The Two Jakes

1990, Mystery & thriller, 2h 17m

20 Reviews 5,000+ Ratings

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Movie Info

Private investigator and war veteran Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is hired by real estate developer Jake Berman (Harvey Keitel) for some run-of-the-mill matrimonial work. After Berman shoots his wife's lover, who happens to be his own business partner, Gittes is drawn into a web of conspiracy and deceit involving the oil reserves beneath Los Angeles. While investigating, Gittes hears a voice from his past that causes him to revisit a traumatic case in Chinatown.

Cast & Crew

Harvey Keitel
Julius 'Jake' Berman
Meg Tilly
Kitty Berman
Madeleine Stowe
Lillian Bodine
Eli Wallach
Cotton Weinberger
Rubén Blades
Michael 'Mickey Nice' Weisskopf
David Keith
Det. Lt. Loach
Tracey Walter
Tyrone Otley
Joe Mantell
Lawrence Walsh
Perry Lopez
Captain Lou Escobar
Jeff Morris
Ralph Tilton
Van Dyke Parks
Original Music
Vilmos Zsigmond
Cinematographer
Anne Goursaud
Film Editor
Michael Daves
First Assistant Director
Linda Rockstroh
Second Assistant Director
Robert Towne
Screenwriter
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Critic Reviews for The Two Jakes

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (7)

Audience Reviews for The Two Jakes

  • Jul 07, 2021
    Yeah it pales in comparison to "Chinatown" but everyone involved here seems to know that was inevitable. At its best "The Two Jakes" plays like a lengthy epilogue reflecting on the previous movie's themes and surviving characters.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • 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

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