One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Reviews

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February 22, 2017
I feel that my movie relates directly to the Beat Generation. Mac teaches the other inmates to rise up for what they believe in and to challenge the ideals of the ward. This can be seen as a metaphor to the men of the beat generation, who inspired others to rise up and challenge conforming to the post War ideals of settling down with a wife, having kids, and living in a 'white picket-fence' world. Although Mac was not successful in his attempt to escape, his real success was teaching those men that they should not be ashamed of who they are and how they should lead their lives. The lasting quote that I will remember is from Mac, talking to the group. "What do you think you are, for Chrissake, crazy or somethin'? Well you're not! You're not! You're no crazier than the average asshole out walkin' around on the streets and that's it." Mac's inspiration towards the other inmates will leave a lasting impression on them, and the lesson I learned from this movie, is everyone is a little crazy. But who cares? No one is even perfect so why not have a little fun? Be a little crazy! I think Mac's motto in life was to live life fun, rather than to die being boring.
February 15, 2017
Harsh, cruel, hilarious, sad and dramatic. This 1975's film, winner of the BIG FIVE awards: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Direction and Best Adapted Writing is definitely a must-see. Jack Nicholson is perfect as Randle McMurphy, a delightful performance and Nurse Ratched seemed like the devil itself. A powerful ending starring Chief Bromden. I guess the novel must be equally good.
January 26, 2017
A brilliant movie about the battle of Freedom against Conformism, through the microcosmos of an insane asyilum, at a time when America faces that same questioning. Through this amazing interpretaion a lot of deep questions arise: what is normality, what's the definition of insanity, what makes someone become insane, how the lack of freedom creates insanity, how over repressive institutions are toxic for society and want to maintain people in their "nest", how taking someones freedom is to break a man, etc. These are just a few of the many more questions that Randle, Jack Nicholson's most profound performances, impersonates. Just brilliant !! This is truly a gem, a perfect score ! If you haven't seen it, you don't know what cinema is. A most definite need to see film.
January 3, 2017
One flew over the cuckoos nest manages to size up its scope and cultural themes using the confinement of a mental institution. It's allegory and metaphor is extremely complex, but it's pay off is a continual film study, conformity being its central issue.
Super Reviewer
December 20, 2016
Jack Nicholson is super charismatic as a free-spirited character who refuses to abide by the rules at a mental institution, in a great drama that has its best moments when showing his obstinate attempts to get through to people who have given in to conformism.
November 26, 2016
Great film, really enjoyed it. Jack Nicholson is so good in it. It's slow to start but when it gets going it gets really good
October 16, 2016
A film about madness, with crazy, to where Jack Nicholson is the most normal person in the film, yes, that's possible, "Stranger in the Nest" is almost an essay on the madness, here we have the story of Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), a subject "normal" that is sending the asylum, and there coexists with crazy making them rediscover the pleasures of life, and vice versa, we have a message of friendship and human freedom on the social reins, moreover, we have great performances, not just Nicholson is fantastic, but all are absurdly crazy, you watch the movie anxious, because every second someone can do crazy, crazy ones that happen several times in the film, with screams, noises, fights, all about the serene look of the head nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher), (in which case, we are, viewers), and you witnesses this and is shocked and disturbed. The picture is gray, colorless and lifeless, pass all hospital atmosphere of the film, but could have a color to spend the shock even tone on the roadmap, it seems that the film has no script, it looks like things simply are happening in the same madness, and his pace is extremely slow, it seems that the film does not have a development, many go to sleep, others leave, and those who remain will see that it was worth it.
October 9, 2016
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is nuts. It shouldn't be so powerful or engaging or fun or tragic, but it is. It takes place in a mental hospital that's bleached and bland with it's white walls and bare furnishings. It's inhabited by lethargic inmates dressed in whites and grays that shuffle around and lackluster nurses that blankly watch their subjects. It is an odd place that's mostly bereft of any life and it feels distinctly detached and dull. Nurse Rached has designed it to be that way and Randle McMurphy works tirelessly to unravel her perfect little system. There lies the epicenter of this stirring story. The two leads' feud is an illustration of a larger struggle, one where the spirit of an individual is often silenced by the power of the people in charge. McMurphy's rebellion against "the man" is a cathartic and sobering journey.

Jack Nicholson's performance is incredible. McMurphy is an explosive, energetic man with an aggressive, impulsive temperament. He takes an empty, lifeless place and fills it with life. Randle is a fascinating contradiction. He's a troublemaker intent on disturbing the peace and structure of the hospital, but his disruption often causes more good than harm. He befriends the inmates, breaks them out of their drugged stupor and shatters their fragile comfort zones. He teaches them basketball, kidnaps them and takes them on a fishing trip, throws them a drinking celebration in the ward. He shows them how to have fun and stand up to Mrs. Rached's commands and be human again. It's amazing to watch the ward transform from dull and detached to the lively brotherhood it transforms into. And as much as he wants to escape, in the end he cares too much about the inmates too leave. It is right up there with Marlon Brando in Streetcar Named Desire as one of my favorite performances.

I really identified with this story. The struggle against an illogical and unjust power is a relatable one for me. McMurphy's free spirit is stifled at every turn by the staff, the ward is threatened and mistreated and that was enraging. It's not just a statement on society either, it's a disturbing exposure of a flawed mental health system as well, one where the inmates are essentially drugged and brainwashed and have no medium to express themselves. I think it offers an important reminder of the good rebellion can bring and the danger it can incite. The idiosyncrasies of the crew were also very amusing, with the fighting over monopoly games and them all peeping on McMurphy having sex on the boat. My parting thought is that one of the coolest elements of the film is McMurphy's relationship with the giant Native American inmate, Chief. Chief trusted Randle so much he broke 12 years of silence and agreed to leave with him. The tragic moment where he suffocated Randle and mustered the courage to escape was an incredibly stirring conclusion to a wild, mesmerizing film.
½ September 19, 2016
I doubt I have to explain the plot of this film because it seems that everyone except me has either seen the movie or read the book (or both.) I loved watching how McMurphy's carefree attitude influenced all the other patients. His joy for life was infectious and you could see it as everyone started to become stronger and stood up for themselves. Jack Nicholson was brilliant in the part, and everyone else in the star-studded cast was simply amazing as well. It's a tough movie to watch, though, because everything keeps going wrong. Whenever we are given a slight ray of hope it comes crashing down. And that's a cycle that continues over and over again throughout the film, to the point of annoying repetition. I also found it odd, after all I heard about this film, how mild Nurse Ratched seemed. She certainly manipulates the patients unfairly and is the driving force behind many of McMurphy's problems, but it never felt like she was approaching her care of the patients with wholly malicious intent as I was expecting (perhaps there was more in the book.) I thought the lack of score through most of the film was an interesting choice. It begins and ends with an off-putting tune (played on a saw if I'm not mistaken) but otherwise they just let the dialogue take center stage. This does help, though, to accentuate when the tedious classical music is being played over the PA system and makes it sound just as annoying to our ears as it did to McMurphy. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a heavy film that takes a tough look at what drives the human spirit, and what can crush it as well. The ending is simultaneously depressing and hopeful which is a real challenge. I can absolutely see why this is a beloved story, and I would gladly watch it again (my opinion might go up if I do) but for now some of its flaws just stood out to me too much, perhaps because I was expecting perfection based on all the positive buzz.
August 28, 2016
10 out of 10:

Powerfully acted, great direction, and a story that's sometimes funny, other times tragic are the qualities that can be found in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.
½ August 27, 2016
After more than 40 years, this film is still as powerful, potent, beautiful, tragic, and fun as when it first was released. Some incredible early performances from not only Jack Nicholson, but also Danny Devito, Christopher Lloyd and Scatman. Lots of thought-provoking stuff here in the midst of humanity and humorous situations. Rating: 9 / 10
August 21, 2016
An emotionally driven, touching story of both despair and hope. This is perhaps Nicholson's most emotional and beautiful performance. In other films such as the the shining, he was just playing a crazy, unpredictable man. But here, he's tame and kind. But at the same time, rebellious and fun. The ending, though sad, is realistic. This is a tragically down to earth, wonderfully acted and an absolute must watch film.
½ August 12, 2016
Milos Forman directs Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Nicholson is Randle McMurphy, a man who has been deemed criminally insane and placed in an asylum. The staff believes he is simply faking it to get out of work duties as prison. As McMurphy interacts with the patients he becomes a favorite among them, much to the chagrin of the lead Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher). As the film progresses he opens up with Chief Bromden (Will Sampson) and his willingness to talk and be upfront with the patients become more therapeutic than the staff ever could. Featuring an excellent cast, and a terrific performance by Nicholson, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is enjoyable to watch from start to finish. Each scene makes you route for the patients and their recovery and against Nurse Ratched's intentions. Louise Fletcher was excellent at Nurse Ratched as you hate her icy stares, and feeble attempts to help patients that are more destructive than good, but cant' help but think she thinks she is doing the best she can as well. The film is quite iconic and well deserves the Oscar nominations and wins it acquired, which was Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay.
August 12, 2016
Truly a sad ending, but an amazing film. Right in my top tens. Can't ever forget Will Sampson, he'll always be missed.
August 2, 2016
A powerful, and audacious film experience unlike any other. It's sad, it's frustrating, it's funny, it's touching, it's everything you could really accumulate into a film about what it's like behind the bars of a mental institution. In addition, The mano-a-mano showmanship between Nicholson and Fletcher is, like, I don't really know. It's palpable, you believe it.
rayman0071
Super Reviewer
July 25, 2016
Jack Nicholson in his grandest form. "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" from 1975 is one of the greatest American films of all time that represented the apex of what was the essence of 1970's cinema. A $4.4 million dollar effort directed by Czech Milos Forman. It's allegorical theme is in the world of an authentic mental hospital during the early-1960's(Oregon State Hospital in Salem,Oregon) a place of rebellion exhibited by a energetic,flamboyant,wise-guy anti-hero against the establishment,institutional authority and status-quo attitudes(personified by the patients' supervisory nurse). Expressing his basic human rights and impulses,the protagonist protests against the heavy-handed rules about watching World Series,and illegally stages both a fishing trip and a drinking party in the ward-leading to his own paralyzing lobotomy. Jack Nicholson's acting persona as the heroic rebel McMurphy,who lives free or dies(through an act of mercy killing),had been earlier been set with his breakthrough performances in "Easy Rider"(1969), and "Five Easy Pieces", not to mention "Chinatown"(1974). The mid-1970's baby-boomers counter culture was ripe for a motion picture dramatizing rebellion and insubordination against oppressive bureaucracy and an insistence upon rights,self-expression,and freedom. The role of the sexually-repressed,domineering Nurse Ratched was turned down by six actresses-among them were Faye Dunaway, Anne Bancroft, Colleen Dewhurst, Geraldine Page, Ellen Burstyn, and Angela Lansbury-until Louise Fletcher accepted casting(in her debut film)only a week before filming began. Several actors including Al Pacino and even James Caan were originally offered the lead role of McMurphy,and Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman were considered as well. The lead role went to Jack Nicholson. The entire film was shot in sequence,except for the fishing scene(which was shot last). Opening on November 19,1975 in only four theaters and expanded into more cities the following week, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" surprised everyone by becoming enormously profitable-becoming the seventh highest-grossing film of 1975 ranking in on its opening weekend $99,761 and expanding into more cinemas by December 7, 1975 bringing in $87,238 having a domestic total gross of $108 million and bringing in almost $300 million worldwide. The independently produced film also made motion picture history by sweeping the Oscars; it made history in 1975 to become the first film to take all the major awards including Best Picture, Best Director(Milos Forman), Best Actor(Jack Nicholson with his first win after losing the previous year for "Chinatown" in 1974), Best Actress(Louise Fletcher in her first win), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Brad Dourif), Best Cinematopgraphy(Bill Butler and Haskell Wexler), It was nominated for Nine Academy Awards in total being victorious in winning five including Best Picture. Jack Nicholson's historic win beat out some strong competition which included Al Pacino(Dog Day Afternoon); Ryan O' Neal(Barry Lyndon), Roy Scheider(Jaws),and Kris Kristofferson(Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea). "Cuckoo's Nest" also beat out some tough competition for Best Picture by Robert Altman's "Nashville", Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon", Sidney Lumet's "Dog Day Afternoon",and Steven Spielburg's "Jaws"(which went on to break historic boxoffice records by becoming the Number One top grossing picture of 1975). "Cuckoo's Nest" became the second motion picture to win all five major awards following 1934's "It Happened One Night" which was an accomplishment not repeated until 1991's "The Silence of the Lambs"(also won all five major awards but also became the first horror movie in motion picture history to win the Oscar in 1991 for Best Picture). The film is Number 33 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 Greatest Movies Ever Made,and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. "Cuckoo's Nest" also swept the Golden Globes winning six in all including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay(Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman who also won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay based on Ken Kesey's best selling novel is based on Kesey characters that were from real-life psychiatric ward patients at a VA Hospital in Menlo Park California where he once worked during the late-1950's). The novel on which it was based originally was dramatized on Broadway(an adapted play by Dale Wasserman) beginning in 1963 with actor Kirk Douglas starring in the lead role as McMurphy and Gene Wilder as stuttering Billy Bibbit. Kirk Douglas bought the rights to the novel,but couldn't convince film studios to produce(studios from 20th Century-Fox to Universal rejected it before United Artists inquire interest). Many years after its short theatrical run,Douglas transferred the rights to his son, actor/writer/producer Michael Douglas,who co-produced the United Artists film with Saul Zaentz. Michael Douglas had considered playing the starring role,but by the time of the film's production, he judged himself too old. Interesting points about this film.....the movie was a stepping stone for up and coming actors who would carve there own careers in Hollywood with the debut of actors Danny DeVito and Christopher Lloyd in supporting roles. Even after some 41 years later the film is a prime and brilliant example of a society that will not bow down to authority and will take any chances necessary to stand his own ground in an institution that refuses to stand for what is right....This was the example of great 1970's cinema.
July 11, 2016
Jack Nicholson plays a free-spirited nutcase in what I believe is his greatest performance ever. As Randle McMurphy, Nicholson creates a gripping and emotional setting, allowing the audience to truly connect with the vast majority of characters in this weirdly funny drama. A gripping story, exceptional acting and a wonderful cast is what makes One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest such a phenomenal film. Over 30 years since its initial release in theatres and still One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest delivers without flaw.

10/10
July 8, 2016
This movie makes living in a mental asylum almost seem fun until about the ending. Great movie and Milos Forman is slowly becoming one of my favorite directors.
½ July 8, 2016
top movie. A constant in my top five.
½ June 28, 2016
A 1975 Best Picture winner that easily holds up today, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest perfectly blends comedy and drama using a wonderful pace and smart script. Led by Jack Nicholson's iconic and charismatic performance, and director Milos Forman's excellently crafted old school style, it intrigues early and often. Randle P. McMurphy (Nicholson) avoids continuing his brief prison stint by pretending to be mentally ill. As he forms bonds with the patients, a rivalry ensues between him and nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher). The chemistry of good vs. bad goes back and forth in an onscreen battle that led to Oscar worthy performances. As one of the best films of all time, it has won all five major Oscar categories (Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress) However, it's Nicholson's acting excellence and infectious onscreen presence that will stay with you. A
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