Chinatown Reviews

  • 1d ago

    Brilliant. Loved it.

    Brilliant. Loved it.

  • 6d ago

    This movie is extremely boring and very much overrated. I am a fan of older films and respect their slower pace and specific style of acting. Having said that, this is still a film that is just bad. The film is long and drawn out. Even the issue/conflict that resulted in murder is very dry. In contrast to that, the film closes with an extremely dramatic ending. There is 100x the action in the last two minutes of this film than the preceding 2+ hours of it.

    This movie is extremely boring and very much overrated. I am a fan of older films and respect their slower pace and specific style of acting. Having said that, this is still a film that is just bad. The film is long and drawn out. Even the issue/conflict that resulted in murder is very dry. In contrast to that, the film closes with an extremely dramatic ending. There is 100x the action in the last two minutes of this film than the preceding 2+ hours of it.

  • Jan 01, 2021

    Shot mostly in natural light, with a stellar script and performances Chinatown is a classic that every film fan should see.

    Shot mostly in natural light, with a stellar script and performances Chinatown is a classic that every film fan should see.

  • Jan 01, 2021

    Chinatown has the kind of plot twists and revelations that make a great mystery. Achieving in being both shocking and original, Chinatown's grittiness, characters, and intriguing story make it a classic in the genre of crime drama.

    Chinatown has the kind of plot twists and revelations that make a great mystery. Achieving in being both shocking and original, Chinatown's grittiness, characters, and intriguing story make it a classic in the genre of crime drama.

  • Dec 23, 2020

    Acting of Nicholson and Dunaway is excellent. One could argue that the two made a fantastic duo. Towne's writing is amazing with all of Chinatown's twist and turns.

    Acting of Nicholson and Dunaway is excellent. One could argue that the two made a fantastic duo. Towne's writing is amazing with all of Chinatown's twist and turns.

  • Dec 09, 2020

    Overrated, slow, and mostly uneventful.

    Overrated, slow, and mostly uneventful.

  • Nov 29, 2020

    We had never seen this movie before, even thought it's been given great reviews. Really liked it. One thing I did not know is that Jack N. appeared in every single scene. Kinda neat. Very good who-dun-it. Had us guessing until the end. Kept our attention all throughout. Jack was terrific as the main character...well developed. Ending sucked but I think that's the only way it could've ended given the dark nature of the film. Jack never realized the forces he was up against. Either that, or he didn't care....he was on a crusade but he should've seen that justice would not prevail.

    We had never seen this movie before, even thought it's been given great reviews. Really liked it. One thing I did not know is that Jack N. appeared in every single scene. Kinda neat. Very good who-dun-it. Had us guessing until the end. Kept our attention all throughout. Jack was terrific as the main character...well developed. Ending sucked but I think that's the only way it could've ended given the dark nature of the film. Jack never realized the forces he was up against. Either that, or he didn't care....he was on a crusade but he should've seen that justice would not prevail.

  • Nov 19, 2020

    I am in the decided minority but I have to agree with pro critic Gene Siskel The excellent acting and surprise ending do not change this fact: the film is tedious.

    I am in the decided minority but I have to agree with pro critic Gene Siskel The excellent acting and surprise ending do not change this fact: the film is tedious.

  • Sep 21, 2020

    Chinatown, a crime solving 1974 neo-noir style movie with a plot centered around a murder investigation, stars Jack Nicholson at the peak of his career. From a first-person point of view, following Nicholson's character J.J. "Jake" Gittes, the movie gives the audience an inside look at what it might be like to be a Los Angeles private investigator in 1937. Writer, Robert Towne, originally intended for Chinatown to launch a trilogy of movies featuring Gittes, but a direct sequel would not be released until 16 years later with little commercial success. Towne originally was asked by producer Robert Evans to create a screenplay for F. Scott Fitzgerald's book The Great Gatsby however Towne felt that he could not do justice for Fitzgerald's works. Instead, we end up with a dark rich movie directed by Roman Polanski that is a tribute to the classic movies of the past. With great ease, Chinatown gives the audience an ambience and imagery that heightens their senses and keeps an enigma alive from beginning to end. ​When the opening credits begin rolling for Chinatown, the audience is greeted by a classic trumpet solo synonymous with a film noir murder mystery, along with a haunting violin expressing that there is something dark and sinister happening. Also, Polanski wants his viewers to know that it is indeed 1937 by giving them images of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the opening courtroom scene, as well as, Seabiscuit being prominent in the newspaper. Throughout the film, shadows are elegantly used to focus on the eyes of characters during night scenes giving a look into what Gittes might be seeing as he attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding the murder of businessman Hollis Mulwray. In addition, the sounds of the film play out the underlying theme of the movie with water being a key component to the plot. For example, during the scene that shows the body of call girl, Ida Sessions, found in her home there is a slow drip of water from the faucet to remind the audience the underlying plot of the film. Almost every main scene in the movie features a shower, a pool, a pond, or a puddle to drive the point home that water is key to Gittes solving the crime. ​Keeping the enigma alive throughout the film, Towne's script takes the audience on a journey the begins with a simple investigation of an affair turning into corruption that goes beyond anything imaginable. Also starring Faye Dunaway (Evelyn Cross Mulwray), her character is constantly changing the story she is telling Jack Nicholson (Gittes) throughout the film. Although the mystery of her situation seems sinister, in the end, it is a much darker web of truth than Gittes wants to be involved with. Moreover, the rollercoaster of emotions that the audience is taken on leaves them guessing until the very end exactly what is going on. Chinatown is a great example of a movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat and trying to put the pieces together and why Towne's won the best original screenplay award at the 1975 Academy Awards. ​In the end, Chinatown is a movie that deserves the full attention of praise of its audience. The direction of Polanski in the film guides Nicolson and Dunaway on a journey unlike anything other. When the audience learns the truth of the film, they are sure to want more of this type of mystery and writing style from Towne. With its dark overtones and an ambiance that plays true homage to film noir classics like Sunset Boulevard, Chinatown delivers viewers on a sense bending journey from beginning to end. Connecting the dots and playing the game of the film's enigma will make the audience want to watch a second time through to see what clues they may have missed the first time around.

    Chinatown, a crime solving 1974 neo-noir style movie with a plot centered around a murder investigation, stars Jack Nicholson at the peak of his career. From a first-person point of view, following Nicholson's character J.J. "Jake" Gittes, the movie gives the audience an inside look at what it might be like to be a Los Angeles private investigator in 1937. Writer, Robert Towne, originally intended for Chinatown to launch a trilogy of movies featuring Gittes, but a direct sequel would not be released until 16 years later with little commercial success. Towne originally was asked by producer Robert Evans to create a screenplay for F. Scott Fitzgerald's book The Great Gatsby however Towne felt that he could not do justice for Fitzgerald's works. Instead, we end up with a dark rich movie directed by Roman Polanski that is a tribute to the classic movies of the past. With great ease, Chinatown gives the audience an ambience and imagery that heightens their senses and keeps an enigma alive from beginning to end. ​When the opening credits begin rolling for Chinatown, the audience is greeted by a classic trumpet solo synonymous with a film noir murder mystery, along with a haunting violin expressing that there is something dark and sinister happening. Also, Polanski wants his viewers to know that it is indeed 1937 by giving them images of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the opening courtroom scene, as well as, Seabiscuit being prominent in the newspaper. Throughout the film, shadows are elegantly used to focus on the eyes of characters during night scenes giving a look into what Gittes might be seeing as he attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding the murder of businessman Hollis Mulwray. In addition, the sounds of the film play out the underlying theme of the movie with water being a key component to the plot. For example, during the scene that shows the body of call girl, Ida Sessions, found in her home there is a slow drip of water from the faucet to remind the audience the underlying plot of the film. Almost every main scene in the movie features a shower, a pool, a pond, or a puddle to drive the point home that water is key to Gittes solving the crime. ​Keeping the enigma alive throughout the film, Towne's script takes the audience on a journey the begins with a simple investigation of an affair turning into corruption that goes beyond anything imaginable. Also starring Faye Dunaway (Evelyn Cross Mulwray), her character is constantly changing the story she is telling Jack Nicholson (Gittes) throughout the film. Although the mystery of her situation seems sinister, in the end, it is a much darker web of truth than Gittes wants to be involved with. Moreover, the rollercoaster of emotions that the audience is taken on leaves them guessing until the very end exactly what is going on. Chinatown is a great example of a movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat and trying to put the pieces together and why Towne's won the best original screenplay award at the 1975 Academy Awards. ​In the end, Chinatown is a movie that deserves the full attention of praise of its audience. The direction of Polanski in the film guides Nicolson and Dunaway on a journey unlike anything other. When the audience learns the truth of the film, they are sure to want more of this type of mystery and writing style from Towne. With its dark overtones and an ambiance that plays true homage to film noir classics like Sunset Boulevard, Chinatown delivers viewers on a sense bending journey from beginning to end. Connecting the dots and playing the game of the film's enigma will make the audience want to watch a second time through to see what clues they may have missed the first time around.

  • Sep 08, 2020

    Truly one of the best movies ever made. Nicholson at his finest. A must watch at least once a year for me.

    Truly one of the best movies ever made. Nicholson at his finest. A must watch at least once a year for me.