Despite its flaws, Brad Furman’s City of Lies contains enough of the essentials to satisfy. Based on actual events, the film’s plot makes it difficult to look away. Furman’s direction does enough to hold your attention throughout the film. Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker are the other positives. Both actors deliver top-notch performances that we’ve come to expect. Overall, movie-goers interested in the subject matter and the actors involved will appreciate City of Lies.
Crime-thrillers often have a strong following. The genre has a strong presence in television and film alike. What makes City of Lies stand out is its plot involving the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. Those celebrity cases are considered some of the most contentious and longest-running. The mystery surrounding those murder cases intrigues many people to this day. In that sense, the film’s narrative surrounding that story almost writes itself. We get introduced to the players and elements of the cases. It becomes difficult to look away, and the film hooks you.
General movie-goers know the kind of talent that comes from Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker. The two actors deliver performances that draw you into the time and place of the events. With Johnny Depp (Russell Poole), you believe how haunted his character has become through the years. Depp also showcases a quiet weight with every speechless glance. Forest Whitaker (Jack Jackson) also gives a solide performance. You believe his character’s commitment to the truth and you buy the years of investment his character has spent on the cases. When together, Depp and Whitaker have good chemistry and their partnership seems natural, despite how underdeveloped it starts out. They are on-screen equals in every sense.
Ultimately, City of Lies showcases an intriguing plot with captivating performances. Overall, it’sa good watch for people interested in the subject matter or the genre.