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L.A. Confidential  

138 mins
Dir. Curtis Hanson
Stars - Kevin Spacey - Sergeant Jack Vincennes
Russell Crowe - Sergeant Wendell "Bud" White
Guy Pearce - Sergeant Edmund J. Exley
James Cromwell - Captain Dudley Smith
Kim Basinger - Lynn Bracken
Danny De Vito - Sid Hudgens

This is such a good film, it's got a brilliant and complex plot, great acting by great actors, and its fair share of action. The movie uncovers the corruption of the LAPD in the 1950's and exposes its underbelly to the viewers in all its glory, from beating confessions out of people, drugs, and corruption that is so deeply ingrained that it is second nature to most of them. The plot is complex on first viewing and there are many sub-plots which until the end of the movie seem to make no sense and don't seem to be resolved but be patient because it all comes together brilliantly at the climax and there are plenty of twists and turns along the way.
All the actors that I have listed above give outstanding performances especially Russell Crowe who plays the hard ass cop who, like most of the detectives in the movie, isn't afraid to break the law if it will result in a conviction. Kevin Spacey gives yet another brilliant performance as the "Hollywood Cop" who as well as being on the force, lives for his role as technical advisor on the TV show, Badge of Honour. Guy Pearce plays the ambitious "college boy" Edmund Exley just as well as the rest, to complete the trio of main characters who are all very different and well developed, which when their points of view and motivations are taken into account it helps to give the plot a harder edge because it puts the charcters deep in the thick of the action. Kim Basinger got an Oscar for her performance as a prostitute who for reasons that I won't mention becomes very deeply involved in the web of corruption and deceit that surrounds LA at the time. The movie would probably have won many more Oscars including best picture if the stupid Titanic hadn't sunk.
This movie could very easily have been made in the forties or fifties by someone like Orson Welles because with all its different elements it fits the film noir genre perfectly. It's kind of like the Orson Welles film A Touch of Evil which I've mentioned before in another review and would recommend anyone to watch it. It's very muchj like Chinatown as well. Make sure you see all three of these films, I'm going to watch this one again as soon as I get up tomorrow morning.


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