True Detective (Season 2)

Our article on Season 1 of the TV series “True Detective” remains one of the biggest location searches we’ve ever done, through the small towns of Southern Louisiana.  For the second season of the show, writer Nic Pizzolatto shifts the setting to Southern California in the fictional city of Vinci, loosely based on the city of Vernon, which had a corruption scandal not unlike what is depicted in the show.

The locations are just as plentiful as the first season, spanning from Santa Paula to Santa Ana, from Mt. Baldy to Beverly Hills and everything in between. The show presents a more gritty look into Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Visiting the locations is a deep dive into Southern California and one that should only be done if you’re a fan of the show, as it won’t take you to any tourist destinations. Sometimes you’ll even find yourself in somewhat unsafe neighborhoods.

The following article contains numerous spoilers for the show, so we recommend only reading if you’ve seen the complete second season.  As is often the case with TV shows, many of these locations appear in multiple episodes, so we’ll cover each location by where they first appear.

Episode One – “The Western Book of the Dead”

The season begins with Detective Ray Velcoro, played by Colin Farrell, dropping his son off at school.

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LOCATION: 2125 Lincoln Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

The Black Rose bar, where Ray frequently meets Frank Semyon, played by Vince Vaughn, over the course of the series is located in Vernon.  It is mostly seen from interior views in the show, but the building is not actually a bar.  It is a private building closed to the public and it is unclear if the interiors were actually filmed here or elsewhere.  The exterior is seen a few times in the show as well, however.  Frank gives Ray info on who assaulted his ex-wife, leading Ray to seek revenge on the assailant.

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LOCATION: 2465 E 53rd St, Vernon, CA 90058

The establishing shots of the fictional city of Vinci were shot around Vernon.

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LOCATION: Seen from the parking lot behind 3666 S Soto St, Vernon, CA 90058

The casino where Frank works could be found in Gardena.  The actual casino has since closed down.

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LOCATION: 1045 Rosecrans Ave, Gardena, CA 90247

Detective Ani Bezzerides, played by Rachel McAdams, runs an eviction raid on this home, which is located in Santa Paula, about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

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LOCATION: 593 Orcutt Rd, Santa Paula, CA 93060

Ray’s house can be found in Vernon. It is located right next to City Hall, also seen in the show.

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LOCATION: 4322 Furlong Pl, Vernon, CA 90058

Bezzerides follows a lead on a woman to the Panticapaeum Institute, a spiritual retreat run by her father.  These scenes were filmed at Wayfarers Chapel in Ranchos Palos Verdes.  The same location was featured in the 1980s comedy “Innerspace.”

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LOCATION: 5755 Palos Verdes Dr S, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

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Here are the stairs from which the detectives approach.

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The chapel is a very scenic place to visit, offering views overlooking the ocean.

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The California Highway Patrol Station where Highway Patrol officer Paul Woodrugh, played by Taylor Kitsch, works could be found in Hawthorne. It was a real police building, also featured in the TV series “True Blood” and the film “Zodiac.” The building has since been demolished. It formerly stood at 4440 W 126th St, Hawthorne, CA 90250.

Ray parks outside of this apartment building, where he plans to attack the man he believes raped his ex-wife Gena.

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LOCATION: 15464 Moorpark St, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

The apartment where he stages the attack is located across the street.

LOCATION: 15445 Moorpark St, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Ray visits this house at night, where a boy who has been bullying his son lives.  Ray beats the boy’s father in front of him at the front door, as a warning to stop bullying.

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LOCATION: 19825 Needles St, Chatsworth, CA 91311

Bezzerides gets escorted out of a casino when she receives a call about a new case.

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LOCATION: 6580 Auto Center Dr, Ventura, CA 93003

Woodrugh discovers the body of Ben Caspere sitting on a picnic table at Point Magu Rock, overlooking the ocean.  Detectives Ray Velcoro and Ani Bezzerides are called to the scene, where the three officers meet and the stage is set for the case.  There are no picnic tables at the actual location, but it is a popular scenic overlook.

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LOCATION: Point Magu Rock, 799 Pacific Coast Hwy, NAS Point Mugu, CA 93042

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Episode Two – “Night Finds You”

Ray visits the city of Vinci, where he sees kids playing in the toxic water draining into this river channel. In the same area, he meets with Frank. The drainage hole was a visual effect added by the show.

LOCATION: Near 2715 E Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023

Woodrugh visits his mother at this trailer park.

LOCATION: 4456 Naval Air Rd, Oxnard, CA 93033

A brief transition shot is shown of these train tracks in Vinci.

LOCATION: Near 2552 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023

Ray visits this shopping plaza to see his son, but is instead greeted by his ex-wife Gena. Angry over Ray’s violent assault on the bully’s father, Gena tells him she will be petitioning for sole custody. The scene was filmed at the Northridge Mall. It’s a large place, so we’ve provided GPS coordinates below to the specific parking lot.

LOCATION: 9301 Tampa Ave, Northridge, CA 91324 (GPS coordinates: 34.240655, -118.556896)

After some men attack a man on the street, Frank pretends to be a bystander, before threatening the man himself. This scene was filmed near the same freeway overpass seen in the films “Heat” and “Scarface.”

LOCATION: Near 749 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Ray and Bezzerides visit the clinic of Ben Caspere’s doctor. These scenes were filmed at the Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Simi Valley. The property regularly hosts weddings and special events. It is otherwise a private estate, only allowing guests by appointment. The only road leading to the ranch is typically gated shut with no trespassing signs. The property has also appeared in Oliver Stone’s “Savages,” “Jobs” starring Ashton Kutcher and in the TV series “Too Old To Die Young.”

LOCATION: 2940 Kuehner Dr, Simi Valley, CA 93063

Frank visits the mayor at the Vinci City Hall. The opposite side of the building is where Ray’s house can be found.

LOCATION: 4305 S Santa Fe Ave, Vernon, CA 90058

Episode Three – “Maybe Tomorrow”

Bezzerides and Woodrugh visit the house of the mayor of Vinci, which can be found in Beverly Hills.

LOCATION: 1091 Laurel Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Ray and Bezzerides follow up on a lead when their car is set on fire under this freeway overpass.

LOCATION: 11502 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90061

Episode Four – “Down Will Come”

Woodrugh is unexpectedly confronted by the press in front of this hotel.

LOCATION: 7023 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Frank pays a visit to this apartment, where he informs the owner he is now 40% partner of the property. The apartment complex is seen from the interior courtyard in the show. The apartment next door was also featured in the film “Collateral.”

LOCATION: 1029 S Union Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Woodrugh’s girlfriend informs him she’s pregnant at this restaurant.

LOCATION: 2601 S Soto St, Vernon, CA 90058

Woodrugh locates a stolen watch at this pawn shop.

LOCATION: 5901 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

After Bezzerides find out she has a sexual misconduct complaint filed against her, she has an argument with her partner outside the police department. The same location was featured in the film “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” This building has since been demolished. It formerly stood at 333 N Prairie Ave, Inglewood, CA 90301.

The pawn shop lead brings the detectives to a suspect. While the cops are watching the area ahead of their raid, workers file into this building.

LOCATION: 615 S Anderson St, Los Angeles, CA 90023

Protesters gather in front of this building.

LOCATION: 560 S Mission Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90033

Bezzerides and her team approach past this building to begin the raid.

LOCATION: 607 S Anderson St, Los Angeles, CA 90023

A shootout ensues from this building, with a large explosion on the top floor.

LOCATION: 621 S Anderson St, Los Angeles, CA 90023

Ray and Woodrugh make it through the gunfire over to this door at foot of the building.

They then cross these stairs in front in pursuit of the suspects in a vehicle.

The suspect vehicle then crashes into a bus at this intersection, where another shootout ensues.

LOCATION: Jesse St / S Anderson St, Los Angeles, CA 90023

Episode Five – “Other Lives”

Burdened by financial issues, Frank is forced to move into a more modest home.

LOCATION: 1400 N Spaulding Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Bezzerides meets the woman she ran a raid on in the first episode at this hotel. While speaking to her, she obtains information on a private party.

LOCATION: 401 S Westlake Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Ray follows a group of prostitutes to a nondescript building. He parks in front of this building.

LOCATION: 1951 Staunton Ave, Vernon, CA 90058

He sees the prostitutes enter into this building.

LOCATION: 2001 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90058 (seen from E 20th St)

Frank has a business meeting, where a man offers him a deal to own some land again, if Frank can locate a hard drive owned by Ben Caspere. The location is next to Union Station and the establishing shot shows Union Station, then pans slightly toward the building to the right, where the meeting takes place.

LOCATION: 800 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, panning towards 700 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Ray meets his ex-wife Gena at this scenic area overlooking Dodger Stadium and Downtown Los Angeles. His wife informs him her rapist was captured and it wasn’t the man Ray believed it was, therefore the information Ray had was incorrect. This area is the Elysian Park Helipad. There is parking nearby and a path that leads up directly to this area. It is not a difficult walk to reach it. This area is located close to where a dream sequence in “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” was shot.

LOCATION: Elysian Park Helipad, Solano Canyon Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (GPS coordinates: 34.082766, -118.236997)

Bezzerides and Woodrugh follow a lead in the Caspere case to a lodge in the woods. Known as the Harwood Lodge, it can be fount in Mt. Baldy, about 50 miles away from Los Angeles. There is a dirt road that leads up to the lodge, which is sometimes best reached by walking, depending on weather conditions.

LOCATION: 6700 Mt Baldy Rd, Mt Baldy, CA 91759

Bezzerides notices birds circling in the air in the woods nearby, leading them to the discovery of another crime scene.

Episode Six – “Church in Ruins”

Frank and his crew arrive at this home in search of a prostitute. Instead, he finds out the home belongs to the Mexicans criminals seen previously in the show, when Frank refused to form a partnership with them. Frank now renegotiates.

LOCATION: 1521 Colton St, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (seen from Lake Shore Terrace)

After the Mexicans put Frank in touch with the woman he’s been searching for, he arranges to meet her at this location, only to discover her dead body there. The Mexicans have killed her as retribution against Frank for not accepting their initial terms.

LOCATION: 2901 Fruitland Ave, Vernon, CA 90058 (seen from E 50th St)

Episode Seven – “Black Maps and Motel Rooms”

After Ray and Woodrugh rescue Bezzerides from a party in which she was drugged and attacked, the three stay at this motel in Mt. Baldy, located not far from the cabin seen in episode six.

LOCATION: 6867 Mt Baldy Rd, Mt Baldy, CA 91759

Woodrugh searches police records at the LAPD building in Downtown Los Angeles.

LOCATION: 100 W 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Woodrugh goes to meet a man who is blackmailing him at the Hall of Records. It turns out to be a set-up.

LOCATION: 320 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (seen from N Hill St)

Woodrugh is shot at the steps of old Los Angeles Police Department in Downtown Los Angeles, which has since been demolished. The same building was featured in the film “Inherent Vice.”

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LOCATION: 150 N Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (now demolished)

Episode Eight – “Omega Station”

Frank sends his wife Jordan, played by Kelly Reilly, away at the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center. The same location was featured in such films as “Rain Man” and “Memoirs of an Invisible Man.”

LOCATION: 1000 E Santa Ana Blvd, Santa Ana, CA 92701

Jordon refuses to leave until Frank finally persuades her.

Ray and Bezzerides enter this home and discover a lot of evidence about the case, as well as the fact that Laura and Leonard Osterman were behind the attack on Caspere.

LOCATION: 1000 El Mirador Ave, Long Beach, CA 90815

Bezzerides sends Laura Osterman away on a bus at this station. The real location is not a bus station at all, rather a boarding terminal for cruise ships in San Pedro.

LOCATION: 100 Swinford St, San Pedro, CA 90731

Frank makes his way to the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center to meet the corrupt cops under the agreed plan of exchanging incriminating evidence in his possession.

LOCATION: 2626 E Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 92806

Ray makes his way to the upper level inside the building.

Leonard Osterman then attacks one of the men and a shootout begins.

Ray parks at this intersection to see his son one last time, only to discover a tracking device on his vehicle. The intersection really is located next to the school, seen in the first episode.

LOCATION: Lincoln Ave / Apple Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

The Mexican criminals kidnap Frank at this intersection.

LOCATION: E 16th St / Hooper Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021

They proceed onto the freeway here.

LOCATION: E 17th St / Naomi Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021

Bezzerides escapes to what is supposedly Venezuela. In reality, the scenes were shot in Downtown Los Angeles, with a lot of set decoration and some visual effects to fill the city backdrop.

LOCATION: E 11th St / Wall St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

There remain dozens more locations we did not document from the second season. Some are minor, others are major, but not easily visible for photography. Los Angeles is a constantly changing city and just a few short years later, several locations already no longer exist. We’ve tried to document as any as we could here. If you do plan to visit the season 2 filming locations, it requires a lot of time and distance, so do your research and allow yourself many days to navigate it all.

Related articles: True Detective (Season 1)

Ed Wood (1994)

Tim Burton’s 1994 film “Ed Wood,” starring Johnny Depp as the notorious, titular filmmaker, was mostly shot around Hollywood, California.

After the premiere of Ed’s play “The Casual Company,” he and the cast read the scathing reviews at Boardner’s bar in Hollywood. The same bar appeared in the film “Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles.”

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LOCATION: 1652 N Cherokee Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Ed sees Bela Lugosi, played by Martin Landau, at a funeral parlor.  This was filmed at the doorway to the left of Boardner’s, which has no distinguishable separate address.

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Bela Lugosi’s house can be found in Gardena.

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LOCATION: 1933 W 147th St, Gardena, CA 90249

Ed’s first apartment can be found in Hollywood.

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LOCATION: 448 N Ogden Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Bela Lugosi delivers a speech to his fans here.

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LOCATION: 1714 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

This building served as Ed’s second apartment.

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LOCATION: 6383 Yucca St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Wood visits this church in Toluca Lake to get baptized, in order to obtain funding for his next film.

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LOCATION: 4301 Cahuenga Blvd, Toluca Lake, CA 91602

Ed Wood meets Orson Welles, played by Vincent D’Onofrio, at Musso Frank & Grill in Hollywood.  The restaurant has popped up in numerous films, including “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood,” “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Swingers,” as well as the TV shows “Mad Men” and “Bosch.”

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LOCATION: 6667 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

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The premiere of “Plan 9 from Outer Space” takes place at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.  The famous theater likewise appeared in “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood,” as well as such films as “The Aviator,” “The Bodyguard,” “Species,” “Batman Forever” and many more.  Only the exterior of the Pantages was used.  The interiors were filmed at the Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles (842 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014).

LOCATION: 6233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Related articles: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985), Batman (1989), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Batman Returns (1992), Big Fish (2003), Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (2016)

Pulp Fiction (1994)

One of the most critically acclaimed films of the 1990s, Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” was shot in Southern California. The restaurant that opens and closes the film was the Hawthorne Grill in Hawthorne, California.  Unfortunately, the restaurant closed in 1996 and is now an AutoZone. It could be found at 13763 Hawthorne Blvd, Hawthorne, CA 90250.

Butch discusses throwing a boxing fight with Marsellus Wallace at Starz, a former strip club in Gardena. This location was identified by Rayen Belchere after he spoke with the former management, who confirmed the club was used in the film. The location is only seen from interior views in the film, but photography was not permitted inside and the club has since permanently closed. Here is what the exterior looked like.

LOCATION: 2528 Rosecrans Ave, Gardena, CA 90249

Vincent Vega takes Mia Wallace to the memorable “Jack Rabbit Slims,” which is not a real restaurant.  The interiors were built on a studio stage.  However, the exterior is in fact a real place, albeit not a restaurant.  Located in Glendale, California, the building was originally a bowling alley called Grand Central Bowl, which has long since closed.  Today, the building is owned by The Walt Disney Company, which owned Miramax, the company which released “Pulp Fiction.”  The building is part of Disney’s larger Grand Central Business Center, which consists of numerous buildings in the area used as business offices.  The building is actually tucked away behind a wall and fencing, but the wall is not very tall and it’s easy to get a view over top of it.  What is not so easily accomplished is getting a closer view of the building.  The property is only open to business staff, so the closest the public can get is the sidewalk.

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LOCATION: 1435 Flower St, Glendale, CA 91201

Vincent Vega pays a visit to his friend Lance, played by Eric Stoltz, early in the film, in order to purchase some heroin.  After Mia Wallace mistakes Vega’s heroin for cocaine, she overdoses and is rushed to this house in the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles, for a very tense scene in which they give her an adrenaline shot.

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LOCATION: 3519 La Clede Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90039

The building where Butch’s boxing match takes place can be found in Pasadena.  The marquee has since been changed.  The same building was also used in “This is Spinal Tap.”

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LOCATION: 129 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103

Later in the film, after Butch has double-crossed Marsellus Wallace, he sneaks back to his apartment, located in North Hollywood, to retrieve his gold watch.

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LOCATION: 11813 Runnymede St, North Hollywood, CA 91605

After a violent confrontation at his apartment, Butch is leisurely driving away, when a chance encounter with Marsellus occurs at this intersection of Fletcher Dr. and Atwater Ave., also located in Atwater Village.  Butch is facing NW on Atwater Ave. when he spots Marsellus crossing Fletcher Dr.

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LOCATION: Intersection of Atwater Ave. / Fletcher Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90039

Butch quickly floors it and hits Marsellus, before getting in a car collision in the intersection.  Marsellus awakens and begins firing his gun at Butch, when a bystander is hit in front of Fosters Freeze, which is at the same intersection.  Forsters Freeze was also featured on the television show “GLOW.”

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LOCATION: 2760 Fletcher Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Marsellus chases Butch on foot SW down Fletcher Dr. from the same intersection.

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LOCATION: Fletcher Dr., just past Atwater Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90039

Marsellus fires one last shot in the distance at Butch, who is standing at the corner of this building in Canoga Park.  This location is far away from the earlier shots in Atwater Villiage.  It is actually the corner alley next to the Zed’s Pawn Shop, in which both characters make a grave mistake in entering.

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LOCATION: The alley left of Crown Pawn Shop at 20933 Roscoe Blvd, Canoga Park, CA 91304

Zed’s Pawn Shop is where things take a bizarre, ugly turn for Butch and Marsellus.  The real building actually is a pawn shop.

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LOCATION: 20933 Roscoe Blvd, Canoga Park, CA 91304

The motel where Butch and Fabienne stay was demolished in 1996. Formerly known as the River Glen Motel, this building now stands in it’s place. Only the exteriors were used in the film. The interior of the motel was a set, albeit designed to resemble the River Glen Motel rooms.

LOCATION: 2934 Riverside Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (now demolished)

What can be better lined up at the location is the view down Riverside Drive, seen as the couple leaves the motel on a chopper. Everything here still matches how it appeared in the film, with the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge visible in the distance. The same bridge was seen in the film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”

Near the end of the film, Jules and Vincent find themselves in “The Bonnie Indecent,” in which they are in sudden, urgent need of getting rid of a body.  They arrive here at Jimmy’s house, played by Quentin Tarantino.  It is here they meet “The Wolf,” played by Harvey Keitel.

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LOCATION: 4145 Kraft Ave, Studio City, CA 91604

The site of Monster Joe’s Truck and Tow can be found in Sun Valley. The area has changed some since filming took place.

LOCATION: 12143 Branford St, Sun Valley, CA 91352

Related articles: Reservoir Dogs (1992)Jackie Brown (1997), Kill Bill (2003), Django Unchained (2012), Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood (2019)