This review is off the record, on the QT and VERY hush-hush.
Director Curtis Hanson has captured the essence of 1950's Los Angeles
with this Oscar nominated hit, L.A. Confidential - a movie which
is still earning box-office even as it hits your video shelves.
This is one movie where both the plot and the cast of characters are more
than up to the task. The Los Angeles Police Department is filled with
corrupt, racist cops (I'm glad to see things change) who go berserk on
'Bloody Christmas.' This sets the stage for our hero, Officer Edmund
Exley (Guy Pearce) to help the DA's office clean house with damaging
testimony against his fellow officers. As a result, Exley becomes a
detective at an even younger age (30) than his hero-cop father. It also
earns him the hatred of the men in the department, including Bud White
(Russell Crowe) whose partner is kicked off the force as a result of
Exley's testimony, and Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) who loses his choice
assignment: working as an advisor on a hit TV show.
Meanwhile, Mob Boss Mickey Cohen has been sent up the river for tax evasion
and someone is trying to take his place at the head of the organized crime
table. The cops are trying to keep all of the would-be mobsters out of
LA with a 'welcoming committee' which includes White and police Captain
Dudley Smith (James Cromwell).
And this is only the beginning. Hanson leads us through the LA underground
via the storytelling of Sid Hudgeons (Danny DeVito) who writes for a
Hollywood rag and enjoys setting people up to get a headline.
Kim Basinger deserved the Oscar she won for her performance as Lynn Bracken
a Veronica Lake look-alike works as a high-priced call-girl for big shot
Pierce Patchett (David Strathairn).
This is a great story, well-directed (even better than James Cameron in
and a terrific cast. If not for the big boat, this would have been the hit of the Oscars
Like Titanic, L.A. Confidential receives a: 10
Back to the reviews