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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 23.6%
Average: 10.11%
Pretty Bad: 12.92%
Total Crap: 17.42%

8 reviews, 130 user ratings

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Natural Born Killers
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by Brian McKay

"Oliver Stone is a Natural-Born Hypocrite"
2 stars

My first beef is that the title is self-contradictory, since the film implies that killers are made, not "natural born". My second beef is that I'm sick of Juliette Lewis, who plays the same skanky, retarted psycho-whore in every film she's in. My third beef is that when it comes to Stone's message about the media glorifying violence, his idea of subtlety is to put a velvet Crown Royale sack over a hammer before he smacks you in the face with it repeatedly. Media glorifying violence? Hey, Oliver, you've written and/or directed some of the most violent films in Hollywood, including this one. I'd say that makes you part of the fucking problem, Pal!

All this is not to say that Stone doesn't have his moments of brilliance. Some of his earlier work, like Salvador, Talk Radio, or Platoon, though equally heavy-handed, were still quite good. But then he had to go and do this MTV acid trip of a movie, followed by that bloated mess known as Any Given Sunday. Buddy, what gives?

Mickey Knox (Woody Harrelson) is a white trash meat delivery man with a violent disposition on the count of his drunken daddy and mamma used to beat him real regular-like and he's seen too much violence on T.V. (and just in case you miss that intimation, Oliver splashes the words "Too Much T.V." across Mickey's chest later on - thwap!). He meets Mallory (Juliette Lewis), a troubled teen whose father (Rodney Dangerfield, who is surprisingly convincing as a right bastard) abuses and rapes her on a nightly basis. Mickey decides to "liberate" Mallory by smashing dad's head in, then tying mom to the bed and lighting her on fire. From then on, they're a regular Bonnie and Clyde, tearing up the country and shooting victims indiscriminately (along with the occasional kidnap and rape). In order to spread their reputation, they usually opt to leave one survivor behind to tell the story.

Mickey and Mallory soon gain a bizarre celebrity status, as teens around the world rave about how "cool" they are, saying such idiotic things as "Don't get me wrong, we have respect for human life, but if we were gonna be serial killers . . . we'd wanna be Mickey and Mallory". Meanwhile, two media whores are hot on their trail - one a cop named Jack Scagnetti (Tom Sizemore), who just published his memoirs "Scagnetti on Scagnetti" (sounds like incestuous Italian porn) and is hungry for more of the limelight. Meanwhile, Tabloid T.V. reporter Wayne Gayle (Robert Downey Jr., sporting the worst Aussie accent since Monty Python's "Bruce" sketch) wants to use M&M to boost the ratings on his own sleaze exploitation program. Both of these lowlifes are, of course, no better than the ones they are pursuing (Scagnetti casually murders a hooker along the way, and Gayle actually joins in with M&M's killing spree), and the mass-murdering couple is merely a tool to garnish more media exposure.

The film is a bombardment of vivid colors and bizarre imagery - imagine the Manson Family on the Willy Wonka boat ride through Marilyn Manson's Drug Hat video, and you'll get the idea. Violent film and television images are always appearing in the background, and flashbacks of M&M's abused childhoods are common to the point of tediousness. Yes, they evoke sympathy to a point, but Stone just keeps bombarding with that imagery over and over again until the viewer just grows numb, then apathetic. And while all the strange imagery is fun to watch when you're high, it certainly doesn't lend anything towards creating a coherent story or a compelling message.

While Mickey waxes philosophical about being a born killer, Stone seems to be saying that it's actually all somebody else's fault. It's the abusive parents or the media or too much T.V. So, let me get this straight, by making a film full of senseless violence, you are decrying the media's portrayal of senseless violence? Why, that's just fucking genius . . . or so he would have us believe. Look, buddy, I like violence in my movies just fine. If you suddenly have a problem with it, Mister "I directed Platoon and wrote Scarface", then start making romantic comedies or some shit. Go direct My Big Fat Greek Divorce, but don't get preachy with me.

While it's not the most wretched thing I've ever seen, it's just hard to take it very seriously. There are some noteworthy extra scenes on the DVD, including an alternate ending that seemed more appropriate, and a hilarious two-minute rambling diatribe on Mickey and Malory by Denis Leary which was "cut for pacing" (too bad, because it would have been the best damn scene in the whole film). There are also some decent tracks on the OST, including Nine Inch Nails' Burn.

Drive-In Triple Feature My Life with the Thrill Kill Kouple picks for Natural Born Killers:

Shit, take your pick. You've got True Romance (A film that Quentin Tarantino wrote, in addition to Natural Born Killers - though he publicly disowned Natural Born after he saw what Stone was doing to his script). Or you could go with The Doom Generation, a crapfest about a girl and two guys on a cross-country menage a tois killing spree, starring Rose McGowan and her tits. Or there's David Lynch's Wild at Heart, or that other movie with Juliette Lewis as the killer's psycho-bitch girlfriend, Kalifornia. Then there's Love and a .45, and a slew of other indie films all trying to rewrite the same Homicidal Bonnie and Clyde formula, some better than others.

I'll go back to the theater for another Oliver Stone movie when he puts down the crack pipe and climbs off of his high horse. In the meantime, let's hope he doesn't try to do a remake of his 1981 "classic" THE HAND, one of the worst horror movies ever. That would put me off of him for good.

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originally posted: 11/14/02 12:34:13
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User Comments

1/09/18 Kaede My favorite movie. 5 stars
9/14/17 morris campbell used to be cool now its lame 1 stars
3/13/16 The Iron Pope I liked it as a teenager but watching it again as a grown up I see it for what it is. Crap 1 stars
5/02/15 stanley welles great, dazzling and wickedly funny 4 stars
10/22/11 Eric S. See the problem is you have to pull your head out of your ass, to see the screen 5 stars
2/17/10 86masters Absolutely pathetic! 1 stars
11/23/09 Jeff Wilder Entertaining albeit overedited. Focus more on the story next time Mr. Stone. 4 stars
10/20/09 Viv I felt like my eyes had been raped. Unnecessarily violent, pathetic attempt at a 'message' 1 stars
10/06/09 Justin Zeigler My favorite movie and I know movies. If you like transformers movie you are to dumb it 5 stars
4/08/09 Dane Youssef Too much style over substance. Stone focuses too much on his FX, not enough on simple story 3 stars
1/27/09 Shaun Wallner Kept me on the edge of the seat! 5 stars
1/21/09 Stefan One of the worst films EVER made. 1 stars
6/01/08 jointz Oliver Stone needs to look up "subtlety" and "restraint" in the dictionary. 1 stars
5/05/08 P Keenan a cinematic masterpiece, by the genius Oliver Stone. The best film of the 1990's 5 stars
1/15/08 God The people who hate this film are either cowards or guilt ridden. 5 stars
5/27/07 Christina Nothing compares. This is, hands down, the greatest film I've ever seen. 5 stars
3/27/07 fools♫gold Well, any movie that includes a Nine Inch Nails song MUST be a thoughtful masterwork. 5 stars
3/26/07 Eric R What a waste of celluloid. One of the worst films ever. 1 stars
12/30/06 Bitchflaps A complete waste of time, could have been written by a 10 year old. Wretched film. 1 stars
12/01/06 David Pollastrini very psychedelic 5 stars
11/16/06 JM Synth A Fascinating Misfire. All Sound and Fury in aid of the same old media satire 3 stars
10/03/06 Jeremy Davies Gross, but entertaining 4 stars
11/03/05 Zedd The bad guys win. They have brains.They do it for a reason. Like in real life. The truth. 5 stars
9/20/05 John it becomes what it seeks to critizice - gartuitous nonsense 1 stars
8/19/05 ES 'He was my bear claw' priceless = movie ok 3 stars
8/08/05 Winkie Good movie. (Its called Dope Hat, dammit!) 4 stars
6/17/05 Marcia Gay Soften Even editing out Ashley Judd couldn't save this mess! 1 stars
6/13/05 Agent Sands My personal favorite of Oliver Stone's movies, and one of my favorite Tarantinos. 5 stars
6/08/05 Indrid Cold A ferocious, audacious satire. Stunning, but too scattershot to have much impact. 4 stars
5/30/05 Jake Sick, twisted, disgusting, and most of all...brilliant! 5 stars
5/25/05 The shizz It was ok, could have been way better it say....tarantino directed it????? 5 stars
3/23/05 Richard Pryor interesting movie. woody harrelson rocks 4 stars
3/03/05 marianna please remove my posts from this message board a mistake i'm sorry. 4 stars
12/29/04 Jenna Furr An extra star just because Ashley Judd was edited out of it. 2 stars
12/27/04 mjoc Mindless, senseless violence with no story. Bad stuff! 1 stars
12/24/04 iliija Pavlovich, PhD outstanding cinematic achievment 5 stars
12/07/04 Kurt Cobain Hard movie to talk about, but a good movie with a message for the most part... 4 stars
11/16/04 Jarrod this movie is almost like a shakespearean romance..u have love and murder,ponder that 4 stars
10/10/04 jmb the idea that Man Bites Dog has little explicit violence is totally wrong 4 stars
10/03/04 Daveman Well done Anthony G, you aptly represent this films fanbase as a bunch of boneheads. 1 stars
9/02/04 adolfo very good movie 5 stars
8/15/04 Anthony G eat dick dave 4 stars
7/03/04 Daveman An utterly worthless, pretentious sadistic piece of shit. 1 stars
6/19/04 Matt Cordell It only gets awesome at the prison breakout. It takes the movie in a different direction. 3 stars
4/29/04 Mallory Knox It is Fate, you can't stop fate 5 stars
4/17/04 Michael Greenwaldt An awful, overrated, pretentious piece of crap! One of the worst of all time! 1 stars
4/13/04 Feliciano The greatest antihero couple and the greatest representation of this corrupted century!!!! 5 stars
3/30/04 antipathy It's not hypocrisy, it's satire . . . 5 stars
3/07/04 mickey i love this movie this motherfucker is suckin his own cock 5 stars
3/05/04 Monster W. Kung One of the worst movies ever made. 1 stars
2/26/04 Wanda Dilbeck cold bloodly 2 stars
2/04/04 Jan I've seen the Director's Cut and was blown away. Thanks to Oliver and to Quentin, you rock! 5 stars
12/26/03 Graham A. Howarth absolutely awesome 5 stars
11/27/03 John the road to hell is paved with good intentions (and great cinematography in this case) 2 stars
10/30/03 tediboy amateur-styled exploitation movie for people high on drugs..! weird but watchable 3 stars
10/24/03 emma phizackerley brilliant 5 stars
10/11/03 Jens-Christian Jensen It's not funny. It's not exiting. It just made me sick. I don't like paying to get sick. 1 stars
9/29/03 Jade, fan of Mick and Mallory This isn't a film, its a preminition.. 5 stars
9/14/03 Sauron The best film i've ever seen! 5 stars
9/02/03 Natasha I thought it was well done, very artistic, creative, fun 4 stars
8/31/03 Senem brilliant!!it makes one sempathise with evil characters by using supreme degree of violance 5 stars
8/18/03 bobby d this movie rules 5 stars
8/10/03 Psilly Tri(:P this movie da fucking shit ya hear 5 stars
8/10/03 Geo78665 The first half is nearly a waste, but the second half is really good. 3 stars
7/18/03 AD not that great 3 stars
7/12/03 Indrid Cold A brilliantly ferocious satire of all-American shallowness and bloodlust. 4 stars
6/19/03 Vince Watch it again you fucks. 4 stars
4/25/03 hello this movie sucks mmm i will kiss Oliver Stone's ass for he is smarter than me, a simpleton, and i am amazed 1 stars
2/02/03 Monster W. Kung Unwatchable crap. 'Oh-so-surreal' headache-inducing visuals, lobotomized 'message'. Awful. 1 stars
1/31/03 Erica that movie is the worst fucking movie i have ever see in my whole life... fucking horrible! 1 stars
1/20/03 Film Liker Absolute worst; deplorable. Everybody involved in the making and writing should be put down 1 stars
12/29/02 Jack Sommersby An overdirected, bombastic debacle. 1 of the worst. 1 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum Yes, Oliver, you are so dangerous... 3 stars
9/29/02 Laura Morales Awesome as a nihilistic, visceral, and darkly hilarious EXPLOITATION flick! 5 stars
9/26/02 Morally Sound It is required you see this movie at least TWO times! 5 stars
9/04/02 Joe Zappa I watched it again and really it's an important and really good movie! 5 stars
7/27/02 sdjfsdkjf deplorable. Everybody in the making and writing should be put down except Tarantino. 1 stars
6/02/02 Renee Keener Tasteless, incongrous clash of shock sensationalism and ludicrous travesty. 1 stars
4/15/02 joe shit 1 stars
3/22/02 Mr. Hat (I'm Back!) If they'd have stuck with QT's original script, it wouldn't have been so annoying & stupid! 1 stars
3/14/02 Alex One of the worst movies I've ever seen. A visceral flick with satirical pretense. 1 stars
3/02/02 Unagiboy The worst movie I've ever seen. It talks down to the audience. 1 stars
1/11/02 Iain Anglin Mister Rabbit says a moment of realization, is worth a thousands prayers. Brilliant 5 stars
12/12/01 slappy jacks i will kill anyone who dares dislike this film =) 5 stars
12/09/01 Andrew Carden Harrelson Is Cast-Typed, The Plot Is Lame, and The Screenplay Is Forgettable. 2 stars
12/05/01 john linton roberson Oliver Stone should've stopped here.Misunderstood live-action cartoon. 5 stars
11/10/01 Iain Anglin Natural Born Killers is one of the best films ever made 5 stars
9/03/01 the Grinch Ophie's right...ya seen this one once, ya seen it enough. 3 stars
8/10/01 E-Funk Regardless of the heat that's come down on this film, it's one of a kind...amazing. 5 stars
7/15/01 sarah overly pretentious, but then again its oliver stone. 4 stars
5/11/01 Chris The best movie in the history of cinema - perfect message, directing , editing 5 stars
4/01/01 Jesse L Like watching a car wreck... 2 stars
3/27/01 BART it was eccentric 3 stars
3/12/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Visually dizzying, loved Mallory's home-life montage, but I didn't care for it as a whole 3 stars
2/15/01 Chris Rice It is one of the best movies I have ever seen 5 stars
1/17/01 The Terminator Wasn't what I expected, it was better 5 stars
12/31/00 Msitrab This film cannot be put into words 5 stars
11/30/00 dave( kick ass 5 stars
11/29/00 The Evil Penguin Very weird in every way 2 stars
11/23/00 Stephan Pot Awesome 5 stars
10/29/00 steven hargreaves What a fucked up film. I wanted to kill someone after this. BRILLIANT 5 stars
10/24/00 JC23 Very misunderstood, I thought it was very good 5 stars
10/09/00 Xessus A very interesting movie - highly reccommended to those who can handle the content. 5 stars
9/20/00 Bruce A true cinematic experience, no where near as bad as people said. 5 stars
6/13/00 DAVID Ive never ever really liked Oliver Stone 2 stars
3/06/00 Kyle Broflovski What a bunch of fucking dreck. Even the brilliant actors can't save this slop. 2 stars
1/04/00 Paul Frantic, mesmerising, cutting brilliance 5 stars
10/07/99 sophia962 POMO angst and isn't the world a foul sty. Oh kiss my ass and go away Oliver, no one cares 1 stars
10/04/99 Freaked Looks of action, but look for subtext too 5 stars
6/17/99 J-Dogg The Perfect Film -- exciting, energetic, and gory. The critics misunderstood this one. 5 stars
5/13/99 oliver stone may be the most demented major director alive.this movie is awful. 1 stars
5/08/99 Scott this is one of my favorite movies of all time! definetely worth a look 5 stars
5/04/99 Big Dog The worst movie ever made, what a sick fuck 1 stars
1/10/99 twisted barbie a true love story 5 stars
12/05/98 tj a movie that wants to be big and important but simply isn't 2 stars
11/27/98 G A very complex movie. See it more than once and really watch 5 stars
11/26/98 Mr.Pink Stone's best film. A hallucinating, apocalyptic and visual nightmare... 5 stars
11/25/98 Fred It's a satire of the 1990's! Wake the fuck up and smell the maple nut crunch! 5 stars
11/18/98 MinxxDaShorty How sexy am I now flirty boy!!!! I'd watch this film just for Juilliette, but I love it all 5 stars
11/13/98 Jules Went from Crazy Wild Fresh -> Typical, Slow, and Stupid.... What a waste. 3 stars
10/29/98 Silent Rob A multi-sense pummeling extravaganza. See it with some one you love! 5 stars
10/24/98 grunter pushes the envelope hard; visceral, balls-out joyride; misinterpreted masterpiece 5 stars
9/16/98 Lonatic Oliver Stone is a sick idiot! What a waste of film!! 1 stars
9/08/98 Young Einstein it had it's moments, but it was too MTV like. 4 stars
9/07/98 Damien This movie rocked, a classic to me, long live Oliver Stone 5 stars
9/05/98 Badass A wonderful satire. 5 stars
9/02/98 J-Guy trendy junk. I hated this shit. should have watched something good instead. 2 stars
8/29/98 Miss Stress had nightmares for days. 4 stars
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  26-Aug-1994 (R)


  06-Oct-1994 (R)

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