Jul 22

Number 180 L.A. Confidential (1997)

L.A. Confidential is number 180 of our top 200 movie list.  It is directed by Curtis Hanson and stars Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito, James Cromwell, and Guy Pearce.  L.A. Confidential is rated R.
L.A. Confidential

Karen’s Review

LA Confidential is a mobster and cop movie set in the mean streets of Los Angeles in the 1950’s.  The story centers around three very different police officers.  Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) whose claim to fame is that he is a technical adviser for a ‘cops’ television show, a position he is quite fond of, Bud White (Russell Crowe) an aggressive young officer who doesn’t mind bending the rules as long as it means the bad guys get what they deserve, and Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) an ethical cop who thinks the rules are meant to be followed to a tee, especially if it means a promotion for him.

There is a multi victim murder that takes place at a coffee shop late one night and one of the victims happens to be a retired police officer, White’s former partner.  Three young black men are quickly accused of the crime although some clues point otherwise.

Along the way we meet Lynn Bracken (Kim Basinger), a high class call girl who has had plastic surgery to look like Veronica Lake.  Bud White tracks her down believing she may have information about the coffee shop massacre.  Lynn works for Billionaire Pornographer Pierce Patchett who runs a call girl service in which the girls are all celebrity look alikes via plastic surgery.

There are multiple story lines that somehow get woven together in this intricate tale of love, deceit and corruption.  It was difficult for me to focus enough to follow everything that was going on (this could be due to the fact that I had recently had a baby and my brain was a little fried).

The story is well thought out and I appreciated the character development that takes place.  Subsequently LA Confidential was nominated for nine academy awards.

I believe this movie is deserving of a second viewing and I think I would be able to follow the story line a little better the second time around.  I give LA Confidential three shells out of five.  3 shells 

Kenny’s Review

L.A. Confidential drops its viewers in the glitz and glam of Los Angeles in the early 1950s as the city is trying to uphold its pristine image to the outside world, but in reality is sinking under the weight of organized crime, prostitution, drugs, and race relation problems.  This movie is based on the novel by James Ellroy where the screenwriters did just a masterful job adapting L.A. Confidential to the screen they won the Academy Award in 1997.  In making this movie they did a wonderful job in casting, each actor portrays their character masterfully, the setting is big and grand and makes you really feel like you were in L.A. in the 50’s, and the source material creates a first rate thriller with plenty of blot twists and turns.

This movie follows three distinctive detectives working in the LAPD Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) a cop works as a technical advisor for a TV show and is in love with his celebrity status, Bud White (Russell Crowe) a bull of a man who will cross the line in order to get the job done, and Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) an ambitious young man on the force that will play politics in order to raise to the top.  Vincennes, White, and Exley find themselves caught in a web of deception and violence when they are trying to close a case of multiple homicides at a coffee shop which included White’s ex-partner who was one of the victims.  The clues of the case and the motives of the three cops lead them all over L.A. and uncover a level of corruption that none of them expected.

L.A. Confidential is a wonderful drama that is full of mystery and suspense, and movie would have been worth watching if they would have just stopped it at that.  However, the team that put this together makes it a great movie because how deep into the character development they go.  By the end of the movie each main character has grown and learned a little bit more about themselves then they knew at the beginning.  Most movies stick to typical sterotypes while this one has characters start out one way and then take many different turns throughout the course of the movie.  I can easily see why this film was up for nine Academy Awards, but what I cannot figure out is why it only won two.  It is excellent film that calls for repeat viewings L.A. Confidential gets five out of five shells from me.
5 shells

Image from http://www.dvdsreleasedates.com/posters/800/L/L.A.-Confidential-1997-movie-poster.jpg

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