A Clockwork Orange

  • Review Date: October 30, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1971

Common Sense Media says

A violent meditation on violence. Not for kids.
  • Review Date: October 30, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1971





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters engage in violent, deviant, criminal behavior.


Violent beating of a homeless man, attempted rape, gang fight, beating, rape, beating to death of an elderly woman


Full frontal female nudity, rape, sexual innuendo, male nudity, explicit sex scenes.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking of a drug liquid called Miloko

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is an extremely violent film. Within the first 13 minutes there is a violent beating of a homeless man, an attempted rape, a gang fight, another beating and a rape. Sex and violence are paired. Hope for a "cure" for violence is scuttled. For mature viewers, the messages about violence and cultural decay are present but these may be lost amidst the sensationalism on younger viewers.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Based on the Anthony Burgess novel, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE tells the tale of Alex (Malcolm McDowell), a young man whose cravings for sex and violence rule almost his every motivation. He and his roving gang of "droogies" fight and rape their way around town beating up hapless strangers or rival gangs. But Alex's droogies aren't that happy with his leadership. They soon ambush Alex and leave him for the police to find after he murders a woman in her home. After two years in prison, Alex is chosen to participate in an experiment to brainwash the violent tendencies out of criminals: He becomes deathly sick and incapacitated anytime he encounters or thinks about violence. The unintended side effect is that he also feels that way when he hears his favorite composer, Ludwig Van Beethoven. The latter is exploited to disastrous ends in a case of political and personal revenge.

Is it any good?


The film itself is solid Kubrick, and any fan of his work would surely not want to miss this one. McDowell pulls out a career making performance as he mugs and leers into the camera, turning from vicious animal to pouty innocent boy at the drop of a hat.

This movie was way ahead of its time.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the nature of violence. Are some people naturally destined to be violent or does it come from experience? Does our current penal system work? Is it ethical to try to brainwash criminals, as they did to Alex? Or are there other means to use psychology that might help?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 9, 1971
DVD release date:May 6, 1991
Cast:Adrienne Corri, Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee
Director:Stanley Kubrick
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:137 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:rape, violence, sex, and nudity.

This review of A Clockwork Orange was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byEntropy April 9, 2010

Fantastic, Original, Controversial, NOT FOR KIDS.

This is probably the most graphical, and most twisted film I have seen. At the same time. It is so incredibly well done, it simply cannot be ignored.

This film weaves an interesting, terrifying, and shockingly graphic tale. There are almost no good role models, nearly all main characters engage in horrible, immoral, violent, and sexual behavior.

This movie is filled with merciless brutality, often inflicted upon the innocent.

The violence includes, but is not limited to: Multiple accounts of very graphic on-screen rape, many extremely violent beatings and murders, attempted suicide, torture, police brutality, and other such horrible acts.

There is also EXTREMELY Graphic On-Screen Sexual Content. Including, full female nudity, and male nudity, and several scenes in which the sex is almost entirely visible. Including the afore mentioned Rape.

Just to be able to grasp some idea of what I am talking about, I might mention that this film was originally rated X.

Surprisingly NO foul language in this film whatsoever. In fact, in replacement of the usual insulting words, very colorful and seemingly sophisticated phrases are used.

Much ado about drugs, main characters drink drugged milk to sharpen their instincts and focus. The "Droogs" use this ability to violently harm innocent citizens. In this society, it is shown how it is possible to get a kick, or a high, out of violence. They use it like a drug. And refer to it as Ultra Violence.

Anyway, I would not recommend this film for anyone under 18+. As it conveys such a disturbingly violent story, younger viewers might be too shocked by the graphical content to understand the true message, and the more subtle undertones.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old Written byacidpops97 March 27, 2011

Let Anyone Watch It

This movie is a masterpiece! I watched it for the first time when I was 6 and I loved it then. The nudity, violence, and cursing weren't too much for me because the movie is not glorifying it. I knew that it was a bad thing that they were doing. That didn't make me want to do it. If you're a parent, you know that your children aren't dumb. They will be able to understand the mature themes if you let them watch it. You can tell your children what is in it and ask them if they are ready. Let them pick the right time for this movie. Just be confidant in your child's maturity. The violence and rape all contribute to the story and avoiding it in movies won't teach your children that it is wrong. Nobody would ever really want to be Alex so don't worry about bad role models. Just be prepared to answer your children's questions.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Teen, 17 years old Written byyourfunny August 15, 2011

Oh My

Well, this movie is definetly not as bad as people say it is. It's a classic, a masterpiece, and actually has some lessons that can be learned. The violence is pretty tame.

What other families should know
Too much sex


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