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: MA15+98 minsUSA
DramaClassic

Streaming (2 Providers)

Reviews & comments

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

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.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

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.

Variety

Variety

press

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.

Time Out

Time Out

press

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.

5.0
Total Film

Total Film

press

Both spirited road movie and existential journey.

5.0
The New Yorker

The New Yorker

press

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

Village Voice

Village Voice

press

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

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

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

5.0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

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.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

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.

Variety

Variety

press

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.

Time Out

Time Out

press

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.

5.0
Total Film

Total Film

press

Both spirited road movie and existential journey.

5.0
The New Yorker

The New Yorker

press

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

Village Voice

Village Voice

press

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

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

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

5.0

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