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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Jack Nicholson
Faye Dunaway
John Huston.
Directors
Roman Polanski.
Screenwriters
Robert Towne.
Running Time
131 minutes

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Chinatown
Jake's back on the big screen


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Plot
A private investigator (Jack Nicholson), on an adultery case, stumbles across a murder scheme which appears to be somehow connected to water in this 1974 classic.


Review
Actor Jack Nicholson, director Roman Polanski, writer Robert Towne, producer Robert Evans: four friends, four gifted individuals, men of substance and substance abuse. Early '70s Hollywood belonged to these people and their kind. They were given relatively large budgets, and a fair amount of artistic freedom, and told to go and make movies.

They came up with stuff like Chinatown, the best private eye movie ever made. All the finest staples of the gumshoe tradition are present here - the femme fatale, the hard-boiled dialogue, the rich man, the dumb cops, the stakeouts and shootouts - yet Towne adds new levels of sophistication to the genre. His script for the film incorporates a shocking update of Greek tragedy and, in drawing on the cynicism and disillusionment of the Watergate/Vietnam era, a subtly executed political allegory. A timeless classic.


Verdict
Boasting some of the greats of Hollywood's '70s golden age on top form, this is a never-bettered noir masterpiece.


Reviewed by Rob Fraser

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Chinatown
Empire Star Rating

I just don't see the fuss

Awful ending, truly up there in awfullness ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by david hayes at 18:57, 07 April 2013 | Report This Post


Polanski's masterpiece

One of the greatest noirs ever made, one of the greatest '70s movies and one of the greatest movies, period. It's hard for me not to ramble when talking about Chinatown. It has my favourite Jack Nicholson role, one of the best screenplays ever written for the screen, one of my favourite movie endings, my favourite Faye Dunaway performance (although Network is pretty damn close), it showcases Polanski's genius like no other movie and it has one of my favourite directors, John Huston, giving a pit... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Mr Gittes at 23:14, 03 February 2013 | Report This Post


The best detective film of all time. Bar None.

Not also is this the best of all detective flicks and it is also them ost entertaining Jack Nicholson film. It also qualifies as the best noir. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by robmarathon at 13:16, 25 July 2012 | Report This Post


Still holds the title for best detective and Jack Nicholson film

Possibly the best noir ever created. What I love about Nicholson's character is that, he adds a little bit of humor, but it does not affect the films serious portrayal. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by robmarathon at 04:13, 18 July 2012 | Report This Post


A Masterpiece

One of the greatest movie ever. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by shady_88 at 22:00, 14 August 2010 | Report This Post


Chinatown by J.J Gittes

Chinatown is by far the most accomplished Polanski Film to date and is also one of Jack Nicholson's finest roles. Although the film does not take place in Chinatown and the title may deceive a little the title is a fitting one.The beautiful cinematography perfectly captures 30's California and the twisting plot keeps you enthralled all the way through and with excellent support turhs from John Huston and Faye Dunaway, this is the best movie of its sort around. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by J.J Gittes at 21:11, 24 March 2008 | Report This Post


Nicholson best role ever ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bobbyperu at 09:36, 23 October 2007 | Report This Post


wow, this film was exemplary. the direction was gripping and the acting was magnificent. Nicholson in his best role here. The plot was also fantastic. this was the only film i have seen when i didn't want it to end ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dazz at 14:47, 13 April 2006 | Report This Post


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