December 10, 2014
Great movie, things are unexpected.
November 29, 2014
A nearly flawless film and the best Private-Eye/Shamus film since The Maltese Falcon.
November 22, 2014
Savor it like a fine wine and you'll be greatly rewarded!
August 12, 2013
TOHO CINEMAS Nagoya Baycity, 2014/10/26
November 20, 2011
not only is this film a remarkable homage to the best of hollywood, it is an astute, albeit bleak look at the overpowering and expansive nature of corruption. the film works so intricately. every line of dialogue, every "throw-away" moment pays off brilliantly. the film excels in every way - structurally, stylistically, thematically and in terms of performance. polanski really uses his european influence to bring nuance to the biggest american trope, the film noir. a true international classic.
October 21, 2014
Polanski's best movie to date. This neo-noir film does everything right. It has great characters, great script and a great visual style, plus Jack Nicholson amazing performance.
October 10, 2014
Garbage, really boring from beginning to end with no payoff. Skip this one.
September 16, 2009
It is just right. Why has Film Noir been forgotten by a younger generation of directors?. It is a genre that still appeals and can be adapted in so many ways to modern audiences. Chinatown is an example that colour Film Noirs with more contemporary plots work well in so many levels.
October 2, 2014
Director Roman Polanski and writer Robert Towne had a falling out at the end of this film. Polanski and Jack Nicholson wrote the ending that Robert got the Oscar for. An ending that changed movie history and set the Noir tone for the next decade.
September 29, 2014
One of the best movies ever, the glamour of the 50's in this neo-noir thriller shows just how corrupt people can be, while the name "Chinatown" suggests that law is meaningless, secrets rife, and corruption brings everyone into its scope. Nicholson is brilliant as Gittes, one of his finest performances. A cracker of a film. I cannot recommend enough.
September 24, 2014
Even though the direction from Polanski and the acting from Nicholson are on par with their best work, the screenplay is too monotonous and lack luster to keep the audience's attention for more than a little over half of the movie's 2 and a half hour running time.
September 23, 2014
Its a very well made film; unfortunately, its also somewhat boring.
September 5, 2014
September 7, 2014
Chinatown is a magnificent thriller full of twists with a brilliant script and memorable perfomances by Nicholson and Dunaway.
September 2, 2014
With a narrative that unfolds like a tangled, twisted slinky and camerawork that's as striking and impressive as the film's performances, "Chinatown" rightfully earns itself a place within the dark and complex landscape that is the noir genre.
June 19, 2010
Film noir at its best! This has the best Jack Nicholson performance I have seen so far. He is amazing in it. There are some really good twists in this mystery, and the only complaint I have about this is that the ending could have been a lot stronger. An otherwise perfect movie.
September 2, 2014
I could tell I was watching a really good movie, but for some reason, this didn't hit me as hard as it should've. I was pretty tired while I was watching the required screening for my film class, and I almost felt asleep a couple times, so it's partly just my fault. But I wasn't much interested in the aspects of the plot that related to land use and real estate and the privatization of water - I don't know much about those topics at all, and they bored me a little. The ending was really tense and dark, so I definitely had a good impression of it as I left, but the first half just didn't interest me much.
|Cameron W. Johnson||
August 29, 2014
"Well, we're sitting here in Chinatown, and they're closing all the factories down!" There are, like, a million songs about, if not named after Chinatown, and I ended up going with Billy Joel's "Allentown", because not too many people remember The Move's "Chinatown". Maybe I should have referenced that song after all, because no one at all would remember The Move if they didn't lead into Electric Light Orchestra, and this film probably wouldn't be remembered if it wasn't Roman Polanski's last film made in the United States... and if it didn't get a lot of nods as the Oscars, a lot of wins at the Globes, and recognition from numerous people as one of the greatest noir films of all time. Some people might wonder why I would figure that this film would be forgotten, but Roman Polanski has made so many films that if the pedophilia accusations didn't come in, he would have fled from the States just for a vacation. It's a good thing he did bail out, because there's no way he could have defended against accusations of his being a sexual deviant after a film this sexually creepy (A sexually-charged detective noir? That's new!), and I stress the adjective "sexually" because it's just not a Roman Polanski film if it isn't a little creepy... or a little too long. Even "Macbeth" got rather excessive and dull, and it had real warfare instead of these here California "Water Wars". Sorry if I'm offending anyone, but the name of a situation that serious always sounded kind of silly to me, as did the basic concept of a war over water, but make no mistake, this film, while plenty creepy, is not silly, although it, as good as it is, does have other things going against it.
As a neo-noir, this film broke a little ground, or at least impacted the formula for dramas of its type, but when it falls into convention, it falls hard, whether it be following Roman Polanski's usual storytelling structure and themes, or hitting noir tropes that range from a plot carrying themes of adultery, politically-charged murder, sexuality, etc., to an enigmatic lead who might be a little too enigmatic. Well-drawn and, of course, very well-portrayed by Jack Nicholson, the J.J. "Jake" Gittes character is a compelling lead, but not quite a distinguished one, for there is no immediate background on him, and only so many expository layers to a characterization that you'd think would be more fleshed out throughout the course of this lengthy, character-driven drama. As a matter of fact, while I understand that this film can't commit the noir sin of straying too far away from the point of view of its main character, this film also stands to flesh out its focal layers, as it gets to be a bit uneven in its progression, partly because it covers too much material, and takes it time to cover it. Running well over two hours and, of course, being directed by Roman Polanski, this film is way too long, with plenty of fat around the edges which, before too long, gets to be repetitious, having some limitations in storytelling dynamicity that could have been more easily overlooked if there was more dynamicity to Polanski's directorial storytelling. As it often is, Polanski's thoughtfulness is realized enough to be adequately compelling, with considerable effectiveness upon the incorporation of heights in material, but the director has always had a tendency to very often get carried away with his subdued atmospherics, and he does just that here, with a steadiness that makes a lot of the plotting material run together, stiffens pacing, and rounds it all out with a blandness that all too often slips into all-out dullness. Again, there is something inspired about Polanski's storytelling, leading to sound engagement value that, before completely wearing off, really kicks up with the thickening of plot, but when this film limps out, it crawls, down a formulaic, undercooked, uneven and altogether overdrawn path, until it finds itself running the risk of collapse into underwhelmingness. This film isn't quite what it could have been, but it is rewarding, with graceful subtlety, biting edge, and even taste.
Taste can be found within Jerry Goldsmith's score, when it is, in fact, used in this largely deeply quiet and atmospheric drama, being rather formulaic in its noirish jazzy sensibilities, but lovely and effective in its tenderness, and carrying an artistic value which is even more subtle in John A. Alonzo's often flat, but reasonably handsome, shadowy cinematography. The stylistic trappings of a film noir are certainly there, and Roman Polanski at least works with those well, but as a director, he delivers on more than just aesthetic value, for although his trademark overt thoughtfulness gets to be seriously dull, and is ultimately too recurrent, it could have resulted in a flat film, if it didn't carry a certain atmospheric realization that immerses, and is biting once dramatic material comes into play. This is a steady and lengthy film that is heavy on mystery over action, so there isn't much material for Polanski to draw upon, but there is plenty of tension to spare, partly because of Polanski's directorial highlights, and largely because the story has plenty of meat to begin with. The dramatic material is a little lacking, and the human factor is further diluted by thin characterization, but as an extensive dramatization of a case to unravel the murder of a powerful and somewhat scorned man, driven by a charismatic lead, this story has potential. A lot of that potential is obscured by the Robert Towne's draggy, uneven and somewhat thin script, which mostly does a great deal of justice to the narrative, through sharp dialogue and sophisticatedly crafted set pieces, in addition to enough rich character drawing to make up just fine for developmental shortcomings. If nothing else makes up for characterization issues, it's the performers, with the lovely and emotionally solid Faye Dunaway stealing the show from time to time as a widow who wants to know about the affairs and fate of her husband, yet is concealing her own dark secrets, while Jack Nicholson, despite playing himself, carries the film with his trademark sparkling charisma, which fits the classic noir lead role like a glove and adds the hint of entertainment value this film needs to reward. The film is so slow and so cold so often that it comes very close to losing its reward value, but its sophistication is respectable, and the inspiration behind its thoughtful storytelling and endearing performances secure the final product as plenty compelling.
When the case is closed, conventional aspects as a Roman Polanski film and noir thriller include an underdeveloped lead, while unevenness to a draggy story structure that is made all the more aimless by often dully cold direction most shake your investment, and threaten reward value that is secured by the solid score work and cinematography, generally effective direction, smart writing and charismatic acting that manage to make Roman Polanski's "Chinatown" an overly steady, but reasonably engrossing noir classic.
3/5 - Good
August 19, 2014
Jack Nicholson is one of the best actors who can do any kinda role. But this movie is just too tedious and sometimes drags a lot. The typical twist at the end not worth it.