L.A. Confidential (1997)



Critic Consensus: Taut pacing, brilliantly dense writing and Oscar-worthy acting combine to produce a smart, popcorn-friendly thrill ride.

Movie Info

Based on the best-selling novel by James Ellroy and directed by Curtis Hanson, this award-winning crime drama explores both the dark side of the Los Angeles police force and Southern California's criminal underbelly in the early '50s, when Hollywood was still seen as America's capital of sophistication, glitter, and glamour. Dudley Smith (James Cromwell) is the head of the LAPD and is loyal to his officers and eager to turn a blind eye to violence or corruption within his department, as long as … More

Rating: R (for strong violence and language, and for sexuality)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: James Ellroy, Curtis Hanson, Brian Helgeland
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 22, 1998
Warner Bros. Pictures


as Bud White

as Jack Vincennes

as Ed Exley

as Dudley Smith

as Pierce Patchett

as Lynn Bracken

as Dick Stensland

as Matt Reynolds

as Brett Chase

as Police Chief

as Mickey Cohen

as D.A. Ellis Loew

as Johnny Stompanato

as Sid Hudgeons

as Susan Lefferts

as Mickey Cohen's Mambo...

as Detective at Hush-Hu...

as Officer Arresting Mi...

as Mickey Cohen's Mambo...

as Wife Beater

as Stand-In (Danny DeVi...

as Jack's Dancing Partn...

as Reporter at Hollywoo...

as Photographer at Holl...

as Liquor Store Owner

as Buzz Meeks

as Sid's Assistant

as Tammy Jordan

as Officer Escorting Me...

as 1st Mexican

as Detective at Hollywo...

as Detective at Hollywo...

as Detective at Hollywo...

as Detective at Hollywo...

as Detective at Hollywo...

as Breuning, Dudley's ...

as Carlisle, Dudley's ...

as Gangster at Victory ...

as Vice Captain

as Secretary in Vice

as Detective at Detecti...

as Patrolman at Nite Ow...

as Forensic Chief

as Forensic Officer

as Mrs. Lefferts

as Bud's Rejected Partn...

as Jack's Rejected Part...

as Pierce Patchett's Bo...

as City Councilman

as Ray Collins, Nite O...

as Louis Fontaine, Nit...

as Ty Jones, Nite Owl ...

as Stenographer

as Inez Soto--Rape Vict...

as Sylvester Fitch

as Roland Navarette

as Officer at Detective...

as Look-Alike Dancer

as Look-Alike Dancer

as Witness on `Badge of...

as Reporter at Hospital

as Photographer at Hosp...

as Lana Turner

as Frolic Room Bartende...

as Police File Clerk

as Police File Clerk

as District Attorney El...

as West Hollywood Sheri...

as Officer at `Hush-Hus...

as Detective

as Detective

as Detective

as Detective

as Detective

as Detective

as Detective

as Detective

as Detective

as Detective
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for L.A. Confidential

All Critics (108) | Top Critics (32)

L.A. Confidential is a movie bull's-eye: noir with an attitude, a thriller packing punches. It gives up its evil secrets with a smile.

Full Review… | June 4, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

There are so many things to enjoy here. Director Curtis Hanson... keeps a complex story coherent and absorbing -- if bloody at the end.

Full Review… | June 4, 2014
Washington Post
Top Critic

At the center of the movie are three mismatched cops with separately fueled ambitions, ferociously played by Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce. Their combined charisma almost smashes through the screen.

Full Review… | June 4, 2014
New York Daily News
Top Critic

L.A. Confidential isn't quite up there with Chinatown, but it's the closest thing to come down the Santa Monica Freeway in the last 23 years.

Full Review… | June 4, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Hanson has made the film noir setting virtually another starring character.

Full Review… | June 4, 2014
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Spicy and boiling-hot, this sensational early-'50s crime drama is a morality play disguised as pulp fiction -- a sprawling saga of corruption and redemption set against a flashy West Coast backdrop.

Full Review… | June 4, 2014
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for L.A. Confidential


wonderful performances, great period feeling, kim basinger's best work ever

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


A great cast round out a taut script in this neo-noir crime drama. The pace is brisk and the production design transports the audience to another place altogether. Never sacrificing smarts for entertainment, 'L.A. Confidential' is a well rounded film.

Kase Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

L.A Confidential is a stunning neo noir detective drama that boasts a strong cast and great direction. This film is a powerful picture is among the finest achievements in film of the last twenty years. The film is impressive due to its engaging story and varied talent involved in the film. Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey, Guy Pearce and James Cromwell all deliver captivating and exciting performances that are some of the finest of their careers. This is a well crafted film that is sure to thrill the most diehard cinema buff looking for a thrilling film with a well thought out story and great performances. Director Curtis Hansen direction is immaculate and he is able to make a movie that crackles with suspense from start to finish. I love period films, and this is a prime example of a well done film that embodies the feel of the era. This is the best film of its kind since Roman Polanski's Chinatown. L.A Confidential is one of the most memorable pictures and it is a finely crafted film that boasts some strong performances and an effective story. If you love period dramas, then this is a worthwhile picture that will certainly give you a memorable viewing experience. I really loved the film, and for a [period detective drama, this belongs among the finest films in the genre. Every actor delivers something powerful on-screen, and L.A Confidential is a fine picture. If you love this genre of film, then you owe it to yourself to check this out. Curtis Hanson has delivered the finest film of his career.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

L.A. Confidential Quotes

– Submitted by Fajrin H (22 months ago)
– Submitted by Amy W (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Jack P (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Jared B (3 years ago)

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