City of Lies is the perfect detective journalism film for every fan of the East coast vs West Coast ‘90s hip hop melodrama that my generation grew up on. I remember those diss mixtapes that would come out monthly from artist on both sides of the spectrum of the respective beef.
However, if you’re expecting to see a whole lot of Biggie and PAC footage this isn’t the movie for you as it is a police detective and a journalist going deeper in the corrupt LAPD department and their infamous involvement with Suge Knight’s label Death Row. There’s not a whole lot of concert footage either, this is for fans of police procedure dramas.
Which is a perfect recipe to get the casual movie goer to go to it even if they are not a hip hop fan at all, it does feel like a modern film noir with hip hop as the subplot which is fresh I’m sure a lot of die hard Biggie and PAC fans are gonna be disappointed it doesn’t dive into the Diddy conspiracy at all if it did it was only for a second.
The acting from both Forest Whitaker and Johnny Depp is their strongest in a couple outings as they’ve also been stuck in straight to VOD affair as well but this is a respectable comeback for them.
Overall grade: 3.5/5 stars
Written By: AJ Friar