Ryley Mann’s review published on Letterboxd:
In my original review of this MASTERPIECE, I gave it a 4.5/5. I really want to slap myself for being so stupid. Chinatown is a long side Goodfellas, the most perfect movie I've ever seen and one of the best movies ever made, EVER!!!
The story is incredible. Incredibly written, incredibly told and surprises told in incredible ways. Chinatown might just have the best written screenplay ever crafted and thought of. It's interesting, dark, disturbing, and even sometimes darkly funny( I still feel bad for laughing at the china man sex joke. Those who have seen the movie know what I'm talking about and why I feel bad).
Jack Nicolson gives one of his best performances in this movie and probably my favorite by him. JJ Gittes( Nicholson's character) isn't exactly someone you want to root for( he's crude and a bit of an ass), yet because of Nicholson's incredible performance, you find yourself for the most part rooting with him. That takes some damn good acting to take a character not written to be very likable and make him likable. Also, Jack Nicholson has been criticized before for not being entirely subtle. To those people, I point them to Chinatown. Seriously, his performance has a lot of subtleties that I didn't even notice when I reviewed it first. He's just incredible in this movie.
Faye Dunaway is also great here. Her performance is quite haunting and Dunaway pulls it off quite well. The rest of the cast does great as well. John Huston plays a very mysterious character who unfortunately I can't talk about, because of spoilers, but Huston plays this mysterious man quite well.
In my original review, I talked about how incredible the cinematography was. On this second viewing, it still is. Some great overheard shots that still hold up quite well for being a 42 year old movie. The lights and shadows are also used quite well, something to be commended.
The negatives I had the first time I watched the movie, I realize just how stupid they are. I complained that the first 40 minutes or so are quite slow( and they are). However, that shouldn't negate a point at all. The first 40 minutes try to ease you into the narrative and let some of the "reveals" of the rest of the movie have more of an effect. I also complained about the action sequences being poorly filmed, but they're only 2 or 3 and they're not long, so I shouldn't have really complained about them.
Watch Chinatown IMMEDIATELY. I don't care how you have to do it, just watch it. Pirate it or buy the blu ray, just do it. Here's the link for the blu ray on amazon www.amazon.com/Chinatown-Blu-ray-Steelbook-Various/dp/B00C2IJJLO/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1466647986&sr=1-1&keywords=chinatown+blu+ray . Hell, I'll link the dvd too, just watch it. www.amazon.com/Chinatown-Various/dp/B00AEFXN9G/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1466648031&sr=1-1&keywords=chinatown+dvd
One of the best movies you're ever going to see, period.
"Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown".