To Live and Die in L.A.

To Live and Die in L.A.

Poster for To Live and Die in L.A.

William Peterson, Willem Dafoe, John Turturro and a protracted car chase star in this '80s crime flick from the director of The French Connection. More

"Hot Dog" special agent Richard Chance (Petersen) of the Secret Service is out to arrest and convict an arrogant counterfeiter (Dafoe) who has eluded the law for years and who flaunts his success. Dafoe has been asking for a down payment on a sale of bogus bills, but the amount is larger than the service can authorise to entrap Dafoe in a "sting" operation. Chance is forced to set up a dangerous plan to steal the advance money from another crook (Turturro) and use it to buy bogus bills and bust the counterfeiter. As the soundtrack by new wavers Wang Chung accompanies proceedings, the distinction between the pursuing law enforcers and the pursued criminals blurs.

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1985Rating: R18+, Medium level violence, Medium level sex scenes116 minsUSA
ActionCrimeDramaThriller

To Live and Die in L.A. | Reviews

85%46 reviews

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

All reviews on Rotten Tomatoes
Variety

Variety

Engrossing and diverting enough on a moment-to-moment basis but is overtooled.

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Time Out

Time Out

Friedkin plays it as brutal and cynical as he ever did with The French Connection...

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The New York Times

The New York Times

On its own terms, it's a considerable success, though it's a film that sacrifices everything in the interests of style.

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Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

This is his [Friedkin's] comeback, showing the depth and skill of the early pictures.

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Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

The film never recovers momentum after the drive-about, and winds down rather than resolves.

Full review

To Live and Die in L.A. | Release Details

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