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Natural Born Killers (1994)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  26 August 1994 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 143,370 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 569 user | 123 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

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(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Ed Wilson, Mallory's Dad
Everett Quinton ...
Deputy Warden Wurlitzer
...
London Boy
...
Deputy Warden Kavanaugh
...
Mallory's Mom
...
Lanny Flaherty ...
Earl
...
Mabel
...
...
Sonny
...
...
Pinball Cowboy
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Storyline

The misadventures of Mickey and Mallory: outcasts, lovers, and serial killers. They travel across Route 666 conducting psychadelic 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. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

media | murderer | violence | killer | satire | See more »

Taglines:

A bold new film that takes a look at a country seduced by fame, obsessed by crime and consumed by the media. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for extreme violence and graphic carnage, for shocking images, and for strong language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

26 August 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asesinos por naturaleza  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$34,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

£3,923,239 (UK) (17 March 1995)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the UK, the film's video release was to be the same week that Thomas Hamilton walked into a primary school in the Scottish town of Dunblane and killed 16 children and a teacher before killing himself, shocking a nation unused to such gun crimes. Warner Brothers immediately went to the British Board of Film Classification to take another look at the certification granted the film. The BBFC however stood by their decision, so Warners took it upon themselves to withhold video release. Thus, when the film had its terrestrial TV premiere on the UK's channel five two years later, it became one of the few films to be broadcast on television without having a video release beforehand. See more »

Goofs

During the Prison Riot all the doors seem to be magically opened, the reason supposedly that the doors are jammed. The security locks in prisons are tested several times a day, and at the beginning of a riot all the doors would close and lock. However, as with the issue of the snake bites, this comes from an overly literal interpretation of the film, something which Oliver Stone strongly discourages on his DVD commentary track. The riot is not meant to be taken as a realistic depiction of an actual prison riot, and Stone acknowledges that great liberties were taken in the scene with the full knowledge that they weren't realistically accurate. See more »

Quotes

Old Indian: Once upon a time, a woman was picking up firewood. She came upon a poisonous snake frozen in the snow. She took the snake home and nursed it back to health. One day the snake bit her on the cheek. As she lay dying, she asked the snake, "Why have you done this to me?" And the snake answered, "Look, bitch, you knew I was a snake."
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are superimposed over a vast amount of stock footage, ranging from the future of Mickey and Mallory, stock A-Bomb tests, childhood photos of Mickey and Mallory, time-lapse footage, scenes from the movie, and so on. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: Half Past Dead 2 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

If You Were the Woman and I Was the Man
Written by Michael Timmins
Performed by Cowboy Junkies
Courtesy of BMG Music Canada, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Truly Beautiful Movie and Enjoyable on Many Levels
26 April 2004 | by (Boston, Mass) – See all my reviews

"Natural Born Killers" in itself is a picture of the ironic tragedy of the satire. This movie took the media and American culture head on, challenged it and spoofed it- as a result, American pop culture kicked it up a notch to become as outrageous as the parody! On top of that, few understood Stone's film was a satire and instead accused him of promoting violence. This is a tragedy because "Natural Born Killers" really is a sharp and funny satire that helped to usher in the 90s with Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction".

Yes, it's over the top, yes, it's violent, yes, it's flashy, and most of all, yes, it works! The effect may make you a bit dizzy, it may disturb, and may even offend, but this is a truly great piece of cinema. Like its great predecessors, which it freely homages, "In Cold Blood", "Badlands", and "Bonnie & Clyde", this film is about two killers on the road who are in love. Unlikely movie stars Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis play Mickey and Malory. Through a few frantic and imaginative scenes we see them meet, fall in love, murder Malory's abusive father, and hit the road. These scenes are instantly unforgettable, bearing a wit that may be overt, but is funny enough to accept. Meanwhile our heroes become a media sensation thanks to the TV show "American Maniacs", hosted by Wayne Gale (Robert Downey Jr. with a British accent).

It isn't all glitz and blood splatter. Auteur Stone works with (what remains of) Tarantino's script to make all these characters into real people, and not symbols or cliches. Character motivation is related mostly through flashed images and flashbacks (as in "In Cold Blood"). The editing and superb Richardson camera work relate complex emotional states, as well as the frenzied mood of the violence. Oliver Stone does have the tendency to be peachy and over the top, but his strength in portraying sympathetic humanity over comes his weaknesses.

Under-appreciated actor Tom Sizemore ("True Romance", "Heat") plays detective Jack Scagnetti, the celebrity homicide cop who pursues and eventually captures Mickey and Malory (in what has to be one of the best, most intense arrest scenes in screen history). In the context of this film, he is a villain, but he is a human being just the same. He leads us into the second half of this picture, which has Mickey and Malory behind bars awaiting a big TV interview with Wayne Gale on Superbowl Sunday. Tensions build to one of the best climaxes a crime or prison movie ever had.

Rodney Dangerfield, Russell Means, and Tommy Lee Jones put in highly memorable appearances in supporting roles. On the director's cut DVD we see cut footage of performances from Ashley Judd (her best work) and Dennis Leary. "Natural Born Killers" is many great small parts adding up to an even better whole. All of it is accented and sealed by a very good soundtrack arranged by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails (who contribute the beautiful "A Warm Place"). This is a movie you won't soon forget and will likely enjoy.

I recommend this to fans of Stone, of the movies I mentioned above, of Tarantino (he didn't approve, but as a fan of his, I did), and to anyone who is simply curious about it. It'll blow you away, in the good sense.

"Do you believe in fate?"


137 of 201 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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