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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.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- 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.
Fresh: Roman Polanski's American made film, first since Rosemary's Baby shows him again in total command of talent and physical filmmaking elements.
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.
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.
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.
There's a chance that you've never seen "Chinatown." If you have, you know how incredible the film is. If you haven't, then I suggest that you gather a group of your smartest friends and seek this film out immediately. The pinnacle of American filmmaking, "Chinatown" is the sort of film that rewards you for watching closely. The acting is spot-on, the plot engaging, and the film holds a twist so shocking that I once saw an audience member vomit during a screening. There's a reason why "Chinatown" is routinely listed as one of the greatest films of all time; it's because the film is just that good.