User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 456 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 56 out of 456
Watch On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. JakeB.
    Aug 11, 2006
    10
    An almost perfect rendering of the novel by Anthony Burgess. Kubrick's use of classical music somehow insulates the viewer from the true horror of the violence. The set and costume design is a visual feast. Kubrick never ceases to amaze this viewer.
  2. DanielS.
    Oct 9, 2009
    10
    To be perfectly honest, i loved the first part (until 41:35)... it was legendary beyond belief. A nice, warm vibratey feeling all through your guttiwuts.
  3. bill
    Jul 10, 2009
    10
    This is indeed one of Stanley Kubrick best films. Malcom Macdowell was cast perfectly as Alex del Large and I can't believe he didn't get an Acadamy Award nomination for this role. Truly a classic.
  4. AiwassT.
    May 5, 2010
    10
    Its brilliant and yet brilliantly disturbing which is exactly the point. It was meant to be just a little over the top , most satire is.
  5. MichaelM.
    Oct 23, 2004
    10
    Untill 1971, the song "Singing in the Rain" from the movie "Singing in the Rain" was a nice happy song. After 1971, most people who hear it think about the use of it in "A Clockwork Orange". The main character, Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) sings it as he and his so-called droogs, beat up an older gentleman and rape his young wife. This violent, and sometimes unbearable to watch scene Untill 1971, the song "Singing in the Rain" from the movie "Singing in the Rain" was a nice happy song. After 1971, most people who hear it think about the use of it in "A Clockwork Orange". The main character, Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) sings it as he and his so-called droogs, beat up an older gentleman and rape his young wife. This violent, and sometimes unbearable to watch scene is what makes this film so interesting, good, and daring. I think this film is an excellent horror/fantasy/sci-fi flick! Personally, it is one of my favorite movies. The direction is absolutley brilliant, the writing is very good, the acting is great (Malcolm McDowell hands in a haunting, scary, and impecable performance that is still memorable today). In my opinion, Stanley Kubrick's best film. Too bad he's dead! (1/31/03) Expand
  6. C.W.
    Aug 8, 2004
    10
    One of the few movies that is better than the book, and the book is excellent. It's like nothing you've seen before.
  7. CTL
    Oct 24, 2009
    10
    Futuristic in that even now, we watch movies featuring gratuitous decadence and ultra-violence, and A Clockwork Orange still retains all of its moral and artistic impact. A provocative worldview and reflection of individuals as well. Definitely requires a good amount of maturity from the viewer.
  8. PatC.
    Dec 5, 2003
    10
    Unprecedented when it came out and unparalleled since. Not pleasant to watch in parts, but sensually and intellectually compelling throughout. Kubrick has found a way to thoroughly engross us in a character (Alex) we care nothing about. And it's a cautionary tale to not forget the world is full of people whose moral compass Alex would even find wanting, and not discount the possible Unprecedented when it came out and unparalleled since. Not pleasant to watch in parts, but sensually and intellectually compelling throughout. Kubrick has found a way to thoroughly engross us in a character (Alex) we care nothing about. And it's a cautionary tale to not forget the world is full of people whose moral compass Alex would even find wanting, and not discount the possible sources of their redemption. Expand
  9. MikeM.
    May 2, 2003
    10
    One of the top 10 movies of all time.
  10. DanC.
    May 3, 2004
    10
    Though this isn't as good as the book, this is one of Kubrick's best films.
  11. JesseS.
    May 3, 2004
    10
    Bombastic, brutal, disturbing, and thoroughly compelling. A visionary, and visual, masterpiece. Groundbreaking, gripping, and decades after release, more relevant than ever.
  12. Erick
    Oct 5, 2005
    10
    A real masterpiece! A must see for anyone who considers a serious moviegoer.
  13. brentoni
    Nov 3, 2007
    10
    Arguably Kubrick's best; my favorite movie of all time.
  14. VikJ
    Jan 29, 2008
    10
    Kubrick's a genius and you can't help but be entertained by the mischief of McDowell's character.
  15. SeanH
    Dec 1, 2009
    10
    Chicago reader.....why must you bring this briliant movie down? If metacritic knew any better, they would take that shite review down. This movie is genius, as is kubrick.
  16. ConnorC
    Mar 9, 2010
    10
    It is disturbing alright, but it is brilliant for what Stanley Kubrick directed for this. It is weird too, but who cares? I love it!
  17. AlexDeLarge
    Dec 14, 2003
    10
    One of the greatest films ever created.
  18. JamesM.
    Dec 20, 2005
    10
    Ebert, you fail once again. This movie is a classic, chilling masterpiece of cinema. However, I did find this line quite amusing: "Alex has been made into a sadistic rapist not by society, not by his parents, not by the police state, not by centralization and not by creeping fascism -- but by the producer, director and writer of this film, Stanley Kubrick."
  19. FrederickS.
    Mar 18, 2005
    10
    One of the great films of the 20th century.
  20. JarrodO.
    Jan 18, 2006
    10
    best sureal movie ever one of my favorites as for the negitive comment he chose the first release of the book where the editor cut the part of him growing up. look like YOU should have done your reasearch also the slang is just based of the nadsat.
  21. Ryencoke
    Jul 23, 2006
    10
    This is one of the greatest movies ever made.
  22. D
    Apr 28, 2007
    10
    It is easy to see as all the other ratings on this movie there is no line here you love this movie or you hate this move I love this movie and all of Kubricks movies including Eyes Wide Shut there will never bee another director like him and I am happy about that he was one of a kind and for all the pepole that dont know look at his ratings on other films in sci-fi, horror and war.
  23. Davud
    Nov 12, 2008
    10
    An absolutely brilliant film. Funny, disturbing, visually superb, well-acted. Above all, a film with a timeless message only second in its satirical glory to Dr. Strangelove.
  24. JackT.
    Oct 26, 2008
    10
    One of Kubrick's finest movies.
  25. KieranF
    Dec 7, 2008
    10
    An essential classic.
  26. TomP
    Dec 9, 2009
    10
    From start to finish, the best movie I've ever seen.
  27. JoseC
    Jun 25, 2009
    10
    Ted K, im sorry about you, this is one of the greatest movies ever made, a classic, im not saying you are stupid or something like that, im just saying you have to admit it was a good movie, a really good movie, at least you gave it a 2, not like the morons who give it a 0. it surprises me that it was made in the 70's, i watched it in the school while i was studying about the "super Ted K, im sorry about you, this is one of the greatest movies ever made, a classic, im not saying you are stupid or something like that, im just saying you have to admit it was a good movie, a really good movie, at least you gave it a 2, not like the morons who give it a 0. it surprises me that it was made in the 70's, i watched it in the school while i was studying about the "super man" of Niietzche and i felt in love of it. sorry if my english is not good. Expand
  28. AlexDeLarge
    Dec 14, 2003
    10
    One of the greatest films ever created.
  29. emskds.
    Sep 28, 2005
    10
    I really have to go down on my knees for this film, i mean the culture, the texture, and the whole subjective toward this movie is amazing.
  30. KennethM.
    May 18, 2006
    10
    This movie, and the book, are rather a bit like seven samurai, in that if you have never seen it, you are incomplete.
  31. AlanA.
    Dec 30, 2007
    10
    Easily one of the greatest movies ever filmed. Some are blinded from its violence and sexuality and just see it as a horrific film. Sad. Kubrick is awesome!
  32. PaulM.
    Feb 13, 2008
    10
    Quite simply THE GREATEST FILM EVER MADE.A masterpiece in every sense of the word,I cannot by any stretch of the imagination see this film being bettered or even arguably equaled.This film is stunning ,awesome ,and jaw droopingly brilliant in every aspect. Genius
  33. JimT.
    Aug 28, 2009
    10
    To take away a man's freedom of choice, no matter what the choice, is to take away humanity. Why do we root for poor Alex at the end? What's the matter with us? It's a testament to Kubrick's genius and his unrelenting style that this movie, once seen, will not leave. And by the way, Malcolm McDowell must have had to endure the most trials of just about any leading To take away a man's freedom of choice, no matter what the choice, is to take away humanity. Why do we root for poor Alex at the end? What's the matter with us? It's a testament to Kubrick's genius and his unrelenting style that this movie, once seen, will not leave. And by the way, Malcolm McDowell must have had to endure the most trials of just about any leading actor to date, to a mesmerizing result. Truly a masterpiece. Expand
  34. SeanM.
    Nov 12, 2003
    10
    To the person who didn't get it, are you an idiot. Don't answer its a rhetorical question. This movie is a classic and the reviews on this site do not do it justice whatsoever.
  35. Kenny
    Nov 25, 2008
    10
    One of the greatest movies of all time. Its completely mesmerizing from beginning to end.
  36. FrankB
    Dec 18, 2009
    10
    Anyone who dislikes this film obviously didn't understand it's brilliance and they should be eugenized or have their kids exterminated to stop the flow of stupidity in society. Tell Ted K and the asshole from Chigo reader that im gonna rape their wives and kill her with a giant dick statue just like my homeboy Alex did in the movie.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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
  40. 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.
  41. 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
  42. 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.
  43. 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
  44. 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...
  45. 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
  46. 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
  47. 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.
  48. 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
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. 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!
  52. 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
  53. 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.
  54. 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
  55. 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.
    Expand
  56. 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
    Expand
  57. 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.
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
    Expand
  61. Paul
    Oct 3, 2005
    9
    If you haven't read Burgesses book, the British version that is, you'll not understand that Kubrick was working sans the 21st chapter. Regardless, the film is a sylistic acheivement. As for the moral outrage displayed by at least one reviewer, sorry, you missed the point. Gloopy you are.
  62. BrunoP.
    Oct 1, 2004
    9
    Why did metacritics use a score from Chicago Reader that gave 20%, while others gave it about 90%? Who is Chicago Reader when they can lower the rating by 10% Clockwork Orange is not a best movie of all time, but its a excellent piece of art.
  63. MichaelR.
    Oct 10, 2007
    9
    Malcolm McDowell gave such a wonderful performance. I believe that his performance was the backbone of the movie.
  64. YoonC.
    Sep 14, 2003
    9
    Kubrick's conception of the futuristic world of nihilistic bowlerhatted punks is supremely inspired and visionary; simultaneously grand and very keen to the smallest details. On display is an imagination of the highest order, prophetic ability of great intellect and intuition. However, the film, perhaps unavoidably, minimizes the moral core of Burgess's book and remains stalled Kubrick's conception of the futuristic world of nihilistic bowlerhatted punks is supremely inspired and visionary; simultaneously grand and very keen to the smallest details. On display is an imagination of the highest order, prophetic ability of great intellect and intuition. However, the film, perhaps unavoidably, minimizes the moral core of Burgess's book and remains stalled as a triumph of style than a penetrating query on the subject of free will vs. scientific conditioning. Expand
  65. JoshL
    May 16, 2010
    9
    Frank B. you are the reason this film doesn't get taken seriously sometimes. The idea of the film is that criminality is wrong, yet is it right to not be criminal if it isn't upon ones own free will? Is criminality a simple act of rebellion or is it something more? Its interesting and philosophical and obviously not appreciated by a fool like you who enjoys the horrific violence.
  66. Alexandre
    Jul 24, 2003
    9
    One of the best films ever made.
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. 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.
    Expand
  71. 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!
  72. 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
  73. 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.
  74. 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
  75. 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
  76. 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
  77. JustinoR.
    Nov 7, 2004
    8
    This movie was crazy! Real artistic. Stanley Kubrick once again gives us an entertaining show about Alex and has gang life. Don't let your kids watch it though. Their's alot of tense stuff.
  78. KateG.
    Jun 2, 2004
    8
    I find it shocking how underated Malcolm McDowell is as an actor, even today!
  79. AndrewM.
    May 9, 2004
    8
    I'm not gonna piss in this film's pocket and say it's the greatest film ever made, because I don't believe it is, but it is a brilliant piece of work, particularly by Kubrick and all the actors. It's such a different sort of film, artsy you might say, that it really is impossible to be fully prepared for the onslaught that is the first viewing. But if you make it I'm not gonna piss in this film's pocket and say it's the greatest film ever made, because I don't believe it is, but it is a brilliant piece of work, particularly by Kubrick and all the actors. It's such a different sort of film, artsy you might say, that it really is impossible to be fully prepared for the onslaught that is the first viewing. But if you make it half way, you'll make it to the end, and by that time should have imbibed some of the film's strong and relevant themes. Worth watching. Expand
  80. Oct 1, 2010
    8
    http://mashupmash.blogspot.com/2010/09/clockwork-orange.html

    Figured it was about time I sat down and watched this movie...so I did. I went in knowing it's a cult classic and loads of people talk about it and like it. When I was finished with it, I had to take a moment and recollect what I just saw. To me at first it was just a bunch of scenes that just tried to be weird. Everything
    http://mashupmash.blogspot.com/2010/09/clockwork-orange.html

    Figured it was about time I sat down and watched this movie...so I did. I went in knowing it's a cult classic and loads of people talk about it and like it. When I was finished with it, I had to take a moment and recollect what I just saw. To me at first it was just a bunch of scenes that just tried to be weird. Everything about this movie was just so weird. Sort of wish they explained some of it more but that's a minor complaint. I also wish I read the book before hand so I'd perhaps have understood it much better. But nonetheless I think I got the point it was trying to make. Overall, I did really like this movie. While I wish the weirdness of everything was sort of explained I still liked it, same with the "futuristic" setting. I give this a 4 out of 5.
    Expand
  81. Aug 31, 2011
    8
    Stanley Kubrick did a good job with this film, i though for the time (1971), this was a huge step in film industry, like the robberies, the drugs, the violence, the nudity, everything, so in that aspect i liked to see a film like that being made in that time. Some scenes were very shocking and weird, but that's part of the movie, it's the way the director wants to show to the public, theStanley Kubrick did a good job with this film, i though for the time (1971), this was a huge step in film industry, like the robberies, the drugs, the violence, the nudity, everything, so in that aspect i liked to see a film like that being made in that time. Some scenes were very shocking and weird, but that's part of the movie, it's the way the director wants to show to the public, the intensity of this film. So it's a good 8. Expand
  82. Oct 6, 2011
    8
    Stanley Kubrick asks the audience a difficult question of whenether the sins of mankind should be adjusted or not. His film "A Clockwork Orange" doesn't really answer the prompt, but reflects it back to the audience and makes them deeply think about what morale we are exposed to, and if the morale we believe in is just or unjust.
  83. Aug 16, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. for me this entire movie is just a bunch of unpleasant events that happen around Alex's life. he obviously has a horrible disorder that just makes him enjoy all of the pain that he causes people. this doesnt mean that the movie is bad, in fact, its very good. but if you are not up to watching two hours of murder, rape, torture, pain, and a lot of violent retribution, then pass this movie up. but just a warning, even if you can stand those types of actions, dont expect to be able to breeze through the movie. i have a very strong resistance to feeling uncomfortable to movies like this, and it really brought up a bunch of uneasiness and depression. its a movie thats good ,but not enjoyable to watch Expand
  84. PeterJ.
    Dec 31, 2007
    7
    After hearing about this movie for many, many years I finally decided to watch it when I saw it was available in Blu Ray. The beginning of the movie was a 10, but lost it's luster after a while. Overall, still a very good movie, especially being made in the 70's.
  85. MarkK.
    Jun 24, 2007
    7
    I first saw this movie in college and was awed by it. I just watched it over the weekend, 20 years later, and was disappointed. The book is better -- as are other Kubrick films: 2001, Dr. Strangelove, and The Shining. "Clockwork" is a miss, not a hit.
  86. Jul 31, 2014
    7
    A much promising film, "A Clockwork Orange" copes with some social issues, and, even hard to watch at times, it fulfills its promise. A more shocking film then rather than now, it indirectly tests its audience views on violence, evil, insanity and its causes, while openly discussing freedom and human rights. McDowell's performance is so brilliant, that even his opening the film by staringA much promising film, "A Clockwork Orange" copes with some social issues, and, even hard to watch at times, it fulfills its promise. A more shocking film then rather than now, it indirectly tests its audience views on violence, evil, insanity and its causes, while openly discussing freedom and human rights. McDowell's performance is so brilliant, that even his opening the film by staring at the camera fully illustrates his character's complex personality. The soundtrack incredibly matches the film's gloomy and creepy feel, and Kubrick's direction is engaging. A cruel experience that, despite its extreme nature, is certainly thought-provoking. Expand
  87. FelixQ.
    Jul 25, 2006
    6
    An important piece of cinema history- but the acclaim is wasted. Kubrick did not make movies- he was pleasing himself (I'm sure you can assume the very nice word I'd like to use here, but I'll refrain) McDowell makes this film an entity, but still it falls flat in it's lofty attempts. Somehow, it feels like he was trying to ascertain his power, and carve out his An important piece of cinema history- but the acclaim is wasted. Kubrick did not make movies- he was pleasing himself (I'm sure you can assume the very nice word I'd like to use here, but I'll refrain) McDowell makes this film an entity, but still it falls flat in it's lofty attempts. Somehow, it feels like he was trying to ascertain his power, and carve out his individuality with this film. "I'm different! I'm special! I shock, I horrify- deal with it!" I have no problem with the violence or nudity, it's the severe blandness of the film that put me off. However, I do think that Malcolm McDowell's performance here is a singular shining moment, and the fact that the concept it brilliant saves this from being horrendous. Expand
  88. Jan 7, 2011
    6
    Shocking movie. It's a masterpiece and it's more than evident that Kubrick was a genius. But to much violence and sex in it. This is not the reality what it is shown in this movie. There is no use to make it so brutal.
  89. VikkiC.
    Mar 1, 2010
    5
    After this film was first released, many cases of (Copycat) was reported. A 16 year old British boy pleaded guilty for attacking an old man, saying he had seen in it the film. The press related the violence in the film to many cases of (Copycat.) Cases like this caused Stanley Kubrick to withdraw the film from British release. Even though this film looks closely on Human deviance, the After this film was first released, many cases of (Copycat) was reported. A 16 year old British boy pleaded guilty for attacking an old man, saying he had seen in it the film. The press related the violence in the film to many cases of (Copycat.) Cases like this caused Stanley Kubrick to withdraw the film from British release. Even though this film looks closely on Human deviance, the film had its reasons for being banned. It had a big impact on British society, and even though it is a good film, we have to justify what impact it left on society. Expand
  90. BenB.
    Dec 30, 2009
    5
    The worst movie ever, with an actor whose script and facial expressions I happened to enjoy tremendously. The movie completely blows horribly, it makes no sense whatsoever, and if the plot is taken seriously would be maddening. But the main character, the narrator, is unusually cheery and he uses uncommon language, which I found enjoyable.
  91. KyleA.
    Dec 22, 2004
    5
    Where the hell is Stanley Kubrick going with this film? He may have gotten the tone right, but that's about it. And, while i love ALL of his other films, this one just shows what a pretentious, pornographic, arrogant bastard he can be. I was sufficiently horrified throughout, but the director doesn't seem to acknowledge Alex's horrific nature, and there is no explanation Where the hell is Stanley Kubrick going with this film? He may have gotten the tone right, but that's about it. And, while i love ALL of his other films, this one just shows what a pretentious, pornographic, arrogant bastard he can be. I was sufficiently horrified throughout, but the director doesn't seem to acknowledge Alex's horrific nature, and there is no explanation for it--none visible in Kubrick's created society. In this, Kubrick is not true to Burgess's masterpiece. Expand
  92. AdrienneM.
    Dec 6, 2004
    5
    I gave this piece of work a five because as one of Stanley Kubrick's works it is beautiful and fabulously directed but the entire time I watched it I thought he most likely did not research it much or he would have used the correct ending, more correct usage of Nadsat and so forth. He disgraced the book yet glamourized the movie.
  93. Dec 21, 2011
    5
    Not my kind of movie, and it's definitely not one of worlds or Kubricks greatest movies either. I never liked the characters in this movie and it allways gives me a bad feeling. An overrated movie.
  94. Oct 16, 2013
    5
    I've always had mixed feelings about this film. Although hailed as masterpiece and regular darling of the art house lovers, to me it's just a little bit messy, chaotic and pretentiously involved piece. The main problem as it seems to me is that, Kubrick here addresses issues of deeply political nature without clearly specifying his ideological perspectives, resulting in ambiguous andI've always had mixed feelings about this film. Although hailed as masterpiece and regular darling of the art house lovers, to me it's just a little bit messy, chaotic and pretentiously involved piece. The main problem as it seems to me is that, Kubrick here addresses issues of deeply political nature without clearly specifying his ideological perspectives, resulting in ambiguous and confusing work. Now the ambiguity might be welcomed in ethereal and metaphysical meditations such as "2001" but when targeting the political as he does here, it is irritating. Or, as Mr. Ebert said, "The Clockwork Orange" is ideological mess. Expand
  95. Mar 23, 2013
    5
    I'm raising my review score of this movie slightly, but I'm still not going to reccomend it. There are some things about this movie which are well done. It's hard to believe it came out in 1971 with its camerawork, and alex is very creepy. Kubrik also gives the movie lots of unique style. There are still some things in the movie however which cut down my score for it greatly. ThisI'm raising my review score of this movie slightly, but I'm still not going to reccomend it. There are some things about this movie which are well done. It's hard to believe it came out in 1971 with its camerawork, and alex is very creepy. Kubrik also gives the movie lots of unique style. There are still some things in the movie however which cut down my score for it greatly. This movie can be very dirty. There's graphic nudity, pointless sex scenes, and lots of other things which should have not been put into the movie. Chief among its offenses is a scene where alex is beating jesus and the film tries to make this funny. That's just plain evil. I know Kubrik wanted shock value but the beatings of random pedestrians and Alex's sadistic demeanor were shocking enough. After Alex goes to jail it also becomes kinda boring. The movie is too finely crafted to give a negative score, but FAR too immoral to reccomend. Expand
  96. Cy
    Jul 13, 2003
    4
    A very over-rated movie, I just didn't get it.
  97. Mar 23, 2014
    4
    The film, just like the original book it's based on, presents some very interesting questions, such as "To be a bad person with free will, or to be a good person without any will at all?" Unfortunately, "A Clockwork Orange" is terribly resolved. From bad casting, writing and acting to awkwardly horrendous costume design and art decoration, everything in this film just feels so off andThe film, just like the original book it's based on, presents some very interesting questions, such as "To be a bad person with free will, or to be a good person without any will at all?" Unfortunately, "A Clockwork Orange" is terribly resolved. From bad casting, writing and acting to awkwardly horrendous costume design and art decoration, everything in this film just feels so off and uninviting. I would not watch this film again because of its meaning, but because it is just simply very badly done. Expand
  98. TelyS
    Nov 24, 2003
    3
    I'm a huge fan of cinematic realism and violence, but this has to be, along with the abysmal Scarface, one of the most overrated films there is. Fans can spout as many praising buzzwords as they like, but there's not a moment to enjoy on any level of this garbage.
  99. Apr 25, 2011
    3
    I don't understand what people see in this movie. I couldn't really follow this movie at all. Just a couple of teenagers trying to take over their town, and they do it by beating up innocent people and raping women. It's also unbelievably wierd. Their are some strange scenes that were so weird, I scratch my head and tried to figure out what's going on. It also gets more weird in theI don't understand what people see in this movie. I couldn't really follow this movie at all. Just a couple of teenagers trying to take over their town, and they do it by beating up innocent people and raping women. It's also unbelievably wierd. Their are some strange scenes that were so weird, I scratch my head and tried to figure out what's going on. It also gets more weird in the middle, I don't know what I was watching. The end kinda gets a little depressing, I pretty much just pulled the plug and said "goodbye" to this movie. I never read the book, but some people told me that the book is better than the movie. I guess I'm not a fan of films like this. Expand
  100. Jan 22, 2015
    3
    I was really on the wrong side of this film. But I've given A Clockwork Orange more than a fair chance. To me, it just doesn't work - not just narratively, it doesn't even work thematically. It's essentially meant to be this very ambitious and intimate character study that reflects the flaws in the society and the present thinking etc etc. But the problem is, Kubrick never breaks into theI was really on the wrong side of this film. But I've given A Clockwork Orange more than a fair chance. To me, it just doesn't work - not just narratively, it doesn't even work thematically. It's essentially meant to be this very ambitious and intimate character study that reflects the flaws in the society and the present thinking etc etc. But the problem is, Kubrick never breaks into the psychology of the central character through the course of the film. He did so brilliantly in Eyes Wide Shut but here, I felt like a distant observer. I hated Alex from start to finish and I don't think it was meant to be that way. Even in Raging Bull, a film with the most despicable central character imaginable, eventually drew sympathy. That's because we got to know why LaMotta did what he did and it's done so powerfully. His penchant for self-destruction was just an exaggerated version of what everyone goes through - hurt oneself for causing pain to others. A Clockwork Orange doesn't even aim at the sort of depth.
    But film does develop some ideas through the first 2 Acts but at the very end, it throws it all out of the window. Ambiguous endings work very beautifully with films like 2001 but here it felt like Kubrick himself couldn't make up his mind about the social norms. So then why make an entire movie about it?
    Expand
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.