Chinatown Synopsis
A 1930s private eye (Jack Nicholson) uncovers corruption and murder.
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings



An outstanding picture.
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By Andrew O'Hehir
But the greatness of Chinatown, unappreciated by my adolescent self, lies not in its cynical view of the California dream (that's too easy)...
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TV Guide

A wonderfully brooding, suspenseful revisitation of the land of film noir, Chinatown is not only one of the greatest detective films, but...
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Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
[Nicholson's] performance is key in keeping Chinatown from becoming just a genre crime picture--that, and a Robert Towne screenplay that...
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Entertainment Weekly

By Ty Burr
But it's Polanski who pries the genre open until it goes metaphysical.
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By James Berardinelli
A nearly flawless example of movie composition, with close examination revealing how carefully it was put together. For those who take a...
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Chicago Reader

A bit abstract, though gorgeously shot (by John Alonzo) and cleverly plotted (by Robert Towne), Polanski's film suggests that the rules of...
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Village Voice

By Jessica Winter
In 1974 a director, a screenwriter, and a producer (Robert Evans, who for once deserves a few of the plaudits he's apportioned himself)...
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The New York Times

By Vincent Canby
Mr. Polanski and Mr. Towne attempted nothing so witty and entertaining, being content instead to make a competently stylish, more or less...
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Chicago Tribune

By Gene Siskel
As much as I admire the work of both (Roman) Polanski and (Jack) Nicholson, I found Chinatown tedious from beginning to just before the end....
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By brucebarbara
a true classic, well worth seeing. wish theatres in tucson would do more of this....

A Classic Worth Revisiting!

By cwalton
They really don't make them like this anymore. "Chinatown's" a classic L.A. film noir with Jack Nicholson in a breakout performance as weary, smart-guy private eye Jake Gittes. There are a...

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By heathart
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"Chinatown" has too many flaws, making it one of the most overrated films of all time.

By Dominic LeRose
Crime films tend to cast the largest spells on viewers who seek a compilation of many gritty, lurid, enthralling emotions and characters. "Chinatown" is one of the most highly praised films of all...

Goin Down on chinatown

By king of the silents
Chinatown is like a seven course meal at a fine restaurant. Polanski serves it up in the slow, methodical manner of a great culinary chef. Leading us through the plot devised by Towne tempting us...

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Rated R
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Pause for kids 16 & under Great hardboiled detective film. Not for kids.
Read the Common Sense Media Review