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Riveting Movies

The Hollywood sign looking down on LA

Los Angeles is the home of Hollywood, which means it is the home of movies. Yet, whilst the city is filled with movie sets, where people pretend they’re anywhere but Los Angeles, the city itself has also been the setting for many fascinating movies.

Here, then, is a quick look at some of the most riveting movies set in the City of Angels.


“Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown” may be the famous last words of this movie, but people have very much not forgotten Chinatown since its release way back in 1974. The film noir masterpiece stars Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, who both put in critically acclaimed performances. In fact, the movie was truly celebrated by the critics, and it received a mammoth eleven Oscar nominations at the 47th Academy Awards; though it only actually won one, for screenwriter Robert Towne, which was for the best original screenplay.

The movie’s story is based upon the California water wars of the early twentieth-century, which was where political conflicts took place between Los Angeles’ city officials, and farmers and ranchers based in the Owens Valley. The movie is a deeply cynical tale, that revolves around the main character quickly getting in over his head amongst the grimy underworld of backroom dealings and shadowy corridors of power.

Whilst Los Angeles may nowadays hope to have more to it than just sleazy corruption, the movie remains a cinematic classic, that will leave you thinking long after you hear that famous last line.

Whilst Los Angeles may nowadays hope to have more to it than just sleazy corruption, the movie remains a cinematic classic, that will leave you thinking long after you hear that famous last line.

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Swingers was released back in 1996 and was both written and directed by Jon Favreau. He is now mostly known for his mega-blockbusters for Marvel and Disney, but this movie was his first foray into film, and it was a much more deeply personal and low-budget affair.

Favreau stars as a wannabe comedian who has moved from New York to Los Angeles to ‘make it’, and finds the task isn’t quite as easy as he’d envisioned. Pair that with the fact he’s unable to move on from his ex-girlfriend, despite the interventions of his best-friend Trent (played by a young and charismatic Vince Vaughn) and there’s not much that he’s laughing about.

The movie is great at showcasing the delights of the Los Angeles nightlife, and features many trendy bars and clubs where there’s no sign on the door, and it’s all about knowing the right people and being dressed to perfection. However, the film is filled with just enough self-deprecating humour, that the young men come across as well-meaning but misguided, rather than just smug idiots.

Yet, it’s not all about Los Angeles though, as one of the best scenes in the movie takes place when the two friends take a spur of the moment late night trip to Las Vegas, and try their luck in the casinos. If, like the characters in Swingers you’re a fan of gambling, but you can’t make it out to Sin City, then don’t worry as Vegas Slots Online are here to bring the casino to you. They have managed to put together a list of the best online casinos in California, so you can bring all the action to your computer. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also an in-depth overview of the gambling regulations in the Golden State, so you can rest easy and just enjoy the games.

Boyz n the Hood

This seminal movie from 1991 showed the parts of Los Angeles where until then, only those living in them, had truly witnessed the struggle. Boyz n the Hood was written and directed by John Singleton, who was only twenty-three-years-old when the movie was released. He became the first African-American, and the youngest person ever, to get an Oscar nomination for best director. Unfortunately, Singleton passed away in 2019, but his unflinching look at the inner-city plight of the African-American community in South Central Los Angeles, will live on forever. 

Nathalie Nicole Smith states that working hard and staying true to yourself are sure ways to win in life.

The movie was also the acting debut of Ice Cube, fresh out of rap-group NWA, and way before he became a mainstay of family films. It also features a stacked cast of great performances by Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Nia Long, Angela Bassett, and Regina King.

Boyz n the Hood, was inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, because it was deemed such a culturally important movie. So, make sure to check it out, if you haven’t already.