L.A. Confidential - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

L.A. Confidential Reviews

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Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
June 4, 2014
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 | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
June 4, 2014
There are so many things to enjoy here. Director Curtis Hanson... keeps a complex story coherent and absorbing -- if bloody at the end.
Top Critic
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
June 4, 2014
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 | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 4, 2014
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 | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 4, 2014
Hanson has made the film noir setting virtually another starring character.
Top Critic
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
June 4, 2014
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 | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
June 4, 2014
Hanson delivers something ever rarer in film culture, not a new film noir but an old-fashioned total movie, somehow of a single piece.
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor
June 4, 2014
The story is so complicated that the movie can't quite make it clear, but the picture has impressive energy and high-intensity performances from Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, and Guy Pearce.
Leah Rozen
People Magazine
June 4, 2014
Like Chinatown before it, this twisted and twisting tale of cops, crime, corruption and hangers-on in 1950s Los Angeles artfully evokes the flip side of the City of Dreams.
Serena Donadoni
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
June 4, 2014
While not reaching the twisted heights of the superbly sinister Chinatown, L.A. Confidential is smart, complex and engrossing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Matt Soergel
Florida Times-Union
June 4, 2014
It doesn't let up for a second, cramming James Ellroy's sprawling novel into a mere 98 minutes. That's both good and bad. The good? It's an exhilarating, breakneck ride. The bad? It's over far too soon.
Tonya Pendleton
Philadelphia Daily News
June 4, 2014
L.A. Confidential is a satisfyingly plotted film with echoes of the 1974 classic Chinatown.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Dan Webster
Spokesman-Review (Washington)
June 4, 2014
The result is a powerful work of art. Seldom has a study of sleaze said more about what makes us all tick.
Jason Caro
Radio Times
June 4, 2014
This superlative filming of James Ellroy's complex 1950s detective story by director Curtis Hanson fuses period authenticity, fluid direction and searing, full-blooded performances.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
John Krewson
AV Club
June 4, 2014
This may be the best movie of the year; it's definitely one of the greatest crime films of all time.
Rod Dreher
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
June 4, 2014
Though their spirits may seem all but entombed by sin, these men are vividly human, this film savagely alive.

Total Film
June 4, 2014
The genius of the film -- and it is a film of genius, without a doubt -- is that it holds an investigation into the human soul's capacity for evil, while somehow still managing to be funny, thrilling, lively, shocking and unremittingly entertaining.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Ann Hornaday
Baltimore Sun
June 4, 2014
A glamorous, alluring entertainment that revels in the artifice of Hollywood while exposing its corrupt heart, L.A. Confidential pays stylish homage to some of the great film noirs of the distant and recent past.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bob Thomas
Associated Press
June 4, 2014
Hanson's achievement as director cannot be overrated. He moves swiftly from scene to scene, yet he allows the actors space to define their characters. Producers will be adding his name to their most-wanted list.
Top Critic
Paul Tatara
CNN.com
June 4, 2014
The multi-layered plot keeps you riveted for the best possible reason -- you can't start to imagine where the story is leading you, and the fiercely intense payoffs are repeatedly worth the extra concentration.
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