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Chinatown (1974) Movie Reviews

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  View Matthew Brady's Profile
Matthew Brady
Movie God

03/01/2015 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

No wonder this movie is a classic

Ida Sessions: "Are you alone?"

J.J. Gittes: "Isn't everybody?"

The story to Chinatown is about a private detective, Jake Gittes, hired to investigate an adultery case, stumbles on the plot of a murder involving incest and the privatization of water through state and municipal corruption, land use and real estate. If he doesn't drop the case at once he faces threats of legal action, but he pursues it anyway, slowly uncovering a vast conspiracy.

Some people may not know but I got a lot of things to do and those things are reviewing 8 Movies, three TV shows and two video games so basically that's why I'm a bit behind of the new releases. Then and now I have to take a little break or a day off from doing this because well I can be a bit tried of doing this, but I ...

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  View Snoogans's Profile
Movie God

04/29/2014 (1 of 1 found this helpful)

Misleading The Misleaders

'Chinatown' is a constricting noir mystery that unravels it's knotted narrative in a wildly unpredictable manner. Each new twist is just a lie to cover up another lie, and so on. That is, until the shocking truth is revealed. Turns out to be less complicated than it initially started. That classic noir sensibility is oozing through every frame and out of every character. This was made a couple decades after the genre was fading, but it sits equal with the best of those early masterworks of crime. My only real complaint is the fact that the movie takes it's sweet time to get to the point. Not an overly long film, but one that has pacing issues due to the many asides our main case solver runs into. Though, the great payoff does forgive some of this. Shame on a few other reviewers o...

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  View Yojimbo's Profile
Movie God

03/31/2012 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

"Chinatown" by Yojimbo

Jack Nicholson stars as J.J. Gittes, a private detective hired to investigate an alleged marital indiscretion but uncovers more than he bargained for including deceit, corruption and murder. Right from the self consciously retro titles, Polanski sets out his stall; to recreate the classic noirs of the 40s and 50s, and a damn fine job he does too. Even to the point of casting legendary director John "The Maltese Falcon" Huston. Nicholson is at the height of his powers as the world weary ex detective and is complimented perfectly by Faye Dunaway with a possibly career best performance as the glamorous yet vulnerable femme fatale. The intelligent script constantly wrong foots you, playing with your assumptions and Polanski's direction is suitably hard boiled, shadowing Gittes as he uncovers ...

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  View Daniel Corleone's Profile
Daniel Corleone
Movie God

08/11/2011 (1 of 1 found this helpful)

Chinatown review

A typical slow-burner for good character development which pays off in the stunning conclusion. Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) receives a call from Mrs. Mulwray to perform a surveillance of his husband, Hollis Mulwray, and his malicious activities. The real Evelyn Cross Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) shows up in his office and plans on suing him for the photos being displayed on the papers. Gittes tries to uncover a mysterious death of Mrs. Mulwray’s husband. Evelyn and Jake become romantically involved though he was being paid to find the killer. Jake investigates San Fernando Valley and Noah Cross (John Huston), who owned the water department. Cross then offers Jake some money to find the mistress of Hollis Mulwray. He discovers the dark history involving Evelyn and her father’s manner of ...

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  View mdtinney's Profile
Movie God

08/25/2009 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

She's my sister and my daughter!

With "Chinatown," Roman Polanski created something that was partly an homage to all of those delightfully atmospheric noirs of the 1940s, but went beyond that to deconstruct some of the genre's conventions. Rather than simply making a 1974 film that imitated a film noir from the 40s, Polanski instead made a 1940s film noir infused with the cultural demons of 1974 America.
The plot is byzantine and confusing, as any good crime thriller plot should be. But true to the genre, the plot doesn't matter as much as the rotten underbelly of corruption and violence that the plot exposes. No director can do atmosphere (especially rotten atmosphere) as well as Polanski, and he's at his best here. Jack Nicholson gives maybe the best performance of his career as detective Jake Gittes, a hard-boiled se...

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  View BtownMovieBuff1's Profile
TV Extra

02/12/2009 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

"Chinatown" is a true masterpiece of cinema

I'm a fairly big Jack Nicholson fan, but being 20 years old I had only known him by his newer stuff, and from "The Shining". Although I had heard of "Chinatown" for quite some time, I never had a big urge to see it, being that I wasn't very interested in older movies.

Well that's certainly changed now, and I'm on an obsessive path to becoming a movie buff. Over the past year I have really immersed myself in movies of all types and decades, and I've researched hundreds of titles. One of the biggest movies on my Must-See-List was "Chinatown", and I finally sat down and gave it a go. Turned out to be an excellent decision, because the movie is near perfect.

The art style, the pacing, the beautiful score, and the fantastic acting by Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway truly elevate this...

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  View Chris Hadges's Profile
Chris Hadges
TV Extra

07/04/2008 (0 of 0 found this helpful)


Chinatown is one of the few "perfect" movies in my book. Something about this movie is just too mysterious to ignore. Chinatown is one of those movies where puzzle pieces of story are stacked up incredibly high until with one short climatic topple they all lock in with one another. The story is a general film noir mystery cliche..lots of corruptions, murders, affairs, etc...But what really makes this film stand out to me are three things: One, the incredible acting performances between Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. The chemistry between the two is really extraordinary. Two, the very appropriate film score written by Jerry Goldmith. It's classic film noir material and keeps the picture fluent in its dark mood. Finally, the brilliant direction of Roman Polanski. Regardless of how you may...

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  View Arbogast1960's Profile

03/29/2008 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

"You're a very nosy fellow, kitty cat."

This film blows me away every time I watch it. Robert Towne's screenplay is remarkable, combining a labyrinthine plot (that thankfully never cheats the viewer by playing fast and loose with its facts) and beautifully crafted dialogue. Nicholson and Dunaway are fantastic; it's nice to see them at a time before they began playing increasingly garish caricatures of themselves. Also memorable is Huston's turn as the menacing Noah Cross, a grandfatherly embodiment of evil who views himself as a victim. As much as I love some of Polanski's later work (The Tenant, Tess, The Pianist), he never again lived up to the incredible promise demonstrated in this film and Rosemary's Baby. The direction and cinematography create an elegant-yet-gritty neo-noir atmosphere. And the ending is crushing, b...

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