6.4/10
2,123
24 user 5 critic

City of Lies (2018)

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2:19 | Trailer
Russell Poole and Jack Jackson investigate the murders of rappers Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.

Director:

Brad Furman

Writers:

Randall Sullivan (based on the non-fiction book by), Christian Contreras (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Depp ... Russell Poole
Forest Whitaker ... Jack Jackson
Toby Huss ... Detective Fred Miller
Dayton Callie ... Lieutenant O'Shea
Neil Brown Jr. ... Rafael Perez
Louis Herthum ... City Attorney Stone
Shea Whigham ... Frank Lyga
Xander Berkeley ... Edwards
Melanie Benz ... Jessica
Shamier Anderson ... David Mack
Laurence Mason ... FBI Agent Dunton
Christian George ... Belsher
Michael Paré ... Varney
Amin Joseph ... Kevin Gaines
Josh Hardwick ... Russell Poole, Jr.
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Storyline

Russell Poole and Jack Jackson investigate the murders of rappers Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

unreleased film | See All (1) »

Taglines:

Who Shot Biggie? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, some violence and drug use | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 2018 (Lithuania) See more »

Also Known As:

City of Lies See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Johnny Depp; he claim self-defense during an assault with a crew member, Rocky Brooks, while filming this movie. Brooks was later fired for not signing a release of the incident. See more »

Soundtracks

""Hypnotize""
Written by Randy 'Badazz' Alpert (as Randy Badazz Alpert), Deric Angelettie (as Deric Michael Angelettie), Andy Armor (as Andy W. Armer), Sean 'Diddy' Combs (as Sean J. Combs), Ron Lawrence (as Ronald Lawrence) and The Notorious B.I.G. (as Christopher Wallace)
Performed by The Notorious B.I.G. (as Notorious B.I.G.)
Courtesy of Bad Boy Records
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
Contains a sample of "Rise"
Written by Randy 'Badazz' Alpert (as Randy Badazz Alpert) and Andy Armor (as Andy W. Armer)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Deserved a better fate
15 June 2019 | by jaonealSee all my reviews

I must admit, what intrigued me about this movie was less the subject matter (I'm neither a big fan of rap nor conspiracy theories) but rather the fact that it was shelved after production. It just isn't that common for a big budget movie featuring A-list actors to get completely shelved--particularly in this day when Netflix and Amazon are always a way for studios to recoup production costs on movies they don't think will earn a profit. One had to wonder whether the movie was just a complete train wreck in terms of quality, or whether the content was just too controversial for the studios involved.

So I was eager to see for myself. Having seen it, it was a little disappointing in that it is neither a train wreck furthering nails into the coffin of Johnny Depp's disappearing career, nor was it particularly explosive in terms of content. It was a little above just "OK" (5.5 is a little more accurate than the 6 stars I ended up giving it). In terms of quality, it is reminiscent of Zodiac, but lacked the pathos that Fincher was able to imbue to characters who similarly couldn't put an unsolved murder behind them. In terms of content, Lt. Poole's story has been out there for quite some time and this adds nothing new.

The first half of the movie involves Depp and Whitaker reminiscing about the facts of the Christopher 'Biggie' Smalls murder case, which are related in a series of flashback scenes to 16 years earlier. This part of the movie is successful and engrossing.

Unfortunately the 2nd half of the movie really stalls out, as one can't help but wonder what the two main characters have been doing over the past 15 years. Why are they still obsessed? What leads have they been trying to turn up? What compulsions are driving them?

Rather than explore this, the movie spends too long on a seemingly pointless side-plot about Poole's estrangement from his son and some minor troubles the reporter has with his boss and the police, some 16 years after the facts of the case.

The finale is as unsatisfying as the actual investigation in the murder.

Again, the movie is OK, with the first half being engrossing and educational. But much like the actual case, it faltered in follow-up and resolution. Ultimately viewing it gave me no insight on why it was shelved. Everything about this affair seems like it deserved a better fate than it has received.


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