Natural Born Killers (1994)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
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Overall Rating 74%
Overall Rating
Ranked #622
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The misadventures of Mickey and Mallory: outcasts, lovers, and serial killers. They travel across Route 666 conducting psychedelic mass-slaughters not for money, not for revenge, just for kicks. Glorified by the media, the pair become legendary folk heroes; their story told by the single person they leave alive at the scene of each of their slaughters. --IMDb
Woody Harrelson
Woody Harrelson
Juliette Lewis
Juliette Lewis
Tom Sizemore
Tom Sizemore
Rodney Dangerfield
Rodney Dangerfield
Everett Quinton
Everett Quinton
Review by bluemeanie
Added: April 19, 2007
I can vividly remember when this film was released in 1994, and the whirlwind of controversy that stemmed from it -- all the media attention, all the protests, all the box office. A film like "Natural Born Killers" hadn't been given a wide distribution before, especially when directed by an Oscar winner like Oliver Stone. On a budget of $50 million, it went on to gross slightly over that and then completely dominate on DVD sales. It has become one of the most controversial films ever made, in the ranks with "Midnight Cowboy", "Straw Dogs" and "The Brown Bunny".

More a love story than a film about violence, "Natural Born Killers" tells the story of Mickey (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory (Juliette Lewis) Knox, two violent sociopaths and their rise and fall. We see Mickey rescue Mallory from a twisted and violent household at the hands of her parents (Rodney Dangerfield & Edie McClurg), and then we see Mickey and Mallory develop a taste for murder, going on a rampage across the United States. They eventually become celebrities, and not really considered villains or monsters. Robert Downey, Jr. stars as Wayne Gale, the host of an entertainment show who has dedicated himself to the Mickey & Mallory story. Tommy Lee Jones stars as Warden McClusky, the keeper of the gate when they are finally apprehended. Once behind bars, you can only guess at what happens next -- REVOLT! REVOLUTION! -- and in the bloodiest way imaginable.

All of that sounds so cookie cutter. "Natural Born Killers" features hardcore violence and extremely graphic and adult imagery -- but that's not what it's about. It's a film about a lot of things, but not that. At the center of it all, I think it's a film about freedom of expression. Sure, Stone takes it to the next level suggesting that murder is just as noble a form of expression as anything else, but I got the point. Stone's point is that when you surpress something as special and as excitable as art and expression, horrible things are bound to result. But, "Natural Born Killers", at its heart, is also just a love story -- a film about two people destined to be together and having to fight through the odds just to make it. Mickey & Mallory become national celebrities because their relationship seems stronger than any person they kill or any evil deed they carry out.

Stone's directorial style is some of his best yet. He blends campy, madcap violence with animation and over-the-top antics. It's like watching the Looney Toons gang attempta snuff film. This is probably what would result. A lot of Stone's style seems very Terry Gilliam-esque, but I don't think Gilliam had this much material with which to work. I especially enjoy Stone's handling of Mallory's home life and the way in which all of that is shot. Casting Rodney Dangerfield as the father and including the laugh track was disturbing and a stroke of genius. I have no idea how he ever blended all of that together. I also enjoyed how none of the characters in this film are safe -- they all have the possibility of being killed at any moment, because the point is that not one life is more or less valuable than any other life at the end of the day.

"Natural Born Killers" is one of those films that sticks with you, whether you enjoy it or not. If you do enjoy it, it sticks with you because of how amazing a cinematic experience it turns out to be. If you don't enjoy it, you can't get it out of your head because you've probably never witnessed anything so disturbing and so intense, and yet to mainstream and accessible. This is the film, however, that also raised Oliver Stone's stock so much that we only expect amazing films from him. He's shown us, especially of late, that it is very hard to live up to such monumental expectations, even when you are an Oscar winner. "Natural Born Killers" will go down as one of the most talked about and influential films ever made. It deserves most of that hoopla. 9/10.
Chad #1: Chad - added 04/19/2007, 05:28 AM
My favorite movie of all time. Need I say more?
grain of sand #2: grain of sand - added 04/19/2007, 12:44 PM
awesome movie, picks up from the start and never slows down too much. drugs.
Edd #3: Edd - added 04/19/2007, 03:44 PM
I love the semi-reality this movie portrays. Like the sitcom about the lead females character, and the jail thing. It keeps it in the eyes of the two main stars, and how they would see things, or how things played out to them. Excellent movie. 10/10
Ginose #4: Ginose - added 04/20/2007, 10:29 PM
Easily one of them ost intense films ever made... and also easily Oliver Stone's best movie... seriously... I left this movie pumped... really pumped... I kicked a stray dog... pumped... 10/10
Dametria #5: Dametria - added 04/24/2007, 08:09 PM
I saw this movie when it first came out....I was 11. I LOVED it then and I just bought it a few months ago so I could watch it again....and it still rocks
George Snow #6: George Snow - added 08/11/2008, 03:45 AM
I saw this in the movie a bunch of times. Every time I'd bring someone new with me and watch their expressions. This is the most violent, out of control movie ever made. When it left theatres I bought a bootleg off the city streets. I own every different video, DVD and laserdisc of NDK. Yes, I said laser disc (which BTW kick DVDs ass, except for the fact you have to flip the disc halfway through.)
Optimus Prime #7: Optimus Prime - added 01/19/2009, 06:53 PM
I saw this when I was super young. Kinda freaked me out a bit. Woody Harrelson is great though.
Bliss From A Dead Embrace #8: Bliss From A Dead Embrace - added 01/30/2009, 02:21 AM
I was pretty young when I saw this too. Still awesome now.
Tristan #9: Tristan - added 03/08/2009, 01:11 AM
Just watched this for the first time in years. Reminded me why I hate Oliver Stone. The man just can't make a good movie.

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