Clerks Movie Poster Image


Low language, high philosophy, and low budget.
Popular with kids
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1994
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

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.

Not applicable

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.

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.

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.

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/Streaming release date:June 29, 1999
Cast:Brian O'Halloran, Jason Mewes, Jeff Anderson
Director:Kevin Smith
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:appeal for extensive use of extremely explicit sex-related dialogue

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Teen, 13 years old Written bygo_charlie April 9, 2008


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
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
Adult Written byfenixataris182 April 9, 2008