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1,035 Ratings

To Live and Die in L.A.

Directed by William Friedkin
United States, 1985
Action, Crime, Thriller


A risk-taking amoral U.S. Treasury agent seeks revenge against a sleek counterfeiter who murdered a fellow agent, going rogue in an obsessive pursuit that swiftly spirals out of control.

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To Live and Die in L.A. Directed by William Friedkin
It marked a return to the energetic, stylistically thrilling crime genre filmmaking that first made the director’s name. While its expansive, sunlit, West Coast take on shadowy, claustrophic film noir – soundtracked by the lush, pulsing pop music of Wang Chung – refuses many readymade clichés, the film retains striking, sometimes unexpected connections to the cinematic past.
October 04, 2017
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The fashions and music and attitudes on display might have been interpreted at the time as opportunistic stabs at au courant stylization, but the film is nevertheless overpowering and otherworldly rather than quaint or kitschy. It feels like a transmission from a different planet. To Live and Die in L.A. is so of its time that you can only be captivated by it.
June 14, 2017
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The film cannily blends quasi-documentary procedural realism with an unpredictable modernist sensibility. The story is succinct in its pulpy purity… To Live and Die in L.A. exhibits a remarkable degree of kineticism, evident in several memorable chase sequences, the film’s headlong momentum abetted by Wang Chung’s dynamic score.
December 15, 2016
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