Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 88 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: The story of Mickey and Mallory, serial killers involved in a cross country killing spree that elevates them from fugitives into media celebrities. (Warner Bros.)
Watch On
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. 100
    Like all good satirists, he knows that too much realism will weaken his effect. He lets you know he's making a comedy. There's an over-the-top exuberance to the intricate crosscut editing and to the hyperactive camera.
  2. An entertaining but exhausting satire on tabloid media and the way they feed our thirst for violence, Natural Born Killers stars Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis, in banshee-out-of-hell performances, as serial killers Mickey and Mallory Knox -- a trashy, gonzo/weirdo version of Bonnie & Clyde. [26 Aug 1994, p.C1]
  3. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    88
    Natural Born Killers is going to be a love-it or hate-it film. But it's an important film. Pumped up, jumped up, yet asking the right questions, [it] is more than an attention-grabber. It's a grenade pitched into the media tent. [26 Aug 1994, p.51]
  4. A maniacal, hallucinogenic dip into the bloodbath drawn by a pair of mass murderers, it's the quintessential Stone opus - topical, testy, and wildly controversial, as brilliant or egregious as you wish it to be. [26 Aug 1994, p.C1]
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    70
    More bombast than bombshell, Natural Born Killers is still sufficiently schizoid to infect a viewer with a nasty case of ambivalence. [30 Aug 1994]
  6. Reviewed by: Desson Howe
    60
    One doesn't leave this movie profoundly shocked about our collectively inured state, or the fact that Stone got us to laugh at caricatured violence. One merely leaves puzzled and wondering: Is that it? He's not telling us anything. He's riffing on a theme and--intentionally or not--contributing to the junk pile he supposedly decries.
  7. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    38
    Stone calls this bile satire. But satire takes careful aim; Killers is crushingly scattershot. By putting virtuoso technique at the service of lazy thinking, Stone turns his film into the demon he wants to mock: cruelty as entertainment.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 17
  2. Negative: 5 out of 17
  1. Jan 1, 2011
    10
    Natural Born Killers will be one of the toughest movies to watch, one of the toughest movies to think about, and one of the toughest movies toNatural Born Killers will be one of the toughest movies to watch, one of the toughest movies to think about, and one of the toughest movies to digest. Its involvement of Mickey and Mallory Knox (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis, respectively) investing their time and their life on a cross country killing spree is completely and utterly iconic. As ironic as this idea sounds, their whole spree pertains to the media and the whole worldwide culture as in a way I have never seen in a film. That saying, the plot is basically the Knoxes on a killing spree throughout states in America. As straightforward as that sounds, it really isn't. After being followed continuously by a tabloid reporter named Wayne Gale (Robert Downey, Jr.) in hopes of receiving high rates for his tracking and reporting of the duo, the Knoxes eventually become superstars all in thanks to the media. During a few of their crimes portrayed on the screen, they tend to leave one person left alive in each of their sprees that reports to the media who really committed the crime. Throughout the film, Oliver Stone, the director, presents us to bizarre and strange scenes and images that signify how the Knoxes really came to be. An example of this is a 'Married...With Children' like-parody show named 'I Love Mallory' where it pictures Mallory's wretched life in the hands of her father who is sexually attracted to her, and her unusual mother. In scenes where her father makes a funny remark or touches her inappropriately there is a canned-laughter track in the background. It's a bizarre feeling but then again it presents Mallory's life through an outsider's eyes laughing at everything that's happening since it's not actually happening to them. These scenes, in my opinion, despite their rawness are actually beautiful in a way. Stone presents them in vivid colors and streams that exhibit fine art. A scene that really fascinated me is when Mallory and Mickey are together in a hotel room. They're embracing each other and there is a picture window facing the outside. Instead of seeing the night sky, we're shown to different pictures of Mickey's earlier life, and other random images that pertain to the scene as if they were projected off of a movie reel. Images and scenes like this help show the life that truly exists in Natural Born Killers, and not just what people see on the outside. What people really see on the outside though is the constant amount of violence that people expect to be in a movie dubbed 'Natural Born Killers'. What's so great about the violence is that it never really seems as bad as it really does. Stone makes us feel the need to imagine the violence to be extreme as it really is to leave more of a distinct nature in our minds instead of the constant spewing of gore and blood that many audience members expect to see, but are instead disappointed to witness something different entirely. While at times it does succeed to do that, the film never really focuses on the violence as much as it does with its characters. Mickey and Mallory Knox are completely insane, mad, blood driven, and all the synonyms that apply. They will literally kill anyone in their way as a simple man riding on a bike on the side of the road to innocent bystanders in a diner. They're completely scary and menacing, though they think that they personally aren't in many forms. They think that the true monsters are the rest of the majority, the ones that don't kill, such as the media and the liking. The great acting by Harrelson and Lewis is simply phenomenal. Their portrayal of 2 mass murderers is so spot on that they all just seem too real. At times during the film, we're able to see the crimes, etc. committed through the eyes of the Knoxes in a different approach. At times when they look at their victims, the screen is seen in black and white but when it goes back to facing the Knoxes the screen goes back to color. What I can think of this whole approach and aspect is that the Knoxes only see the world as black and white, the only colors that show their true lifestyle. Downey as the reporter, and Tommy Lee Jones as a prison warden are exceptionally great roles, both are hilarious at times and I caught myself off guard on several occasions laughing away at the dark comedic dialogue that each delivers. Natural Born Killers leaves an imprint in my mind, as I'm sure as it has done with so many others. It states in most parts that the actual killers aren't the worst part of the moral, it's actually the ones who present it, the ones in the media that help make the monsters who they really are, driving their bloodthirsty motives farther than ever. While not focusing on violence that seems overly abundant, Oliver Stone truly delivers a tour de force that delves into the deep dark roots of man. The roots that cause an impulse for us to kill whoever stand in our way at anytime. Really in some form or another, we are all Natural Born Killers. Expand
  2. Sep 2, 2010
    10
    ** The love story between Mickey and Mallory that is folded into this movie is one of the strongest love stories that I have seen in a movie** The love story between Mickey and Mallory that is folded into this movie is one of the strongest love stories that I have seen in a movie . . the bond between the two characters is absolutely amazing! Reguardless of what was going on in their life together, they always made sure it was known (without question) how incredibly much they loved eachother. It is truly heartwarming to see such a strong bond, such a true love, portrayed on film!
    ** The satire that is done here about "America's Media" and the way we portray murderers like movie stars because of all the attention we give people that commit obscene crimes, (like Charles Manson), is done extremely well!! Oliver Stone did a remarkable job making all of that come alive on screen!!
    ** This movie got (and continues to get) bad reviews, and honestly . . I don't know why it has received anything less than "two thumbs WAY up"!! Oliver Stone and all of the actors that helped create this script and bring it to life on screen deserve a pat on the back at the very least . . it is an intense, in-your-face look at crime, America's Media, and true love. I admire everyone that made this movie a reality and gave me a different angle to look at certain things from.
    Expand
  3. Mar 26, 2013
    9
    Natural Born Killers is written and directed like an all star and contains stunning performances from Woody Harrelson and Robert DowneyNatural Born Killers is written and directed like an all star and contains stunning performances from Woody Harrelson and Robert Downey Jr.(Juliette Lewis did good too). Oliver Stone gives an outrageously violent story and strong direction making it a near perfect film. However its dark tone is overexposed and at times uncomfortable making it inches from being on top 10 all-time lists. Expand
  4. Dec 18, 2014
    6
    I was a little indecisive on Natural Born Killers. It is just so weird! But it is different! This is a movie that will either love or hate. II was a little indecisive on Natural Born Killers. It is just so weird! But it is different! This is a movie that will either love or hate. I don't think there is a character in this movie that is not crazy. Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis were both really great as the movie's anti-heroes. I also have to give credit to Robert Downey Jr. for pulling off a great Australian accent for his character Wayne Gale. Olive Stone wanted to provide several themes with this movie and the only way to figure it out is the watch the movie yourself. Expand
  5. Nov 7, 2012
    4
    Tarantino's mistake was letting someone else direct his vision. This is not a criticism of Oliver Stone, but of how he interprets Tarantino'sTarantino's mistake was letting someone else direct his vision. This is not a criticism of Oliver Stone, but of how he interprets Tarantino's idea. Killers is a nonlinear mess, and comes off more like what its attempting to mock than the satire doing so. Expand
  6. Oct 13, 2011
    3
    This film never quite got off the ground for me. Harrelson and Lewis give decent performances along with an all-star cast. I was waiting forThis film never quite got off the ground for me. Harrelson and Lewis give decent performances along with an all-star cast. I was waiting for something more and each passing scene was as uneventful as the next. Yeah, the satire is evident, the case study is mildly interesting, and all of Stone's criticism and subliminal evaluations of society and the establishment are there, but it all just doesn't quite come together. The film is an edited mess and after viewing it, I found myself trying to figure out what everyone has been gushing about for the past 17 years. Expand
  7. DG
    Jun 23, 2009
    0
    This is the only film i have ever thought was so bad that i felt compelled to actually talk about on this. it was disgustingly bad. truly This is the only film i have ever thought was so bad that i felt compelled to actually talk about on this. it was disgustingly bad. truly awful. nothing and i mean nothing good came from this film. and im not one of these old people raving on about oooh theres to much violence, im a 16 yr old guy who likes violent films yada yada yada. films are supposed to invoke curiosity or fear or joy and inspire emotion. but this film was just bad. fucking quentin tarantino. Expand

See all 17 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. Ranked: 30 Best Road Movies of the Past 30 Years

    Ranked: 30 Best Road Movies of the Past 30 Years Image
    Published: November 3, 2010
    Friday's new comedy "Due Date" is only the latest example of one of Hollywood's favorite genres. Join us as we journey through three decades of road movies, from "Vacation" to "Sideways."