A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
As a dark dystopian satire that explores whether or not sociopathic criminals can be reformed by behavior modification and reconditioning, there is not much in the way of positive messages.
Positive Role Models
Although certainly an engaging and charming anti-hero of a narrator, Alex is a sociopath in every sense of the word, and those around him aren't really that much better.
Violence & Scariness
Extreme violence throughout the movie. Within the first 15 minutes, a drunken homeless man is beaten up on the street by four young men, and these four young men watch a group of other young men begin to rape a woman before the two gangs engage in a fight with knives, chairs, and fists, and a woman is raped by these same men while her husband is forced to watch. A young man is forced to watch violent images on a movie screen -- first, a man being beaten and bloodied by a group of young men, and next, a woman raped by a group of young men.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Full-frontal female nudity, sexual innuendo, male nudity, explicit sex scenes. Characters are frequently surrounded by sexual images -- paintings of naked women, sculptures of penises, naked women mannequins who produce milk for consumption out of their nipples. A male social worker engages in inappropriate touching with a young man under his jurisdiction; he eventually reaches down and grabs the young man's penis as he sits next to him in his underwear.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
"F--king hell," "bastard," "s--t." Characters use their own slang, which is generally made up of Russian words, and they refer to sex as "In-out."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink a beverage in a bar called "Moloko," which is a mix of milk and an unknown drug that the narrator claims sharpens one's senses and makes him more desirous of committing acts of extreme violence. Early in the film, a homeless man is shown drunk and singing, surrounded by nearly empty booze bottles.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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. Profanity includes "f--k." There is full-frontal female nudity, sexual innuendo, male nudity, and explicit sex scenes. Characters are frequently surrounded by sexual images: paintings of naked women, sculptures of penises, naked women mannequins who produce milk for consumption out of their nipples. A male social worker engages in inappropriate touching with a young man under his jurisdiction; he eventually reaches down and grabs the young man's penis as he sits next to him in his underwear. For mature viewers, the messages about violence and cultural decay are present, but these may be lost on younger viewers amid the sensationalism. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A Clockwork Orange has earned the title of "cult classic," and rightfully so. This is the darkest of satires, exploring the deepest of themes: behavioral conditioning, crime and punishment, and the quote attributed to the anarchist Emma Goldman: "A society gets all the criminals it deserves." The end result also is a lampooning of youth culture as well as of those who espouse "law and order" at the expense of free will.
As the anti-hero Alec, Malcolm McDowell presents so much style and élan that the iconic stature of the character has only grown in the decades since the movie was released. It isn't for the squeamish, but, unlike so many films in which sex and violence are omnipresent, there are reasons behind the brutality and the gratuitousness. It is an unforgettable movie and ranks as among Stanley Kubrick's finest.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.