10 Best Jack Nicholson Movies To Watch Right Now: 'About Schmidt,' 'Batman' and More

best jack nicholson movies
Source: Rotten Tomatoes Classic Trailers/YouTube; Warner Bros. Entertainment/YouTube

May 1 2024, Published 8:06 a.m. ET

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About Schmidt

Jack Nicholson stars as Warren Schmidt in About Schmidt. The 2002 Alexander Payne-directed film focuses Warren Schmidt, who resigns as an actuary with Woodmen of the World. He feels useless while adjusting to his new life, but he discovers more about himself when he decides to attend his daughter's wedding.

Kathy Bates, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney, June Squibb, Howard Hesseman, Harry Groener, Phil Reeves, Matt Winston, Connie Ray and Len Cariou join the film's cast.

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As Good as It Gets

As Good as It Gets helped Nicholson earn one of his Oscars recognitions.

The 1997 film, which features Nicholson, Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear, tells the story of a rude writer who starts opening up after getting a task to look after his gay neighbor's dog. He eventually falls in love with a waitress, and he develops a friendship with everyone afterward.


Nicholson notably plays the role of Joker in Tim Burton's Batman in 1989, which sees Michael Keaton in the protagonist role, Bruce Wayne. The character disguises himself as Batman while stopping crimes in Gotham City, but he faces his greatest nemesis when the deformed madman takes over the city's criminal underworld.

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The 1974 Roman Polanski-directed film Chinatown is about a private detective hired by a woman to investigate her husband's activities. After realizing the woman is an imposter, he gets caught in a perilous world of corruption and murder.

Among Nicholson's costars include Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez and John Hillerman.

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Five Easy Pieces

An oil field worker begins his journey to reunite with his estranged family after learning about his father's ill health in Five Easy Pieces. The blue-collared worker, who has given up his career as a successful classical pianist, faces his wealthy, cultured family and experiences unfriendly treatment from them.

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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Oscar-winning film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest tells the story of a Korean War veteran found guilty of battery, gambling and statutory rape. He gets assigned to a work farm but soon pretends to be insane to have the authorities transfer him to a mental institution.

While he expects to have an easier life, he faces a tyrannical nurse whose iron fist challenges him.

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Ride in the Whirlwind

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Nicholson appears with Cameron Micthell and Tom Filer in Ride in the Whirlwind, which explores the lives of three cowboys mistaken for outlaw gang members while in Texas. In pursuit of saving themselves from the local authorities, their friendship gets tested until one survives.

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Terms of Endearment

Adapted from Larry McMurtry's novel of the same name, Terms of Endearment highlights the close relationship between a mother and daughter named Aurora and Emma. Their connection turns sour after the daughter marries a teacher against the matriarch's wishes.

While trying to move on after getting cheated on, Emma learns she has terminal cancer. Her health issue then pushes her to decide whether or not she should fix their family problems.

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The King of Marvin Gardens

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Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Scatman Crothers and Ellen Burstyn work together in the 1972 drama film The King of Marvin Gardens. Directed by Bob Rafelson, the film is about a radio personality and his con man brother who tries to include the former in his scheme.

Following the controversial scam, they find themselves in a spiraling tragedy.

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The Shooting

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The Shooting focuses on the story of a mysterious woman hiring two men to accompany her to a faraway town. While on their journey, the duo notices a gunslinger seemingly waiting to kill them.

Aside from Nicholson, Will Hutchins, Millie Perkins and Warren Oates play the main roles.


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