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Even in an era of cinematic experimentation, Performance stands out as a visually daring major-studio film that deals with questions of sanity and identity rarely touched on in mainstream filmmaking. The elements of Performance certainly looked attractive to studio executives at Warner Bros. -- a gangster on the lam hides out in the home of a reclusive rock star -- especially since that musician was being played by Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. But co-directors Nicolas Roeg (who also photographed) and Donald Cammell (who wrote the screenplay) had much more in mind than a walk on the wild… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Pop stars continue to have bad luck in films."
‑ Jay Cocks, TIME Magazine
"Roeg's debut as a director is a virtuoso juggling act which manipulates its visual and verbal imagery so cunningly that the borderline between reality and fantasy is gradually eliminated."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"This hallucinogenic deconstruction of identity writhes with sex, substances, ultraviolence and good ol' rock'n'roll."
‑ , Total Film
"[VIDEO] "Performance" pioneered a slew of modern cinematic techniques adopted by such master filmmakers as Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Quentin Tarantino, and Gaspar Noé."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"It's not so much a linear story of one man's adventures as an enquiry into the nature of performance, gender and the very structure of society."
‑ Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film
"The movie is a facile enough pastiche of underground pyrotechnics and Euro-art pretensions, but far more evocative now is the fast, offhand repartee between the principals."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"It isn't altogether successful, largely because it tries too hard and doesn't pace itself to let its effects sink in."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Visually dazzling, finely acted investigation into such diverse matters as identity, sexuality, violence, power, and underground culture in late 1960s London."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Comes across as pretentious in spots but has not lost its '60s hallucinogenic suggestiveness. It haunts like the dream just out of reach of the rational concrete."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"Em sua estréia como ator, Jagger surpreende pela intensidade e expressividade, ao passo que Fox, um intérprete já consagrado à época, impressiona pela coragem em protagonizar um filme que retratou como poucos a insanidade da Londres daquele período."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"Rapture and boredom both seem valid responses."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"For all its hallucinatory excesses, however, Performance is a film of ideas, even if it's happier to let them swirl around than attempt to explain them."
‑ Keith Phipps, The Dissolve
"It put Roeg's powerful cinematic style on the cultural map for the first time."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"A grand Borgesian hall of mirrors"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"A strangely mesmerizing, innovative film whose artistic stature has increased largely due to its absorbing look at British crime and art worlds circa 1968, and riveting turns by Mick Jagger and James Foxx who exchange personalities in this tale."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
More reviews for Performance on Rotten Tomatoes