LAPD in Film
The Los Angeles Police Department or LAPD is perhaps the most famous police force in the world thanks to Hollywood. We take a look at its depiction in some great modern films…
With Woody Harrelson’s nasty cop arriving on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK in Oren Moverman’s Rampart, Top 10 Films takes a look at one of the main figures in the film: the LAPD. The Los Angeles Police Department has notoriously made a name for itself. Throughout cinema history the LAPD has provided context for films centred on corruption in law enforcement. Acclaimed crime-fiction writer James Elroy was involved in L.A. Confidential which has also made it onto our list.
Here are the top films, including Rampart, that use the LAPD’s reputation to take their plot to a whole other level.
Read Top 10 Films’ review of the film here.
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Set in LA in the 1950’s, L.A. Confidential follows the careers of three Los Angeles police officers trying to make a name for themselves in the business. They each have their own way of getting ahead, but all of them are willing to do whatever it takes, whether ethical or not. Writter James Ellroy, also involved with the previously mentioned Rampart, paints the audience a dark and ominous picture of the notorious police force.
Training Day (2001)
Jake Hoyt, an up-and-coming narcotics police officer played by Ethan Hawke, must spend a 24-hour training period with LAPD veteran Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington). Harris has the reputation of throwing his ethics out of the window when it comes to his job. This includes the mistreatment of both victims and suspects, and also being a loose cannon with a gun. This 24 period tests just how far Hoyt is willing to go to in order to become an officer.
Boyz n the Hood (1991)
Boyz n the Hood chronicles the lives of three friends growing up in inner-city Los Angeles and how they learn to deal with drugs, police corruption, and gangs. While some choose to focus on their education and getting off the streets, others succumb to all that is wrong in LA and get too caught up in the world of violence.
Lakeview Terrace (2008)
Samuel L. Jackson, playing LAPD Sergeant Abel Turner, makes no efforts to hide his racism against the new interracially married couple that moves next door to him. Turner does all that he can to make the lives of the couple a living hell during their time living there by constantly criticizing their opinions and habits. As time goes on tensions grow between the neighbours, leading to unprecedented death.
Woody Harrelson stars in this crime drama as an LA police officer who isn’t afraid to use any type of force to get his way. Known for his intimidation tactics and brutal force there are few that will question his ways. However, when he is videotaped in the act of violence against a suspect he finds himself up against everyone around him and questioning those that he can actually trust.
Rampart is released on DVD & Blu-ray 9th July 2012
Your turn – what are your favourite films about the LAPD?
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