Clerks

Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17

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Critic Reviews

  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. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    90
    Though the politically incorrect language is tough enough to have earned Clerks an initial NC-17 rating (re-rated R on appeal), its exuberance gives it an alive and kicking feeling that is welcome and rare. [19 Oct 1994]
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    A randy, irreverent, slice-of-life no-budgeter that's played for laughs and gets them.
  5. Reviewed by: Clark Collis
    80
    Smith's script simply crackles with an endless succession of humorous gags and on-the-ball observations while Anderson's brilliant performance as the shop assistant from hell is worthy of a film 100 times as expensive.
  6. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Amy Gamerman
    80
    Rough around the edges, it's humor decidedly sophomoric in parts. But that's part of its charm. [19 Jan 1995, p.A16(E)]
  7. 78
    Although a few bits (the film is done in blackout sketch style) fall flat and a good ten minutes could be shaved off the running time with no visible damage, it's an impressive and irascible debut that rings true even when you're laughing too hard to hear it.
  8. 75
    Within the limitations of his bare-bones production, Smith shows great invention, a natural feel for human comedy, and a knack for writing weird, sometimes brilliant, dialogue.
  9. 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.
  10. Much of "Clerks" is extremely funny and dead-on—in terms of its intentionally satirical, Gen-X-istential gloom.
  11. The New York Times
    Reviewed by: Elvis Mitchell
    70
    [Smith] also has an uncommonly sure sense of deadpan comic timing. [25 Mar 1994, p.C10]
  12. 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.
  13. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    63
    A few crude verbal exchanges nearly got Clerks an NC-17 rating; some (not all) of these provide some of the funniest moments in a film that's funny about 30% of the time. [24 Oct 1994]
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 180 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 35
  2. Negative: 4 out of 35
  1. Aug 23, 2010
    5
    Convenience store worker, deals with odd customers, Video store friend helps out, plays hockey, splits up with girlfriend, gets back with oldConvenience store worker, deals with odd customers, Video store friend helps out, plays hockey, splits up with girlfriend, gets back with old ex.
    "Stoner" comedy which is basically a film of short sketches based around the store, some work, some don't & then it all more or less comes together at the end. Not as funny as I'd heard it was.
    Full Review »
  2. 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 inClerks 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. Full Review »
  3. Jul 21, 2011
    10
    I loved every bit of this movie. Kevin Smith's directorial debut has the charm of a well-made, well-written, well-shot, and well-compositedI loved every bit of this movie. Kevin Smith's directorial debut has the charm of a well-made, well-written, well-shot, and well-composited independent masterpiece. While Kevin Smith certainly has some better films (like Clerks II and Chasing Amy), the one that made him a star is always going to lay in my mind as the film that cheers me up. Full Review »