A Clockwork Orange

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Released 1971

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9.2
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A Clockwork Orange

Movie Summary

Director:
Stanley Kubrick
Released:
1971
Rating:
R
A Clockwork Orange is a science fiction film by Stanley Kubrick based on the book by Anthony Burgess about Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell), a charismatic renegade teenager who roams the streets of a futuristic urban setting with his friends, whom he calls his “droogs,â€? and together they carry out their hobbies of beating and raping innocent victims and listening to classical music, with a special emphasis on Ludwig van Beethoven. Under the influence of drugged milk, they commit their violent crimes across London with little to no consequences, despite the fact that probation officer Mr. Deltoid (Aubrey Morris) has been after Alex for some time. After an upset in group politics, the other boys leave Alex to be found after the police after they beat a woman whose home they have invaded, and he is sentenced to 14 years in prison for her murder. He reduces his sentence by volunteering for the Ludovico technique, an aversion therapy to cure criminals, the conditioning for which involves watching video footage of violence while taking drugs that induce sickness- unfortunately, its accompanied by the music of Beethoven, formerly Alex's favorite. When he is released, he is proved to indeed be cured, but the chaplain asserts that Alex no longer has any free will. When he arrives home, he is rejected in every way, and his cure proves to need a cure of its own. A Clockwork Orange comments on psychiatry practices and social and economic subjects in Britian. The film is narrated by Alex in Nadsat, a secret language that is a hybrid of Slavic, English, and Cockney slang.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times 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 wh...

  • 80

    Variety

    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 f...

  • 50

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    It is just plain talky and boring. You know there's something wrong with a movie when the last third feels like the last half.

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Categories

Drama, Science Fiction

Themes

Classics, Cult, controversial, not for the faint of heart, shock value