Performance - Rotten Tomatoes

Performance (1970)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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 … More

Rating: R (Rated R for sexual content, nudity, drug material and some violence.)
Genre: Drama , Musical & Performing Arts , Classics , Special Interest
Directed By: ,
Written By: Donald Cammell
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 15, 2005
Warner Bros. Pictures


as Chas Devlin

as Rosebloom

as Harry Flowers

as Joey Maddocks

as Chauffeur

as Tony Farrell
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Performance

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (6)

Pop stars continue to have bad luck in films.

Full Review… | March 25, 2013
TIME Magazine
Top 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.

Full Review… | March 25, 2013
Village Voice
Top Critic

Rapture and boredom both seem valid responses.

Full Review… | March 25, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top 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.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | April 7, 2014
The Dissolve

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.

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer


Roeg's first film is a strange trip with a deranged Mick Jagger.

Graham Jones
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

Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

Performance Quotes

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