Before Russell Crowe became a gladiator and Guy Pearce became a forgetful vindictive killer, there was this little ole’ film called L.A. Confidential that launched their careers.  Based off of the 1990 crime fiction novel by James Ellroy, this film adaptation directed by Curtis Hanson (8 Mile, In Her Shoes) is a suspenseful crime drama that will have you in handcuffs until the very last minutes.
L.A. Confidential tells the story of the Los Angeles Police Department in the
1950’s and the corruption between them and celebrity alike.  The film is based around three officers who find themselves tangled in a multiple murder case that occurred at the Night Owl coffee shop.  Sergeant Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) is an officer working as a technical advisor in a TV show called Badge of Honor and is also associated with Sid Hudgens (Danny DeVito) of Hush-Hush magazine.  He sometimes stages celebrity arrests that deal with narcotics for Hush-Hush and receives a part of the profit in return.  Officer Wendell “Bud” (Russell Crowe) is the muscle of the LAPD and is feared by all because of his brute figure and his short tolerance of violence towards women.  His tough exterior is no match for Lynn Bracken (Kim Basinger), a call girl / Veronica Lake look-alike, who sees more in Bud then he sees in himself.  Sergeant Edmund Exley (Guy Pearce) is the son of a high-profiled LAPD Inspector who will stop at nothing to outdo his father’s rep.  Not poplar among the other officers, Exely decides to testify against his fellow cops during a police brutality case to be promoted to Detective Lieutenant, even though it goes against his superior, Captain Dudley Smith’s(James Cromwell) advice.  Little do they know, the Night Owl case will unleash lies and coverups that they never thought possible along with some of their own personal demons.
The acting in this movie is simply phenomenal.  It would be difficult for me to
choose who had the best performance: Spacey, Crowe, or Pearce, because they all made a huge contribution to the overall film.  James Cromwell is a another great actor in the movie who really does a killer job, if you know what I mean.  Kim Basinger (whom I’m usually not the biggest fan of) didn’t do all that bad of a job and actually took an Academy Award home for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.  But other then the acting, the story in itself is a masterpiece!  If you watch this movie and you like it, take in another two viewings of it and look at how intricate the plot line is.
WARNING:  This movie will actually make you THINK.  If you believe that this movie is similar to any Jason Statham movie that you may have seen you are WRONG.  Go watch The Expendables.  This movie is not for you.
L.A. Confidential is an excellent film no matter which way you look at it.
Is it in the top ten list of movies of all time?  No.  Is it in at least the top hundred?  Probably not.  But it is a film worth seeing.