To Live and Die in L.A. - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

To Live and Die in L.A. Reviews

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June 8, 2017
It's a flawless movie to me. One of those all-time favorites I keep coming back to, for it never fails to fascinate me. An example of Friedkin's best -- a gritty, merciless action film with set-pieces that will have you clasp the armrests.
½ April 4, 2017
A solid and entertaining cop drama about counterfeit money starring Willem Dafoe as da foe. Bonus: you see every step of the counterfeit money process so you can make your own at home!
½ February 16, 2017
Wot does David Nusair know. Plonker!
December 26, 2016
Awesome! So gritty and uncompromising. Great atmosphere, music, performances and story. Loved it.
September 25, 2016
Cop pursues counterfeiter in Los Angeles. Well-made in hot L.A. but difficult to feel good about either side of this story, with one particularly disastrous bust gone wrong. Friedkin proves (again) he is the master of the car chase.
August 14, 2016
- Set very, very firmly in glorious 1985.
-. I think Robert Downey Sr is in this. Who?
- Willem Dafoe is still super super creepy. His opening scene he's lighting fire to an oil painting.
- Grissom (from CSI) just bungee-jumped from a bridge. Except it was just a steel cable.
- I now know how to counterfeit bills circa 1985. Thank you creepy Willem Dafoe!
- OMG the music is all totally gnarly. In a good way.
- Sleeping on a stakeout is not a good idea. Even if you are dressed super fly.
- Money orders are only 10 cents!
- "Why you chasin me man?!" "Why you runnin, man!?"
- The cop had to use the CB to ask Base to phone the hospital for something. Technology's come a long way.
- But car chases are way better in this movie. Real cars with cameras strapped to them.
June 25, 2016
Saw this on 25/6/16
Willia, Friedkin's direction is the key here. After a lethargic first hour, the film attains terrific momentum thanks to one of the most effectively crafted chase sequences in movie history and the film does have a good few twists towards the end. It is brutal, cynical and immoral to the core, but the script does not do justice to the film's many great things. One big problem here is that the script is muddled with a lot sub plots that are left unanswered or more accurately ignored in the end which makes them feel totally unnecessary. John Turturo's character, the FBI operation, Dafoe's girlfriend, his lawyer are all examples of the same. The conclusion of the counterfeiter also brings another twist which makes the whole affair questionable, ie why would a man(Dafoe) walk into such trouble when he knows before hand that he is about to have police cum all over him.
½ June 14, 2016
A counterfeiter is investigated by a Secret Service agent whose partner was murdered by the fugitive criminal. The agent makes it his mission to capture the counterfeiting killer before it's too late.
May 25, 2016
Nice visuals of LA. Tight soundtrack. Tedious in spots.
May 21, 2016
William Friedkin's crime thriller, based on a book by U.S. Secret Service agent Gerald Petievich, concerns an arrogant Secret Service official who wants to get his man at any price. Willem Dafoe plays Eric Masters, an ultra-smooth counterfeiter who has managed to sidestep the police for years. He is so up-front about his dealings, in fact, that when some undercover agents try to make a deal with him at his health club, Eric tells them, "I've been coming to this gym three times a week for five years. I'm an easy guy to find. People know they can trust me." But when young and eager Secret Service agent Richard Chance (William L. Petersen) finds out that his partner has been cold-bloodedly murdered by Eric, he trains his relentlessness upon capturing Eric -- whether it means robbery, murder, or exploiting his friends and associates. As Chance erases the dividing line between good and evil, he drags his new partner John Vukovich (John Pankow) and Ruth Lanier (Darlanne Fluegel), an ex-con, down into the maelstrom with him.
April 21, 2016
William Peterson and Willem Dafoe star in this William Friedkin crime thriller from the mid-80s about a reckless cop who will do anything to take down the counterfeiter who murdered his partner. It's a solid well made film, and almost feels like an 80s answer to "The French Connection," which was also directed by Friedkin. It's a great movie really, and deserves to be put on the same pedestal as Friedkin's fine work from the 70s.
Super Reviewer
½ February 28, 2016
It's even more nihilistic and uncompromising than "The French Connection" and like that movie, "To Live and Die in L.A." seems to be arguing against the anti-hero. Things only get worse the more he flagrantly disregards both moral and legal rules . . . a point Friedkin underlines ruthlessly with a shotgun blast to the face.
½ December 22, 2015
Eighties action flick sat in LA with guns, money, girls, cops and synthy popmusic. It's an all right story as we follow Defoe as the counterfeiter badguy and the cops that tries to hunt him down. Throw in corruption and a few interesting characters and you got a typical 80's film.

I never really get hooked and it's not very impressive. I never like the protagonists and the bad guys are not that cool either. I like Turturro and Defoe and there is a great and intense car chase here. Sadly it does not add much else to the table.

5 out of 10 shots in the face.
Super Reviewer
½ November 6, 2015
An explosive thriller very well directed by William Friedkin, with great performances, many awesome action scenes - especially an exhilarating car chase - and a morally thought-provoking story that culminates in a fantastic, shocking ending.
October 26, 2015
An All time Classic Cops + Robbers thriller. Brilliant script and direction . The performances especially from Willem Dafoe and Darlene Flugel , for me , are outstanding . When Dafoe is checking out the credentials of William Petersen and his Partner as they say they are from Palm Springs its just solid acting . "Ive never fucked a Customer out of his front money and if you can't come up with the front money you're not for real" he says . Brilliantly delivered lines all told . This film succeeds on every level .
August 26, 2015
William Friedkin's second foray into the detective genre may not be as strong as his first, but he manages to nail the breezy and bizarre feel that Los Angeles possessed during the 1980s.
August 25, 2015
This is the most 80s film ever made.

According to Wikipedia 'Chance has a reputation for reckless behavior, while Hart is three days away from retirement.'

At one point Dafoe, just before he kills a bloke picks up a statue and says: '18th century cameroon? your taste is in your ass.'

Imagine a bunch of Po faces actors shouting cliches at each other for 2 hours. That's what this film is. You're off the case.
½ June 25, 2015
A cool Wang Chung soundtrack, a great car chase, and some interesting casting make this otherwise formulaic flick a cut above the rest.
December 10, 2014
This is how it's done. Every cop movie cliche is here before they became guy who's 3 days from retirement and says, "I'm getting too old for this shit" (before Lethal Weapon did he gets shot point blank in the face with a shotgun in the first 10 minutes), a superior who plays by the book, and the lead who is a loose cannon. What separates this from other cop films is that it destroys all expectations and goes places that most movies don't have the guts to go to. Worth noting that it has one of the best car chases ever. I also read that some crew members were arrested for trying to pass some of the counterfeit bills that were used in the film. There's a great scene where they show how they're plated and printed, and apparently it is illegal to print on both sides of the paper even if it's for a movie, which they did and got in trouble with the feds over. This is a hardcore crime film...there's no happy ending and no one is redeemed. Not exactly the type of action movie you see every day. Highly recommend this one.
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