L.A. Confidential Reviews

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Top Critic
Dwight Garner
Salon.com
January 1, 2000
It's the story of good white actors stranded, in the name of noir, in a movie that refuses to kick into gear until it's far too late.
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
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.
Tom Trinchera
culturevulture.net
January 1, 2000
The script has the type of deft plotting that made films like The Crying Game and The Usual Suspects so popular.
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
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
L.A. Confidential is immersed in the atmosphere and lore of film noir, but it doesn't seem like a period picture--it believes its noir values and isn't just using them for decoration.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 1, 2000
Crooked cops. The mystery and allure of Hollywood in the '50s. Death, double-crossing, and secret alliances. Paparazzi waiting to get that one breakthrough picture.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
June 4, 2014
This 1950s-era crime drama has it all, and does it all with a casual mastery that Hollywood once owned but had seemingly misplaced or lost.
Scott Nash
Three Movie Buffs
September 19, 1997
The look of the film is terrific and is filled with period details. The clothes, the cars, sets and dialogue all weave together to form a great background tapestry to the story.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star
August 19, 2005
In doing away with manners, Hanson's hardboiled detective stories craft a more hard-hitting picture of the time than any filmmaker who worked in the 1950s could have dreamed
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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.
Matthew Razak
Flixist.com
May 10, 2011
This is a movie that both deconstructs what it means to be a noir film and is a film noir itself in the best ways possible.
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.
Rob Vaux
Flipside Movie Emporium
October 14, 2008
Everything Angelinos love and hate about their city is here, as well as anything a movie fan could possibly wish for.
Full Review | Original Score: A+
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
April 9, 2008
An irresistible treat with enough narrative twists and memorable characters for a half-dozen films.
Mark R. Leeper
rec.arts.movies.reviews
January 1, 2000
Objectively this film probably ranks with Chinatown and The Maltese Falcon.
Full Review | Original Score: +3 out of -4..+4
Rob Gonsalves
eFilmCritic.com
September 24, 2007
Dizzying and powerful.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
May 26, 2006
You could call it a huge epic, but it's also a scrappy movie, full of energy as well as style.
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
September 26, 2008
A neo-noir masterpiece in the league of "Double Indemnity"...
Joe Baltake
Sacramento Bee
January 1, 2000
They all contribute to a movie that's unusually delicate, understated and searching -- a movie that catches us up in the faded '50s beauty of Los Angeles.
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