Natural Born Killers Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ July 4, 2007
I've seen it but I've never REALLY seen it.
Super Reviewer
March 29, 2007
A thrill ride of emotion and action. Just great flick with over the top acting from Harrelson.
Super Reviewer
August 3, 2010
One of the most controversial films of the past twenty years, "Natural Born Killers" incited a frothy debate on the role of violence in mass media, and how it affects young children. The actual controversy surrounding the film included a lawsuit that stated that the film had incited violence by showing satirized depictions of violence, going against the actual point of the film. The original screenplay was by Quentin Tarantino, though later bought and heavily changed by Oliver Stone and his collaborators, though the inspiration is still very clear. The film stars Woody Harrelson and Juliet Lewis as mass murderers who are also a couple, the story taking heavily from the exploits of Starkweather, the beating of Rodney King, and sensationalized news coverage. Their story, while seeming out of this world strange, is memorable for its proximity to true American crime stories, and the media coverage that did surround them. Robert Downey Jr. plays an Australian reporter with a crime TV show (a la Geraldo Rivera) who gets way too into the story he is reporting on, and finds it all very exciting rather than horrifying. It's a scathing indictment of the media, and their inability to show murder and violence without a bit of excitement, maybe even envy. There's this gross, almost pseudo-erotic tendency that crime shows have towards their subject matter. Everything has to be pulse thumping and exploitative, even though these are real people dying. Besides its core message, this film is also amazing for its shocking use of parody, sex, and violence. Though the events in the film can be the basis for an action film, it's framed so that you feel queasy, that you see the grotesque of society while also seeing inside the minds of these killers. This film is riveting, gross, and bloody, while also being insightful.
Super Reviewer
June 9, 2006
This is Oliver Stone's masterful, hallucinatory, stylish, surreal, and biting satirical look at mass murderers and the media/folk culture surrounding them.

It was somewhat inspired by the story of Charles Starkweather, whose life also influenced Terrence Malick's debut Badlands. Loosely based on a story by Quentin Tarantino, what we get here is the saga of Mickey and Mallory Knox- a pair of mass murderers who rampage across the American Southwest before getting imprisoned, where they somehow still manage to get their (violent) kicks. All the while the media hones in on them, making them out to be veritable folk heroes, with the main media figure being slimy Aussie television journalist Wayne Gale. On the other side of the story are determined detective Jack Scagnetti who is almost as psychos as the people he's after, and prison warden Dwight McClusky who just relishes the idea of being able to bring Mickey and Mallory to the reaper.

This is a wild, sometimes messy, and always over the top film that is all over the place, but definitely makes an impression. It's kinda hard to pin this film down, but, even if you don't agree with the message of how it's done, you can't deny that this film is worth seeing and discussing.

It's one of those bitter and scathing satires, but there's also a darkly comedic undercurrent going on. I'll admit that this is a disturbing film, but there is a point to it, and it's done with intelligence.

Woody Harrelson and and Juliette Lewis are terrific as Mickey and Mallory, Robert Downey Jr. is a delight as Wayne Gale, Tommy Lee Jones is a gloriously scenery chewing delight as Dwight McClusky, and Tom Sizemore is kidna scary as Scagnetti. This film also features Rodney Dangerfield's only dramatic turn as Mallory's sleazy abusive dad.

The film is shot almost exclusively in Dutch angles using a variety of formats including, color, black and white, animation, super 8, 16, and 35 mm film stocks, and a whole lot more. It's all done to add style, but also substance, and its all discussed by Stone at length on the commentary track. Or you could just read about it online if you'd prefer.

From a technical perspective, this film is a dizzying and ambitious marvel. It's perhaps pretentious, and naysayers will call it overbearing, but I think it's all part of the overall experience. The soundtrack is likewise suitably manic and eclectic, and one of my favorites.

All in all, this is a landmark of 90s cinema and a film you should definitely see.
Super Reviewer
½ March 1, 2013
'Natural Born Killers' is one of the only films I've ever watched where I am generally uncertain as to what I feel. Never before have I had such a mixed reaction to such a Marmite style picture, and I probably won't have a similar reaction ever again.

The film directed by one of my new favourites, Oliver Stone, tells the story of Mickey and Mallory, played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis respectively. M and M are two psychopathic serial killers, actually they prefer mass murderers, who we follow through life with all their bloodbaths along the way.

Stone however is less interested in the violence, but the causes of their violence. Through a combination of drugged up sequences, flashbacks in the style of 70s sitcoms and the strangest combination of storytelling I've ever seen.

Putting aside the content for a moment, the acting alone on 'Natural Born Killers' stands out as some of the finest, in an extremely over the top way. Stone breaks with his serious masterpieces such as 'Platoon' and 'Wall Street', choosing cheesy, yet powerful over the top acting. Harrelson and Lewis perform admirably, but it's Robert Downey Junior's turn as Australian TV host Wayne Gale, and Tommy Lee Jones role as the prison warden which really take the cake. Both Downey Jr and Jones create the strangest characters with layers overlapping and breaking through the surface. They make you laugh, they make you cry.

But aside from the acting the rest of the film gives me mixed impressions. The cinematography is impressive but constructed in such a deliberately comic fashion that it gets on my nerves eventually. The storyline seems to be ever so slightly pointless and the message blurred by the violence.

I expected a more hardened opinion a few days after I watched it and the film earned perspective. Instead I am left unsure what to think and for that reason I give it two and a half stars, halfway good, halfway bad, unsure whether 'Natural Born Killers' is the masterpiece many make it out to be or just a plain disappointment.
Super Reviewer
October 25, 2012
Oliver Stone's hyper kinetic vision of mass murder and mass media splurges on originality and uniqueness, but lacks the ability to entice every viewer. Devoid of substantial substance and any form of pathos, Stone charges on on his own crazy spree. Jolting, violent, and haphazard, 'Natural Born Killers' is definately one of the more peculiar films of the 90's.
Super Reviewer
July 22, 2007
The future will be televised ... Stone's filmic commentary on America and Americans (WAKE UP!!!) is no whisper (nearly impotent with all the screaming) and definitely not for everyone (although I think it was meant for everyone), filled with ultra-violence and psychedelic imagery. "Entertaining, yes, but what do you think about it," in spades, with a healthy dollop of self-loathing on the side
Super Reviewer
March 25, 2012
This surreal masterpiece started out with a ultraviolent but more funny and less terrifying script written by Quentin Tarantino. But in the hands of Oliver Stone, it turned into a hallucinogenic joyride through hell. Though it would've been interesting to see how Tarantino would have directed it, I truly love (and fear) the menacing nature in which Stone put together the pieces.
Super Reviewer
February 17, 2011
Mickey: The media is like the weather, only it's man-made weather. 

"The Media Made Them Superstars."

Oliver Stone went way over the top to make his point with Natural Born Killers and I believe it worked. This experience is unlike any other film experience you have had. Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis bring Mickey and Mallory to life in such a way where it is hard to not cheer for them, and I assume that was the point. We always make the serial killers and the mass murders celebrities. We may not think of that way, but we do. 

Until killers are caught in America, we read about them in newspaper, magazines and we hear about them on tv. Then they are caught, but it doesn't die there. We then watch their trial, talk about their body language, listen to interviews. Then they are sent to prison, but it still isn't done with. Then we have books written about them, movies made about them; television news programs go and do specials on the killer. It never ends until the killer dies, and even then they live on, like Elvis. And why? Because it is entertaining. Never have I been more aware of that then when watching Natural Born Killers. 

That is pretty much what Natural Born Killers is getting at. Stone shows random things like hippies talking about how great Mickey and Mallory are. He shows us magazines with Mickeys face on the front cover. Killers are sold to us and we keep buying. Then there is the television show that turns them into full fledged stars and want to make television history by exploiting their story. This has all happened and it continues to happen.

Now I personally don't care if serial killers are getting a large amount of press. It's a natural human tendency to be entertained by violence. Throughout history, violence has always sold. It doesn't matter what time period you lived in or where you lived; violence was always talked about, written about or nowadays shown on television and in movies. That's never going to change. So as the saying goes, "If you can't beat em, join em."
Super Reviewer
April 22, 2007
Oliver Stone's frenetic and frenzied Natural Born Killers has always been a film I've been quite fascinated by. The performances from everyone are stellar and over the top, the various styles of shooting and cutting are all over the place but still manage to find a singular narrative and the symbolism in the storytelling is what you'd expect from Stone's work. Somehow it all works without being perfect. The ultra violent director's cut is a much better film in comparison to the theatrical version and I prefer it much more. There are some moments in the film where it loses a bit of its focus and also becomes too symbolic to the point of almost being pretentious, but you can't deny its power or mystique.
Super Reviewer
½ September 24, 2011
A very strange film indeed. The film is mixed with detestable violence and suggestive material that is definitely not for everyone. Though this film does standout as a landmark in the industry due to the many medias it uses, everything from 35mm and Super 8, to black and white and animation. All the actors give stirring and over the top performances that are very amusing. Though it is a controversial and strange film, it is very unique.
Super Reviewer
July 23, 2010
I really liked this movie. It was entertaining and makes a good point about society and how they crave violence. It was also original and really funny.

Grade: B+
Super Reviewer
September 29, 2007
I strangely enjoyed this movie.
I thought it was directed beautifully so well done to Oliver Stone, as this movie is very visually stunning and i found it very interesting to see the different contrasts of colour.
I must say Tommy Lee Jones was by far the best thing about this movie, he really (for me anyway) stole the show. His psychotic, crazed wardon was hilarious and just acted really well.
It is a good violent action packed movie but some people may find it to weird (visually) to be able to like this movie. Although the storyline was a bit rubbish it was very entertaining to watch.
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2008
A nasty, nihilistic, cracked-out mess of a movie, where director Oliver Stone leaves subtlety at the door and instead elects for a "Looney Toons" version of a couple of killers (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis) and how they are glorified by the media during their rampant killing spree. This is just a headache of a motion picture, with ridiculous performances all-around, all with Stone wanting his audience to consider the serious message he's sending out that these people should not be covered and romanticized by any means. However, if you make a movie about, well, romanticizing two abhorrent individuals, I guess that's different, right Mr. Stone? By far one of the worst movies I've seen, and one that should make you feel like wanting to take a shower after you watch it.
Super Reviewer
May 10, 2011
This film must have either been very well thought out and I've missed all their implications or they just threw a load of junk together which it looks like. It was a good story with great characters and acting however I feel it could have been toned down a bit and less crazy.
Super Reviewer
½ June 22, 2007
I wanted so badly to like it but I seriously couldn't stand it.
Super Reviewer
April 7, 2011
Oliver Stone has always pushed the bar with his film. His films tend to tackle a specific subject, exposing cover ups and other assorted conspiracies. Stone has always pushed the boundaries in including topics that will make people discuss the film afterwards. Natural Born Killers takes a look at the violence in the media and sensationalism that the media uses to raise the bar on some cases where killers and other assorted felons are almost viewed by heroes by the public. Of all Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers is his most eccentric, psychedelic film. Watching this film is like tripping out on some strange drugs. I enjoyed the film because it takes a crack at something quite important. Unfortunately, people were influenced (in the wrong way) by this film. there was a string of copy cat killers who were directly influenced by this film. Both Columbine shooters were also influenced by this film. Of course when the media got a hold of the Columbine shooting, they went nuts. Just like the killers were rampaging across the U.S and every media outlet was looking to get the scoop. That just shows the point that NBK was trying to make even further. Natural Born Killers is a raw, nasty depraved film (in a good way). The cast that Stone has assembled here do a fine job, Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis are simply chilling in their portrayal in the two fugitives on a killing spree. The film could have been better, but I think the point that this film tries to make gets across and despite the flaws, Natural Born Killers is a ride into madness that you won't easily forget.
Super Reviewer
½ May 18, 2007
The once banned and controversial film Directed by Oliver Stone is nothing short of a memorable Cult Classic of the 90's, heavily influenced by the post Tarantino style filming and storytelling and extreme violence and lack of justice portrayed.

Having watched this film countless times, it's a movie I could never get bored of. I enjoy Woody Harrelson as an Actor, but I could never have thought he could pull off a character like Mickey Knox, which of course he did so well, the chemistry, love and obsession between him and Juliette Lewis aka Mallory Knox was quite something.

This film has two parts to it, a 'before' they got caught for their killing spree and an 'after' they got caught. It portrayed a very deep connection between the two main characters, that could not be broken, whether together, seperated or facing death.

I love the story that the Shaman tells really sums up the whole film, it's theme and the characters.

The Style of the filming is probably something taken for granted now in these style films, but it's still impressive and sets this as a 90's style, for years to look back on.

I seem to find something different and new about this film each time I watch it, it's style is very creative, with almost subliminal messaging throughout, non-conventional ways of storytelling, switching visual colours for how things are seen through the killers eyes, the animal/human instinct, the causes behind the story and most probably the biggest part which is the celebrity status these mass murderers attract.
Super Reviewer
½ August 5, 2010
There's no denying that this is one of the most over the top movies ever made. It's essentially the minds of Mickey and Mallory put onscreen, which is psychotic and all over the place. It's almost hard to watch at times, granted, that's the idea. Even though it's fairly obvious, I really like what this has to say about human nature, not just the media. There's something very true about people loving violence and death. Oliver Stone does everything for a reason and this certainly has a big message.
Super Reviewer
½ July 31, 2010
Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers" is a hyper kinetic experience. The visuals are totally intoxicating, surreal and all encompassing. The satire goes far and hits hard and is never really all that wrong, even for today. The performances are committed and fit the roles well. The chaotic tone is hard to handle sometimes and also makes it a bit convoluted. The film also fails on an emotional level since none of the characters are relatable and just do really terrible things. Regardless, it certainly a one of a kind viewing experience and one of the most memorable films from the 90s.
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