Movie review by
Lorrie Palmer, Common Sense Media
Clerks Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Low language, high philosophy, and low budget.
  • R
  • 1994
  • 92 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 15 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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.


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


Very strong language is used conversationally, but not violently.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there is more swearing in Clerks 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bysappybeans September 25, 2020
Adult Written byDavid M. October 24, 2019

Fantastic and Hilarious Movie!

Parents need to know that CLERKS is a very smart written movie with great messages and a positive outlook on life, but there is an extreme amount of sexual talk... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bytylerkell April 1, 2021
Teen, 14 years old Written byHenry Hill15 August 22, 2018

Great movie - teens will enjoy

This is a great low budget comedy movie that is very funny and entertaining. I would recommend this to teenagers and I think your average teen should be ok with... Continue reading

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?

Clerks is structured episodically, driven more by dialogue than plot, and 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.

Talk to your kids 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

  • In theaters: October 19, 1994
  • On DVD or streaming: 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
  • Last updated: September 17, 2020

Our editors recommend

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

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate