Five Easy Pieces 1970

Critics score:
86 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune: Nicholson makes it all go. He proves he is more than a "character actor" with many scenes, especially the confrontation with his father. Read more

Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader: The film embraces proletarian chic but still gets its laughs by abusing waitresses. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: The movie has more anger than it knows what to do with; that's its fascination and its weakness, too. Read more

Michael Sragow, 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. Read more

Roger Greenspun, 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. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: 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. Read more

Tom Huddleston, Time Out: The result is less a story and more a collection of incidents and character studies, all of which inform each other and extend our understanding of Nicholson's mode of survival: flight. Read more

Variety Staff, 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. Read more

Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice: It's a great work of the Discover America Seventies. Read more