Clerks (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes

Clerks (1994)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

When Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) is reluctantly put in charge of the Quick Stop market on his day off, he tries, though half-heartedly, to perform his minimum-wage duties as efficiently as possible. This gets tough amidst the on-going fight with his girlfriend, Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti), and his attempt to get back together with his ex-girlfriend, Caitlyn Bree (Lisa Spoonhauer). Meanwhile, his friend and alter ego Randall (Jeff Anderson) is working behind the counter of the adjacent video store -- at least when he feels like it. Randall's unabashed disdain of his place of employment, a long with his self-admitted hatred towards its customers is a sharp contrast to Dante's feeble attempts at the niceties of customer service. Much of the film consists of Randall and Dante's criticism of their customers, their lives, and the world in general. Clerks, filmed in black-and-white on a budget of only $27,000, began the career of writer director Kevin Smith, who would go on to make Mallrats (1995), Chasing Amy (1997), Dogma (1999), and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore
Rating: R (on appeal for extensive use of extremely explicit sex-related dialogue.)
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Cult Movies
Directed By:
Written By: Kevin Smith
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 29, 1999
Runtime:
Miramax Films

Cast

Kevin Smith
as Silent Bob
Scott Mosier
as William the Idiot Ma...
Walter Flanagan
as Woolen Cap Smoker/Eg...
Scott Schiappo
as Chewlies Rep
Al Berkowitz
as Old Man
Walt Flanagan
as Woolen Cap Smoker/Eg...
Virginia Smith
as Caged Animal Masturb...
Ed Hapstak
as Sanford
Lee Bendick
as Wyranski
David Klein
as Hunting Cap Smoking ...
Ken Clark
as Administer of Fine
Donna Jeanne
as Indecisive Video Cus...
Betsy Broussard
as Dental School Video ...
Kimberly Loughran
as Alyssa's Sister Heat...
Gary Stern
as Tabloid Reading Cust...
John Henry Westhead
as Olaf the Russian Met...
Chuck Dickel
as Stock in Chips Can
Leslie Hope
as Jay's Lady Friend/An...
Connie O'Connor
as `Happy Scrappy' Mom
Vincent Pereira
as Hockey Goalie/Engage...
Erix Infante
as Bed Wetting Dad/Cold...
Melissa Crawford
as Video Confessor/Cand...
Thomas Burke
as Blue Collar Man
Dan Hapstak
as Door Tugging Custome...
Mitch Cohen
as Leaning Against Wall...
Matthew Banta
as Burner Looking For W...
Rajiv Thapar
as Cut-Off Customer
Mike Belicose
as Customer with Diaper...
Jane Kuritz
as Customer with Vaseli...
Grace Smith
as Milk Maid
Frances Cresci
as Little Smoking Girl
Matt Crawford
as Angry Man at Door
Sarla Thapar
as Angry Woman at Door
Brian Drinkwater
as Hockey Player
Bob Fisler
as Hockey Player
Derek Jaccodine
as Hockey Player
Matthew Pereira
as Angry Smoking Man
Frank Pereira
as Angry Smoking Man
Carl Roth
as Angry Smoking Man
Paul C. Finn
as Angry Smoking Man
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Clerks

Critic Reviews for Clerks

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (13)

A buoyant, bleakly funny comedy chronicling a day's worth of activity at two adjoining stores.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

A hoot one moment, a hiss the next, the film is about as even as a city road after a hard winter. But the script's sheer vigour sees us through.

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

There's no denying the raw and energetic feel Smith created with a memorable script, great characters and a genuine sense of Gen X angst.

Full Review… | November 28, 2009

an exemplar of what can happen when the stars align and someone's home movie can help foment a revolution

Full Review… | November 23, 2009
Q Network Film Desk

Clerks remains a defining debut, a symbolic shot into the darkened domain of legitimate moviemaking.

Full Review… | November 21, 2009
PopMatters

...the film's inherent deficiencies are generally overshadowed by the distinctly earnest vibe.

Full Review… | July 23, 2006
Reel Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for Clerks

½

Kevin Smith deserved all the recognition that he got after presenting us with this hilarious slice-of-life cult movie, which was made with a very limited budget and yet is more authentic, refreshing and amusing than many comedies out there.

blacksheepboy
Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer

½

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Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

½

Shot in black and white on a meager budget of $27,000, this is one of the best 'a day in the life of' or 'slice of life' films ever, and a quintessential part of 90s independent cinema, and the start of the remarkable career of writer/director/actor Kevin Smith.

The simple plot follows two slackers in their early 20s who spend the day at their minimum wage jobs (a convenience store and an adjacent video store) dealing with a cadre of colorful customers and loiterers, chatting about pop culture, and riffing on their jobs, people (especially customers they dislike), and their own lackluster lives.

Dante is reluctantly their on his day off, and half-hardheartedly tries to make the best of it. Randal is his best friend, and openly mocks what he does and the people he has to deal with. They are a good match together, and it is a joy watching them hang out and talk. As if the oddball customers and loiterers (especially drug dealers Jay and Silent Bob) weren't enough of an issue, Dante has to also deal with an ongoing fight with his girlfriend Veronica, and the temptation to get back together with his ex-flame Caitlin.

Seeing this when I was around the age of the characters, and working at a place where it was easy to bitch about it and the customers, I was easily able to identify with this film, and take much influence from it. Now that I'm older, and somewhat wiser and more mature, my feelings towards this film have mellowed some, but not completely.

Most of this holds up pretty well, though some of it is a tad dated. The optimist in me would say that this adds to the charm, especially since I'm a fan of Gen X, slacker-related stuff, and dig on early 90s style and aesthetics. As a first feature, and given the limitations (mostly budgetary), I'd say Smith was pretty successful at making the most of what he had, despite the fact that some of the film is pretty rough around the edges, and a tad aimless and meandering once in a while.

I think the writing is still quite sharp, funny, realistic, and insightful. For a couple of foul-mouthed bums, Dante and Randal have some really good insights about people and life. They're not alone though, as the other characters have some choice observations as well. Yeah, the film is pretty raw and raunchy at times, but is actually rather tame compared to some of the stuff that has come out since 1994. Plus, even if it is vulgar, it's not just for the sake of it, and there's plenty of heart, depth, and, as I said, poignant observations.

Even though I will grow older and likely lose touch with this film more and more as time goes on, it will always hold a special place in my heart. It's a wonderfully fun hangout movie, and a prime example of taking a little, and turning it into a lot.

cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Clerks Quotes

Dante Hicks: Man goes into cage. Cage goes into salsa. Shark's in the salsa. Our shark.
– Submitted by Aidan C (22 months ago)
Dante Hicks: A bunch of savages in this town.
– Submitted by Aidan C (22 months ago)
Silent Bob: There's a million fine looking girls in the world. But they don't all bring you lasagna to work. Most of them just cheat on you.
– Submitted by Aidan C (22 months ago)
Angry Hockey-Playing Custom: What do you mean there's no ice? You mean I gotta drink this coffee hot?
– Submitted by Aidan C (22 months ago)

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