Details: (MA15+), 138 mins, United States, English
Synopsis: Everything is suspect. Everyone is for sale. And nothing is what it seems... 1950's Los Angeles is the backdrop for this intricate noir-ish tale of police corruption and Hollywood glamour. Three cops (Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce), a call girl (Kim Basinger), a mysterious millionaire (David Strathairn), a tabloid journalist (Danny DeVito), and the Chief of Detectives (James Cromwell) fuel a labyrinthine plot rife with mystery, ambition, romance and humour. What you'll see is off the record, on the QT and very hush-hush.
A bold, old fashioned film noir look, combined with elegance, a star cast, and dirty cops.
James Ellroy`s marvellous book about crime and corruption in LA in the early 50s is stylishly transferred to the screen by director Curtis Hanson.
The story focuses on members of the Police Department, run by the jovial Dudley Smith (James Cromwell, the actor best known as the farmer in Babe). Bud White - Russell Crowe - is a tough guy willing to cut corners and bend rules, but he`s intelligent and shrewd and he has a softer side, especially when he meets the lovely Lynn Bracken - Kim Basinger, a Veronica Lake lookalike. In contrast, Ed Exley - Guy Pearce - is so honest, so rigidly by-the-book he`s distrusted by his mates, but Exley`s father was a cop who was killed in the line of duty, and he`s determined to follow in his dad`s foosteps. Then there`s Jack Vincennes - Kevin Spacey - a celebrity cop who serves as adviser to a Dragnet-like TV show and also acts as informant for scandal-mongering journalist Sid Hudgeons, played by Danny De Vito.
All these colourful characters become caught up in the investigation of a massacre at an all-night-cafe... Though Hanson and his co-screenwriter Brian Helgeland don`t in the end quite manage to tie up all the pieces of this very tasty thriller, LA Confidential is, for most of its length, very classy indeed. The terrific cast has a lot to do with the film`s success, with Crowe and Pearce utterly convincing in their very American roles (another Aussie, Simon Baker-Denny, also shines in the smaller role of Matt Reynolds). Dante Spinotti`s widescreen camerawork and Jeannine Oppewall`s production design brilliantly recreate the somewhat tawdry world of a glamorous city which is starting to lose its glamour. Grimly humorous, suspenseful and containing a few surprises (don`t let your friends tell you the plot), LA Confidential is a crackerjack cop thriller.
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