Brian de Palma tackles one of Hollywood's grisliest and most sensational unsolved murders, adapted from the fictional novel by James Ellroy. Elizabeth Short was an ambitious starlet when her body was found cut in two, with all the organs removed, in 1947. Two hard-boiled boxers-turned-detectives are assigned to the case, Bucky Bleichert (Josh Hartnett) and Lee Blanchard (Aaron Eckhart), but their investigation soon leads them into a web of corruption and conspiracy within their own department. While this neo-noir seethes with atmosphere, the adaptation is somewhat bloated, attempting to incorporate too much of the densely-plotted source material; but who can resist a peek at Tinseltown's seedy underbelly. Scarlett Johansson and Hilary Swank co-star.
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