Natural Born Killers

Movie review by
David Gurney, Common Sense Media
Natural Born Killers Movie Poster Image
Bloody, violent, sexually explicit. Mature teens+.
  • R
  • 1994
  • 118 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 13 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The point of the movie may be to criticize the media for glorifying violence, but it does this through more and more over-the-top violence, clouding the message for many viewers, especially younger viewers.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Main characters are serial killers and are meant to be as bad as humans get.

Violence

Constant and vivid depictions of graphic murders, torture.

Sex

A father makes unwanted sexual advances towards his daughter. A man performs oral sex on a woman while on a car hood.

Language

Constant swearing.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Use of and scenes depicting the effects of many drugs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is an aggressive film that features a serial killer couple who kills indiscriminately. Violence is used liberally throughout the film in the form of graphic murder, beatings, and torture -- mostly perpetrated by the couple on their unsuspecting victims. Sex is shown and discussed, and is hardly ever in a loving form. A scene features a father making unwanted sexual advances toward his daughter. Another features a murder that begins with a man performing oral sex on a woman while on a car hood. Language is unrestrained and used quite violently intoned. Parents should note that an unrated director's cut is available on DVD with even more graphic violence and sexual situations added to the originally released version.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5, 9, 11, and 14 year old Written byJamesRobertson January 4, 2009
Parent of a 14 year old Written byMr. Boxbox September 23, 2009

Good for teens

Great film. Everybody talks about how extreme and violent this film is but when i saw it i was suprised that it was pretty tame.
Teen, 16 years old Written byTheAnonymous March 27, 2013

Definetely a NO

Gives you a sense of "dafuq did I just watch?" This is one of the worst movies I've seen. Some may argue that the plot is about our society an... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byIronman1963 November 22, 2011

An intense movie with a good message

First off i would like to say that Natural Born Killers is a thought provoking and intelligent movie, but it is also extremely violent. You should know whether... Continue reading

What's the story?

NATURAL BORN KILLERS tracks the rise to stardom of a serial killing couple, Mickey (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory (Juliette Lewis), as they blaze a trail of destruction across the U.S. and are eventually captured and jailed. The real stars of the film aren't Mickey and Mallory, but rather, the many aspects of the news and entertainment media that are regurgitated and lampooned throughout the film. Wayne Gale (Robert Downey, Jr.) is an overzealous TV reporter caught up in the frenzy of pursuing the couple.

Is it any good?

With the focus of the film being on the media reaction to Mickey and Mallory's crimes, the plot mechanics don't really demand much viewer attention. In a sense, the most important single character is Gale, whose obliviousness to the effects of his news reports on an increasingly sadistic audience acts as a model for the media machine Stone criticizes. Ultimately, this film is a satire with no soft edges or rays of hope. Those unwilling to see the film as a criticism of media violence may misinterpret it as an exaggerated celebration of the violent main characters. As such, this is a film that will only satisfy those already inclined towards negative views of the media, and only the most open-minded of those folks at that.

 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's message. The film was intended to criticize the media for glorifying violence. Is it successful? Would you have gone about it differently?

Movie details

For kids who love Mature themes

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

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 and learning potential.

Learn how we rate