Clerks Image
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 90 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: It's one wild day in the life of a pair of overworked counter jockeys, whose razor-sharp wit and on-the-job antics give a whole new meaning to customer service. Even while braving a nonstop parade of unpredictable shoppers, the clerks manage to play hockey on the roof, visit a funeral home and straighten out their offbeat love lives. The boss is nowhere in sight, so you can bet anything can and will happen when these guys are left to run the store. [Miramax] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. 90
    Randal is a beautiful hostile piece of work that only could have come from America. He's the sort of guy who never put in a quality day at the office in his life, but somehow probably winds up winning the biggest lotto drawing ever with a ticket he stole from his loser best friend's Quickie Mart.
  2. 88
    Nothing, no matter how outrageous, is beyond Smith, and his willingness to flaunt cinematic taboos is one of the reasons why Clerks is such a unqualified success.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    A randy, irreverent, slice-of-life no-budgeter that's played for laughs and gets them.
  4. The latest slacker manifesto, Clerks lacks the grunge artistry of either "Stranger Than Paradise" or "Slacker," but it's a fast, likable 90 minutes at the movies.
  5. Much of "Clerks" is extremely funny and dead-on—in terms of its intentionally satirical, Gen-X-istential gloom.
  6. Even augmented by the priceless commodity of Smith's talent, $25,575 can only be stretched so far. Apparently, it won't buy you a stellar cast - some very strong lines receive some rather flat deliveries. And some distinctly lame scenes survive the chopping block.
  7. If not all the gags work, the overall irreverence and all-American anomie are fairly contagious.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 30
  2. Negative: 4 out of 30
  1. Mar 11, 2013
    10
    Clerks can sort of be looked as the proof of faith and hard work, proof of constant man hours to put together a dream that could just either kill you or bankrupt you, and Kevin Smith did exactly that, he put all his credit cards and life savings on the line for this movie, and he created an astoundingly authentic and human comedy that deservedly started his career.
    We follow Dante, (Brian O'Halloran) who has had to go and work in his local convenience store on his day off, and we basically follow his daily routine of working in retail, dealing with customers, but also dealing with his own personal grievances with his love life and his care-free best friend, Randall (Jeff Anderson).
    Randall works in the video store next door, and couldn't be more bored with listening to the typical customer, something which he doesn't hide in front of them. Dante, on the other hand, spends most of the film debating whether to meet up with his ex-girlfriend, all the while being annoyed at the sexual conquests of his current girlfriend.
    What makes this film so enjoyable and real is the dialogue and perhaps a little exaggerated situations that these two hapless workers find themselves in, selling tobacco to underage children, having fussy customers, having difficult customers, all in a days work.
    Where the true comedy lies though is with Randal, whose interesting topic of the Star Wars saga is sheer comedy at its best, simply because its ordinary to think these things, there is no big-budget comedy writer to insert some mediocre quip for cheap laughs, but genuine, albeit ridiculous, scenarios where the best of us I'm sure have found ourselves in.
    Kevin Smith, also starring as Silent Bob, a muted drug dealer along with his eccentric pal Jay (Jason Mewes), has created all these interesting and dynamic characters that have chemistry, real chemistry simply because there was little money involved, it was realistic and true. The dialogue is extremely witty and paints a picture of these guys who have to serve you, but they truly know they can do better with their lives. Shot entirely in black and white, the editing is rough and the shots aren't pitch perfect, but thats what makes the film pure genius, because it is close to the heart and full of enough laughter and drama to make every person who second thinks their life choices to step up and take what they want...masterful work.
    Expand
  2. Feb 26, 2014
    10
    "Clerks." isn't a big budget movie with a big name director, but it seems that this flick has surpassed such blockbusters (Pearl Harbor, I'm looking at you.) Nothing is too taboo for this movie, whether it be the plethora of porno video titles Randal reads out in the presence of a child, or the discussion between Dante and Veronica of how many men she's performed oral sex on. Either way, this movie made me laugh, cringe and gag, and you don't have to be stoned to watch it. Expand
  3. May 25, 2014
    10
    Clerks is a movie about a day in the life of two convenience store clerks Dante Hicks(O'Halloran) working in the quick stop and his best friend Randal Graves(Anderson) working the the video store next door. One thing you can't deny is that Kevin Smith's films have great dialog and this being his first film everything is at the top of its game. Scene after scene of them giving eachother **** Randal being rude to the customer or even sometimes the customers being rude back and they even close the stores down either to play hockey or go to an old friends wake. Also Jay and Silent Bob just chilling outside the store the whole time selling drugs and messing around with Dante and Randal, blasting loud music, Jay talking crap to random people and hitting on women is awesome.

    Overall I give it a 10 Its amazing that kevin smith made this film out of his own pocket at least it got the recognition it deserves now with it being a cult film and Kevin Smith becoming a pretty well known director.
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  4. Jan 26, 2014
    8
    I had heard that Clerks was very funny and appealed to movie nerds especially. But it still totally surprised me for being incredibly witty and hugely enjoyable. Every character is memorable and unique. Every line is quotable and piss yourself funny. Every scene is better than the one before it and impeccably written. The only flaw I have with Clerks is that in some places the humor becomes a bit too juvenile and dirty. Which is strange because most of the time it is one of the wittiest comedies I have ever seen. Dante and Randal's debate over the death of innocent Death Star construction workers in Return of the Jedi was hysterical. But the funniest part of the movie without a doubt was the one line of the correctly named Silent Bob when giving advice to Dante on girls and lasagne. It deserves it's cult status 100% and should have got even more recognition than it did. Which was a lot anyway! Absolutely hilarious and surprisingly sweet in some places. Expand
  5. Jan 24, 2014
    7
    Clerks is a fantastic movie, and Kevin Smith's best work.
    i mean the fact that he made an entire movie based on 2 to 3 characters are just
    impressive,
    i had a few outrageous laughs now and then but I'm more impressed by the dialog exchange,
    the screenplay was over the top, with characters that so down to earth that anyone can relate to,
    i mean I've seen a lot of Kevin Smith work but this is the root of his success, the writing, the screenplay and the fact that the movie has a story and a view on the way that a person can see his life,
    it's really impressive, this shows that talent will pop up and delivered even with cheap production, few characters and few events.
    Expand
  6. Sep 7, 2011
    7
    Looking for a laugh till you cry comedy? Not gonna find it here. Looking for an in-depth plot? Not gonna find that either. Clerks has plenty of funny moments, but it's more likely to give chuckles than huge guffaws. It is very artistically done however, and it is very relatable. Definitely a comedy classic, though. Expand
  7. Sep 18, 2012
    5
    Clerks is overrated. It's mildly funny at times but has a very unnatural flow in it's script. People just don't talk the way they do in clerks. The movie feels like a group of comedy soliloquies thrown together by the town-hall drama club. Disappointing. Expand

See all 30 User Reviews

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