Opening

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Coming Soon

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Chinatown Reviews

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Don Druker
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Polanski's film suggests that the rules of the game are written in some strange, untranslatable language, and that everyone's an alien and, ultimately, a victim.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

March 27, 2009
Tony Macklin
tonymacklin.net

Is Chinatown the best private eye film ever? It may well be. Nearing its thirty-fifth anniversary, it deserves a reconsideration and a celebration.

Full Review Source: tonymacklin.net | Original Score: 5.0/5

February 1, 2009
Brian Holcomb
CinemaBlend.com

Beyond all the "masterpiece" rhetoric, this is actually a great movie.

Full Review Source: CinemaBlend.com | Original Score: 5/5

May 2, 2008
Jeremiah Kipp
Slant Magazine

The exhaustive, labyrinthine narrative is built up like a fortress around this film's bitter heart.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 4/4

November 8, 2007
Jason Zingale
Bullz-Eye.com

A film that truly defines the term classic.

Full Review Source: Bullz-Eye.com | Original Score: 4/5

November 3, 2007
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com

Jack Nicholson's small-time detective Jake Gittes, like other noir heroes, suffers from a shadowy past and fears: For him, Chinatown is not just a place, but a spiritual landscape and a melancholy, fatalistic state of mind.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: A

August 27, 2006

Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The hard-boiled private eye coolly strolls a few steps ahead of the audience.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 5.5/6

February 9, 2006
Boo Allen
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

Brilliant filmmaking. Polanski's direction of Robert Towne's script makes a masterpiece.

| Original Score: 5/5

November 11, 2004
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

One of Polanski's stronger directing efforts.

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: A

October 29, 2004
Steve Crum
Kansas City Kansan

Superbly crafted Polanski.

| Original Score: 5/5

October 14, 2004
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

One of those rare films where it's difficult to find flaws even if you're looking for them.

Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) | Original Score: 5/5

May 31, 2004
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall

Arguably Hollywood's finest noir thriller.

Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall | Original Score: 5/5

April 1, 2004
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

A modern classic that stays true to private eye-movie conventions while digging way, way, deep underneath them.

| Original Score: 5/5

January 22, 2004
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

classic noir

| Original Score: 4/5

December 1, 2003
Jessica Winter
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

August 5, 2003
Vincent Canby
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

| Original Score: 5/5

May 20, 2003
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle

Polanski is in top form here directing this detective noir throwback set in 1930s Los Angeles.

Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle

March 10, 2003
James Rocchi
Netflix

Chinatown incorporated themes from two eras, but the result is a film for the ages.

Full Review Source: Netflix | Original Score: 5/5

November 7, 2002
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It takes a Herculean effort to transform this type into a character and to replace the formula with a story, and Chinatown's success in both of these regards is one of the reasons it is universally viewed as a classic.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 4/4

February 24, 2002
Edward Margulies
Movieline

Dunaway plays Evelyn as a woman starved for, as well as terrified of, intimacy. The fleeting hints of warmth and decency build our subconscious faith in her innocence, while the facts keep pointing a finger.

Full Review Source: Movieline

November 6, 2001
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