Movies About Los Angeles

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Movies About Los Angeles

Thinking about Movies About Los Angeles, there is no limit to the creators who explored this feeling. We put together 25 of the best ones.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Pulp Fiction
★★★★
★★★★
3.6 out of 4 stars

From Quentin Tarantino, starring John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis
Rated R

Pulp Fiction is an American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino in 1994. The film is composed of four interrelated stories, featuring a mix of comedy and drama. The stories follow the lives of two mob hitmen, Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson); a boxer named Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis); a gangster's wife, Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman); and a pair of small-time criminals, Pumpkin (Tim Roth) and Honey Bunny (Amanda Plummer). The stories intertwine during the course of the film and eventually lead to a dramatic climax. Throughout the movie, characters discuss various topics such as life, religion, and philosophy. Pulp Fiction is a nonlinear narrative, interspersed with humor and memorable dialogue. The film is a classic example of the neo-noir genre, featuring stylized violence and a twist ending. It was a critical and commercial success, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, among many other awards.

American History X (1998)

American History X
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Tony Kaye, starring Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Beverly D'Angelo, Jennifer Lien
Rated R

American History X is a 1998 drama film directed by Tony Kaye about a former neo-Nazi skinhead, Derek Vinyard (Edward Norton), and his struggle to prevent his younger brother, Danny Vinyard (Edward Furlong), from following in his footsteps. Derek is released from prison after serving a three-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter, and after his release, he attempts to prevent Danny from joining a local far-right group led by Cameron Alexander (Stacey Keach). Through Derek's interactions with an African-American professor, Dr. Murray (Avery Brooks), and his brother, Danny, Derek begins to reevaluate his beliefs and ultimately is able to prevent Danny from becoming a neo-Nazi. The film is a powerful exploration of racism, intolerance, and the power of redemption and forgiveness.

Heat (1995)

Heat
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Michael Mann, starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight
Rated R

Heat is a 1995 crime drama directed by Michael Mann. The movie follows two men on opposite sides of the law: Neil McCauley, a professional criminal and Detective Vincent Hanna, a police officer. McCauley's crew spends their time planning heists and stealing money, while Hanna is determined to take them down. As the story progresses, the two men form a strange connection as they slowly become aware of the similarities between their lives. In the end, Hanna and McCauley face off in a violent confrontation that has devastating consequences. The movie features an all-star cast including Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Val Kilmer, and Natalie Portman. Heat is a thrilling, action-packed film that explores the complexity of human relationships and the morality of crime.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Reservoir Dogs
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Quentin Tarantino, starring Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn
Rated R

Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 neo-noir crime film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The film follows a group of criminal strangers who are hired by a crime boss to carry out a diamond heist. After a successful heist, the group of criminals realize that there is a police informant among them and must figure out who it is before they are caught. The movie features a stellar cast including Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Michael Madsen, and Chris Penn. The movie remains one of the defining cult classic films of the 1990s, and has been praised for its smart dialogue, colorful characters, and stylized violence.

L.A. Confidential (1997)

L.A. Confidential
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Curtis Hanson, starring Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger
Rated R

L.A. Confidential is a 1997 neo-noir crime drama film directed by Curtis Hanson and adapted from the novel of the same name by James Ellroy. It follows a group of Los Angeles Police Department detectives as they unravel a conspiracy involving police corruption, murder and drug trafficking in the 1950s. The story follows three LAPD officers as they investigate a murder, a prostitute, and a scandal known as "The Nite Owl Massacre". It stars Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito, James Cromwell and David Strathairn. The film has been praised for its performance, direction, dialogue, and production design. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning two, and was a box office success.

LA 92 (2017)

LA 92
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin, starring Henry Alfaro, Danny Bakewell, John D. Barnett, Bart Bartholomew
Rated R

LA 92 is a 2017 documentary that explores the events surrounding the 1992 Los Angeles riots. The film takes a comprehensive look at the civil unrest that erupted in the wake of the acquittal of four Los Angeles Police Department officers for the beating of motorist Rodney King. Through interviews with eyewitnesses, archival footage, and never before seen photographs and video, the film examines the social and political tensions that led to the unrest, and the lasting impacts of the riots.

The Big Lebowski (1998)

The Big Lebowski
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi
Rated R

The Big Lebowski is a 1998 comedy film written, produced, and directed by the Coen brothers. The plot revolves around a Los Angeles slacker, Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski, who is mistaken for another man with the same name who is a millionaire, and subsequently drawn into a plot involving the millionaire's kidnapped wife and a huge debt he owes to a group of German nihilists. Along the way, The Dude meets several eccentric characters, including a Stranger (Sam Elliott), his temperamental bowling partner, Walter Sobchak (John Goodman), and the millionaire's trophy wife, Bunny Lebowski (Tara Reid). Through a convoluted series of events, The Dude helps to resolve the kidnapping, and he and his friends ultimately prevail over the German nihilists. The film has since achieved cult status for its offbeat characters, bizarre plot and memorable dialogue.

Blood In, Blood Out (1993)

Blood In, Blood Out
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Taylor Hackford, starring Damian Chapa, Jesse Borrego, Benjamin Bratt, Enrique Castillo
Rated R

Blood In, Blood Out is a 1993 drama directed by Taylor Hackford, based on the novel of the same name by Jimmy Santiago Baca. It follows three Chicano cousins from the streets of East Los Angeles as they struggle to make a life for themselves in a world of gang violence and drug addiction. The oldest, Paco (played by Benjamin Bratt), is an aspiring artist who joins a local gang in order to make ends meet. He quickly rises in the ranks and becomes a respected leader. Meanwhile, his younger cousins, Cruz (Damian Chapa) and Miklo (Jesse Borrego), join a rival gang and become involved in a deadly rivalry. As the violence escalates and the cousins become increasingly involved in the criminal underworld, their lives begin to spiral out of control. Eventually, they must confront their choices and face the consequences of their actions. Blood In, Blood Out is a powerful film that explores themes of loyalty, loyalty, and identity in a gritty and realistic way.

Boogie Nights (1997)

Boogie Nights
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Luis Guzmán
Rated R

Boogie Nights is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Set in the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s, the film revolves around the life of porn star Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) and his rise to fame and fortune under the mentorship of legendary porn producer Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds). Along the way, Dirk meets a diverse and colorful cast of characters, including his best friend Reed Rothchild (John C. Reilly), porn actress Amber Waves (Julianne Moore), and drug dealer/mentor Buck Swope (Don Cheadle). Through both his successes and failures, Dirk strives to remain true to himself and find his own place in the adult entertainment industry. Boogie Nights is a powerful and humorous look at the American dream and the entertainment industry.

Boyz n the Hood (1991)

Boyz n the Hood
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From John Singleton, starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Hudhail Al-Amir, Lloyd Avery II
Rated R

Boyz n the Hood is a powerful coming-of-age drama that follows three young men in South Central Los Angeles as they navigate the dangerous streets of their neighborhood. Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.), Doughboy (Ice Cube), and Ricky (Morris Chestnut) are close friends who must make difficult decisions about their lives, futures, and relationships as they face the realities of growing up in a challenging environment. Tre is the most focused of the three and dreams of going to college, while Doughboy is pulled into a life of crime and violence. Ricky is caught in between, attempting to find his own path while dealing with peer pressure from both sides. Through a series of events, the boys are forced to realize the consequences of their actions and how they will ultimately shape the course of their lives.

Nightcrawler (2014)

Nightcrawler
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Dan Gilroy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmed
Rated R

Nightcrawler is a 2014 crime thriller that follows the story of Lou Bloom, a cunning and determined young man who will stop at nothing to succeed in the highly competitive world of freelance crime journalism in Los Angeles. Lou sets out to pursue a career as a “nightcrawler”, a type of journalist that follows police scanners around the city and captures footage of gruesome crime scenes to sell to local news outlets. Along the way, he forms an unlikely partnership with an aging news director and together they push ethical boundaries by manufacturing and manipulating footage for higher ratings. As Lou’s moral lines become increasingly blurred, his ambition threatens to consume him and those around him.

Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Straight Outta Compton
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From F. Gary Gray, starring O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr.
Rated R

Straight Outta Compton is a biographical drama film about the rise and fall of the iconic rap group N.W.A. Directed by F. Gary Gray, the film follows the lives of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, DJ Yella, and MC Ren, as they revolutionize the hip-hop music scene in the mid-1980s with their raw, politically charged lyrics. Despite the group’s success, they face adversity from the police, the media, and the music industry, which ultimately leads to a bitter rift between the members. The film examines the impact of their controversial lyrics, the legacy they left behind, and the influence they had on the rap genre. Despite the hardships they faced, the group's music and their message still resonates with people today.

Drive (2011)

Drive
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks
Rated R

Drive follows the story of a Hollywood stuntman, Driver (Ryan Gosling), who moonlights as a getaway driver for criminals. After he becomes involved with his neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan), and her son, Benicio, Driver finds himself protecting them from the danger of a criminal underworld. As Driver attempts to save Irene and Benicio from criminals, he must confront the consequences of his secretive lifestyle, including an enigmatic mob boss. With intense car chases, thrilling action scenes, and a brilliant soundtrack, Drive is a gripping and stylish neo-noir film that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Crash (2004)

Crash
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Paul Haggis, starring Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Thandiwe Newton, Karina Arroyave
Rated R

Crash is a 2004 drama film written and directed by Paul Haggis. The film follows the lives of several disparate groups of people in Los Angeles, California, in the aftermath of a racial incident between an African American and a Persian character. The film explores issues such as racism, classism, and xenophobia in Los Angeles during a 24 hour period. The film stars an ensemble cast including Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe, and Larenz Tate. The film features many interlinked stories which showcase the interconnectedness of the characters within the film. The film explores the complex and fragile relationships between individuals of different races, classes, and religions in a time of heightened racial and cultural tensions in Los Angeles. The film received critical acclaim and won a Best Picture Oscar in 2005.

Training Day (2001)

Training Day
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Antoine Fuqua, starring Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn, Tom Berenger
Rated R

Training Day is a 2001 American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by David Ayer. The film follows two LAPD narcotics officers over a 24-hour period in the gang-ridden neighborhoods of the crime-ridden Los Angeles. Denzel Washington stars as a veteran detective whose methods of enforcing the law are questionable and ultimately criminal, and Ethan Hawke as his rookie partner. The two narcotics officers set out on a routine patrol in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles. As the day progresses, they become entangled in a web of corruption and violence. Washington's character is ultimately revealed to be a corrupt and immoral officer who will do anything to get what he wants. Hawke's character is forced to confront his own personal and moral beliefs as he wrestles with whether to turn in his partner and risk his own career. In the end, he ultimately learns the hard truth that justice must sometimes come at a cost.

End of Watch (2012)

End of Watch
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From David Ayer, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick, America Ferrera
Rated R

End of Watch is a 2012 American crime drama film written and directed by David Ayer. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as Brian Taylor and Miguel Zavala, two LAPD officers. The film follows their day-to-day police work, their friendship, and the story of how Taylor and Zavala, two cops on the beat, become targets of a drug cartel. The cartel tries to kill both officers, putting them in a life-or-death struggle with the criminals. The film is a unique look at the daily lives of two police officers and the dangers they face on a daily basis. It is a gritty and real portrayal of law enforcement and the people they interact with. It is an intense and often violent story of friendship and courage, and ultimately, the power of hope.

Falling Down (1993)

Falling Down
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Joel Schumacher, starring Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey, Rachel Ticotin
Rated R

Falling Down is a 1993 American drama-thriller film directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Michael Douglas as William "D-Fens" Foster, a divorced and unemployed former defense engineer who embarks on a violent and chaotic journey of self-discovery. After his car breaks down in Los Angeles on the hottest day of the summer, Foster begins to unravel. With no destination in mind, Foster embarks on a journey of revenge and inner reflection, while crossing paths with various characters who each represent a different challenge to his mental and physical stability. As Foster's frustration and rage boil over, he is forced to confront his own morality and work through his internal demons. In the end, Foster is left with a choice between redemption and destruction.

Freedom Writers (2007)

Freedom Writers
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Richard LaGravenese, starring Hilary Swank, Imelda Staunton, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Glenn
Rated PG-13

Freedom Writers is a 2007 drama film directed by Richard LaGravenese that is based on the true story of a young teacher named Erin Gruwell (played by Hilary Swank). After being assigned to teach a classroom full of at-risk high school students in Long Beach, California, Gruwell learns that her students have been deeply affected by the violence, poverty, and racial tensions of their neighborhood. Gruwell is determined to make a difference in her students' lives, and she helps them to see the world from a different perspective. Through reading and writing assignments, Gruwell encourages her students to find their own voices and make a stand against intolerance and prejudice. The film follows the transformative journey of the students as they learn to trust each other and form a strong bond of friendship. As the students grow more empowered by their newfound sense of identity and purpose, Gruwell and her students find inspiration in each other and are able to overcome the obstacles they face in their lives.

Wattstax (1973)

Wattstax
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Mel Stuart, starring The Dramatics, The Staple Singers, Kim Weston, Jimmy Jones
Rated R

Wattstax is a 1973 American documentary film directed by Mel Stuart. The film was produced in commemoration of the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots in Los Angeles. It documents the Wattstax music festival, held in August 1972 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to commemorate the riot. The film features performances by several prominent figures in the African-American music industry at the time, including Isaac Hayes, Carla Thomas, The Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas, and Reverend Jesse Jackson. Alongside the performances, it includes interviews with members of the Watts community, who reflect on the events of the riots, their experiences with racism, and their hopes for the future. Through its interviews and musical performances, Wattstax paints a portrait of resilience and hope in the face of adversity, ultimately serving as an uplifting celebration of the African-American community in Watts.

Collateral (2004)

Collateral
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Michael Mann, starring Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo
Rated R

Collateral is a 2004 crime thriller directed by Michael Mann and starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx. The story follows a cab driver, Max (Foxx), who unwittingly agrees to become a getaway driver for a contract killer, Vincent (Cruise). As the night progresses, Max is forced to confront his darkest fears and risk his life to save the lives of innocent bystanders. Meanwhile, a relentless LAPD detective, Fanning (Mark Ruffalo), is on a mission to take down the killer and his accomplice. With the clock ticking and the bodies piling up, Max is pushed to the brink in a desperate attempt to save his own life.

Menace II Society (1993)

Menace II Society
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes, starring Tyrin Turner, Larenz Tate, June Kyoto Lu, Toshi Toda
Rated R

Menace II Society is a 1993 drama film directed by the Hughes Brothers. The film follows the story of Caine Lawson, an African-American teen living in a South Central Los Angeles neighborhood. Caine's story is a coming-of-age tale that illustrates the struggles of life in an environment filled with violence, drugs, and gang violence. The film follows Caine's journey from a childhood of poverty and violence to a young adult struggling to build a better life for himself and his family. Along the way, he must confront the harsh realities of growing up in a crime-ridden neighborhood, including the death of his best friend, an abusive father, and the danger of gang recruitment. Throughout the movie, Caine learns important lessons about responsibility, loyalty, and family. As the film progresses, Caine must eventually choose between continuing a life of crime or following a path of redemption. The outcome of his decision ultimately determines his fate.

Jackie Brown (1997)

Jackie Brown
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Quentin Tarantino, starring Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Bridget Fonda
Rated R

Jackie Brown is a crime drama set in the late 1990s. It tells the story of Jackie Brown (Pam Grier), a flight attendant working for a small Mexican airline. When Jackie is caught smuggling money from a drug dealer, she is forced to take on a dangerous and daring mission to save her own skin. With the help of her friend Max (Robert Forster), she devises a plan to double-cross the drug dealer and the ATF agent out to get her. Along the way, she deals with a host of colorful characters, including her gun-toting ex-boyfriend Ordell (Samuel L. Jackson), his shady lawyer (Robert De Niro), and a wisecracking bail bondsman (Bridget Fonda). Through her journey, Jackie learns the importance of trusting her own instincts and taking control of her own destiny.

Speed (1994)

Speed
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Jan de Bont, starring Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton
Rated R

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

To Live and Die in L.A.
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From William Friedkin, starring William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, Jane Leeves, Cherise Bates
Rated R

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)

Assault on Precinct 13
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From John Carpenter, starring Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer, Martin West
Rated R

 



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