Times unveils top 25 L.A.-centric films from past 25 years. What did they miss?

LA Times picks "L.A. Confidential" ad the greatest Los Angeles film of the past 25 years.
LA Times picks "L.A. Confidential" as the greatest Los Angeles film of the past 25 years.

Besides the glaring absence of “Grand Canyon,” and a few others based an apparent rule disallowing more than one film per director, the LA Times has put together a solid selection of films highlighting Los Angeles.

I can’t argue much with a list that is topped by “L.A. Confidential,” a personal favorite, and also includes “Fletch,” “Training Day,” and “Swingers.” But I do have some minor quibbles:

Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown” is on the list, but “Pulp Fiction” isn’t. Robert Altman’s “The Player” was chosen over “Short Cuts.” Both are arguable decisions, but why choose Michael Mann’s “Collateral” over the far superior, city sprawling “Heat”?

…Unrelated sidenote: I just noticed that the original poster for L.A. Confidential prominently features Kim Basinger and Kevin Spacey, with Guy Pearce, and way in the background, Russell Crowe…

13 thoughts on “Times unveils top 25 L.A.-centric films from past 25 years. What did they miss?”

  1. I think the whole Jazz bar scene pushes Collateral ahead of Heat, but no Blade Runner? Pff…

    Too bad this list can’t include the 70’s. It’s really weakend without Chinatown & the Killing of a Chinese Bookie

  2. Blade runner is 26 years old or something, that is why they didn’t include it.

    I know they included boogie nights, but I think magnolia was a better movie. And they missed terminator 2.

    And yes Chinatown would be the best movie about LA.

  3. I felt really old when I realized that the reason Chinatown wasn’t on this list was because it came out 34 years ago. And Blade Runner just misses by a year.

    I think Barton Fink represents aspects of LA a bit better than Big Lebowski. But then again, I really don’t like pieces about writers (but Los Angeles is a bit of a writer’s town) so I’ve done gone and confused myself.

    And I was thinking Get Shorty, too. But I don’t know what they’d take out.

    There’s a list on Wikipedia for those looking to jog their memory.


    Now I think someone needs to pull together a list of Los Angeles TV Shows of the last 25 years.

  4. “Echo Park” and “Miracle Mile” are amazing fucking L.A. Movies they left out.

  5. I would replace the formulaic comic thriller “Beverly Hills Cop” with Tony Scott’s ultra-stylistic “Domino.” Otherwise, a pretty good list.

  6. I agree with Rodger: a solid effort… excepting for “Valley Girl” topping “To Live And Die in LA,” (I blame Wang Chung), which is almost as egregious as the fact they were obviously stuck at 24 and had to go ahead and throw “Crash” onto the list’s ass (which is as good a place as any if such glech MUST be included).

  7. PS. Now that I think about it “Memento” and “Two Days in the Valley” should have been given honorable mentions And I agree with Marshall: when is “Miracle Mile” ever gonna get the respect it deserves.

  8. “Bang” (1995).

    A time capsule of pre-hipster Silver Lake, filmed in and around the neighborhood and LA. Darling Narita is an actress having a bad day – she steals a cop’s uniform and bike and rides around town newly empowered by them. A great little movie well directed by the mono-monikered Ash and featuring a terrific performance by Narita.

    Generally speaking, it is the small films like this one that really show off Angel City because they didn’t/don’t have the money to build sets on soundstages.

    “CRANK” (2006) starring Jason Statham as a hitman driving around LA while keeping his adrenaline pumped up. Outrageous, action packed and awesome. It’s “Speed” in a human body. Shot all over actual LA locations.

    “Where The Day Takes You” (1992)
    Will Smith’s film debut in this “gritty-but-not-really-that-gritty” tale of teen runaways on Hollywood Boulevard also featuring Ricki Lake, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sean Astin, Laura San Fiacomo, James Le Gros, Balthazar Getty, Dermot Mulroney, ALyssa Milano, Adam Baldwin, Kyle Machlachlan, Nancy “Jo” McKeon… Not such a great flick but enjoyable if you like ’90’s teen stars play acting at being homeless street kids.

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