L.A. Confidential

Bomb Rating: 

This film is about three cops in 1950's L.A. and a mysterious murder investigation that brings them together. When Bud White's (Russell Crowe) partner is killed at the Night Owl diner along with a bunch of other people, it appears to be a typical robbery, but as White, up-and-coming young cop Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) and limelight-seeker Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) begin to investigate the crime separately, they each see serious weaknesses in the case against a couple of black prime suspects. Naturally, their paths soon cross, creating the kind of serendipitous warmth one usually associates with Taster's Choice commercials.

Despite his unseemly portrait of L.A., this is essentially director Curtis Hanson's gift of a nice, big geographic blowjob for all his Hollywood buddies. Every film in the universe is set in Los Angeles or about Los Angeles or reflects a Los Angeles sensibility. If L.A. fell into the ocean tomorrow I would give more thought to my daily bowel movement -- this is how much I care about Los Angeles. It's like somebody jammed the door to a freak show wide open and we're all being forced to watch. I don't care how critical the camera's eye purports to be -- Hollywood is incapable of setting a film in L.A. where someone doesn't run off with the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold in the end.

Naturally this film leans heavily on everything that is supposed to give Los Angeles that "edge." (Imagine a used car salesman making little quotation marks in the air with his fingers as he tries to sell you a convertible Corvair because it will give you that "edge.") There are hookers who look like movie stars (White gets involved with one who looks like Kim Basinger). Vincennes serves as a liaison to a cop television show. There's even the scuzzy gossip-mongering journalist, Sid Hudgens (Danny DeVito).

Who's really behind the whole thing? Naturally, it's the very guy you'd least suspect, which, if you're learned in the ways of Hollywood's recent romance with "edgy" neonoir films, renders the film ironically -- and utterly -- predictable.

To spread the word about this L.A. Confidential review on Twitter.

To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.

Like This L.A. Confidential Review? Vote it Up.


Rate This Movie:

Average: 4 (1 vote)

Other Cranky Content You Might Enjoy

  • Reality in Los Angeles isn't reality anywhere else.

  • This film isn't much more than a cinematic version of FX's "The Shield." Okay, a little different, sure, but it's basically the story of a corrupt LAPD unit and one would think audiences are sick of t

  • Apparently, it's quite common for groups of young Hispanics, Blacks, Asians and other minorities to gather on the streets of Los Angeles and race their hundred-thousand-dollar vehicles at speeds upwar