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L.A. Confidential (1997)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  19 September 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 388,494 users   Metascore: 90/100
Reviews: 614 user | 173 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Top Rated Movies #98 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 80 wins & 77 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Cohen's Mambo Partner
Mickey Cohen's Mambo Partner
Officer Arresting Mickey Cohen


1950's Los Angeles is the seedy backdrop for this intricate noir-ish tale of police corruption and Hollywood sleaze. Three very different cops are all after the truth, each in their own style: Ed Exley, the golden boy of the police force, willing to do almost anything to get ahead, except sell out; Bud White, ready to break the rules to seek justice, but barely able to keep his raging violence under control; and Jack Vincennes, always looking for celebrity and a quick buck until his conscience drives him to join Exley and White down the one-way path to find the truth behind the dark world of L.A. crime. Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It's a crime saga that will shock you. It's a mystery that will keep you guessing. It's a thriller that will keep you riveted. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language, and for sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

19 September 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los Ángeles al desnudo  »

Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,211,198 (USA) (19 September 1997)


$64,604,977 (USA) (29 May 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At the time the film takes place no building in Los Angeles was allowed to be taller than city hall, so the cameras were placed at certain points so that any building taller than city hall would not be seen. See more »


When Ed Exley asks Lynn Bracken what she can tell him about Dudley Smith, she says she has never heard of him. While unlikely to be true, she was quite possibly lying. See more »


[first lines]
Sid Hudgens: [voiceover] Come to Los Angeles! The sun shines bright, the beaches are wide and inviting, and the orange groves stretch as far as the eye can see. There are jobs aplenty, and land is cheap. Every working man can have his own house, and inside every house, a happy, all-American family. You can have all this, and who knows... you could even be discovered, become a movie star... or at least see one. Life is good in Los Angeles... it's paradise on Earth." Ha ha ha ha. That's what they ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Characters from the movie were incorporated into period stock footage shown during the credits See more »


Referenced in 101 Biggest Celebrity Oops (2004) See more »


Silent Night
Music by Franz Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A "Chinatown" for the 1990s
25 June 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"L.A. Confidential" is brilliant. The screenplay and direction are second-to-none. The performances by the ensemble cast are also superb. Kim Basinger stands out the most with her Oscar-winning role. Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, David Strathairn, and Danny DeVito all have their moments as well. The film deals with the seamy side of Los Angeles in the post-World War II 1950s. Los Angeles is a place of shady dealings and police corruption. To add to those problems is the creation of the smutty tabloid. Multi-layered and smart, "L.A. Confidential" will be the greatest survivor of the films released in 1997. 5 out of 5 stars.

145 of 170 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
3 plot issues which rely on pure coincidence edlear-83867
How could Bud survive three close-range shots?! li-beinan
Which is the best film ever made in which LA is the star? fnj2002
Did not understand this movie fanslayer
Why did Exely and Lynn sleep together? nestag
something I dont understand Hawkeye25
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