Easily one of the best films I've ever seen, L.A. Confidential is a masterclass in cinematic storytelling. The script is excellent in its plotting, pacing and character. There is not a single wasted scene or moment in it and everything you see plays into the overall plot.
Then there is the acting from the three leads, Crowe, Pearce and Spacey all live in these roles and play their parts to perfection. Three distinct characters with their own threads and arcs that tie together masterfully. Watching these three so early in their careers is a joy.
What I really admire is how Curtis Hansen handled the piece. Without any flashy camera tricks, he lets every shot count. Showing what needs to be seen, hiding what doesn't.