“Of course I’m respectable, I’m old! Politicians, ugly buildings and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.”

Noah Cross

Start the year as you mean to go on? “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.” A quintessential noir, Jack Nicholson plays a private eye in over his head when a simple investigation into infidelity leads to corruption and murder. Robert Towne’s writing is wonderfully layered with callbacks and crackling dialogue. It is Chinatown‘s wry cynicism that keeps it feeling fresh over 40 years later. Although the film’s final line may be its most famous, it is a barely discernable line mumbled by Jake Gittes moments earlier that reveals Chinatown‘s bleak truth about wealth and the ability for the powerful to buy their way out of consequence. If only that were less relevant today. If nothing else, a fitting way to close 2018.