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Performance

Performance (1970)

tomatometer

20

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 4

No consensus yet.

audience

80

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 4,975

My Rating

Movie Info

Even in an era of cinematic experimentation, Performance stands out as a visually daring major-studio film that deals with questions of sanity and identity rarely touched on in mainstream filmmaking. The elements of Performance certainly looked attractive to studio executives at Warner Bros. -- a gangster on the lam hides out in the home of a reclusive rock star -- especially since that musician was being played by Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. But co-directors Nicolas Roeg (who also

Mar 15, 2005

Warner Bros. Pictures

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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (5) | DVD (10)

Pop stars continue to have bad luck in films.

March 25, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is a facile enough pastiche of underground pyrotechnics and Euro-art pretensions, but far more evocative now is the fast, offhand repartee between the principals.

March 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rapture and boredom both seem valid responses.

March 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Roeg's debut as a director is a virtuoso juggling act which manipulates its visual and verbal imagery so cunningly that the borderline between reality and fantasy is gradually eliminated.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It isn't altogether successful, largely because it tries too hard and doesn't pace itself to let its effects sink in.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For all its hallucinatory excesses, however, Performance is a film of ideas, even if it's happier to let them swirl around than attempt to explain them.

April 7, 2014 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

This hallucinogenic deconstruction of identity writhes with sex, substances, ultraviolence and good ol' rock'n'roll.

March 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Visually dazzling, finely acted investigation into such diverse matters as identity, sexuality, violence, power, and underground culture in late 1960s London.

March 25, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It put Roeg's powerful cinematic style on the cultural map for the first time.

March 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

[VIDEO] "Performance" pioneered a slew of modern cinematic techniques adopted by such master filmmakers as Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, and Gaspar Noé.

April 18, 2011 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

Comes across as pretentious in spots but has not lost its '60s hallucinogenic suggestiveness. It haunts like the dream just out of reach of the rational concrete.

August 19, 2010 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

A grand Borgesian hall of mirrors

March 15, 2010 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

It's not so much a linear story of one man's adventures as an enquiry into the nature of performance, gender and the very structure of society.

June 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Em sua estréia como ator, Jagger surpreende pela intensidade e expressividade, ao passo que Fox, um intérprete já consagrado à época, impressiona pela coragem em protagonizar um filme que retratou como poucos a insanidade da Londres daquele período.

April 10, 2009
Cinema em Cena

A strangely mesmerizing, innovative film whose artistic stature has increased largely due to its absorbing look at British crime and art worlds circa 1968, and riveting turns by Mick Jagger and James Foxx who exchange personalities in this tale.

September 21, 2008 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

the film reeks of Sixties avant garde style in an engaging sort of way and still comes across as a hip exploration of the kind of life us normal people can never have.

June 15, 2007

We were always building monuments to our power and we always will be--performance is just one avenue to that same old immortality.

April 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

The last half of the film is sheer nonsense, and less interesting nonsense than that which preceded it

February 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

The film is such a variety of aural and visual tactics that Performance is something to see, even if its immense viscera leaves little aftertaste.

February 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Sex, drugs, and rock and roll, Performance has it all.

February 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

A memorable film that is still regarded as a psychedelic classic.

April 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Performance

Cited as a classic by fans of cult movies, gangster movies, music movies and movie movies - I'd been jonesing to see this film for 25 years... and it did not disappoint.

James Fox was great. Mick does a great Brian Jones. I gotta watch this like five more times right now.
July 23, 2007
brooklynspo

Super Reviewer

Roeg's first film is a strange trip with a deranged Mick Jagger.
October 27, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Gangland enforcer James Fox gets involved with decadent fading rock star Mick Jagger in Nicholas Roeg's and Donald Cammell's cult film

Few films encapsulate drug-crazed Swinging 60s London like this one, though it was only seen three years after it was made and then heavily-edited because Warners were shocked at what they had financed. The film exceeded the boundaries of good taste that always epitomized British cinema.

This superbly shot, deeply disturbing, complex, often pretentious, often brilliant parable of confused identity was the first feature directed by leading cinematographer Roeg, sharing the credit with artist Cammell.

An eerily plausible Fox, cast against type, plays Chas, a sadistic gangster on the run who rents a room in the Notting Hill Gate home of Turner (Jagger), a reclusive, sexually ambiguous, washed-up rock star. Fox, his antithesis, is offered women and magic mushrooms before literally swapping personalities with the singer.

Fox abandoned the cinema for almost a decade after this film, such was its effect on him.

Verdict A dazzling, ideas-rich, extraordinarily inventive full-stop to the 60s
February 10, 2011
matertenebraum

Super Reviewer

Mick Jagger plays a washed up rock star, which couldn't have been to hard for him to play. No, the performance involved is of the mobster who rents a room with them and pretends he's hip. This is an interesting movie, both if you're a Jagger fan, and if you want to see a movie about swinging 70s culture, and rock stars. I really liked this movie.
December 16, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Performance (DE)
  • Performance (1970) (CA)
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