A Clockwork Orange (1971) Movie Review

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

1971 Sci-Fi, Drama, Crime

User Score: 54/100


In future Britain, charismatic delinquent Alex DeLarge is jailed and volunteers for an experimental aversion therapy developed by the government in an effort to solve society's crime problem - but not all goes according to plan.

Stanley Kubrick’s striking visual interpretation of Anthony Burgess’s famous novel is a masterpiece.  Malcolm McDowell delivers a clever, tongue-in-cheek performance as Alex, the leader of a quartet of droogs, a vicious group of young hoodlums who spend their nights stealing cars, fighting rival gangs, breaking into people’s homes, and raping women.  While other directors would simply exploit the violent elements of such a film without subtext, Kubrick maintains Burgess’s dark, satirical social commentary.  We watch Alex transform from a free-roaming miscreant into a convict used in a government experiment that attempts to reform criminals through an unorthodox new medical treatment.  The catch, of course, is that this therapy may be nothing better than a quick cure-all for a society plagued by rampant crime.  A Clockwork Orange works on many levels—visual, social, political, and sexual—and is one of the few films that hold up under repeated viewings.  Kubrick not only presents colorfully arresting images, he also stylizes the film by utilizing classical music (and Wendy Carlos’s electronic classical work) to underscore the violent scenes, which even today are disturbing in their display of sheer nihilism. Ironically, many fans of the film have missed that point, sadly being entertained by its brutality rather than being repulsed by it.—Bryan Reesman

About A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Title: A Clockwork Orange
Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Pat Roach, Adolf Hitler, Gaye Brown, Aubrey Morris, Philip Stone, Steven Berkoff, Michael Gover, Robert Bruce, Heinrich Himmler, Viktor Lutze, John Clive, Norman Gay, Carol Drinkwater, Sheila Raynor, Virginia Wetherell, Peter Hannon, Shane Shelton, Margaret Tyzack, Neil Wilson, Margaret Heald, George Spence, Patrick Magee, Lindsay Campbell, Katya Wyeth, Nicholas Hill, Guy Standeven, Michael Bates, Michael Tarn, Frankie Abbott
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Score: 2.5 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 2.7/5 stars from 74 users. Votes: 74.
Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama, Crime

A Clockwork Orange Cover Poster Art

Help Us Rate These Movies and TV Shows