‘L.A. Confidential’ at 25: The movie that should have sunk ‘Titanic’

Movies are about more than awards, but the films that walk away with Oscars is one of the way of distinguishing years in everything from time-capsule radio contests to greeting cards.

So it’s worth a moment, 25 years after its debut, to give some love to “L.A. Confidential,” the film noir adaptation of James Ellroy’s tale of corruption in the city of Angels that seemingly did everything right.

Directed by the late Curtis Hanson, “L.A. Confidential” didn’t walk away from the Academy Awards empty handed.

Taking trophies for adapted screenplay and co-star Kim Basinger as the proverbial call girl with a heart of gold, and a striking resemblance to Veronica Lake.

Yet even that doesn’t really do justice to a film that transformed a pair of young Australian actors, Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce, into stars, elevated the career of Kevin Spacey.

The basic premise involved stolen heroin from real-life mobster Mickey Cohen, and a series of murders related to the theft and a war to replace Cohen within the city’s criminal hierarchy.