User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 439 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 439

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  1. Apr 29, 2015
    10
    Throughout his 50-year career, and especially in his great films, director Stanley Kubrick had a penchant for taking the novels of others and re-shaping them to fit his own vision. Of the 16 movies Kubrick directed (including his final feature, Eyes Wide Shut), the film maker was credited with script involvement in 12 of them. For that reason, 2001 is not referred to as "Arthur C. Clarke'sThroughout his 50-year career, and especially in his great films, director Stanley Kubrick had a penchant for taking the novels of others and re-shaping them to fit his own vision. Of the 16 movies Kubrick directed (including his final feature, Eyes Wide Shut), the film maker was credited with script involvement in 12 of them. For that reason, 2001 is not referred to as "Arthur C. Clarke's 2001" but as "Stanley Kubrick's 2001." Dr. Strangelove is "Kubrick's Strangelove" not Peter George's. The motion picture version of The Shining owes a greater debt to the director than to author Stephen King. Similarly, the driving force behind A Clockwork Orange was more Kubrick than novelist Anthony Burgess.

    One of the first things that will strike anyone watching A Clockwork Orange today is how thoroughly modern it looks. If not for the presence of the youthful face of established thespian Malcolm McDowell, one could be forgiven the assumption that the movie was made far more recently than 1971. Unlike many of its contemporaries, A Clockwork Orange is in no way dated, and the issues it addresses are as urgent today as they were three decades ago. How many other films from the early '70s can make this statement?

    Part of the reason for the movie's contemporary look is Kubrick's forward-thinking philosophy of film making. From Lolita onwards, the director pushed the envelope. (In fact, one could argue that he did it before the 1962 film - overtly homosexual scenes from Spartacus were cut at the studio's insistence.) While human nature may not have changed since 1971, motion picture standards have. There is copious nudity, sex, and violence in A Clockwork Orange. And, while the sex is not pornographic and the violence is not explicit, they were pervasive enough to initially earn the movie an X rating. Today, the saltier elements of A Clockwork Orange fall into the mainstream of the MPAA's R category (and the film has since been re-classified as such).

    A Clockwork Orange is not an easy motion picture to absorb or digest. Oddly, the sex and violence are easier to take than the razor-sharp edge of Kubrick's satire and the corresponding awareness of its pinpoint accuracy when addressing the issue of the dehumanization of people. As I write this in 1999, the extremities of A Clockwork Orange have not come to pass, but society is slowly moving down the slippery slope that the movie cautions against. I have the disturbing feeling that if the solution to crime proposed by the film (brainwashing) was medically and economically feasible, the government would leap onto the bandwagon. When one character speaks of our willingness to "sell liberty for a quieter life," it strikes an ominously familiar chord. Under its current mayor, New York City has yielded numerous freedoms in return for a reduction in the crime rate. And in Russia, the famished citizens would give up all their newly acquired rights for the promise of full bellies.

    Distinct images often play a significant part in Kubrick's films. After all, 2001 was essentially one memorable image after another. A Clockwork Orange doesn't offer the same kind of visual kaleidoscope, but it has its moments. One is of four crucified Christ statues positioned so that they appear to be in a chorus line. Another features Alex on the attack with a giant sculpture of a penis. A third is the infamous "Singin' in the Rain" rape scene, where Alex mimics Gene Kelly while assaulting a woman. And a fourth is the climactic tableau with the media taking photographs of the Minister of the Interior and a bedridden Alex.

    It is difficult to rank A Clockwork Orange in Kubrick's body of work. Its look and approach are unique, but not as visionary as 2001. It's tone is bitingly satirical, but it's not as corrosive as Dr. Strangelove. Few, however - even the movie's critics - would debate that it leaves a forceful impression, and, when you study the reason for that, you uncover the evidence of genius. A Clockwork Orange has a universal message. Admittedly, it's one that many would prefer not to hear, but to deny the importance of its central themes or to dismiss the movie as a descent into debauchery is to ignore both an artistic achievement and a cautionary tale. A Clockwork Orange is not a pretty or comfortable experience. It does not pander to the crowd-pleasing mentality that shapes the structure of many films. (In that scenario, a Rambo-like Alex would have avenged himself upon all of his wrongdoers in the final fifteen minutes.) But it demands thought, compels the attention, and refuses to be dismissed. And, for that reason, A Clockwork Orange must be considered a landmark of modern cinema.
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  2. Apr 27, 2015
    9
    A poetic study of violence and what makes us humans, A Clockwork Orange is masterful work of art that ranks as his (Stanley Kubrick) second best film, following 2001
  3. Jan 23, 2015
    10
    Kubrick's film version of Burgess' book asks what is worse? The violence of the individual or a society that turns the individual into something stripped of free will or thought? Provocative now as it was on release, "A Clockwork Orange" challenges the audience and provides a film that is unforgettable.
  4. Dec 20, 2014
    10
    Stanley Kubrick's most controversial picture, "A Clockwork Orange" is more then pure sex on the screen.
    Kubrick's marvelous screenplay shows to the audience several critics about nowadays society. Sexism, corruption, ignorance and anarchism.
  5. Sep 3, 2014
    10
    Kubrick asks difficult questions with his film "A Clockwork Orange" such as the true meaning of good and evil. "A Clockwork Orange" is very disturbing and shocking yet entertaining and darkly funny. It's intriguing, well-acted, and beautifully shot, and I highly recommend it.
  6. Jun 8, 2014
    10
    One of Kubrick's best films, and based on one of my favorite novels, A Clockwork Orange not only delivers great visuals and great acting, but characters so vile they sadly feel real.
  7. Mar 4, 2014
    10
    Off the bat, I can surmise this is Kubrick, with the camerawork and lighting effects. But what makes it so diametrically opposing to the sci-fi masterpiece '2001', is the social satire of violence and how it is "incurable", with nor possibility of reformation. This is, in essence, an ultra-violent manifestation and visualization of the phrase, "you are what you are". Malcolm McDowell'sOff the bat, I can surmise this is Kubrick, with the camerawork and lighting effects. But what makes it so diametrically opposing to the sci-fi masterpiece '2001', is the social satire of violence and how it is "incurable", with nor possibility of reformation. This is, in essence, an ultra-violent manifestation and visualization of the phrase, "you are what you are". Malcolm McDowell's eerie and whimsical performance is one of the best I've seen from such a young actor then. Stanley Kubrick never stops to amaze. He truly is, one of the greatest. Expand
  8. Feb 12, 2014
    9
    A Clockwork Orange uses of a taboo topic to actually rally against the same topic. The fact that Kubrick does that so persuasively earns the movie bragging rights immediately. Also, the movie leaves you with a feeling of remorse and eeriness that it becomes hard to shake off.
  9. Jan 11, 2014
    10
    Rape. Murder. Drugs. Singing in the Rain. Droogs. Milk. Bars. Government corruption. Free Will. Beethoven. Nothing more can be asked to create a movie more memorable, classic, and legendary than this, "A Clockwork Orange".

    In the Kubrick classic, "A Clockwork Orange" exemplifies itself from most other movies, in that it begs the viewer to ponder the question as to whether it is morally
    Rape. Murder. Drugs. Singing in the Rain. Droogs. Milk. Bars. Government corruption. Free Will. Beethoven. Nothing more can be asked to create a movie more memorable, classic, and legendary than this, "A Clockwork Orange".

    In the Kubrick classic, "A Clockwork Orange" exemplifies itself from most other movies, in that it begs the viewer to ponder the question as to whether it is morally just for the government to intervene and condition members of society stripping their free will in order to benefit themselves. The movie ultimately proves that nothing, even with the best of conditioning, can take away the free will of any man and what he feels within his heart and soul.

    While this movie is often scoffed at and disregarded as a movie of poor taste, "A Clockwork Orange" is a film that prevails in establishing itself as a monumental statement in cinema. Despite the love and hatred this movie receives, there is no denying that everyone who sees the film leaves with a fantasizing love for the Ninth Symphony. In conclusion, "A Clockwork Orange" is a beautiful and perfect masterpiece that deserves to be recognized and regarded as not only a classic of our time, but also the prime example of how a movie should be directed and executed. 10/10. Collapse
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  10. Dec 26, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This film is a piece of art. It looks stunning, and captivates you from the beginning. Kubrick immerses you in the world his film is set in through colour, shadow and camera trickery. McDowell offers the perfectly uncomfortable mix between humour and horror, keeping the audience on edge and unsure of how to feel. Should we laugh when the woman's jumpsuit is torn off of her? Is the massive sculpture of a penis used as a weapon funny or disturbing? That's the beauty of Kubrick, and in many ways Burgess' novel everything is up in the air and nothing is certain. A mesmerizing, confusing and disorientating watch that will shock, baffle and overjoy. Better than the book. Expand
  11. Dec 2, 2013
    9
    Right when I thought I had seen the oddest film ever, a new contender comes along. Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange is extraordinarily weird, yet also brilliant. Not only is it beautifully filmed (as expected), but it raises numerous cultural issues as well. Odd, elegant, violent, and brilliant, A Clockwork Orange is certainly a classic.
  12. Nov 12, 2013
    9
    Felt probably a bit over acted. There were some great scenes_ sometimes shockingly violent, other times downright hilarious. There was a fair amount of erotic nudity so be advised. But it also tended to drag a little bit. There was simply too much extraneous detail. The score was lively. I think the lead actor did a wonderful job, if not the others. It was a satire of the modern ageFelt probably a bit over acted. There were some great scenes_ sometimes shockingly violent, other times downright hilarious. There was a fair amount of erotic nudity so be advised. But it also tended to drag a little bit. There was simply too much extraneous detail. The score was lively. I think the lead actor did a wonderful job, if not the others. It was a satire of the modern age justice system where it prefers to mend the ways of hardened criminals instead of sticking it to them.

    The dialogue was tailored to the circumstances and didn't feel natural. I watched it with an objective mind, as I watch everything else, but I couldn't shake the feeling toward the end that the audience was somehow required to feel bad for Alex as the society turned the tables on him. How he conveniently ran into the same people he had wronged in the course of a single day is beyond my tolerance for the device known as the suspension of disbelief, which is there to help enhance entertainment, not to infuriate by insulting people's intelligence. The worst part was that I predicted the ending precisely.

    I just feel like documenting just the events of his life without the underlying moral of the story would have been a better way to go about it. And I seriously don't believe celebrating Alex's depraved urgings was very responsible. But I never hold it against a movie for doing that. If someone is attracted to crime by watching crime movies, it's hardly the director's fault. Everyone is responsible for their own actions. The plot, though, was sufficient for the story that they sought to tell.

    I recommend that everyone watch this movie at least once. However, I can't say with certainty that I'm going to enjoy watching it again, for it's a bit long and there simply wasn't much going on to warrant such a length.
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  13. Sep 25, 2013
    9
    This would have to be the most graphic Kubrick film I've seen. It's not a pleasant ride. Some of the things you see are very disturbing and shocking. But it's a challenging film. It challenges a lot of things we assume. The main character turns from a total into a really sympathetic character we root for. It's disturbing but also thought provoking. Some people may not understand it butThis would have to be the most graphic Kubrick film I've seen. It's not a pleasant ride. Some of the things you see are very disturbing and shocking. But it's a challenging film. It challenges a lot of things we assume. The main character turns from a total into a really sympathetic character we root for. It's disturbing but also thought provoking. Some people may not understand it but it's a standout film. Expand
  14. Sep 19, 2013
    10
    This movie falls into the hit or miss category, either you'll love it or hate it.
    In the futuristic world of a clockwork orange we meet Alex and his three friends that like to cause trouble at night to satisfy their inner need for violence and self pleasure, and this is where the hit or miss part really starts kicking in. The movie tries to make the viewer enjoy the violence, feel
    This movie falls into the hit or miss category, either you'll love it or hate it.
    In the futuristic world of a clockwork orange we meet Alex and his three friends that like to cause trouble at night to satisfy their inner need for violence and self pleasure, and this is where the hit or miss part really starts kicking in. The movie tries to make the viewer enjoy the violence, feel sophisticated, so if you repel the violence there really isn't much to enjoy and I see that. But for me personally it hit spot on, and in some cases it worked so well that when the movie was released some youth reenacted one of the less pleasant
    scenes in real life (although that is quite unfortunate).

    The story of the movie has us asking about human rights, individual freedom and if a criminal like Alex does even deserve it after all he's done, and at the end of the movie we're asked if it was good or not what had happened, I won't go into spoilers but it's a sort of yes/no question where we really need to look at the pros and cons of the situation to figure out of it was right or not.
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  15. Jun 2, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Possibly the most strangest movie out there; which is fitting knowing the director Stanley Kuebrick, and that what make it so great. The story itself is very interesting, showing us the daily life of psychotic high schooler. That alone is worth a viewing. This obviously Malcom Mcdowell best known performance, seriously try and think of another good movie he was in. He does this role so perfectly that you can't help but love him, despite what horrible vile acts he does. So what makes this movie so enjoyable is the main character and the journey he goes through, but what good is that without obstacles to overcome? From gang fights, rape, breaking and entering, and government experimenting. While each bit is interesting and entertaining, the experimenting is a bit confusing. While it is one of the most famous scenes, afterwards it causes a bit of confusion. I know that we get to see a lot of Karma finally pay off for him, but the overall message is a bit hard to determine. Supposedly he lost his will; figuratively, so that means he can't fend for himself, that sounds nice, but I can't help that the director was trying to say more but was lost. That doesn't matter anyways, this is still an awesome, brilliant, outstanding movie. Expand
  16. May 27, 2013
    9
    Posted on 5/23/13 10:17 AM
    Coens struck a tense pitch black drama with this one lifted by performances all around one of the most tense films ever made
  17. Apr 9, 2013
    10
    This is certainly Stanley Kubricks greatest film along with The Shining. Malcom Macdowell delivers an amazing act with a such brutal but likeable character. This film is one of the greatest cinematic experiences with a chilling start and a warming end. 10/10!
  18. Jan 6, 2013
    9
    Film at new heights! The story of a man's crazy life through a self centered narcissist who has no moral compass. Performances that are amazing and direction that makes you feel the power of the story!
  19. Nov 14, 2012
    9
    A Clockwork Orange is a work of art from Stanley Kubrick. Each shot and sequence is lovingly crafted for supreme visual impact. The plot is interesting, the language is unique and the acting is great. A Clockwork Orange is truly a 'one-of-a-kind' movie.
  20. Nov 8, 2012
    10
    Twisted and brilliant, haunting and hypnotic, A Clockwork Orange is one of the most complex and troubling films I've ever seen.
  21. Jul 11, 2012
    10
    I turn 40 next month and it took me, a huge film lover, this long to see "A Clockwork Orange." In fact, I still haven't seen "Dr. Strangelove." Some film lover, huh? Well, I'd like to think that waiting this long has made me appreciate the genius behind Kubrick's style a lot more than I would have 20 years ago. Anyone who would read this has probably already seen the film, so there isI turn 40 next month and it took me, a huge film lover, this long to see "A Clockwork Orange." In fact, I still haven't seen "Dr. Strangelove." Some film lover, huh? Well, I'd like to think that waiting this long has made me appreciate the genius behind Kubrick's style a lot more than I would have 20 years ago. Anyone who would read this has probably already seen the film, so there is no need to rehash the plot. Instead, I want to specifically point out that Kubrick's consistent way of taking whatever twisted source material he is using to tell the story his way, no matter how much it may differ from the original, shows how incredible he was at not just choosing the right material, but filtering it literally and figuratively through lenses that show the viewer a little about what made him tick. Yes, it may come across as intentionally shocking, but he does it without seeming like he is intentionally doing it. He truly conveys a sense of artistic intent around his effort. It's not just trying to tell the viewer a story, but showing, via film, the grittiest, most impactful way to experience that story to get the most not just out of the plot, but every nugget of crisp detail. By now I've read numerous articles about how Kubrick made his individual films. A common message I get is that his genius and his end product is always thought of as top rate, but that those with whom he worked, even the original writers of the source material, conflicted with him. He demands a lot of his talent, reduces them to their barest art and brings out the best in them. This process isn't entirely enjoyed or appreciated by those with whom he worked, but I've seen a lot of films with the actors he uses and I cannot point to many, if any, efforts those actors do away from Kubrick that are better than the one they did with him. Malcolm McDowell is as perfect in "A Clockwork Orange" as I have ever seen him. His performance was raw, real, demented and just perfect. I was astounded to learn that one of the creepiest, most disturbing element of the film was him singing "Singin in the Rain" while beating the writer and meticulously preparing to brutally rape his wife, was improved by McDowell and not originally called for in the scene. The dichotomy of the brutal scene and the uplifting song amplified the creepiness of it all the more, proving that Kubrick had his actors right where he needed them to be. Expand
  22. May 17, 2012
    10
    My favorite movie of all time. It asks what i think is one the most important question of them all. Does society need to be changed before it gets out of control? And a clockwork orange answers that with an enthusiastic no. Their may be people in this world that are complete sociopaths, but they shouldn't be forced to be good. We deserve to make our own choices, and if we do wrong, then weMy favorite movie of all time. It asks what i think is one the most important question of them all. Does society need to be changed before it gets out of control? And a clockwork orange answers that with an enthusiastic no. Their may be people in this world that are complete sociopaths, but they shouldn't be forced to be good. We deserve to make our own choices, and if we do wrong, then we suffer the consequences accordingly. Alex suffers, but he shouldn't be brainwashed into being something he's not. If we want to be good and grow as a society, we must make that choice ourselves. This movie is called "controversial" but all that means to me is that it has a very important lesson to teach us, and it does. Expand
  23. Jan 10, 2012
    10
    An absolutely fantastic film. This movie's strangeness, and disturbing features are perfect. I have never seen a movie quite like this. truly one of the best movies i've ever seen. this film had not only crime and violence, and the disturbing ways of some people, but it also showed disturbing ways in our society. It even relates to our society right now. it shows corruption secretsAn absolutely fantastic film. This movie's strangeness, and disturbing features are perfect. I have never seen a movie quite like this. truly one of the best movies i've ever seen. this film had not only crime and violence, and the disturbing ways of some people, but it also showed disturbing ways in our society. It even relates to our society right now. it shows corruption secrets propaganda use. it has a bit of everything, I have already rewatched it several times and it is and will remain one of my all time favorite movies, but be warned this movie is not for children or people easily disturbed. it has language, violence, strong sexual content. many sexual themes. if ur gonna see this movie be prepared for a movie like u have never seen before, although it may not be as bad as some of the movies today, it still is disturbing. Expand
  24. Jan 10, 2012
    10
    How can someone look at this Kubrickian masterpiece and call it trash? Clockwork has enough social, governmental, and psychological commentary packed in 1 1/2 hours of film than the entire new slop of "classics" that have come out in the past 20 years.
  25. Nov 29, 2011
    10
    A masterpiece, a cult hit, one of the most famous movies of all times. What more can you say? I mean how can you deny the power behind it? This is simply cinema at it's finest.
  26. Sep 26, 2011
    10
    There are no words that really can describe how good is this movie, Stanley Kubrick was a genius, each movie he made is just perfect, his camera work was just fascinating
  27. Aug 4, 2011
    10
    My favorite movie of all time. One of Kubrick's masterpieces. Primarily, Malcolm McDowell's performance is not to be missed. In fact CO features a brilliant cast throughout. The script is still more innovative than anything to hit the screen since. Walter Carlos's synthesizer score is exhilarating, and still sounds cutting edge. The cinematography and art director are absolutelyMy favorite movie of all time. One of Kubrick's masterpieces. Primarily, Malcolm McDowell's performance is not to be missed. In fact CO features a brilliant cast throughout. The script is still more innovative than anything to hit the screen since. Walter Carlos's synthesizer score is exhilarating, and still sounds cutting edge. The cinematography and art director are absolutely first rate. 5 stars; 100%; the Real Deal. Expand
  28. Jul 4, 2011
    10
    Kubrick's interpretation of Anthony Burgess's novel not only follows the plot nearly perfectly (the ending is changed to help market American audiences and to coincide with Kubrick's ideals) but, also, expresses all the ideas through a new medium. Brilliantly shot, wonderfully meaningful, and uniquely acted, "A Clockwork Orange" will grab it's audience and redefine any previous conceptionsKubrick's interpretation of Anthony Burgess's novel not only follows the plot nearly perfectly (the ending is changed to help market American audiences and to coincide with Kubrick's ideals) but, also, expresses all the ideas through a new medium. Brilliantly shot, wonderfully meaningful, and uniquely acted, "A Clockwork Orange" will grab it's audience and redefine any previous conceptions of film as art. This movie excels in Kubrick's ability to affect the audience; the shots, and images present in this film create direct discomfort in it's audience. This ability, which Kubrick mastered, helps make "A Clockwork Orange" a prominent movie in film history. Expand
  29. Jul 2, 2011
    9
    Innovative, spectacular and refreshing the strange acts and a perfect art department make this film stand out above the rest. I wasn't completely impressed with the film until nearly two hours in. I felt it was an artistic piece with little to no meaning. However, A Clockwork Orange is a portrait of modern day rebellion and the reality of life.
  30. Jun 2, 2011
    10
    The best film I've ever seen. Definitely the best Kubrick movie...
    Also noticed a lot of people saying to read the book beforehand or you won't understand it? I never read the book until a good 2 months after seeing the film and it made perfect sense to me...
  31. Mar 10, 2011
    10
    This movie is seriously good. It is an artistic achievement of wonder with incredible scenes with a bad-ass combining of images and music that at the end has incredible quality.
  32. Feb 27, 2011
    10
    "That is me. That is a superb film." The book was amazing, and so was this film. A masterpiece in sort. Right when it started and i saw Alex's evil smirk, i knew just then that it would be a great movie. The movie is about horrible stuff, but it's captured so greatly that it could only be one word, and one word only: Masterpiece.
  33. Sep 23, 2010
    10
    Kubrick marvellously questions toward the society about the 'real' definition of virtue and evil. Kubrick successfully followed the original storyline (of course, some of the storylines are deviated from the original) and attracted the audiences to make a different point of view.
  34. Aug 27, 2010
    10
    It's so goddamn weird...yet I love it. At first I wasn't sure what to think of it, but after a second viewing it grew on me. It stays fairly loyal to the novel, as well.
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. A chilling classic, the movie is a scabrous satire about human deviance, brutality, and social conditioning that has remained a visible part of the ongoing public debate about violence and the movies.
  2. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    80
    A brilliant nightmare... The film employs outrageous vulgarity, stark brutality and some sophisticated comedy to make an opaque argument for the preservation of respect for man's free will - even to do wrong.
  3. The first punk tragicomedy, a chain-whipped cartoon meditation on Good, Evil, and Free Will that is as seductive as it is tasteless. That Kubrick misjudged the distance between comedy and cruelty seems to be unarguable.