|United Artists | Release Date: November 19, 1975||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
A masterpiece. (9 Jan 1998, p.3D)
The story and the acting make the film emotionally powerful. And Nicholson, looking punchy, tired, and baffled--and not on top of his character (as he is often is)--lets you see into him, rather than controlling what he lets you see.
So good in so many of its parts that there's a temptation to forgive it when it goes wrong. But it does go wrong, insisting on making larger points than its story really should carry, so that at the end, the human qualities of the characters get lost in the significance of it all. And yet there are those moments of brilliance. Read full review
The supporting cast is flawless, with a special mention owed to Brad Dourif as poor, doomed Billy Bibbit. But the script lacks the woozy, otherworldly subtlety of Kesey’s book, relying instead on pop psychology and finger-pointing: once again, it turns out women are to blame for pretty much everything. Read full review
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