Pure '80s action crime-drama from Friedkin. Couldn't go wrong with the soundtrack along with Müller's cinematography and its action-packed moments. The performances from the cast were pretty good, the storyline had some twists & turns but didn't failed to be this styled & entertaining - even though, it does have that same feel THE FRENCH CONNECTON had. A must-watch for any '80s crime thriller fans out there! 5/5
Always an exciting watch. "To Live and Die in L.A." is William Friedkin's psychedelic foray into the sun-bleached and crime-ridden streets of Los Angeles. Following a vengeful Secret Service agent as he hunts for a slick, money-laundering murderer. Great pulsing soundtrack, experimentation with visuals and editing - overall, a really innovative look at crime cinema and 80s culture.
A beautifully shot film (thanks to "Paris, Texas" D.O.P. Robby Muller), with L.A. a seductive but melancholic mirage -like Richard Chance, the vain victim of its own strutting hubris. But it plays out too much like a collection of macho cop procedurals: it's always a hair's breadth away from someone shouting: "The truth! You can't handle the truth!" To me, Friedkin's "Cruising" dealt with the cop themes far better.
3.5 is probably the proper rating of this one for me. It's another one of those unique movies that always feels like it should be better than it is, but when I get to the end of it, it simply isn't. It has its moments - particular the beginning and end.
IMO, this is William Friedkin's underrated masterpiece. Friedkin has created such a first-rate action-crime thriller. This movie used a "brave" narrative. It makes this movie better. It isn't just about hero vs villain. It's about friendship, anger, even moral dillemma. This movie has a skillful cinematography. Wang Chung's score gave more 80's vibes in here. Not to mention that crazy "wrong-way" car chase scene...
Whilst unmistakably a product of the 1980s, To Live and Die in L.A. is an oft-overlooked gem that does plenty to separate itself from other crime dramas of the era. Friedkin avoids over-simplifying the drama by refusing to draw definite lines between the good guys and bad guys. The quality of the acting and the unpredictability of the plot trajectory, including an unconventional ending, makes this one worthwhile.
8 - Deliciously cheesy, coarse, grimy mess of an 80s thriller. In fact, if you added a couple of neon lights you might just have the most 80s film ever made. Friedkin's ability to pull off genuine amorality like very few of his peers could even aspire to also boosts this film's watchability immensely.