Clerks

  • Review Date: July 31, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1994
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Low language, high philosophy, and low budget.
  • Review Date: July 31, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1994
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Gen X'ers here are not the best employees, and discussions about sexual promiscuity occur, but the characters search for life's meaning with surprising insight.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

No sex or nudity depicted, but graphically discussed, usually via humor. Porn magazines are on display.

Language

Very strong language is used conversationally, but not violently.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some (one character smokes a cigarette, alcohol and drugs are discussed but not shown onscreen).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is more swearing in this film than at a convention of longshoremen. It's presented in the form of natural conversational rhythm, rather than as epithets. There are no depictions of sex, but it's discussed explicitly. Events and topics of note such as oral sex, masturbation, pornography, a death off screen, hermaphrodism, drinking, drugs, a child purchasing cigarettes, and an inadvertent case of necrophilia, make this film exceedingly inappropriate for kids under 17.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

CLERKS takes place over a day in the life of two characters. Dante (Brian O'Halloran) is a convenience store clerk and Randall (Jeff Anderson) is a video store employee. Randall is a potty-mouthed, porn-obsessed, poet/philosopher who constantly visits Randall at work. Dante and Randall spend most of their time ditching work to attend to more important endeavors like playing street hockey on the store's roof. The two main female characters, Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti) and Caitlin (Lisa Spoonhauer), are both independent, no-nonsense, and seek to better their lives through education. People talk (mostly about sex). Relationships surge and falter. Much like real life, there is palpable boredom.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Clerks is structured episodically, driven more by dialogue than plot. The acting is a bit amateurish at times, but when dialogue like Randall's monologues -- piercing and brutally fresh –- are presented to the audience, all is forgiven. In addition to the Filmmaker's Trophy at Sundance, Clerks also won the Prix de la Jeunesse at Cannes. Not bad for a low-budget ($27,000) independent feature by a writer/director/editor/producer/actor from Jersey.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Dante and Randal's work ethic and their relationships with women. Which characters represent a positive life direction and which ones appear to be going nowhere? Parents and kids might find the production of the film interesting due to its large success and low budget. They might compare the director's passion and tenacity with the attitudes of Dante and Randal.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 19, 1994
DVD release date:June 29, 1999
Cast:Brian O'Halloran, Jason Mewes, Jeff Anderson
Director:Kevin Smith
Studio:Miramax
Genre:Comedy
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:appeal for extensive use of extremely explicit sex-related dialogue

This review of Clerks was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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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Quality

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; OK 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 bygo_charlie April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Domination!

This movie is by far better than the second. Jay and Silent Bob make the movie but Randall and Dante are super funny as well... This movie gets boring every now and then but overall is a must see...
Teen, 13 years old Written byasecoolish February 2, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
its funny but a lot of graphic crude diolauge and strong language and not a family movie but is hilarious.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written bybradley4846 October 23, 2010
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Funny Movie

if you like slapstick, don't see this. What makes this movie funny is its dialogue. Yes there is a ton of swearing, mainly the fword. There is tons of sex talk, but none onscreen (except for the bathroom seen, but still nothing is shown). But besides that there is nothing else notable
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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