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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 388,564 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


Everything is suspect...everyone is for sale...and nothing is what it seems. 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?


The script went through seven drafts before Curtis Hanson felt confident enough to let James Ellroy see it. See more »


When Exley blasts one of the rapists out of the window, there is clearly an enormous belt around the man's waist, to yank him backwards. 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

At the end of all the credits, there is a brief scene from "Badge of Honor" featuring a onscreen dedication in honor of Sgt. Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey), who within the film had served as the "Hollywood cop" and advisor to the film. The scene shows a black-and-white closing moment of "Badge of Honor" with the credits inscribed as "Dedicated to Sgt. Jack Vincennes," as Badge of Honor actor (Matt McCoy) closes the door on the HOMICIDE office and walks sorrowfully away. See more »


Jingle Bells
Written by James Pierpont
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

On of the best movies of the past 20 years.
26 November 2001 | by (Ft. Worth, Texas) – See all my reviews

L.A. Confidential most likely falls into the category of one of the best movies of the past twenty years. The complex story line seemed to burst at the seams with intelligence. I found the complexity of several different sub-plots working together challenged the intellectual part of my brain while the intense action through out the entire movie satisfied the craving of the not-so-intellectual part of my brain that enjoys seeing a good brawl followed by a good shoot-out. Brian Helgeland and Curtis Hanson did and excellent job of combining many elements of several different kinds of films into one. They seem to have made this movie with several different audiences in mind. I for one, as I have mentioned, enjoyed the intellectual aspect as well as the action, while my wife 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.

167 of 205 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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
Should L.A Confidental have won Best Picture? steve-movies
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