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Chinatown

  R HD Closed Captioning

Roman Polanski

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Plot Summary

Landmark movie in the film noir tradition, Roman Polanski's Chinatown stands as a true screen classic. Jack Nicholson is private eye Jake Gittes, living off the murky moral climate of sunbaked, pre-war Southern California. Hired by a beautiful socialite (Faye Dunaway) to investigate her husband's extra-marital affair, Gittes is swept into a maelstrom of double dealings and deadly deceits, uncovering a web of personal and political scandals that come crashing together for one, unforgettable night in...Chinatown. Co-starring film legend John Huston and featuring an Academy Award-winning script by Robert Towne, Chinatown captures a lost era in a masterfully woven movie that remains a timeless gem.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

98%
  • Reviews Counted: 61
  • Fresh: 60
  • Rotten: 1
  • Average Rating: 9.3/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: A new private-eye melodrama that celebrates not only a time and a place (Los Angeles) but also a kind of criminality that to us jaded souls today appears to be nothing worse than an eccentric form of legitimate private enterprise. – Vincent Canby, New York Times, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: Roman Polanski's American made film, first since Rosemary's Baby shows him again in total command of talent and physical filmmaking elements. – A.D. Murphy, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: In 1974 a director, a screenwriter, and a producer (Robert Evans, who for once deserves a few of the plaudits he's apportioned himself) could decide to beat a genre senseless and then dump it in the wilds of Greek tragedy. – Jessica Winter, Village Voice, Aug 6, 2003

Fresh: [Nicholson's] performance is key in keeping Chinatown from becoming just a genre crime picture--that, and a Robert Towne screenplay that evokes an older Los Angeles. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, Oct 18, 2008

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Classic Film Noir

Chinatown is perhaps my favorite movie of all time. Jack Nicholson gives the best and most understated performance of his career as Jake Gittes, a private eye who becomes entangled in a web of murder, infidelity and conspiracy. The film unravels itself at a slow methodical pace and by the end you will be on the edge of your seat.

Perfection for only $9.99

Right off the bat, this is an amazing neo-noir film. It's all the greatness of Hollywood's film noir, but in color. We're always used to seeing Jack Nicholson as the joker who laughs loudly and goes nuts half of the time. Here he is all that a 1940's detective should be. Roman Polanski gives an example to all directors on how to truly pay tribute to the classic film-noir. Who really steals the film in my opinion is Faye Dunaway. Unfortunately, she is only known for her cult role in Mommie Dearest, but before then she was the top actress of the time and this was up there as her best role. If Jack Nicholson is subtle, her acting is hardly perceptible. Upon second viewing is when you realize how great she is because you understand why she stumbles over her maiden name and why she lights up that second cigarette. And if you're not into acting, watch it just for the amazing script. It's hailed by many to be one of the best ever written. So, watch it and find out how great a movie can be.

Nicholson saying Robert Towne's words + Polanski's sly direction = One For The Ages.

Certainly, the best written movie ever. Funny how many people tend to forget or overlook Nicholson's performance in this movie when considering his body of work; one of his more subtle and nuanced performances. p.s. Speaking of Nicholson + Towne, check out The Last Detail, if you've never seen it. One of the most profoundly profane and funny movies ever.

Chinatown
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  • $14.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 1974

Customer Ratings