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78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 439 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Kubrick makes of Anthony Burgess' celebrated novel a savage and satiric morality play centering on Alex (McDowell), who fights, robs, rapes and kills like any concsienceless predator. Captured and imprisoned, he undergoes treatment to condition him "safe", a "clockwork orange" healthy andKubrick makes of Anthony Burgess' celebrated novel a savage and satiric morality play centering on Alex (McDowell), who fights, robs, rapes and kills like any concsienceless predator. Captured and imprisoned, he undergoes treatment to condition him "safe", a "clockwork orange" healthy and whole on the outside - but crippled within by reflex mechanisms beyond his control. (Warner Bros.) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. 100
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    100
    Kubrick's liberal, anti-authoritarian reading of Anthony Burgess's very Catholic allegorical novel is morally confused but tremendously powerful... No serious moviegoer can afford to ignore it.
  3. 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.
  4. It seems to me that by describing horror with such elegance and beauty, Kubrick has created a very disorienting but human comedy, not warm and lovable, but a terrible sum- up of where the world is at... Because it refuses to use the emotions conventionally, demanding instead that we keep a constant, intellectual grip on things, it's a most unusual--and disorienting--movie experience.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 20
    A very bad film--snide, barely competent, and overdrawn--that enjoys a perennial popularity, perhaps because its confused moral position appeals to the secret Nietzscheans within us.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 88 out of 108
  2. Negative: 11 out of 108
  1. Sep 23, 2010
    10
    Kubrick marvellously questions toward the society about the 'real' definition of virtue and evil. Kubrick successfully followed the originalKubrick 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. Expand
  2. 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 andThroughout 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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  3. 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 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. Expand
  4. JackT.
    Oct 26, 2008
    10
    One of Kubrick's finest movies.
  5. 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'tInnovative, 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. Expand
  6. 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 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. Expand
  7. Aug 1, 2013
    0
    This movie deserves to burn in hell. I only watched one short scene to prove that this movie is a terrible piece of garbage. I hope that theThis movie deserves to burn in hell. I only watched one short scene to prove that this movie is a terrible piece of garbage. I hope that the characters in this movie get beaten to death. I hope people who actually like this movie change their mind and break the disc. This movie deserves nobody's time. Expand

See all 108 User Reviews

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