To Live and Die in L.A. Director William Friedkin, best known for "The French Connection," takes amoral cop drama to the Left Coast in To Live and Die in L.A. ,… To Live and Die in L.A. Director William Friedkin, best known for "The French Connection," takes amoral cop drama to the Left Coast in To Live and Die in L.A. ,…
Movie on DVD Review

To Live and Die in L.A. (2003)

To Live and Die in L.A. | 'L.A.' STORY Petersen (with Darlanne Fleugel), pre-''CSI''
Image credit: To Live and Die in L.A.: © 2003 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
'L.A.' STORY Petersen (with Darlanne Fleugel), pre-''CSI''
EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Dec 02, 2003; DVD Release Date: Dec 02, 2003; Movie Rated: R; Genres: Action/Adventure, Mystery and Thriller; With: William L. Petersen

Director William Friedkin, best known for ''The French Connection,'' takes amoral cop drama to the Left Coast in To Live and Die in L.A., a film that's both more vibrant and more nihilistic than that classic, if not its peer otherwise. It's a kick to watch a lanky, fresh-faced William Petersen (now starring on CBS's ''CSI'') as a federal agent who -- you guessed it -- plays by his own rules as he tracks down a sadistic counterfeiting kingpin (a delicious Willem Dafoe). Unfortunately, what was no doubt part of ''L.A.'''s original allure -- namely, its sun-bleached rendition of Reagan-era malaise -- now lends a time-capsule feel to the proceedings (as does the painful Wang Chung soundtrack).

EXTRAS A making-of doc, ''Counterfeit World,'' includes Friedkin's, Petersen's, and Dafoe's thoughtful deconstruction of the plot. Another, shorter feature provides an alternate take on the film's jaw-dropping climax.

Originally posted Dec 05, 2003 Published in issue #740 Dec 05, 2003 Order article reprints
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