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A Clockwork Orange

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom, USA

1971

Rated R • 2h 17m

Director Stanley Kubrick

Starring Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Adrienne Corri, Michael Bates

Genre Science Fiction, Drama

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Demonic gang-leader Alex goes on the spree of rape, mugging and murder with his pack of "droogs". But he's a boy who also likes Beethoven's Ninth and a bit of "the old in-out, in-out". He later finds himself at the mercy of the state and its brainwashing experiment designed to take violence off the streets.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

Variety by

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.
20

Chicago Reader by Dave Kehr

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.
100

Chicago Tribune by Gene Siskel

Kubrick's contributions are his wit and his eye. The wit, too much at times, is as biting as in "Dr. Strangelove," and the production, while of another order, is as spectacular as in "2001." [11 Feb 1972]
100

ReelViews by James Berardinelli

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.
100

Austin Chronicle by Marjorie Baumgarten

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.
80

Village Voice by Michael Atkinson

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.
90

The New York Times by Vincent Canby

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.

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