Year of Release: 1997
Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger, James Cromwell, Danny DeVito, David Strathairn, Ron Rifkin, Matt McCoy, Paul Guilfoyle, Graham Beckel, Simon Baker, Bob Clendenin, Tomas Arana, Michael Chieffo, Jim Metzler, Brenda Bakke, Jack Conley, Symba
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
"L.A. Confidential" is a successful film in the way it transposes the engrossing and detailed novel from James Elroy to the screen, and brings to life the dynamics of the relationships between the three central characters. The main focus of the narrative is both Bud White and Ed Exley, two different sides of the police world, and yet, the way Curtis Hanson presents and develops the story, it allows for these two characters to be more than just simple cliches. There is depth, insight, and genuine investment from the director in flushing different threads to the story, allowing for different sides of this intricate scenario to be represented, and also managing to bring it all together for a climax that is both intelligent and rewarding. This is an example of how a truly great team can make a solid film come together, from the actors (with Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce leading the way), through the cinematography from Dante Spinotti and the score from the late Jerry Goldsmith. It's not a film that has a particular point of view (or style for that matter), but it's one that transposes its story in an engaging way (very much like a solid mini-series). Entertaining and well done.