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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

L.A. Confidential (1997)



Reviews and Comments

Film noir is not easy to do, especially in the modern age where color photography is a severe handicap. But to my utmost delight, I discovered that L.A. Confidential was nothing short of brilliant. This is the best film noir made in the modern day that I've yet seen, surpassing even The Usual Suspects. It has unforgettable characters in a story devilishly dark and convoluted. The great triumph is that director Curtis Hanson's direction makes sense of the complex storyline and its eighty speaking parts and forty locales.

The central characters are three Los Angeles police officers, played by Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, and Kevin Spacey. Their performances are stellar -- each creates a fully fleshed, sharply defined character that won't quickly be forgotten after the movie is over. The characters are passionate, but in different ways and about different things. They immerse themselves whole-heartedly in this shady mystery, as do we. And, while mostly a character piece in the midst of mystery and intrigue, this movie has some jaw-dropping plot twists and a killer climax.