Chinatown - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Chinatown Reviews

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July 21, 2017
A part of me remains on the couch I first watched it on, rewatching it has become ritualistic and profound.
July 19, 2017
Great film that shows many current problems within society, such as weaknesses within the system, how justice is bought, not blind, and how bureaucracy and money stifle justice from those who try to actually get it.
Super Reviewer
½ July 2, 2017
An excellent screenplay and a willing crew are all up to task of peeling back the layers of a society not as innocent as it likes to pretend. Nicholson is a detective who accepts that there might be some corruption in the world but decides to limit the avalanche against his better judgment. And although released in the mid70s the idea expressed is that this crap has been going on for awhile. Required viewing for those who appreciate social commentary with their entertainment.
June 13, 2017
The film began as a perfectly constructed detective/mystery film. Contrasting the transparency of Gittes with the confusion of both the story and other characters served to create a perfect mystery atmosphere. Yet the film dragged your attention away from the most powerful aspect of the narrative. In covering the nature of the film's main complication Polanski masterfully masked the true mystery. As we were concentrating on who may be dumping gallons of freshwater during a major drought, a mother struggled with her chaotic and tragically incestuous relationship with her daughter. While the main antagonist was ultimately presented as being the most obviously fitting character it was not for the crime the audience expected. It was for something completely unexpected and shocking. Therefore, Polanski inverted the conventional nature of a mystery film (it was not "who" had done it, but "what" in fact he had done.) On top of this was the role of the detective Gittes, who returned to the life he had left behind. By the end of the film, it became obvious that I was watching a tragedy. The film took so long to perfectly craft a mystery, which was ultimately never solved. Yet the brilliance of Polanski lies in the fact I no longer cared. What I cared more about was about what was introduced only minutes before. The destruction of a mother and daughters shocking yet optimistic relationship.
June 3, 2017
It was cool until I saw who directed it.
May 30, 2017
Chinatown is as beautiful and lucid as any old school thriller before it, and as such doesn't vie for the darkness of noir and cheapness of neo-noir, but in substitution lets Polanski construct an unprecedented original.
½ May 6, 2017
The greatest film noir made in modern times, and one of the best ever, this film can be seen many times and still provides new joys of discovery and insight. A perfect marriage of story, screenplay, direction, acting and cinematography. Chinatown is engrossing, thrilling, entertaining and disturbing.
½ April 25, 2017
Chinatown is neo-noir that takes all the best aspects of past films in the genre and makes them all work together. It also manipulates the viewer by taking what you expect from classic noirs and putting a new spin on it. I loved how this movie kept me guessing and hit me with some big surprises that shocked me. That's really all you can ask from a mystery movie.

There are a number of slow moments, or at least moments of quiet and calm before the storm. In my opinion it worked because that deliberate pace allowed the tension and anticipation to grow. Every moment I was anxious to see what was next and if I would finally get a clue that would tell me whodunnit.

It doesn't hurt that I love Jack Nicholson. His performance in Chinatown delivers everything I want in a classic private eye character. He is often the smartest guy in the room, he is tough as nails, and he is wise-cracking as well. Faye Dunaway had a tough job as the female co-star. There was a lot of emotional heavy-lifting in that role, which she managed well.

There isn't much more I can say about Chinatown. It clicked all the boxes, and I didn't notice many flaws in the entire thing. I need to give it some time and a few more watches before I claim it as one of my favorites, but I think it will hold up. This is one of those critically acclaimed masterpieces that actually deserves all the praise, and I would gladly recommend it to others.
April 18, 2017
Polanski is worth watching no matter what he does !
½ April 9, 2017
messy and depressing.. in a weirdly good way
March 25, 2017
Nicholson, Dunaway, and the great John Hurt in a crime story / film noir with a twist...
March 20, 2017
I really want to see China-Town as New Movies are usually badly-acted.
The Photos and Videos are good so 10/10!
February 22, 2017
This is a masterpiece with the best work from Robert Town, Roman Polanski and the lead actors Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. Everything in this film was thought out flawlessly and Polanski guides the atmosphere in this film brilliantly. Jack Nicholson delivers every scene in high gear and Faye Dunaway's performance seems better with each viewing. This film covers is easily one of the best films I have ever seen and an absolute must see for any aspiring actors, screenwriters, or directors.
February 8, 2017
3 stars + half-star bonus for the crushing instant-classic ending + half-star bonus for David Fincher's commentary track. Now I get it: Zodiac was Fincher's Chinatown.
February 4, 2017
Polanski's Chinatown is suitably vague and creepy with the Polish director's usual twisted psycho-sexual undercurrents.
½ February 1, 2017
I don't understand the love for it. The pacing is awful. It's so dry that it feels like you are watching nothing at times. It does seem to have the right look, but is too boring to appreciate. (First and only viewing - 12/10/2010)
January 28, 2017
What a gem from 1974. A film I had never heard of apart from its listing in Steven Schneider's 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.
Directed by Roman Polanski and starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway it was made in the pre-blockbuster era and really shows the brilliance of the director rather than a few gimmicky CGI effects and laser beams!
The film noir genre is epitomised by films from the forties shot in black and white and sort of detective thrillers.
Here we have a Technicolor film from 1974 revisiting the genre.
The performance of Nicholson as private detective Jake Gittes is mesmerising and up there with his other great roles.
Gittes is an ex-policeman who worked in the Chinatown district of Los Angeles.
Now a private detective in 1930s LA. He becomes embroiled in the private life of the chief engineer of LA's water and power department.
Hired by his so called wife at the films beginning he later discovers it wasn't actually who she claimed.
Investigating further what turns out to be so called adultery actually becomes a murder, greed and intimidation case involving the local water supply!
The story could actually have been a screenplay for an episode of Murder, She Wrote but the performances of the cast and ultimately its direction by Polanski are wonderful to watch.
It's the camera angles, the screenplay, photography that all come to the fore.
No doubt you will never have heard of it but I would highly recommended it over the modern multiplex trash.
January 21, 2017
With a decent twisting plot this film is elevated above averageness by the cast, the performances, the score and the direction. Just a shame the plot didn't intrigue me all that much but it was at least entertaining enough to be watchable.
January 19, 2017
It is well know that Chinatown is the greatest neo-noir ever made, but it is the unpopular opinion that it may just be the greatest film ever made. While I don't quite believe this, I do believe that Chinatown is in the ranks of Citizen Kane, The Godfather, and Casablanca. Chinatown is a masterpiece
½ January 19, 2017
No 90 percenter, but a well written and acted detective story with plenty of twists that keep upping the stakes.
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