One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

With an insane asylum standing in for everyday society, Milos Forman's 1975 film adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel is a comically sharp indictment of the Establishment urge to conform. Playing crazy to avoid prison work detail, manic… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: November 19, 1975
DVD Release Date: December 9, 1997
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
95%
Flixster
User Score
96%

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Critic Score: 95% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: The onscreen battle between Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher serves as a personal microcosm of the culture wars of the 1970s -- and testament to the director's vision that the film retains its power more than three decades later.

Tom Huddleston
Time Out

Unlike its frontman, this multi-Oscar-winning drama hasn't aged particularly well.

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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

One Flew over the Cuckoo 's Nest is an earnest attempt to make a serious film. But in the end the movie backs away from both the human reality and the cloudy but potent symbolism that Ken Kesey found in the asylum.

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Tara Brady
Irish Times

The sexual politics have dated, yet conversely, Cuckoo's overlap with Michel Foucault's ideas on the construction and socio-political appropriation of madness remains potent and urgent.

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Kathleen Carroll
New York Daily News

Nicholson explodes on the screen in a performance so flawless in timing and character perception that it should send half the stars in Hollywood back to acting school.

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James Berardinelli
ReelViews

Viewed 30 years after its release, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest remains a very good motion picture, although one that perhaps just misses the pinnacle of greatness where its reputation suggests it resides.

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Wendy Ide
Observer (UK)

It's not just Nicholson's performance that makes this film a masterpiece; it's the fact that Forman was able to prevent that performance from capsizing the whole enterprise.

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Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly

There's a lot here. But with a classic like Cuckoo's Nest, too much is never enough.

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A.D. Murphy
Variety

Jack Nicholson stars in an outstanding characterization of Ken Kesey's asylum anti-hero, McMurphy, and Milos Forman's direction of a superbly-cast film is equally meritorious.

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Edward Porter
Sunday Times (UK)

Whatever you make of the counterculture sentimentalism in the film's story of a rebellious mental patient, [Nicholson's] performance is superb, a showcase both for his wolfish glints and for his more subtle abilities.

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Flixster Audience Score: 96% Flixster User Reviews
Film Crazy
Another classic that doesn't fully engage me.
Mark Hobin
At first, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest would seem a depressing film. The setting is a mental institution. The colors are drab. The milieu is bleak. Many… More
Carlos Magalh„es
Jack Nicholson is super charismatic as a free-spirited character who refuses to abide by the rules at a mental institution, in a great drama that has its best… More
Jens S.
Jack Nicholson steering up shit in a mental institution is one of the greatest films of the 70s and maybe his best performance among so many outstanding ones.… More
Mister Caple
Jack Nicholson in his grandest form. "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" from 1975 is one of the greatest American films of all time that… More
Liam Gadd
And this doesn't have a 100% rating on RT because...........?