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L.A. Confidential Reviews

Page 1 of 313
Kase V

Super Reviewer

August 1, 2013
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.
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

May 27, 2013
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.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

October 29, 2006
Three detectives with very different agenda and motives unite to investigate the shooting death of an off duty cop, uncovering corruption and a conspiracy to take over organized crime. L.A. Confidential is set within the dichotomy that is Hollywood's surface glamour and underlying seediness, all of which is lapped up by the salacious media in the form of sleazy paparazzi Danny DeVito. Russell Crowe was the perfect casting choice for Bud White, a strong armed "detective" who is used as a mindless battering ram by his superiors but wants to become something more and Guy Pearce is similarly excellent as the straight arrow cop who is despised by his peers but consumed with ambition. The happy ending feels a little tacked on, but otherwise the entire cast is pretty much flawless and as the multi-layered plot unfolds it grabs you by the throat and refuses to let go. Throw in a wonderful sense of period, brilliantly oppressive soundtrack and smart, hard boiled dialogue it's a superb re-visitation of the classic Noirs of the 40s and 50s and ranks as one of the very best films of the 90s.
c0up
c0up

Super Reviewer

December 24, 2012
'L.A. Confidential'. The corruption and dreams of Hollywood wrapped up in the perfect crime drama. The ensemble cast shines, but no one comes out clean in a screenplay filled with richness that twists and turns until the very end.
Kevin C

Super Reviewer

June 7, 2012
It takes a full hour for L.A. Confidential to delve into its mystery, an interesting and noir-tastic one, so for the entire preceding hour, it's mostly unconnected and meandering build-up told with an admittedly tight script, but a bland visual style. Cool and entertaining. But one of the best American films of all time? Hush-hush.
Mark W

Super Reviewer

June 12, 2010
James Ellroy is one of the finest of hard-boiled crime writers. For those not familiar, check out his "L.A. Quartet"; four novels, that delve into the seedy and corrupt world of the Los Angeles police force in the 1950's. This film is actually based on the third novel in the series and director/screenwriters Curtis Hanson and Brian Helgeland have done a marvellous job in adapting Ellroy's convoluted narratives and staccato writing.
L.A. in the 50's is rife with organised crime and corruption in the police force. Both intertwine in the glitz and glamour of the booming Hollywood movie business. The story follows the path of three very different police detectives. Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) - the suave and ambitious type with an eye on stardom for himself. Bud White (Russel Crowe) - the brutal strong arm who will do anything to achieve his form of justice and rookie Ed Exley (Guy Pearce) - who does everything by the book and believes in law and order. A late night shooting in a coffee shop, which leaves one policeman dead brings these three detectives together in an elaborate plot involving corrupt politicians, prostitutes made to look like movie stars, gangster Mickey Cohen and sleazy tabloid journalists.
First of all, where this film succeeds - in it's difficult adaptation - is capturing the mood and setting. Not since Roman Polanski's "Chinatown" in 1972 has this been achieved. The music by Jerry Goldsmith taps into the seedy film noir jazz while Dante Spinotti's rich cinematography perfectly captures the infancy of the city of Los Angeles, before it's economical boom. It was a city that could make or break a person, with corruption at every corner. This rich attention to detail, is also captured by some outstanding performances. Kim Basinger won a supporting actress award but it's Spacey, Pearce and particularly Crowe that own this film. Their performances have seldom been better. The story itself can simply be described as labyrinthine. There are so many facets that's it's hard to keep up. It demands your attention and commitment but it also rewards. Credit must go to Curtis Hanson, who does an excellent job in handling all the narrative arcs and teasingly fitting all the pieces together. This is filmmaking of the very highest standard.
An absolutely enthralling film, that's so vivid and compelling that fans of the genre should not ignore.
Alice S

Super Reviewer

December 24, 2011
What twists and turns! I kinda like how the third act is one big, dramatically-ironic goose chase, yet the filmmakers don't rush the characters' revelations. One problem I do have is that no one ever seems to close their shades. You'd think if you were schtupping a hooker or snorting some blow, you'd have the common sense to not position yourself right in front of an open window.
Eric A

Super Reviewer

September 24, 2011
Quite possibly the best crime mystery film ever made. The 50's feel grabs you from the very beginning and never abandons you. The film is perfect in every facet: the acting, the filming, set designs, etc.......you name it, the film doesn't disappoint. What I loved the most is that for a 2 hour and 20 minute film it never goes dull or slows down, it continuously picks up more and more eventually reaching the thrilling climax in the last 10 minutes. Could not ask any more from this film, it's simply perfect.
Jens S

Super Reviewer

June 14, 2006
Smart, violent and brilliantly written thriller about L.A. cops in the 50s, as Hollywood is on the rise and corruption goes deep. All characters have flaws, even the heroes are self-righteous assholes, but by the middle of the film you are on their side regardless, hoping for them to set that bee hive on fire. The plot keeps you on the edge of your seat, the filming is elegant and pragmatic and the acting top notch. Doesn't leave much to desire, all around satisfying and enthralling. Also includes one of the most surprising deaths in film history. Excellent stuff.
Christopher H

Super Reviewer

August 8, 2011
Such a great movie. This is should have won Best Picture, not Titanic.
DreamExtractor
DreamExtractor

Super Reviewer

August 17, 2011
L.A. Confidential is possibly the greatest crime mystery film ever made, the film is so perfect in every aspect and it just is so sure of itself that it just made me tingle on how perfect it was. The plot uses every aspect of LA in the 50's to make us feel like we are really back that long ago, I mean just the storytelling and the mystery of the film makes me just want it to go on forever, and the intensity of some of the moments had me just eyes wide open at the screen just smiling and screaming "hell ya" or something just because the story and moments are so exciting and raw, and the characters are unforgettable, there was not one moment in the film where i doubted that these characters were going to be in my mind for a long time. The cast is tremendous, Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce deserved Oscar praise for this film, they were both so perfect in their roles and had me rooting for them the whole time and I loved them, Kevin Spacey was great as well and although he didn't have the best performance in the film, he certainly was still great, and Kim Basinger was great as well, and although I was stunned when I discovered she won a Oscar for the film, i guess I can kind of see why but i think the other performances were much better, but don't get me wrong, she was great as well, they were all great. I also enjoyed the music choice for the film, it used jazzy and old music to give it that boost to make us feel like we are in the 50's, and even better was the score that was completely great. Now I know the film is not an action film, but I wanted to give the director credit for making some very realistic and awesome shootout scenes, I was very impressed. L.A. Confidential is one of the greatest films I have ever seen in my life, it is an incredible mystery and crime film, and I consider it to be one of my all time favorites and a complete masterpiece.
Letitia L

Super Reviewer

August 5, 2011
Instant favourite. I like it even better than The Departed, thank god it ended differently. Loved the politics, the seemingly inevitable veering of all paths and personalities towards conflict, the heightened awareness and yet sometimes flagrant dismissal of consequences, and the idealism and optimism at the end. Holy crap it was so good, I want to see it again like tomorrow.
Sophie B

Super Reviewer

September 25, 2011
Really not my type of film. I couldn't watch the full thing as it was very slow but I'm sure for fans of this type of thing it was good since its 99% fresh.
Sajin P

Super Reviewer

August 6, 2011
One of the most exhilarating noir thriller, densely plotted with many intriguing narrative twists. Real strength of the movie would be the power packed performances from then unknowns Russel Crowe and Guy Pearce, in what would be their star-making roles, along with the ever-savvy Kevin Spacey.
Everett J

Super Reviewer

July 4, 2011
Solid old fashion crime thriller set in the 50's with an outstanding cast. The cast includes Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger, David Strathairn, and Danny DeVito. Just those names alone scream out "Good Movie!" This was nominated for a bunch of awards, and while it's good, I think it's a bit overrated. Maybe if I had seen it back 1997 I would think of it as the masterpiece I've read about. It's very entertaining, and has numerous twists that will keep you guessing and glued to the screen. I love the 50's setting and the way the characters interact. I especially enjoyed Russell Crowes performance. He really brought a rage to his character(Bud White) that I doubt another actor could have. Runs a little too long, but it's never really boring or sags too much. If you haven't seen it, you should check it out, better than most the crime movies released the last 5 years or so.
MANUGINO
MANUGINO

Super Reviewer

July 8, 2009
Off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush...

Good movie with an excellent cast. The story is quite good although is not my cup of tea. Great acting roles by everyone involved in this picture especially Russell Crowe and Kevin Spacey. If you like crime/detective movie well you'll like this one although it is set on the 50's. They seem to have made this movie with several different audiences in mind. I for one, enjoyed the intellectual aspect as well as the action, while you might enjoyed the combination of a love story with drama. It really has something for everyone. Bringing together all of these elements into one film sets it apart from many others. Of course the best aspect of L.A. Confidential is the way that not everything is as it seems, and then, in an instant, all of the plots are sprung like a trap and come together for a grand finale. Overall L.A. Confidential is an exceptional film that contains something for everyone.

An opening montage, narrated by Sid Hudgens, publisher of "Hush-Hush," a Hollywood sleaze magazine, explains that Mickey Cohen has taken over the organized crime rackets in Los Angeles (left behind by Bugsy Siegel) and that his actions have tarnished the reputation of the LA police department. Cohen, however, is arrested on income tax evasion and sent to prison on MacNeil Island in Washington state, leaving open the rackets he'd expanded for years.

The story concerns the careers of three Los Angeles police officers: Detective Virgil "Bud" White, Detective Jack Vincennes and Sergeant Edmund Exley. During Christmas, 1954, Bud White, while out on a liquor run with his partner, Dick Stensland, checks in on a man he'd sent to San Quentin Penitentiary and finds him physically abusing his wife. To get the man's attention outside, Bud yanks the lighted Santa sleigh and reindeer decorations from the roof of the house. When the man attempts to fight with White, he is beaten severely and handcuffed to the porch railing. Bud tells the man he'll be sent back to prison for about 18 months and that he'll be watching him after he's released. Bud and Stensland go to a liquor store where they buy alcohol for a party at their precinct. Bud meets a beautiful woman in the store named Lynn, who easily recognizes that he is a cop. Leaving the store, Bud notices a young woman, whose face is bruised and bandaged, sitting in the backseat of a car with another unidentified man. When Bud inquires about what happened, he is met by the car's driver, Buzz Meeks, who tries to shine him on. Bud disarms him and inquires further about the injured woman, who tells him herself that she's OK. He returns Meeks' pistol and wallet. When he gets back to his own car, Stensland confirms that Meeks is a former cop.

At a lavish Hollywood Christmas party, Jack Vincennes, a narcotics detective, is met by Sid Hudgens. Sid has come with a hot tip for Jack: two starlets, Matt Reynolds and Tammy Jordan, have purchased a small quantity of marijuana and have rented a hotel bungalow. Sid promises Jack a $50 payment (Jack demands $100 and gets it) for doing the bust, provided that Sid can cover the incident and feature it in Hush-Hush. Jack breaks in on Matt and Tammy and arrests them in a gaudy show.

At a police precinct, Sgt. Ed Exley has been assigned as watch commander for the evening. He talks to a couple of reporters, who cite his father's own famous reputation as a police officer, suggesting that Exley has a lot to live up to. Exley also talks to his captain, Dudley Smith, who tells the young officer that unless he's willing to adopt the brutal tactics (planting evidence, interrogative beatings) employed by officers like his father, he'll never be a successful detective in the department. Exley tells him he intends to build his career as an honest cop. Smith also asks Exley if he's willing to be "hated within the department." Exley says he is.

Later, at Smith's precinct, Jack brings in Matt and Tammy and has them booked for possession of marijuana. The extra $50 he asked for over and above his usual $50 was a $20 payoff each for the two officers that assisted him and a final $10 for Exley. Exley turns Jack down, telling him to keep the money himself, a reply that perplexes Vincennes. At that moment, three Mexican suspects are brought in; it is believed they assaulted two police officers. The details of the incident quickly become hyperbolic, starting as reports of mild injuries, to both officers being near death in the hospital. Stensland and the other other party goers, already heavily intoxicated, rush downstairs to the holding area. Refusing to recognize Exley's authority as watch commander, the scene quickly becomes ugly as the Mexican prisoners are viciously beaten. Exley is locked in the isolation room and is helpless. White tries to pull Stensland off one of the prisoners and calm him down only to join in the beating when insulted by one of them. Vincennes joins in as well when a prisoner falls on him, bloodying his fancy suit. The reporters who'd been interviewing Exley are also present, snapping a photo of the fight. The story, dubbed "Bloody Christmas," quickly makes the LA Times and is devastating to the already tarnished image of the LAPD.

The LAPD Commissioner, District Attorney Ellis Loew and Dudley Smith meet with White, Vincennes and Exley. White staunchly refuses to inform on Stensland as the ringleader of the incident and is immediately suspended. Exley, knowing that his own testimony will secure him a promotion to lieutenant and detective level, agrees to appear in court as a surprise witness. Knowing that they'll need the testimony of a third witness, Exley suggests Vincennes. Exley also suggests that if Vincennes is unwilling to testify that his privilege as "technical adviser" on the popular television show "Badge of Honor" will be revoked. Vincennes agrees and accepts a transfer to the vice department following a brief suspension. Exley is given his promotions.

Stensland is expelled from the force, Exley moves up to homicide investigation and is immediately despised and Vincennes joins the Vice Squad. Bud White is taken off suspension when he agrees to aid Smith in a new project: they will intercept mobsters who intend to move into LA and take over Mickey Cohen's businesses. The suspects are taken to a remote and abandoned motel complex called The Victory and are beaten by White and forced to leave the city. Hudgens reports in Hush-Hush that a string of murders of former Cohen lieutenants may be a power struggle to gain control of the void left by Cohen's imprisonment. In one incident, Cohen's top heroin dealer is murdered and 20 kilograms of product is stolen by unidentified killers.

On his first night in Homicide, Exley gets a call about a murder at the Nite Owl coffee shop, a regular hangout for cops. Exley arrives on the scene and finds the cook dead behind the counter and the rest of the victims slaughtered in the men's room. Capt. Smith arrives and tells Exley that he cannot have control of the investigation but he will be second in command. The forensics team quickly reports that there were seven victims, all killed with shotguns and that one of them was Dick Stensland. At the hospital, Bud White finds Stensland's corpse and demands the story from Exley who fills him in. Another of the victims, Susan Lefferts, is seen by Bud White when her mother identifies her. Bud recognizes Susan as the woman in the car who appeared to be injured the night he and Stensland bought the liquor.

Putting aside all other investigations, every police officer in the city is assigned to the search and apprehension of the Nite Owl killers. Exley himself will lead the interrogations of the suspects when they are caught. Leads are few but a report of three "negro" males firing shotguns and driving a specific model car will be followed by all the two-man teams involved. Bud White strikes out on his own, refusing to be partnered. He returns to the liquor store where he met Lynn, is given the address of a man named Pierce Patchett. Bud talks to Patchett and finds out that the woman he met in the liquor store, Lynn (whose last name is Bracken) and the other woman in the car that night, Lefferts, are part of a prostitution ring run by Patchett (the man in the back seat with Lefferts) himself that uses plastic surgery to give his women the appearance of famous movie stars. The prostitution ring is dubbed "Fleur de Lis" and is part of a file Vincennes had seen when he joined Vice. Lynn is Patchett's Veronica Lake while Lefferts is Rita Hayworth. However, Patchett refuses to divulge any details about Lefferts' murder and cuts the meeting short.

Exley joins Vincennes on a hunch and they turn up the address of a black man who drives the car mentioned in the lead. They track the man and his two friends to their home and find the car and shotguns. They also find two officers, Breuning and Carlisle, ahead of them. Vincennes argues briefly with the two other officers about who will arrest the three men; Breuning and Carlisle had gotten there first and Vincennes knows the arrest will get him back in with the narcotics squad. Exley pulls rank and orders them to all proceed together and the three black men are arrested.

During the questioning of the suspects Exley, using the interrogation room's PA speakers and microphones, demonstrates brilliant tactical skill, tricking the three men into believing they have informed on each other. The three already have criminal records and have spent time in juvenile facilities, which Exley also uses to his advantage. One of them, crying and nearly hysterical, tells Exley that they'd visited the house of another man, Sylvester Fitch, so he could lose his virginity to a woman held captive there. Enraged, Bud White rushes into the room of the next man and, emptying every chamber in the cylinder but one and putting the barrel of his pistol in the man's mouth, demands to know Fitch's address, which the man gives up. A team is sent out to Fitch's house and White sneaks in first, finding a young Mexican woman bound naked to a bed. Bud finds Fitch and shoots him dead, planting a fired pistol on him. When the bound woman is driven away in an ambulance, Exley tries to ask her when the three black men left her but White stops him, waving the ambulance away. Telling Exley that he's only concerned about furthering his career, Exley counters saying that Stensland "got what he deserved" and White's fate will be the same. White attacks Exley but is held back. At that moment a report is issued that the three black men have escaped from the precinct.

Exley, talking to a stenographer, gets an address that was given by one of the black men where they had bought drugs. Exley takes Carlisle with him to the address and they burst in to find the three blacks there with their narcotics supplier. When one of them knocks a bottle off the table, Carlisle opens fire, killing him. The dealer opens fire, killing Carlisle. Exley kills another of the black men and rushes after the third, trapping him in an elevator and killing him. Exley is greeted as a hero back at the station and Smith dubs him "Shotgun Ed." The murder case is seemingly solved, Exley is given the department's highest decoration, the Medal of Valor, and earns the respect of the other detectives in the department who previously despised him. Vincennes returns to the narcotics squad and the "Badge of Honor." In the meantime, Patchett is able to break ground on an ambitious project, a freeway running from the eastern sections of LA to the ocean, one he is heavily invested in. He has also blackmailed a local politician with photos showing him cavorting with Lynn Bracken.

Back on the set of "Badge of Honor", Vincennes meets with Sid Hudgens, who offers him another job: Hudgens is deliberately setting up LA District Attorney Loew in a blackmail scheme by arranging a sexual encounter with an out-of-work actor, Matt Reynolds (arrested by Jack himself at Christmas) both of whom will be busted by Jack. Jack feels extreme guilt about the job and goes to the hotel early to let the young actor off the hook. He finds the man murdered.

Bud White begins a romantic relationship with Lynn and continues his work with Smith, beating mobsters at the Victory. The work has turned White into a burnout and his affair with Lynn has softened his otherwise vicious demeanor. White is still suspicious of many of the details surrounding the Night Owl murders and talks to the coroner. The files from the case are still in the doctor's lab. Studying a picture of the scene, White remembers that Stensland had a girlfriend who must have been with him at the cafe. He visits the home of Lefferts' distraught mother who confirms that Stensland was her daughter's boyfriend. She also tells White that Stensland had been seen with another man carrying a large bundle into her back yard. When White notices that Mrs. Lefferts has a towel placed at the bottom of a door leading to her back sunroom to block a strong unpleasant stench, he checks out the crawlspace under the house and finds a rotted corpse: it is Buzz Meeks. Bud deliberately leaves the body behind.

Back at the station, Exley talks to the coroner that White had spoken to earlier. Exley follows White's lead to Mrs. Lefferts' home & finds Meeks' corpse. He takes it to the morgue, demanding an identity on the body and goes to Jack Vincennes and asks for his help in investigating further details about the Nite Owl case. Exley shares the story of how his father was killed by a street criminal whom was never identified but Exley named "Rollo Tomasi" to make him seem more real. Vincennes agrees to help Exley if Exley will help him solve Reynold's murder. Vincennes tails White to the Formosa Bar where White catches up with mob enforcer, Johnny Stompanato, Mickey Cohen's former bodyguard, and finds out (after roughly squeezing the man's crotch) that Meeks had come into a large supply of heroin. White concludes that Meeks was murdered for it.

Vincennes and Exley next see White at Lynn Bracken's house. Vincennes remembers "Fleur de Lis" & realizes that Lynn is one of Patchett's prostitutes. A call comes in telling them that Meeks' body has been ID'd. Vincennes goes to get the news while Exley pays a call to Bracken. Refusing to answer the lieutenant's questions, she seduces him while Sid Hudgens photographs them both from behind a one-way mirror.

Vincennes, going through old records, finds a connection between Dick Stensland, Buzz Meeks and Dudley Smith. He goes to Smith's house for further information. Smith listens long enough to find out if Vincennes had told Exley anything; when Jack says he hadn't informed Ed of the connection between Smith, Meeks and Stenslend, Smith suddenly shoots Jack in the chest. As Jack dies, Smith asks if Jack has anything to confess and Jack only says "Rollo Tomasi." Smith announces the next day that the department will suspend all other cases until Jack's killer is found. He talks directly to Exley about the only lead, Jack's last words. Exley, realizing that Dudley is Jack's killer, says he knows nothing of the name.

Dudley meets with Bud White and criticizes him for what he deems a lack of enthusiasm concerning his job. He also tells White that they'll be going to the Victory Motel to interrogate the man he believes last saw Vincennes alive. It turns out to be Sid Hudgens. Dudley asks him a few questions which don't provide much information. However, during the beating administered by White himself, Hudgens talks about how Pierce Patchett uses his women for blackmail. He mentions that he'd photographed a cop having sex with Lynn and White becomes enraged, turning Hudgens chair over and rushing out to the reporter's car. In the trunk, he finds pictures, not of himself with Lynn, but of Lynn with Exley. White becomes further enraged and drives off. Back in the room, Smith and Breuning kill Sid over his protests that he was part of a "team" with them.

Exley checks with records keeping for arrest warrant books on Buzz Meeks and finds nothing. When he checks the daily log books he finds that Smith had signed off on nearly all of Meeks' and Stensland's work for many years and realizes the connection between them is prominent. White visits Lynn's house, furiously and jealously demanding to know about her tryst with Exley. When she tries to calm him down, he hits her, bruising her face.

White finds Exley in the records room at the precinct and attacks him after showing him the photo of he and Lynn together. Exley manages to fight White off and claims that the photo was planted to make White try to kill Exley. The two stop their battle and begin to share details they've uncovered; Meeks, Stens, Smith, Reynolds' murder, the missing heroin are all linked. In order to piece it all together, the two agree to work as partners, even at the expense of Exley's reputation for solving the Nite Owl murder case, which built his career.

They go to Loew's office and demand wiretaps for Smith. Loew refuses and further refuses to divulge any information about Reynolds' murder and dismisses them, stepping into his office bathroom. White shoves the DA's head into the toilet and dangles him out the window. Loew caves and tells him that Reynolds was killed because he was present when he and Smith argued over the assumption of the Cohen drug-dealing rackets. Loew was allowed to live because of his influence. Bud and Ed agree that their next stop is Patchett's house.

When they arrive there, they find Patchett dead, seemingly a suicide, but not likely one. Believing that Lynn had some knowledge of Patchett's plan, they arrange to have her taken to a nearby police station for safety. Ed goes there and talks to her, saying Bud feels great remorse for beating her. White goes to Sid Hudgens' office and finds him dead. While there, he receives a call telling him to meet Exley at the Victory Motel.

At the Victory, the two find that the calls were planted to get them together in a vulnerable location. They hold up in the same cabin where Sid Hudgeons was murdered. Smith's men approach the cabin and White and Exley open fire; a fierce gunfight ensues. They eventually kill all of Smith's men, however they are confronted by Smith himself, who shoots White, forcing him to fall. Smith turns his gun on a cornered Exley, who says "Rollo Tomasi". Smith asks who the man is, Exley tells him it's Smith himself, merely because he's a man who can evade the law. Smith hears approaching police cars and tells Exley to walk out with him, promising to further the younger man's career. He also tells Ed to show his badge. Exley shoots Smith in the back and walks out, holding his badge as Smith instructed.

Sitting in one of the same interview rooms he used to interrogate the three black men, Exley explains the intricate connections in the case. The DA & LAPD Commissioner are incredulous but realize the department's reputation for upholding the law will be threatened. They float the idea of getting Exley to "play ball" and spot Exley beaming. When they ask him why he's smiling he says they'll need a star witness. Exley had likely been using the intercom switches to listen to their conversation.

In the final scene, Exley is once again presented with the LAPD Medal of Valor. He spots Lynn and walks out with her. In her car is Bud White, bandaged and recovering from his wounds. Lynn says they're going to her hometown of Bisbee, Arizona. Ed and Bud shakes hands and Lynn drives off.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

October 30, 2006
If you handed Chinatown a pair of brass knuckles and put it through testosterone therapy, LA Confidential is what you'd end up with. The story is a multi-layered complex juggernaut that's brutal, filthy and corrupt--all while hiding behind the guise of The Good Old Days. The cast is superb (even the ones who I've come to avoid), Curtis Hanson's direction is superb and the photography is great. An incredibly underrated movie...
Kristijonas F

Super Reviewer

May 14, 2011
This modern film-noir offers fresh writing, a densely-layered, sophisticated plot and top-notch performances from an ensemble cast. The stylish period details and very fluid pacing are also worth mentioning. Oh, and the final shoot-out - that was absolutely stupendous!
Shawn E

Super Reviewer

March 14, 2011
LA Confidential packs a punch! Tremendous acting from all the cast and the story is spectacular. Between the intense action and suspenseful mystery this film grips your attention and curiosity right to the end. This is no ordinary cop film and surely will become an instant favourite.
stevenecarrier
stevenecarrier

Super Reviewer

February 21, 2011
Curtis Hanson's "L.A. Confidential" is a scorcher. Hanson delivers a masterful juggling act. The writing is dense, twisty and rewarding. The acting is powerful, complex and emotionally challenging. The cinematography is clear, meticulous and reflective. The production design is detailed and natural- something rare for a period film. With all of these filmic aspects in perfect unison, it's also shocking to see how Hanson deftly handles the pictures juxtapositions. "L.A. Confidential" is deeply rooted in 1950s film noir but it is also intensely contemporary. It's a loving tribute to the city of Los Angeles but also fully embraces it's dirty underbelly without judgement. It's as much about emotion and the way others perceive us as it is about the gruesome violence and action demanded from a cop film. "L.A. Confidential" is one of those wholly memorable and unforgettable experiences and one of the defining films of the 1990s- perfectly blending old and new Hollywood in a very important way.
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