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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 10.2%
Average: 3.06%
Pretty Bad: 3.57%
Total Crap: 3.57%

5 reviews, 166 user ratings

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Clockwork Orange, A
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by Chef ADogg

"More than just a little bit of the old ultraviolence."
5 stars

For the last couple years of my life, I've been engaged in a furious debate--well, actually, I've been engaged in many furious debates, but the one that has taken up most of my time is "Clockwork Orange : Film vs. Book." I know that one day, after my directing aspirations fall flat and my career as a serious film critic fails to take lift-off (due to the fact that I cannot write worth a shit, contrary to my $25 dollar prize money from, had to mention my one true moment of glory--I digress!), I will start on my true life's work--a big, hulking study of "A Clockwork Orange"s cultural importance (including a section of film's merits vs. book's merits). And it will be great.

I've certainly done my research.

After watching the film just about every week for an entire year, going over every aspect carefully with my good friend Davey Folks, and reading the book numerous times, I know the mechanics of it inside and out. I OWN this movie. No, no, I'm not saying that I own a VHS copy (which I do), but rather I own the ideas and principles behind it.

I am this film. And the film is me.

Stanley Kubrick sets our young hero Alex's misanthropic travails to a swooning, pounding, electrocized Beethoven score (it sounds like the music for some high-art porno), and that really embodies his approach to films in a whole. I don't mean to go off a grand Kubrick lecture (though I just may if someone doesn't restrain me), but the technique really is marvelous. It's the reason why "A Clockwork Orange" still feels fresh even today, nearly thirty years (!) after it was made. Every scene is burned into our brains by Kubrick's groundbreaking mix of the sheer, intoxicatingly violent rush of his images with the now devilish strains of classical music. The tone changes often, but the visceral power of the filmmaking is a constant.

The performances are dead on. The movie belongs to Malcom McDowell as Alex, a youthful offender running rampant in the not so distant future. He's got a plum role, and he would have been the show no matter how he decided to tune his performance, but the cocky mix of arrogance and innocence speaks volumes even when McDowell himself says nothing. The rest of the cast do good work, but none of them are big matinee names--that's one of the film's key assets (the effectiveness of the no-name cast makes one wish McDowell had never started doing straight to tape thrillers and the new "Fantasy Island").

This is Kubrick's most buoyant work, and I love every single second of it. One of the best aspects of "A Clockwork Orange" is its refusal to hammer home its messages--it teaches through behavior and casual dialogue, not preaching. The downside of this approach is all the morons out there painting their faces and quoting the dialogue, but for us discerning, intelligent viewers there's more than meets the eye.

Great as the film is, I don't recommend it to everyone. It can easily be taken the wrong way, the message corrupted in the sweaty hands of idiotic connoseuirs, but if you're looking for soemthing to watch multiple times and spend large quantities of time thinking about--you might want to give it a try.

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originally posted: 07/26/99 14:24:31
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Philadelphia Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

8/26/18 Jeannine Cabot The sex scene with the 2 record-shop girls, and the two gang-rape scenes were so hot! 5 stars
2/21/17 morris campbell a classic brutal & brilliant 5 stars
5/12/15 Christian Paulson GREAAT! 5 stars
4/06/15 stanley welles a disturbing yet thought-provoking masterpiece 5 stars
4/04/12 Josie Cotton is a goddess Whenever I hear 'Singing In The Rain' i get a nasty feeling in me gutty-whats 5 stars
6/19/11 jennifer b creepy 1 stars
3/01/11 Seventies child I've seen it several times and still can't understand what I'm supposed to like about it. 2 stars
11/12/10 action movie fan typically arty kubrick metaphor but interesting in spots 3 stars
6/01/10 User Name There is Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, then there is everything else. 5 stars
3/23/10 Logos A superb film. 5 stars
12/13/09 Michael Jay Very good film for its time, a bit over rated at this point though. 4 stars
9/06/09 Black Leather Rain Still McDowell's greatest work, and laid a foundation for an incredible career. Striking. 5 stars
8/20/09 Jeff Wilder Ironic tense and disturbing. Takes more than one viewing to fully appreciate. 4 stars
6/20/09 art GARBAGE! 1 stars
2/19/09 Total Crap Dark. Very dark comedy. Kubrick uses all his famous camera techs in this one. Great! 5 stars
1/28/09 Jon One of my faves very stylized it is a talky film and can be slow but is still great. 5 stars
11/05/08 David One of the greatest films ever, brilliant and darkly comic 5 stars
7/19/08 sebastian Brilliant,twisted black comedy.... 5 stars
7/06/08 Jason Strickland Disturbingly phenomenal film 5 stars
1/25/08 section245 Great bolshy yarblockos my brothers and only friends, this was real horrowshow! 5 stars
11/12/07 Taz Loved it. Thought he didn't do bad by Burgess. 4 stars
10/27/07 Dexter This is Stanley Kubrick's best movie. 5 stars
5/19/07 fools♫gold Hell, a bit better than "Dr. Strangelove" (though I'll change my opinion on that later). 5 stars
5/09/07 Nic personally the cinematogrphy in this film is beyond amazing and Kubrick desrves a medal 5 stars
3/21/07 James Dunn Viddy Well, oh my brothers, or I'll kick you in the Yarbles. If you have any Yarbles! 5 stars
3/16/07 David Cohen One of the few social commentaries that actually became more relavent over time 5 stars
2/18/07 dmitry Kubrick's worst film 2 stars
2/17/07 Tom Fantastic movie. I just met someone who never seen it... 5 stars
2/17/07 G Sherfy Takes multiple viewings to appreciate; at least for me. One of my favorites. 5 stars
2/16/07 cart00n Brilliant book, brilliant movie. A perfect companion piece to "Dr. Strangelove". 5 stars
1/16/07 David Pollastrini boring, dull, etc. 1 stars
10/17/06 Isaac Baranoff Great, great, great. Stanley Kubrick at his best. 5 stars
9/26/06 Aleksandar ( Extraordinary. Uniquelly effective dark expressionistic satire 5 stars
5/23/06 Nikki this is my fav movie of all time- its a master piece 5 stars
2/12/06 Maz My favourite film ever 5 stars
11/20/05 John Dog Disturbing, yet brilliant. 5 stars
8/20/05 Randy This was one of the greatest movies i have ever seen. 5 stars
8/06/05 Pierre If you hate this, you're crazy! 5 stars
7/31/05 yuko just, oh my god!! 5 stars
7/10/05 DM Malcolm McDowell is awesome. One of Kubrick's best. 5 stars
6/03/05 Pinkline Jones Lowest budget Appalling Kebab Chute Sludge 1 stars
3/18/05 indrid cold Easy to see why it was so shocking at the time, but nothing too special in the MTV era. 4 stars
2/14/05 H.P. Lovecraft simply the best. 5 stars
12/27/04 mjoc One of Kubrick's best. Compelling from start to finish. 5 stars
12/10/04 Yargot It makes me cream my pants everytime 5 stars
11/09/04 SUSAN GREGG Universally and timelessly relevant; Brilliantly wrought; Psychologically troubling . . . 5 stars
11/08/04 Dave Fuk u paranoid american u eat dick, muther fuker, this movie rules 5 stars
11/06/04 One more paranoid American Free will is overrated, artsy-fartsy crap. 1 stars
11/04/04 psycho black dwarf The fear-mongering culture that censored such works as CWO has stolen American politics. 5 stars
10/30/04 ELI Most fucked up movie ever! :) 5 stars
10/14/04 lewis Kubrick is a genius, McDowells best-"and I'll scrap any time you say" great film 5 stars
8/14/04 M™ Josť this film it's great 5 stars
7/21/04 J Ray A singular film - One of a kind 5 stars
5/21/04 Elena Nothing has ever rivaled the unique boldness of this film 5 stars
2/18/04 Daveman One wouldn't expect much less from Kubrick. Another masterpiece. 5 stars
2/14/04 Nixon good movie, just beyond FUCKED UP.... but it is good 4 stars
1/14/04 sixdoublefivethreetwoone When the Funeral March begins at the Korova and Alex starts to look the cam... MASTERPIECE 5 stars
1/05/04 cwlg420 Everyone must see this! 5 stars
12/04/03 illeana alex is hot and i'm a naughty devotchka i loved it! 5 stars
11/29/03 john the first thirty minutes a perfect cinema and unforgettable - the rest is pretty good too 5 stars
11/25/03 Steffen S Great movie! One of mye favorites. 5 stars
11/19/03 Michael Knowles great film 5 stars
11/03/03 Chickenfriedjeezus During the Ludovic treatment, Alex looks like christ with his crown of electrodes 5 stars
9/11/03 Ronny S This has got to be the most overrated movie ever. Piece of crap 2 stars
8/14/03 Max All-time classic, still powerful. Hey Mulcahey, it's Beethoven not Mozart. Duh!!! 5 stars
6/22/03 cochese I'm supposed to think this film is great, but I cant and I wont. And you cant make me. 3 stars
5/21/03 Ryan F. Profound.but feels like Kubrick put out something for sick boys to masturbate to. 3 stars
4/29/03 Gilles Villeneuve The dogs bollocks (excellent) 5 stars
4/02/03 Gray disturbing with a semi downer ending I did like what the priest had to say+was well filmed 4 stars
3/22/03 Jack Sommersby Grotesquely campy supporting characters & heavy-handed direction flatten out ironies. 2 stars
3/12/03 Apathy The opening scene is brilliant. Oh, and the rest of the movie is swell too. 5 stars
3/11/03 Estevan Lapena A landmark in cinematic history. 5 stars
3/11/03 beehotch HOW IS THIS SCHLOCK, BITCH? 5 stars
3/04/03 caligula '' oh? and what's so stinking about it?"- what indeed, pinkline jones. CLASSIC film. 5 stars
1/30/03 Pinkline Jones 100% Shlock - woeful story, Coma-inducing, Dated and Forgettable 1 stars
1/27/03 Bill the English Welliwell droogs, this movie is horrorshow 5 stars
1/26/03 Nicole Honestly, I find this movie completely disturbing.....but good 5 stars
12/25/02 Film Dude My favorite film 5 stars
12/16/02 Petr The best film I have ever seen! 5 stars
10/09/02 Steph Thought provoking. Just hope no sacrilegious bastard director tries to do a remake. 5 stars
9/29/02 Morally Sound One of Kubrick's best, my Droogs. 5 stars
9/29/02 karried. Yum yum! 5 stars
9/22/02 y2mckay I think you mean "or", not "of", you illiterate fuck! :-) 5 stars
9/19/02 Noneofyour Reviewer is either autistic of brain damaged pothead 5 stars
8/25/02 Turkish like all of kubricks other films, out fucking standing 5 stars
8/14/02 conman One of the greatest films of all time. 5 stars
7/27/02 Kyle Thought provoking. Genius. 5 stars
7/11/02 .Choadushouse. Pure genius. Malcolm MacDowell is incredible. The ending leaves me hanging...I want more! 5 stars
6/25/02 Brian genuinely twisted 5 stars
6/25/02 Charles Tatum Kubrick is finally able to get INTENSE 5 stars
6/17/02 Thomas Spaulding Great to viddy with a glass of knivy moloko. 5 stars
6/06/02 Rastabub One of the greatest sci-fi films ever made 5 stars
5/27/02 Nicole A strange & twisted little movie about "healing" the criminal mind. 5 stars
4/27/02 maximal01 Hello. My name is Malcolm McDowell. I will destroy your whole life. Great fastforward sex.. 4 stars
4/23/02 asli wunderbar! 5 stars
2/21/02 luda hoe disturbing and good, or disturbingly good 5 stars
1/25/02 Andrew Carden Excellent Movie. I Was Engaged Throughout. 5 stars
12/30/01 sarafina This movie made me want a bowler and fake eyelashes 4 stars
12/12/01 slappy jacks fuck need i fucking say a fucking thing!? FUCKING FUUUUUCK! 5 stars
10/18/01 officer412/l kubrick is god 5 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk Disturbing. Sick. Hilarious. Inspired...Kubrick anyone? 5 stars
8/08/01 Mr. Hat I liked it because it had lots of vaginas and tits and penises and testicles an' stuff. 5 stars
7/21/01 gus good stuff 5 stars
7/20/01 Gus I haven't actually seen it... - i'll just join the crowd 5 stars
6/26/01 T_RatV Great film, Book is a little better with the final chapter, but great film 5 stars
6/15/01 zombie =] 5 stars
6/03/01 I love movies I'm sorry I just couldn't sympathize with that piece of shit in the second half 3 stars
6/01/01 Erik North Classic Kubrick--controversial, pointed, and disturbing as ever 5 stars
5/20/01 an unforgetable movie, one of the best of all time 5 stars
4/30/01 junky read the book 5 stars
4/26/01 Dom Corleone profoundly prophetic 5 stars
4/08/01 R.W. Welch Has a certain eerie fascination about it, a true original. 5 stars
4/05/01 Hawkeye What can you say? Both the book and the film are real horrorshow. 5 stars
3/04/01 Avenger Girl Still relevant to today's society, even tho it was made nearly 3 decades ago. AWESOME 5 stars
2/21/01 Scott What lovingly brutal comment of the effects of society on individuals. 5 stars
2/16/01 LOOBER Dark,diturbing,shocki... And a meaning 5 stars
2/14/01 Michael Nicholls Nearfutureoverrunbyjunivildelinquintsandsadiisticstatepoliceman 5 stars
1/29/01 Soggy Bottom Boy As relevant today as when it was made, this is a disturbing yet thought-provoking classic. 5 stars
1/22/01 jmr 2 stars 2 stars
11/14/00 bruno one of my favorites 5 stars
11/04/00 supervegeta83 ABSOLUTELY the BEST movie EVER!! 5 stars
11/02/00 JOHNNY alot of fun... witha lot of menaing 5 stars
10/27/00 Emily Collar Dark, twisted, seedy and deeply disturbing no wonder it was taken from our shelves! 4 stars
10/22/00 Viking Still has the ability to shock !!! 5 stars
10/19/00 veronica weird and twisted 4 stars
5/09/00 Shae W Great Movie. Scare your friends. 5 stars
5/03/00 Steve Layne Either this movie is overrated or Its too smart for me. 2 stars
4/24/00 Ryan Classic... 5 stars
4/12/00 the Grinch The perfect complement to the Burgess book... 5 stars
4/02/00 perverted pixie McDowell is the PERFECT Alex!! However the book is still more disturbing. 5 stars
3/26/00 Skye Chapman greatness 5 stars
3/23/00 ria Gawd i love this movie, almost as good as the book! 5 stars
3/19/00 Franky Chopstick First hour: Brilliant, Second hour: good satire but too long!!! 4 stars
3/19/00 Richard Wright A cautionary tale of tolerance and justice Brilliantly directed and superbly performed. 5 stars
1/24/00 Casey Jarzabek THE BEST OF THE BEST 5 stars
1/09/00 unstrung bizzare, unorthodox and repulsive... and yet all too familiar 5 stars
1/09/00 John Markham The book is rubbish and this is worse. 1 stars
12/16/99 Rachel intense, bizarre, thought-provoking, and very, very funny in parts 5 stars
11/29/99 Nieshia Wynn I liked the movie and it teaches viewers about our environment and the future 5 stars
11/22/99 Ralf Behet One of Kubrick's best. Great use of Ludwig van's music. 5 stars
11/19/99 Tyson Stewart It gets better every time you see it! Extraordinary performances! 5 stars
11/11/99 Matthew Smith A great film, techincally brilliant, confronting and hilarious. 5 stars
10/25/99 russ an awesome movie, one of Kubrick's best 5 stars
10/18/99 Sean Lahiff Bravo, real horror show it was, thought it was grand, Ciao my little droogies. 5 stars
8/18/99 Bobby Radisky Real Horrorshow 5 stars
8/11/99 Japtalian Watch it. If you don't understand, watch again brother. 5 stars
8/02/99 Physh " look into the mind of a British rapist." 5 stars
7/27/99 Betty Boop Perfect. 5 stars
7/26/99 Zaw Oo Fucking Asome Movie! 5 stars
7/19/99 the movie pimp Many people like the film because of the nudity and violence but it has a major point. 5 stars
7/15/99 GothamDK Must have shocked the hell out of people of 1972. Brutal and charged. Kubrick classic. 4 stars
7/04/99 J-Dogg Luv this flick. High on my Top 10 list. Took numerous viewings to warm up to it, though. 5 stars
6/14/99 Dylan Didnt rate it. Read the book instead, its far superior. 3 stars
6/09/99 PurityJustBegs No one will ever take the place of Stanley...yet another brilliantly savage satire..Malcom! 5 stars
6/07/99 Elizaveta Forget all the fuss and hype - it should not take away from this incredible film! 5 stars
4/06/99 Michael Grimm interesting 4 stars
3/07/99 davebo Great film, a cult classic, my favorite Kubrick movie 5 stars
3/05/99 little jerry The one that confirmed Kubrick as The Iceman of Film.Wear your winter clothing. 5 stars
2/16/99 Uncle Roy Kickback with some Moloko sythemesc and dresmec and get the in out in out 5 stars
12/05/98 tj best movie ever, seriously 5 stars
12/04/98 Matthew J. Soucy Rated X in 1971. The film is one of Kubrick's finest - with a haunting soundtrack. 5 stars
11/28/98 J-Guy would have been better had people not built it up as the be all end of film. 4 stars
11/28/98 Mr.Pink Satire that was and still is ahead of it's time. TERRIFIC! 5 stars
11/27/98 Lord Of The Dunce I'll go on record as saying I don't get what all the fuss was about. 3 stars
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