Five Easy Pieces

Critics Consensus

An important touchstone of the New Hollywood era, Five Easy Pieces is a haunting portrait of alienation that features one of Jack Nicholson's greatest performances.

88%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 50

84%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,149

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Movie Info

Rejecting his cultured upper-class background as a classical pianist, Robert Dupea (Jack Nicholson) opts for a blue-collar existence, working in a California oil field and spending time with his waitress girlfriend, Rayette (Karen Black). But when Robert discovers that his father is gravely ill, he wants to reunite with his estranged family in the state of Washington. He and Rayette take a road trip that brings the two paths of his life to an uncomfortable intersection.

Cast & Crew

Jack Nicholson
Robert Eroica Dupea
Karen Black
Rayette Dipesto
Susan Anspach
Catherine Van Oost
Ralph Waite
Carl Fidelio Dupea
Richard Stahl
Recording Engineer
Bert Schneider
Executive Producer
László Kovács
Cinematographer
Gerald Shepard
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Five Easy Pieces

Critic Reviews for Five Easy Pieces

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (6)

  • If the function of art is to help an audience feel less alone, then Five Easy Pieces succeeds beautifully.

    March 4, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • A very modern film. Elliptical, absurdist, harshly humorous, convulsively lyrical.

    November 18, 2017 | Full Review…
  • The flaws of this acutely self-conscious 1970 road picture grow more obvious with every passing year, but so does its passion and eloquence.

    July 18, 2014
  • The movie has more anger than it knows what to do with; that's its fascination and its weakness, too.

    June 16, 2014

    David Denby

    New Yorker
    Top Critic
  • This superbly composed film comes as close to perfection as it gets.

    June 16, 2014 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • The landscape photography of Lszl Kovcs is a minor marvel, while the sound design is an intelligent complement to the sonorities evoked in the film's title.

    June 16, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Five Easy Pieces

  • May 29, 2016
    This movie is considered a classic for a reason. Jack Nicholson, in one of his earliest big roles, stars as Robert Dupea, a former piano prodigy who left his wealthy family for a simpler life. This is prime character study material, folks. The story isn't as important as how Nicholson's character handles the story, and he handles it well. While it has a slow start, Five Easy Pieces is well worth the patience you put into it. Learning about Robert - the life he left behind, the life he lives today, his moral standings and troubles - is incredibly rewarding. It's also a film which offers debate: did Robert make the right choice when he left his family? Is his morality worth his happiness? If you enjoy classic movies and/or Nicholson, go find this movie. I promise it's worth your time.
    Ben B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 21, 2013
    With the passing of Karen Black, I thought it was appropriate to revisit Five Easy Pieces. This is the Nicholson classic that people know for the "toast" scene but little else. It is a shame because there is a lot to mine here.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 28, 2012
    I wonder if anyone ever remembers this film? Jack Nicholson gives one of his finest performances as Bobby Dupea. A man who's got a talent as a pianist yet is unhappy with his blue-collar life. Dupea's gets word from his sister Partita Dupea (Lois Smith) who is also a pianist, their father is dying. So Dupea and his girlfriend Rayette Dipesto (Karen Black) take a road trip down to see him. As the movie progresses it's pretty interesting who Bobby and Rayette meet along the way. By the time Dupea reaches his destination, I was interested with the rest of the people who he hasn't seen in a long time and those who hasn't recognized. There is even an attractive woman who gives him signs of attraction. She's smart though as to not make it look obvious but Dupea knows what's going on. The final scene of the movie was pretty sad but I guess not all movies end on a satisfying ending. Just that people need to move on. Such is life.
    Brian R Super Reviewer
  • Oct 17, 2011
    Love the Tammy Wynette/Classical music soundtrack. Especially love the scene where Elton's wife is glued to the small staticy tv screen watching Frank Capra's "You Can't Take It With You".
    Graham J Super Reviewer

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