Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Writor: James Cameron
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Michael Wincott and Vincent D'Onofrio.
In December 1999, Los Angeles has become a nightmare with heightened police tensions and civil unrest, stemming largely from the brutal murder of Jeriko One (Glenn Plummer), a hip-hop artist strongly critical of the LAPD's pervasive brutality. In the last days of the millennium, former police detective turned street hustler Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes) deals in 'SQUID' recordings: experiences recorded directly from the cerebral cortex which when played back through a MiniDisc-like device allow a user to experience all recorded sensory inputs as if actually doing it themselves. Despite his charming and suave veneer, Lenny is a deeply unhappy man who constantly yearns for his ex-girlfriend Faith (Juliette Lewis), repeatedly reliving their happier times through his own SQUID recordings of her, while relying on his bodyguard friend Lornette "Mace" Mason (Bassett) for emotional support.
While dealing erotic SQUID recordings, Lenny receives a "black jack" (snuff) disc portraying the excruciating rape and murder of Iris (Brigitte Bako), a prostitute he is acquainted with and who met with him hours before her death. Deeply troubled by both the tape and warnings Iris had made about Faith's safety (the two having been friends), and convinced that the killer will strike again, Lenny immediately overreacts using his paranoia as an excuse to try to get Faith away from new boyfriend, music industry mogul Philo Gant (Michael Wincott).
Over time Lenny receives more snuff tapes, clearly made by the same person as the original recording, and he and Mace eventually discover that the case is tied to a cover-up of the murder of Jeriko One by LAPD officers sick of the trouble his message is causing. As they are hunted by the two police officers that committed the murder and constantly repelled by Philo's goons, Lenny and Mace find themselves in a race to uncover the full truth before the murderer catches up with them, and before civil war descends on Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Lenny and Mace's relationship begins to deepen and intensify as he finds out the truth about Faith, while trying to protect her.