james ellroy wrote the original story, but took his name off the film and had nothing to do with the screenplay. which makes sense since the film isn’t all that well-written. it’s also not acted out very well. in general the film lacks in execution. the idea is good enough – it has controversy, conflict, diverse and deep characters, etc., but it’s drawn too simply. characters are good or bad, and things are either black or white (literally and figuratively). it would have been more effective, and realistic, if it had better acting and more roundly drawn characters.