Five Easy Pieces

Five Easy Pieces

Five Easy Pieces

A drop-out (Jack Nicholson) from upper-class America picks up work along the way on oil-rigs when his life isn't spent in a squalid succession of bars, motels, and other points of interest. Five Easy Pieces is a key work in the American New Wave with its haunting portrait of alienation and one of Nicholson's greatest performances. Noted critic Roger Ebert: "We'd had a revelation. This was the direction American movies should take: Into idiosyncratic characters, into dialogue with an ear for the vulgar and the literate, into a plot free to surprise us about the characters, into an existential ending."

1970Rating: R1698 minsUSA
DramaClassic

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Five Easy Pieces / Reviews

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

We'd had a revelation. This was the direction American movies should take: Into idiosyncratic characters, into dialogue with an ear for the vulgar and the literate, into a plot free to surprise us about the characters, into an existential ending.

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The New York Times

The New York Times

Rafelson is expert at supporting this movement, and the film proceeds from scene to scene with a quiet competent modernism that bespeaks quality, but that more often begs than provides expression.

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Variety

Variety

The film's nervewracking quality is consistent with its content. Nicholson's performance is a remarkably varied and daring exploration of a complex character, equally convincing in its manic and sober aspects.

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Time Out

Time Out

It's not a particularly subtle film, but it is a magnificently insightful and engaging one, flipping effortlessly from icy realism to heated melodrama while always maintaining a darkly comic, at times quietly satirical undercurrent.

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Total Film

Total Film

Both spirited road movie and existential journey.

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The New Yorker

The New Yorker

The flaws of this acutely self-conscious 1970 road picture grow more obvious with every passing year, but so does its passion and eloquence.

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Village Voice

Village Voice

A very modern film. Elliptical, absurdist, harshly humorous, convulsively lyrical.

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Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

A key turn-of-the-decade film, with Nicholson railing against waitresses and barking at noisy dogs as Rafelson observes seedily picturesque roadside America.

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