Beyond the glamour and glitter... The dark and gritty side of L.A.by Lance_Burton | created - 25 Jun 2013 | updated - 14 Nov 2016 | Public
Take a look at Los Angeles, that's right! a lot of glamour and glitter is to be seen. It's the home of the rich and famous! It has the Hollywood sign! It has stardom!
However... if one would look closer, there is a much more darker side of L.A. that goes beyond the all the make believe that we're so obsessed with. A side of L.A. so dark it's almost unthinkable to outsiders and deniers. Only a few directors dared to descend into that darkness to film whatever there was to be found. Their movies can be seen as the complete stories of events that would have otherwise ended up as easily overlooked small newspaper articles, except for the stories that revolve around mass destruction, good luck covering that up :P
Reality is that for most people in L.A. each day is a struggle to survive. While some are trying to get ahead, others prefer gang-life and engage in dangerous activities, some are illegally employed to do the dirty jobs. Some others just want to get totally wasted to forget about all their problems.
The movies in this list will take you on a journey to a not so pretty L.A. and it will certainly challenge your point of view. Welcome to: THE DARK SIDE OF L.A.!
BE WARNED! Some of these movies are almost a reflexion of reality...
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1. L.A., I Hate You (2011)
Not Rated | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Horror
Inspired by true events, L.A., I HATE YOU intertwines three tales of sex, violence, redemption, murder and unthinkable twists all taking place in the City of Angels; Los Angeles. When a ... See full summary »
2. Bang (1995)
98 min | Crime, Drama
A young woman in L.A. is having a bad day: she's evicted, an audition ends with a producer furious she won't trade sex for the part, and a policeman nabs her for something she didn't do, ... See full summary »
3. Los bastardos (2008)
Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A 24 hour period in the lives of Fausto and Jesus, two undocumented Mexican day-laborers in L.A. Each day another task, each day the same pressure to find money. They go about their daily ... See full summary »
4. Falling Down (1993)
R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
An unemployed defense worker frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.
Votes: 159,402 | Gross: $40.90M
5. Valley of Angels (2008)
West Los Angeles - home of the young, rich and hip. It is also home to twenty-five year old Zachary "Zeus" Andrews. Transplanted from Chicago as a kid, Zeus never fit into the hip LA ... See full summary »
6. Shadow Hours (2000)
R | 95 min | Drama, Thriller
Michael is a recovering alcoholic/drug user. Back on the wagon, he's now responsible for a young, beautiful, and pregnant wife. He's working the graveyard shift at a gas station to support ... See full summary »
Votes: 795 | Gross: $0.04M
8. South Central (1992)
R | 98 min | Crime, Drama
A former gangster fresh out of prison wants to change his life for the better and must save his 10 year old son whose already chosen a gang life.
Votes: 4,588 | Gross: $1.37M
10. Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)
R | 91 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
An unlikely partnership between a Highway Patrol Officer, two criminals and a station secretary is formed to defend a defunct Los Angeles precinct office against a siege by a bloodthirsty street gang.
Even the L.A.P.D. encounters nasty situations within the dark side!
11. Cobra (1986)
R | 87 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A tough-on-crime street cop must protect the only surviving witness to a strange murderous cult with far-reaching plans.
Votes: 63,170 | Gross: $49.04M
12. Cop (1988)
R | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
An obsessive, insubordinate homicide cop is convinced a serial killer is loose in the Hollywood area and disobeys orders in order to catch him.
Votes: 4,060 | Gross: $1.88M
13. Dark Blue (2002)
R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A robbery homicide investigation triggers a series of events that will cause a corrupt LAPD officer to question his tactics.
Votes: 19,635 | Gross: $9.06M
14. Impulse (1990)
R | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Lottie Mason is a police vice cop who has just the right looks to be a decoy for the whore-mungers on the streets of Los Angeles. She seems to always be where the action is whether it be ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,089 | Gross: $2.54M
15. L.A. Vice (1989)
R | 80 min | Action, Crime
Vice detective Jon Chance (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs) is in search of a millionaire's daughter and her boyfriend...kidnapped for an unreasonable ransom. With his trustworthy captain (William ... See full summary »
17. Intent to Kill (1992 Video)
NC-17 | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
A young policewoman relentlessly tries to bring down a ruthless drug kingpin whom plots his own agenda for his drug distribution empire.
20. Colors (1988)
R | 120 min | Action, Crime, Drama
An experienced cop and his rookie partner patrol the streets of East Los Angeles while trying to keep the gang violence under control.
Votes: 22,846 | Gross: $46.62M
21. End of Watch (2012)
R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Shot documentary-style, this film follows the daily grind of two young police officers in LA who are partners and friends, and what happens when they meet criminal forces greater than themselves.
Votes: 215,806 | Gross: $41.00M
22. 10 to Midnight (1983)
R | 101 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
An LAPD detective and his rookie partner are on the trail of a psychopathic young man who is murdering young women.
Votes: 6,049 | Gross: $7.10M
23. Relentless (1989)
R | 92 min | Crime, Thriller
Two Los Angeles police detectives, cynical veteran Malloy and cocky rookie Dietz, hunt for a serial killer, an ex-cop named Taylor, whom randomly chooses his victims from a phone directory.
Votes: 1,262 | Gross: $6.99M
25. Relentless 3 (1993 Video)
R | 84 min | Action, Thriller
Sam Dietz, the relentless police detective, returns to Los Angeles from a self-imposed exile to help the police solve another series of brutal killings committed by another crafty serial killer whom targets Dietz's latest love interest.
26. Relentless IV: Ashes to Ashes (1994 Video)
R | 95 min | Thriller
Sam Dietz is back and must find and stop another serial killer before he kills again. Detective work for Dietz is tough having to juggle two gorgeous women - one his partner, and the other his shrink, who holds the key to the case.
29. Die Hard (1988)
R | 132 min | Action, Thriller
An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.
Votes: 737,071 | Gross: $83.01M
31. Deadly Target (1994)
R | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Hong Kong police detective Charles Prince (Gary Daniels) arrives in Los Angeles to extradite a notorious Chinese gangster back to Hong Kong for trial. But soon, his suspect escapes. With ... See full summary »
32. L.A. County 187 (2003 TV Movie)
PG-13 | 82 min | Drama
It's another night in L.A. County 187 for policeman Walter Drazin and his team, but when they find the corpses of an Asian family in a burned down club, arson and murder come to the fore. ... See full summary »
33. Cold Steel (1987)
R | 91 min | Action, Thriller
On Christmas Eve Johnny Modine's father is murdered by a psycho cut-throat. The cop swears bloody revenge, though he's taken off the case. He doesn't suspect yet that he's also target in a ... See full summary »
Votes: 648 | Gross: $0.29M
34. Lethal Weapon (1987)
R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Two newly paired cops who are complete opposites must put aside their differences in order to catch a gang of drug smugglers.
Votes: 223,889 | Gross: $65.21M
35. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
R | 114 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Riggs and Murtaugh are on the trail of South African diplomats who are using their immunity to engage in criminal activities.
Votes: 152,441 | Gross: $147.25M
36. Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
R | 118 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh pursue a former LAPD officer who uses his knowledge of police procedure and policies to steal and sell confiscated guns and ammunition to local street gangs.
Votes: 149,000 | Gross: $144.73M
37. Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
R | 127 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
With personal crises and age weighing in on them, LAPD officers Riggs and Murtaugh must contend with deadly Chinese triads that are trying to free their former leaders out of prison and onto American soil.
Votes: 146,212 | Gross: $130.44M
39. L.A. Confidential (1997)
R | 138 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
As corruption grows in 1950s Los Angeles, three policemen -- one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy -- investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.
Votes: 503,999 | Gross: $64.62M
40. L.A. Heat (1996–1999)
TV-14 | 50 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
The action-packed cases of 2 cops, one white one black, in LA. A wisecracking combination, with plenty of action, chases and explosions thrown in for good measure.
41. NCIS: Los Angeles (2009– )
TV-14 | 43 min | Action, Crime, Drama
The Naval Criminal Investigation Service's Office of Special Projects takes on the undercover work and the hard to crack cases in LA. Key agents are G. Callen and Sam Hanna, streets kids risen through the ranks.
42. The Black Dahlia (2006)
R | 121 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Two policemen see their personal and professional lives fall apart in the wake of the "Black Dahlia" murder investigation.
Votes: 69,204 | Gross: $22.52M
43. To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
R | 116 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A fearless Secret Service agent will stop at nothing to bring down the counterfeiter who killed his partner.
Votes: 26,898 | Gross: $17.31M
44. True Crime: Streets of LA (2003 Video Game)
M | Action, Adventure, Comedy
Loose cannon cop Nick Kang, suspended from the LAPD, becomes part of an elite police unit and defends the City of Angels from a plot involving the Chinese Triad and the Russian mob.
End of the of the L.A.P.D. encounters
45. Cellular (2004)
PG-13 | 94 min | Action, Crime, Thriller