradition.
Rated 15 Oct 2008
91
80th
wot more can u want from a film. smart clever, brillant storyline. if only all films could b this good
Rated 09 Feb 2014
90
95th
Ending is too neat, but on the whole I love it.
Rated 14 Feb 2010
100
99th
A movie that harkens back to the golden age of Hollywood. L.A. Confidential is a complex movie with enough plot to fill three movies, but everything comes together perfectly at the end. The film excels in every department, providing a compelling narrative backed up by powerful performances from the actors. A deeply rewarding movie that treats it's audience with intelligence and encourages multiple viewings. The best movie of the 90's.
Rated 22 May 2021
63
33rd
So flawed.
Rated 13 Jul 2016
9
81st
The best noir movie made since the 1950's.
Rated 23 Mar 2010
87
95th
Thoughtful, interesting and suspenseful.
Rated 14 Feb 2007
40
19th
I'm not quite sure why I didn't like this movie. It was technically very good, but I was uncontrollably bored the entire time. Everyone else on the planet seems to like it, though. Someday I may have to revisit it.
Rated 20 Jun 2008
96
99th
Another Top Ten movie for me. The script, which somehow manages to capture the spirit of while paring down the Elmore Leonard novel, has not a wasted minute (save for one scene with Kim Basinger) An ensemble cast including Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce and superb direction by Curtis Hanson make this the best film-noir ever. I watch this whenever it's on. Brilliant.
Rated 15 Apr 2017
97
99th
Dense, clever, and popcorn-friendly, the Oscar-worthy L.A. Confidential is one of the most entertaining crime dramas of the 1990s, and of all time.
Rated 17 Aug 2021
87
71st
Neither as cool or as hot as Body Heat but it is more entertaining
Rated 24 Mar 2009
97
98th
What noir films would have been if that had technicolor back in the day. Highly entertaining and highly recommended.
Rated 25 Mar 2007
90
86th
Highly entertaining multicharacter crime story. Endlessly quotable dialogue
Rated 23 May 2016
53
27th
I should have had a break from the book to the film. Did the same thing with Silence Of The Lambs. The world building aspect was too rushed for me.
Rated 09 Apr 2009
100
93rd
Exemplary, excellently acted thriller of creeping corruption, full of surprises; only the coda disappoints.
Rated 09 Mar 2014
70
41st
too boring...
Rated 30 Mar 2019
3
36th
as miraculously honed an adaptation as you'll find, but too slick, too preoccupied with being liked. there's a chilling scene in which white becomes the father he despised despite every effort to escape him, but the film doesn't want you wallowing in such filth for too long and happily pretends like that entire episode never happened so we can get a cheesy ending complete with a handshake and drive off into the sunset. "learn to pull your punches better" was probably the studio M.O.
Rated 25 Dec 2009
95
98th
Why can't all films be like this? Intelligent, perfectly paced, tight as you like and with some fantastic performaces. Of all these, Spacey stands ahead. This is nearly the best film I have ever seen.
Rated 26 Mar 2007
90
93rd
Probably my favorite Russel Crowe film of all time, and probably my second favorite Spacey and Pearce films. Solid, great script, great acting, great direction from the guy that went on to do Wonder Boys, one of my favorite movies of all time. It's must see.
Rated 04 Aug 2007
95
85th
Magnificent film. Just look at the cast!
Rated 12 Jul 2014
70
56th
I've seen this movie three different times and I swear to God it never sticks. I can never remember anything about it after about a month. It drives me nuts. I do know when I finish it I always find it a bit overrated.
Rated 23 Jul 2011
75
80th
A fantastic neo-noir, both disturbing and thrilling. It's irresistible.
Rated 10 Sep 2008
73
59th
This is well-plotted and a blast to watch, thanks to one of the best all-around casts (some of the best character actors of our time) that infuses even the lesser moments with gravitas. Unfortunately, the gun fights aren't staged well and are confusing, and the denouement is trite: taking the easy way out that the rest of the script avoids.
Rated 31 Jan 2012
80
84th
Sleek and stylish thriller that plays around with noir tropes, but does so with enough restraint that it never resembles a pastiche. Despite the LA sun, it's very dark in tone, with violence and corruption seeping into every pore of every character, no matter how incorruptible they appear on the surface. Basinger and Crowe give standout performances, although Spacey and Pearce are good value too.
Rated 25 Jan 2007
100
94th
Crime noir at its best.
Rated 11 Jun 2016
96
98th
Curtis Hanson's L.A. Confidential is unpredictable, clever, and downright bold.
Rated 28 Apr 2012
93
95th
LA Confidential is a brilliant film and one which should be better known by the public. The casting, the acting, the script, the direction, everything in this movie is sublime.
Rated 19 Jul 2011
99
97th
Taut pacing, brilliantly dense writing and Oscar-worthy acting combine to produce a smart, popcorn-friendly thrill ride.
Rated 05 Nov 2013
84
95th
Very solid thriller. great acting, great atmosphere, well polished. I can not think of something weak in this movie.
Rated 13 Dec 2015
88
92nd
A pretty cool crime movie, with some good acting and a great twist. Didn't see it coming too. The story is a little confusing, but in the end it all comes together nicely.
Rated 18 May 2009
93
94th
Amazing cast. Wonderful Story. Hollywood ending, but that was the point right?
Rated 29 Dec 2016
100
96th
L.A. Confidential is a wonderful homage to the noirs of Humphrey Bogart's era. At the same time, the film is more than a tribute to old Hollywood. It's boasts a stellar cast and wonderful performances that compliment it's tight script. The film is heavy on schmaltz, but it never becomes farce. One of my favorite films from the 90's.
Rated 18 Oct 2013
86
98th
Strong performances, a good story which combines elements of reality with the fictional characters and a superb look. My only minor gripe is the occasional continuity issue from shot to shot but that is not enough to detract from what is overall a very good movie.
Rated 16 Sep 2007
63
29th
I never did see anything I liked that much in this movie except for the acting.
Rated 18 Dec 2011
89
95th
This is a great ensemble cast. The film contains two great early performances by Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe. The script is great, you don't know who is going to live or what is going to happen next.
Rated 08 Jul 2007
91
98th
I really enjoyed everything about this movie. The story pulls you in and both Crowe and Pearce deliver. Rhythm and pace are solid throughout and the story is strong. Very good film.
Rated 25 Feb 2011
90
98th
This is an awesomely ambiguous movie. No character is without flaw, everyone has questionable morals/motives, the cops are almost as vile and deprived as the people they're after..."justice is what you make of it" could be the tagline to this. No black and white, it's all just a big, beautiful blob of grey.
Rated 08 Nov 2007
68
36th
Wondrful, but a bit longwinded.
Rated 03 May 2011
96
88th
Brilliant stuff, a superb noir-style story with a fantastic cast.
Rated 15 Mar 2008
100
98th
GREAT MOVIE FROMA GREAT BOOK!
Rated 05 Jun 2014
70
31st
Not one single likable or compelling character. Call me crazy, but I don't get all the praise for this one.

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