Ken Tucker
September 24, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

L.A. Confidential

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
138 minutes
performer
Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger, James Cromwell, Danny DeVito, Ron Rifkin, David Strathairn
director
Curtis Hanson
distributor
Warner Bros.
author
James Ellroy, Brian Helgeland, Henry James, Rick Moody, Jane Smiley
genre
Drama, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it an A-

Director Curtis Hanson’s L.A. Confidential is a modern masterpiece of Los Angeles crime films — more morally complex than James Ellroy?s gleefully cynical source novel. The movie shoved Crowe into star status, and nearly every performance — from Graham Beckel?s boozy, corrupt cop to Guy Pearce?s straight arrow — is grungily superlative. This new edition is loaded with hours of extras, the best of which was on the ’98 DVD: ”Photo Pitch,” in which Hanson explains how he sold producers on the film by showing them not the script, but atmospheric shots of early-’50s L.A. The commentary is bogged down by no fewer than 13 voices yammering; and while it?s fun to see the 2000 pilot for a Confidential TV series with Kiefer Sutherland, the show was a tame dog compared with Hanson?s snarling beast. A?

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