Five Easy Pieces
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A disaffected man seeks a sense of identity in one of the key films of Hollywood's 1970s New Wave. Once a promising pianist from a family of classical musicians, Bobby Eroica Dupea (Jack Nicholson, in his first major starring role) leads a blue-collar life as an oil rigger, living with needy waitress girlfriend Rayette (Karen Black) and bowling with their friends Elton (Billy "Green" Bush) and Stoney (Fannie Flagg). Feeling suffocated by responsibilities, Bobby seeks out his sister, Tita (Lois Smith), and, discovering that his father is gravely ill, he reluctantly heads back to… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The flaws of this acutely self-conscious 1970 road picture grow more obvious with every passing year, but so does its passion and eloquence."
‑ Michael Sragow, New Yorker
"Five Easy Pieces, a brilliant gem of American psychological realism (where are these movies today?), is Nicholson's arrival to the A-list."
‑ Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
"This superbly composed film comes as close to perfection as it gets."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"The movie is a succession of dazzling scenes."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"An American entry into the French New Wave starring a compelling Jack Nicholson."
‑ Wesley Lovell, Cinema Sight
"The movie has more anger than it knows what to do with; that's its fascination and its weakness, too."
‑ David Denby, New Yorker
"It's a great work of the Discover America Seventies."
‑ Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice
"A key turn-of-the-decade film, with Nicholson railing against waitresses and barking at noisy dogs as Rafelson observes seedily picturesque roadside America."
‑ Kim Newman, Empire Magazine
"The landscape photography of LŠszlů KovŠcs is a minor marvel, while the sound design is an intelligent complement to the sonorities evoked in the film's title."
‑ , Daily Telegraph
"Boasting a career best performance by Jack Nicholson in the lead role, Rafelson's movie is a penetrating study of American alienation."
‑ Jason Best, Movie Talk
"Nicholson makes it all go. He proves he is more than a "character actor" with many scenes, especially the confrontation with his father."
‑ Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune
"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."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"The film, superbly directed by Rafelson, shifts the late 1960s hippy drop-out genre into the Ingmar Bergman class: it's cerebral, yes, but also moving and witty."
‑ Adrian Turner, Radio Times
"The feature is anchored by Nicholson's performance, in which he demonstrates his unique ability to swiftly shape-shift from a cheeky sweet-heart into a volatile beast."
‑ Simon Miraudo, Quickflix
"moves from scenes of quiet desperation to moments of great black humor"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
More reviews for Five Easy Pieces on Rotten Tomatoes