Bonnie and Clyde - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bonnie and Clyde Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 18, 2013
Heavy on the French New Wave influences, this surprisingly modern film showcases a compelling, dysfunctional romance amidst a decent amount of generic, albeit well executed pulpy crime tropes.
Super Reviewer
½ March 20, 2011
Clyde Barrow: This here's Miss Bonnie Parker. I'm Clyde Barrow. We rob banks. 

"They're young. They're in love. They rob banks."

Bonnie and Clyde is a loosely made, American classic that tells the story of the two bank robbers from their first meeting to their ultimate peril. Sure there are some easy to spot errors and omissions, but this is a brilliantly made, fun, crime film. There's not much to complain about with this one. The movie is quick moving and never leaves Bonnie and Clyde. A lot of movies like this like to show a subplot where detectives, FbI, or whatever else scheme to find the bad guys. In Bonnie and Clyde, we don't see that; and I love it for that reason and many others.

Plot is kind of secondary here as the story is known. Meet Bonnie and Clyde, they rob banks. We watch as they tour the country, picking up C.W., Clyde's brother, Buck and his wife Blanche. Along the way, they rob and occasionally kill when they have to. The film makes us sympathize with Bonnie and Clyde. We see them with each other and how they act to each other. It makes us see their nice side, and that pretty much forces us to sympathize with their ultimate demise at the hands of some one they trusted. 

This movie works as well as it does for more than one reason, but the biggest is the chemistry between Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. The two are as perfect a bank robbing duo as you could hope for. Beatty is... well Beatty. So you know you're going to get a phenomenal performance from him. And Dunaway is the sexy, blonde that can win our hearts and she does it with amazing grace, turning in one of her most memorable roles as Bonnie. There's a good supporting cast as well with Gene Hackman, Michael J. Pollard, and Estelle Parsons rounding up the Barrow Gang.

The movie may be most notable for its depiction of violence. At the time, it was more than just groundbreaking; it was shocking. Now, we're used to being shown violence in over the top kind of ways and that makes watching this even more believable. The violence is depicted in a realistic way, making the movie more authentic because of it.

Needless to say, this is an absolute much watch. Watching Dunaway and Beatty as Bonnie and Clyde is fun, emotional, and a cinematic pleasure. I don't know how many movies there are out there that are about Bonnie and Clyde, but I haven't seen or heard about any, and there's a good reason for that. We don't need any. 
Super Reviewer
½ February 17, 2007
Telling the story of notorious armed robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, this Oscar nominated script was actually offered to both Truffaut and Godard, but even they could not have done a better job. Warren Beatty's awkward and impotent Clyde who sees himself as some kind of self styled Robin Hood is perfectly matched with Faye Dunaway's Bonnie, who sees him as a way out of her dreary small town existence. Their dysfunctional relationship is far more interesting than the usual Hollywood sappiness and there is plenty of warmth and humour as they cut a swathe through a wonderfully reconstructed depression era America, making their inevitably brutal demise all the more shocking and powerful. One of the best crime dramas of the sixties and the template for the likes of True Romance and Natural Born Killers. And Faye is surely a better cure for impotence than Viagra...
Super Reviewer
August 22, 2011
Bonnie and Clyde is one of the great American classics. This is a near perfect film, but it lacks somewhat in its authenticity. The film however boasts a strong cast of talented actors, and each is wonderful in the roles they play. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway; they really brought something unique to the screen. The film has some decent robbery sequences, but where the film delivers is when the Barrows Gang has a few shootouts with the Law. Bonnie and Clyde is a thrilling crime film that's definitely a classic of film, and one of the best gangster action films of the 60's. If you're looking for great thrills, then Bonnie and Clyde most certainly does just that. Where Bonnie and Clyde falls short is like I said its authenticity. The gang were mostly armed with Browning Automatic Rifles (BAR) and how the died is not really what happened in the film. The real Bonnie and Clyde were driving at high speed as officers opened fire, in the film they stopped on the side of the road and the officers opened fire, killing them. A good ending, but it would've nice if they would have filmed it the way they actually got shot up. The gang also was portrayed as somewhat friendly as well, yet they were hardened killers in real life. Aside from these points, I thought this was an awesome and effective crime film, and is one of the essential must see classics of the genre.
Super Reviewer
December 28, 2007
Words cannot describe how much I love this movie. The scenes between Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway crackle with electricity. Glamorous x 1000. I want to BE one of the members of their gang. Backed up by a stellar supporting cast, it also boasts a catchy score, magnificent camerawork, and one HECK of an ending.One of the few movies that captures Faye Dunaway's ephemeral glamour to the fullest. I'm so glad I saw it.
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2011
I decided to watch this after a WB Studios tour of the lots on which it was filmed and listening to tales of Warren Beatty's badassery.

The movie did not disappoint--I was bowled over by Beatty and Dunaway's charisma and glistening sex appeal, and their chemistry was playful, almost stupidly childlike and surprisingly touching till the end. I'm glad it didn't glamorize the life of an outlaw, and captured the elements of weariness, anxiety and the longing for stability that ground away at the Barrow Gang (mostly in the look on Bonnie's face) after months upon months of living in a getaway car together. Little details of their personalities and "peculiarities" were much appreciated. Overall, an honest movie in good, naughty fun but also with a lot of heart.
Super Reviewer
January 22, 2007
Bonnie and Clyde carries with it a sense of fun that seems to clash with its surprising violence, remarkable for its time but still quite visceral today. Its energy cannot be denied, and though Arthur Penn occasionally lets the film get away from him (most notably with Estelle Parsons' misguided Blanche, a spot of "comic relief" who manages to be shrill and unappealing in every scene except her last), this is one of the forefathers of modern-day, character-driven action. Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty are almost frustratingly gorgeous, charming in their depravity - the stuff of legends, if legends were about people doing Very Bad Things. Great ending, too.
Super Reviewer
½ February 19, 2011
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the New Hollywood. Heavily influenced by the French New Wave, this film was very daring for it's time and holds up really well. Beatty and Dunaway are spot on and the tonal shifts between comic violence and realistic violence really make this film unique. For me, it was a good primer on understanding not only the style of the New Hollywood, but why it was so important.
Bill D 2007
Super Reviewer
December 24, 2010
I first saw "Bonnie and Clyde" in a high-school Film Appreciation course. I couldn't at the time appreciate its melancholy artistry or its pioneering quality. Seeing it now is a revelation, after some 25 years of studying cinema and other art forms. What a gorgeous, enriching, iconoclastic work of art "Bonnie and Clyde" is.

This is not to say that it's a perfect or even truly great film. It is not. But it has an immense amount of value, and I understand now why it is thought of as a watershed event, turning American film away from the conventions of the 1950s and 60s and ushering in a new golden age in American film. Without "Bonnie and Clyde," I don't think there would have been a "Midnight Cowboy," a "Five Easy Pieces," a "Godfather," or a "Chinatown," to name just a few.

"Bonnie and Clyde" brought the European-style auteur film to America, films made by directors who were first and foremost artists, not businessmen or craftsmen churning out product according to the master's instructions. "Bonnie and Clyde" reeks of artistry and poetry in every shot in an uncompromising way.

The brutality of the film is also revelatory. It represents a refusal to turn a blind eye to the brutality of life. Real life is not always gentle and pretty, and "Bonnie and Clyde" looks this reality squarely in the eye. It doesn't just point to death, it shows you death. We've gotten used to this now, but in 1967 it must have been terrifying.

It is especially poignant to re-experience this pioneering film now, given that its director, Arthur Penn, just died three months ago. Mr. Penn: Thank you for pioneering the auteurist American film. Thank you for not compromising and putting art first. You enriched American life immeasurably.

NOTE: If you want to learn more about the movement "Bonnie and Clyde" started, see Mark Harris's fantastic 2008 book, "Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood."
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
This is the movie everyone talks about from 1967! If you watch it today you will in no way feel it's an old movie, it's very modern, it was avant-garde in 67. The story is good, and the actors are great. Plus there's a lot of violence and blood. A great gangster movie.
Super Reviewer
May 21, 2010
"One time I told you I was gonna make you somebody. That's what you done for me. You made me somebody they're gonna remember."

Well, what an entertaining ride this was! This semi-true look at the notorious activities of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow started well and never slowed down or dipped in quality for a second. It was funny, action-packed, and has an euphoric sense of excitement that many older movies don't aim for.

The story started with Bonnie & Clyde's first meeting, and continued on during the many Depression-era robberies they became famous for, to their deaths. It's pretty well-known that the duo died young, but by the finale of the movie you'll have become so attached to these characters that their end will still feel like a blow. Dunaway and Beatty are excellent as the two main characters, and the supporting cast also doesn't disappoint.

From the dialogue to the camera angles to the pacing, Bonnie & Clyde seems designed to hold your attention like a vice until the very end. It's a very modern-feeling movie, and one that any classic or contemporary movie fan shouldn't hesitate to check out. Recommended.
Super Reviewer
June 20, 2010
One of the best gangster films of all-time, hands down. This film's influence on the gangster genre is unmatched, and a certain Quentin Tarantino found his niche for film-making after seeing this masterstroke. What this movie offers is three career-making performances from Warren Beatty (offering a very different, sexually conflicted anti-hero), Faye Dunaway (a smoking hot blond who is easily frustrated), and Gene Hackman (a very different role, largely comedic as a joking redneck), as well as a potently violent ending that is permanently etched into my mind for eternity. A Gene Wilder cameo is never a bad thing, either.
Super Reviewer
March 5, 2010
Fantastic film that helped kick-start the New Hollywood era of filmmaking.
Super Reviewer
½ August 27, 2008
"The strangest damned gang you ever heard of. They're young. They're in love. They rob banks."

A somewhat romanticized account of the career of the notoriously violent bank robbing couple and their gang.

Bonnie & Clyde stands today as one of the most important films of the 60s, it's impact on culture alone marks it out as a piece of work to note, but as gangster films go this one is something of a landmark. Quite how writers Newman & Benton managed to craft a story of two deadbeat outlaws into cinematic heroes is up for any individual viewers scrutiny, but they bloody well do it because we all want to be in the Barrow gang, because we get lost in this romanticised outlawish tale unfolding in front of our eyes.

The film is a fusion of incredible violence and jaunty slapstick, and smartly pauses for delicate moments to let us into the psyche of the main protagonists, we know they have hangups, and with that we know they are fallible human beings, and this sets us up a treat for the incredible jaw dropping finale, and the impact of this finale hits as hard now as it did back with the audience's of 1967.

The cast are incredible, Warren Beatty gives a truly brilliant performance as Clyde, he looks good and suave tooting those guns, but it's in the tender troubled scenes where he excels supreme. Faye Dunaway as Bonnie is the perfect foil for Beatty's layers, she nails every beat of this gangsters troubled moll. Gene Hackman, Michael J Pollard, and Estelle Parsons put the cherry on the icing to give depth and range to the rest of the Barrow gang, and these fine actors are clothed in gorgeous cinematography courtesy of Burnett Guffrey. To round out the plaudits I finish with love for director Arthur Penn because it's his vision that gives us something of a nostalgic movie that plays up and down with its subjects with cheeky aplomb, in fact it's just like the banjo music that features so prominently throughout this wonderful film.
Super Reviewer
January 3, 2010
Probably one of the best crime pieces. Maybe it isn't the most accurate biopic, but it's definitely a great movie. The style and tone are perfect for the subject matter and it has some of the best chase/shootouts ever. Faye Dunway, Warren Beatty and Gene Hackman all gave flawless performances and truly kept you rooting for the bad guys.
Super Reviewer
½ December 29, 2009
Bonnie and Clyde, based on real-life characters, is maybe one of the most iconic crime films ever made. When I watched it, I was under the impression of witnessing something larger than life. And in fact, this combination of excellent filmmaking and a true story of glorified bank robbers is, in a way, larger than life in how easily it has gone down in history. It says so much about society's fascination with the 'good' criminals, the outcasts.
Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were simply kids trying to escape the misery and boredom of their small-time lives. He'd been in prison a few times, and she was a waitress. Most importantly, they were bright and eager for something more. They started robbing banks shortly after meeting each other, and from then on they were constantly on the run across the American South.
This film is very rich in the way it gives us a look into Bonnie and Clyde: both are beautiful, witty, impeccably dressed, almost never swear, have a great sense of humor. But, simultaneously, from a narrative point of view, it does not shy from showing that they are very capable of violence -and not particularly tortured by guilt afterwards-, and that they have basically no plans of ending their criminal lives any time soon. ,Bonnie and Clyde is glamourous, yes, but also raw. It's a long juxtaposition of the largely iconic images of Bonnie and Clyde in the desert, or taking mock-photos of themselves with rifles, on other, heavier images of bloodbath and gunfire. How flawlessly both aspects of the same story are joined is what makes it a remarkable film.
The Barrow gang was, from the core, a romanticized reflection of itself. Bonnie Parker wrote their own story in the form a poem named The Trail's End, which was published in the newspapers at the time. She was able to see the gang as an icon even before it was over, and this peculiarity gives the story of Bonnie and Clyde a very literary, which extends to cinematographic, quality, and in a way justifies the stylization to which their story has been subject, over and over.
This alternation between romance and violence is played to perfection by Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, the two impossibly handsome criminals. Both of them not only have great presence, they also manage to strike a perfect balance as a couple onscreen, and deliver vivid, almost tangible performances. They're largely responsible (as well as, of course, the script) for the humanization of Bonnie and Clyde. Gene Hackman further proves his versatility as Clyde's brother Buck, Michael J. Pollard plays the gang's sidekick, and Estelle Parsons plays Buck's unbearable wife in a way that makes you want to kill her (this is a compliment).
As for the filmmaking itself, here is some of the most unique cinematography I've seen in any American film of the time. Taking advantage of the desert setting, with its unrelenting sun and sandstorms, Bonnie and Clyde is wrapped constantly in a golden haze. The costumes and art direction are no less evocative, and then there's the great visual and sound editing, responsible for making the final shoot-out scene of the film one of the most disturbing, fascinating moments of its genre.
Super Reviewer
July 20, 2009
I had always heard how influential this film was, and the ways in which it earns its status as such an inportant and influential film. Having now seen it, I can now give my view. I agree. This is a very important and influential film. Seeing it has made me realize just how big of an impact this film has made on cinematic history. This film came out at a time when it was uncommon to have a handsome leading man with sexual difficulties. It was also a time when strong violence, at times brutal, was just an idea and not a reality. This film broke those, and other rules. This film was also at the forefront of the wave of cynical, nihilistic, and confrontational films to be released over the next 12 years or so that really expressed the disillusionment over all the fucked up shit going on in the world at the time, something that no other art forms could capture quite as effectively. Outside of this, the film is also a success aesthetically. The performances are really, really good, the characters (most of them) likeable, and the cast top notch. Arthur Penn's direction is also great. Balancing romance and comedy with jarring, shocking violence is no easy feat, but he gets it to work. Some violence is comical, but then, whe nthe audience isn't expecting it, it takes an unexpected turn that isn't easy to forget. Despite coming out in '67, the film still looks gorgeous, and, since it is a period piece, the fact that you can tell it came out then only helps the film in terms of capturing the spirit of an age gone by. For some, this film may not seem all that special, as they are used to all the stuff that was made possible as a result of this film, films such as Natural Born Killers, any of Tarantino's work, and even stuff like The Godfather, among many others. This film took the gangster genre and gave it a stark twist. After this film, the way violence and sex were treated on film changed forever. Even though I have seen far more brutal films than this, I was still genuinely surprised and shocked by some of what this film shows, mainly because, unlike so many films, this one makes you feel sympathy for those you shouldn't, thus making the impact of the violence that much more unsettling. Bottom line, see this film, both because of its importance to cinema, and because it's just a damn fine piece of work in its own right.
Super Reviewer
June 14, 2009
I had seen this film much earlier in life and while I appreciated it, I never understood why it was considered such a classic. Now I do. This film is brilliant from the first frame to the gut wrenching ending. I loved every minute of it and it helps that Warren Beatty puts on a clinic as Clyde. The entire cast is great, Gene Hackman and Gene Wilder being exceptionally bad ass. I know this is like a kid just realizing how good Coca-Cola tastes when he's twenty-one (a lot of times with films I feel like a Mormon who hasn't been allowed to watch anything), but I figure at least I know what everyone is talking about now. Kudos to Arthur Penn for making a beautiful and heart breaking film.
Super Reviewer
September 10, 2007
Since I just finished watching this, I still have mixed feelings about it. It definitely starts out slowly but gains momentum and ends with a bang, just like I thought it would. The acting is pretty good, and I love the dynamic characters. Considering that this film was made in 1967, it used some really creative shots, cuts and story telling, that you can see mimicked today in a few movies. The movie puts a neat perspective on 'organized' crime. I believe this also translates well today, with kids being 'bored' and looking for stuff to do, a lot of youth turn to crime for recreation, not realizing that there are major consequences for doing so. This film is definitely worth watching; at least once over, but subsequent viewings may not have the same desired effect.
Super Reviewer
½ March 23, 2009
Most historical dramas are inaccurate as hell. Honestly, would you pay to watch someones ho-hum life for two hours, even if there was a little excitement thrown in. Hollywood has to take a few liberties. With Bonnie and Clyde you get a few of those to jazz it up a bit. The film is about a girl named Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) who stumbles on a boy named Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) attempting to steal her mothers car. Well, we all know what happens when (semi) good girls meet bad boys- she runs off with him and the crime spree begins. They move up from stealing cars and holding up grocery stores to robbing banks and capturing the public eye; obsessing for the public eye. Along the way they pick up a driver named C. W. Moss (Michael Pollard) and drag Clyde's brother (a brilliantGene Hackman) and his wife (Estelle Parsons) into the melee.

You know how Bonnie and Clyde is going to end. The film is watching a raging fire that's about to burn itself out and will be just a pile of dead embers in a few hours. It's the characters destiny. Making it a tougher film to make, but director Arthur Penn is able to give us a film that is half news reel and half documentary. Instead of hardened criminals lusting for blood you get people with personalities. This is probably WarrenBeatty's best role of his career as he gives Clyde depth and accomplishes a hard feat: we forget that it's Warren Beatty. We believe it's Clyde Barrow. Faye Dunaway does the same. She's transformed into that girl from a Texas, yet there's still that glamour on the screen. Gene Hackman is one of the driving forces in the middle of the film. His portrayal of Buck Barrow is of a jovial figure, yet with a heavy heart that he and his wife have been drug into this mess. An early masterpiece fromHackman.

Bonnie and Clyde is an enjoyable ride to the end of the wick so to speak. Violent beyond its years (considering it was released before the ratings system) it doesn't glorify its violence. There is actual regret over the dead that was unusual in films at that point. The film was ahead of it.s time and remains a great classic.
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