Natural Born Killers

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Videos & Photos

  • Trailer for Natural Born Killers

Movie Info & Cast

Synopsis

A frenetic, bloody look at mass murder and the mass media, director Oliver Stone's extremely controversial film divided critics and audiences with its mixture of over-the-top violence and bitter cultural satire. At the center of the film, written by Stone and Quentin Tarantino, among others, are Mickey (Woody Harrelson) and Mallory (Juliette Lewis), a young couple united by their desire for each other and their common love of violence. Together, they embark on a record-breaking, exceptionally gory killing spree that captivates the sensation-hungry tabloid media. Their fame is ensured by one newsman, Wayne Gale (Robert Downey, Jr.), who reports on Mickey and Mallory for his show, American Maniacs. Even the duo's eventual capture by the police only increases their notoriety, as Gale develops a plan for a Super Bowl Sunday interview that Mickey and Mallory twist to their own advantage. Visually overwhelming, Robert Richardson's hyperkinetic cinematography switches between documentary-style black-and-white, surveillance video, garishly colored psychedelia, and even animation in a rapid-fire fashion that mirrors the psychosis of the killers and the media-saturated culture that makes them popular heroes. The film's extreme violence -- numerous edits were required to win an R rating -- became a subject of debate, as some critics asserted that the film irresponsibly glorified its murderers and blamed the filmmakers for potentially inciting copy-cat killings. Defenders argued that the film attacks media obsession with violence and satirizes a sensationalistic, celebrity-obsessed society. Certain to provoke discussion, Natural Born Killers will thoroughly alienate many viewers with its shock tactics, chaotic approach, and disturbing subject matter, while others will value the combination of technical virtuosity and dark commentary on the modern American landscape.~ Judd Blaise, All Movie Guide

Cast

  • Woody Harrelson
  • Juliette Lewis
  • Tom Sizemore
  • Rodney Dangerfield
  • Everett Quinton
  • Jared Harris
  • Pruitt Taylor Vince
  • Edie McClurg
  • Russell Means
  • Lanny Flaherty

Did You Know?

Trivia

  • The main characters are loosely based on Charles Starkweather and Caril Fugate, a young Nebraska couple, who in 1958, embarked on a mass murder spree across the Midwest, that horrified the country. The characters in Terrence Malick's Badlands (1973) are also loosely based on Starkweather and Fugate.
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Goofs

  • It's obvious that the "Drug Zone" is really just a department store, despite trying to be a medicine supermarket. When Mickey and Mallory are wandering through the aisles at Drug Zone, cleaners and other household products are seen on the shelves.
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Quotes

    • Dr. Emil Reingold: Mickey and Mallory know the difference between right and wrong, they just don't give a damn.
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Metacritic

100

Like all good satirists, he knows that too much realism will weaken his effect. He lets you know he's making a comedy. There's an over-the-top exuberance to the intricate crosscut editing and to the hyperactive camera.

Metacritic review by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
88

Natural Born Killers is visually complex and thematically simple. Mixing film and video, black-and-white and color, morphing and animation, Stone breaks visual ground here for a major studio release. [26 Aug 1994, p.B]

Metacritic review by Gene Siskel
Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune
88

An entertaining but exhausting satire on tabloid media and the way they feed our thirst for violence, Natural Born Killers stars Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis, in banshee-out-of-hell performances, as serial killers Mickey and Mallory Knox -- a trashy, gonzo/weirdo version of Bonnie Clyde. [26 Aug 1994, p.C1]

Metacritic review by Edward Guthmann
Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle