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74

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

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7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 65 Ratings

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  • 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.)
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. 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]
  3. 88
    Natural Born Killers is visually complex and thematically simple. Mixing film and video, black-and-white and color, morphing and animation, Stone breaks visual ground here for a major studio release. [26 Aug 1994, p.B]
  4. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    75
    Wildly unconventional, corrosively satirical, savagely violent and vulgar, Natural Born Killers is more self-consciously radical (in form, if not necessarily in content) than any other major studio release in recent memory.
  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. A brilliant mess, I suppose, in the way that seriously disturbed people can sometimes deliver a briefly mesmerizing vision of the universe while babbling. If nothing else, Natural Born Killers is the most in-your-face movie ever released by a major Hollywood studio. [25 Aug 1994, p.A10]
  7. 38
    As a satire on the media's infatuation with violence and murderers, Natural Born Killers hits the bullseye. The problem is, this is a one-note movie. It repeatedly hammers home the same point until the audience is bludgeoned into senselessness.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 14
  2. Negative: 4 out of 14
  1. 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 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
  2. Jul 31, 2012
    10
    Brilliantly done statement of our current stage of evolution. Some quotes;


    [[[[[ Mister rabbit says that my only realization is
    worth a thousend prayers. ]]]]]
    [[[[[ From where you're standing you're a man, from where I'm standing you're ape.
    You're not even ape, you're media person. Media is like a weather only it's man-made wheather.]]]]]


    [[[[[It's just a murder man, all gods creatures do it in some form or another.
    You look in the forest: you've got species killing other species, our species kills all the species including the forest and we call it industry, not murder.]]]]]

    [[[[[Murder? it's pure. You're the one who made it impure. You're buying and selling fear.
    You say: why? I say: why bother?]]]]]


    [[[[[I've never hurt anyone in my whole life, I'm the law, okay? I'm protector...]]]]]


    Follow protocol.


    [[[[[Your druggist is your friend.]]]]


    [[[[[-Can you help them?
    -Maybe they don't want to be helped.]]]]]
    Expand
  3. 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 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
  4. Mar 12, 2014
    7
    Top notch directing, and 10 star acting meets together to form a film so powerful, so intense, and so violent that the film is one in a million. Oliver Stone is one brilliant director. 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's idea. Killers is a nonlinear mess, and comes off more like what its attempting to mock than the satire doing so. Expand
  6. j30
    Nov 27, 2011
    4
    A bizarre movie from Director Oliver Stone and story penned by Quentin Tarantino. The movie does contain some entertainment value. The film is hard to look away from, but easy to forget. Expand
  7. May 18, 2012
    0
    Dafuq did I just see? This movie was beyond terrible. Might be considered artistic back in 1994, but this in no way shape or form should be remembered as even somewhat iconic. Expand

See all 14 User Reviews

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