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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 145,622 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 573 user | 125 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:
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...
...
...
Ed Wilson, Mallory's Dad
Everett Quinton ...
...
London Boy
...
...
Mallory's Mom
...
Lanny Flaherty ...
Earl
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Mabel
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...
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

Taglines:

The Media Made Them Superstars. 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

After Quentin Tarantino had written the script, he promised his friend Rand Vossler, a fellow clerk at Video Archives, the director's chair. The pair couldn't find funding, and eventually decided to shoot it guerrilla-style (i.e. without permits) on the streets of LA, on black & white 16 mm film stock. Shortly before production, Oliver Stone found the script and wanted to buy it. In exchange for giving up his directorial debut, Rand is credited as co-producer. See more »

Goofs

The Indian tells a story about a poisonous snake. Snakes are venomous, not poisonous. See more »

Quotes

Wayne Gale: [after Mickey Knox takes over] Where's Roger?
Roger: [pops out] I'm right here!
Wayne Gale: Where's Scotty?
Roger: He's hit- I-I think he's dead.
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 Do You Like Hitchcock? (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Mallory Cello
Written and Performed by tomandandy
Courtesy of tomandandy Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
You'll love it or hate it.
4 May 2005 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

I remember "Natural Born Killers" making a huge fuss when it was released because the media and conservative families were in an outrage over the level of "glorified violence" in the film. To some extent they were right -- the violence isn't glorified but much of it is unnecessary. The movie could still be a brilliant satire of society/the media without going into such graphic detail -- it's been proved in cinema before that sometimes seeing less is better than gratuity. If Oliver Stone's movie has one outstanding flaw, it's the lack of subtlety.

That said, if you can handle the level of violence and take it tongue-in-cheek, "Natural Born Killers" is so bizarre and funny that it's worth the "trip." (Pun intended.) This is a crazy drug odyssey that would have made Hunter S. Thompson look like Ronald Reagan. The film is twisted, outlandish and out of its mind -- Oliver Stone has gone stone-cold crazy and it's awesome.

Despite my reservations about his lack of subtlety, there is a flip side to the coin: It is a story about excess. Stone's film-making has gone somewhat awry over the years (look at the pointless excess of his films after this), but this fits the bill because it IS a story of excess.

Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis play the titular "Natural Born Killers," Mickey and Mallory, a pair of crazy serial killers who both suffered traumatic childhoods and are now rampaging America on a literal killing spree.

After they are finally apprehended, the media has by now turned them into such icons and glorified personalities that the public and media seems to respect them as titans of filth.

This is where the social satire of the film comes into play, essentially saying: We focus more on the killers than the heroes.

I do think it's a bit hypocritical of Oliver Stone to attempt to point this out, as he is a die-hard liberal at his core and, as the controversy surrounding this film's release proved, the conservatives are too conservative to praise killers. It seems to be the liberal media that glorifies violence (to some extent of course) so I thought Stone would be the last person to ever criticize the media.

So yes it does come across as somewhat of a moot point but nevertheless the film is still enjoyable despite its sometimes sickening amount of over-the-top violence (the opening sequence of the Director's Cut is stomach-turning).

The cast is superb - Rodney Dangerfield, Robert Downey Jr., Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Sizemore, Edie McClurg (the rental car agent from "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" and Rooney's assistant in "Ferris Bueller"!) and Denis Leary and Ashley Judd in deleted scenes included in the Director's Cut.

The story was conceived by Quentin Tarantino (and it's very similar to his "True Romance" script -- a sort of modern-day "Bonnie and Clyde Redux") and re-written by Stone (much to the chagrin of QT). I'm not sure which would have made for a better film but, despite its flaws (which are mainly a none-too-subtle message and too much violence), "Natural Born Killers" is a sort of bizarre, outlandish masterpiece of drugged-out cinema. --


73 of 112 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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