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The movie is based on a true story of the brutal murder of a fledgling Hollywood starlet that shocked and fascinated the nation in 1947 and remains unsolved today. Two cops, Bucky Bleichert and his partner, Lee Blanchard, investigate the death of 'Elizabeth Short (I)', a young woman found brutally murdered and find their personal and professional lives fall apart in the wake of the investigation.
Ellroy's prose crawls into characters' secret hearts and under the reader's skin, but its foetid horrors become kitschy here, the script too streamlined and the lead performances too shallow to dredge the story's depths.