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Natural Born Killers (1994)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  26 August 1994 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 156,718 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 584 user | 131 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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Title: Natural Born Killers (1994)

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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 ...
...
London Boy
...
...
Mallory's Mom
...
Lanny Flaherty ...
Earl
...
Mabel
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...
Sonny
...
...
Pinball Cowboy
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Storyline

Mickey Knox and Mallory Wilson aren't your typical lovers - after killing her abusive father, they go on a road trip where, every time they stop somewhere, they kill pretty well everyone around them. They do however leave one person alive at every shootout to tell the story and they soon become a media sensation thanks to sensationalized reporting. Told in a highly visual style. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the media circus of life, they were the main attraction. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

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

Deputy Sheriff Duncan Homolka's (Joe Grifasi) name is a reference to Karla Homolka who, with her husband Paul Bernardo, murdered two teenage girls and her own sister. See more »

Goofs

When the warden has been locked in the prison and the prisoners are charging at him, the shot facing the guards when they open fire on the prisoners clearly shows the warden climbing the bars, then cuts to a reaction shot of the warden still stood normally on the floor, then shows another shot of him climbing the bars. See more »

Quotes

Mickey: [Wayne is pleading for his life] This is not about you, you egomaniac. I kinda like you. But if we let you go, we'd be just like everybody else. Killing you and what you represent is a statement.
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

References A Clockwork Orange (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Leader of the Pack
Written by Shadow Morton (as George Morton), Jeff Barry & Ellie Greenwich
Performed by The Shangri-Las
Courtesy of Sun Entertainment Corp.
by arrangement with Celebrity Licensing, 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?"


140 of 211 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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