The Two Jakes


The Two Jakes

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 19


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,190
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Movie Info

The Two Jakes, Jack Nicholson's sequel to Roman Polanski's Chinatown, picks up 10 years after its predecessor, finding Jake Gittes (Nicholson) still mourning the death of Katherine Mulwray. Gittes becomes involved in another complicated case in The Two Jakes, with oil replacing water as the coveted natural resource. Jake becomes embroiled in a complex real estate scam through another man named Jake (Harvey Keitel), who believes that his wife (Jennifer Tilly) is cheating on him. Like Chinatown, this simple task unlocks to reveal an impossibly convoluted--but logical--plot.


Jack Nicholson
as J.J. 'Jake' Gittes
Harvey Keitel
as Julius "Jake" Berman
Meg Tilly
as Kitty Berman
Madeleine Stowe
as Lillian Bodine
Eli Wallach
as Cotton Weinberger
Ruben Blades
as Michael "Mickey Nice"
Frederic Forrest
as Chuck Newty
David Keith
as Det. Lt. Loach
Richard Farnsworth
as Earl Rawley
Tracey Walter
as Tyrone Otley
Joe Mantell
as Lawrence Walsh
Perry Lopez
as Capt. Lou Escobar
Jeff Morris
as Ralph Tilton
Paul A. DiCocco Jr.
as Liberty Levine
John Hackett
as Mark Bodine
Allan Warnick
as Manfred P. Rippey
Will Tynan
as Judge Alexander K. Dettmer
William Duffy
as Desk Sergeant
Sue Carlton
as Mattie Rawley
Luana Anders
as Florist
Dean Hill
as Cop with Parrot
Lee Weaver
as Caddy #1
Bob George
as Bar Maitre d'
Jessica Z. Diamond
as Receptionist
Tom Waits
as Plainclothes Policeman
Faye Dunaway
as Evelyn Mulwray
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Critic Reviews for The Two Jakes

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (6)

Audience Reviews for The Two Jakes

  • Dec 01, 2012
    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.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 12, 2012
    The Two Jakes suffers from what most sequels to highly successful and acclaimed films do, in that it relies too heavily on its predecessor, the revered Chinatown, to give it a narrative heft, and, in turn, doesn't work as well as it should on its own merits. It has an atmospheric mood and generally good acting, but a muddled plot too concerned with recalling back to the past, and executed with a meandering pace. The direction by Nicholson is largely hit and miss, with a number of good scenes with a keen sense of framing, but also, at times, seemingly unfocused. The actors do a good job keeping the story interesting which, along with great world building, make it passably worthwhile, yet still a disappointing follow-up. 3/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2011
    For me, there was no way that "The Two Jakes" wasn't going to be at least a little disappointing. Making a decent sequel to the greatest film ever made is a hard feat to accomplish, but if you can understand the kind of talent involved during the production of "The Two Jakes" and realize its good intentions, then maybe you'll find yourself enjoying more than most have. Now, as a film, "The Two Jakes" passes as a noteworthy, if forgettable, retro-noir, but as a sequel to "Chinatown," it's awfully mediocre. To be completely honest, it's a total snooze-fest, and not only is it clunky, cheesy and confusing, but Jack Nicholson's direction is lackluster and poorly-paced, which is bad for a film that consists mostly of dialogue. Also, "The Two Jakes" possesses the unlikable qualities of being both unexciting and uninteresting. There isn't enough in it to make the audience care, and there were long stretches where I found myself getting fidgety. Overall, "The Two Jakes" contains moments of subtle brilliance, but it's really just too average to stand out.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Mar 16, 2010
    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.
    Conner R Super Reviewer

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