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The Two Jakes (1990)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 6,063

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Movie Info

The Two Jakes is the much-delayed and rather convoluted sequel to the 1975 classic Chinatown. Released in 1990 after an abortive stab at shooting that began in the mid-'80s, the film was the subject of a creative feud between its principals, star Jack Nicholson, producer Robert Evans, and screenwriter Robert Towne. Private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is a middle-aged war hero, paunchy, snobbish about his golf game, and about to marry a lovely and much younger woman. Then a fleeting


Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Comedy

Robert Towne

Nov 23, 1999

Paramount Home Video

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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (6) | DVD (11)

The Two Jakes allows Nicholson to reprise one of his most memorable characters as a way of seeing whether he's still got it.

November 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Points out that we may think we're done with the past but it almost never is done with us.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Of course it's no "Chinatown," but it is satisfyingly moody and atmospheric.

October 23, 2003
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

feels a lot like a retread of Chinatown, only without the style and panache that Polanski brought to the table

September 9, 2003 Full Review Source:

Disappointing follow-up to Chinatown

June 19, 2003
Lawrence Journal-World

Audience Reviews for The Two Jakes

For an unnecessary sequel, The Two Jakes is pretty amazing. It really kept the style of the first film and really built on the characters in the first. You could clearly see how much Jack Nicholson cared about the film and his devotion to Polanski‚??s filming style. However, this is very much a late 40s approach to Film Noir. You have the start of the baby booming age and the rise of suburbia. It‚??s a very interesting look at the dying genre and is in no way a cheap knock off of the original. Even the lighting and film quality looks the same, which is probably my favorite aspect of the film making from Chinatown.
Jack Nicholson really makes a great return as Jake Gittes. He is even more apathetic and cynical than before. You can see the 10 years between films both physically and mentally. He‚??s still one of the best screen characters of American Cinema and you can‚??t help but fall in love with him all over again. I liked how he still was being haunted by Mulray and never quite got over the events that happened in Chinatown.
The plot was actually just as clever as the first film and certainly holds it‚??s own. It doesn‚??t exactly play like a sequel because there was completely new case with different good guys and bad guys. A lot of scenes run similar to the original, but they‚??re mostly small little homages that occur pretty flawlessly. You can tell this was a nostalgia project, but it‚??s one of the best. It reminds me a lot of The Color Of Money, in no way does it compete with the original, but it is incredibly fun none the less.
March 16, 2010

Super Reviewer

Jack Nicholson revives the Jake Gittes myth in this minor but decent follow up to the legendary Chinatown. it keeps the twists and intricate schemes of the first. but the romantic, unnerving and disturbing touch is lost.
June 5, 2008

Super Reviewer

An incredibly disappointing sequel to Chinatown.
November 22, 2006

Super Reviewer

The long awaited sequel to Chinatown continues the story of Jake Gittes as he investigates the seedy underbelly of L.A. in The Two Jakes. This time Jake is caught up in a murder case when his client kills a man that's sleeping with his wife, but evidence soon comes to light that suggests that it was less of a crime of passion and more of an elaborate trap. Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel, Madeleine Stowe, and Meg Tilly form and especially strong cast, and give great performances. The characters and the mystery are quite compelling, but the plot's overly convoluted and detracts from the rest of the film. While The Two Jakes has its flaws, it still delivers a smart and stylistic film-noir that's captivating and provocative.
December 1, 2012
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

Movies Like The Two Jakes

    1. Jake Gittes: Catherine!...It never goes away.
    – Submitted by Johannes D (21 months ago)
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