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Overall Rating
4.45

Awesome71.84%
Worth A Look: 13.06%
Just Average: 5.71%
Pretty Crappy: 7.35%
Sucks: 2.04%

7 reviews, 203 user ratings


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Clerks
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by EricDSnider

"It could have been a footnote; turns out to be a classic."
5 stars

"Clerks" might have been famous just for being the first film without any nudity, sex or violence to be given an NC-17 rating. The rating was appealed and the film was released as an R, without any cuts being made.

I say "might have been." As it happens, "Clerks" turned out to be an impressively funny film that warrants a place in our memories for artistic reasons, not backstage controversies. Now that time has passed, everyone knows "Clerks," but most have forgotten the rating debate that almost overshadowed it.

"Clerks" was made cheap, and it shows. The film stock is inexpensive, and most of the actors aren't actors. Some of them play multiple roles with little attempt to change their appearance. The performances are amateurish, though the two leads are passable. One is amazed that such unprofessionalism could make it to the silver screen, until one hears Kevin Smith's wonderful dialogue. His characters are among the funniest, most intelligent speakers in the film world, mixing terms like "managerial control" and "insubordinate" with every profanity you can name.

The film covers a day in the life of Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran), an uninspired convenience store clerk who is called in on his day off and must work the entire day, from open to close. ("I'm not even supposed to be here today!" becomes his mantra after each mishap.) Dante has little regard for the general public, but he maintains a semi-polite (if not altogether professional) demeanor. At one point, he lies on the floor behind the counter to talk to his girlfriend, but leaves a sign up instructing customers to pay for the purchases on the honor system (which they do, because they think they're being watched).

This is in contrast to his best friend Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson), who works at the tiny video store across the street. Randal has the best lines in the movie, thanks to his wise misanthropy and blatant cynicism toward every stranger he encounters. "I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class," he says. "Especially since I rule."

The driving plot point is Dante's discovery that his ex-girlfriend Caitlin (Lisa Spoonhauer) is getting married, while his current flame Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti) is pressuring him to quit the convenience store and go to college. There are other problems, too, like a funeral everyone's supposed to go to, and a street hockey game that Dante's supposed to play in. Randal has no problem closing the video store for a couple hours, but Dante has that nagging work ethic to deal with.

Kevin Smith grew as a writer and a director as time went on. "Clerks," while featuring fine dialogue, has some problems. Two major events are both said to have happened at 4 p.m., for example, and Veronica has college classes despite it being a Saturday. The film, while only 90 minutes or so, runs the risk of getting old before it's finished; no matter how pithy the dialogue may be, a movie with nothing but talking is still just a movie with nothing but talking.

But you overlook that because of what's here. There are wonderful jabs at retail jobs, with Randal and Dante each describing the typical morons they have to deal with (like the guy who comes into the video store and says, "Do you have that one with that guy who is in that movie last year?," or the woman who looks through every gallon of milk in search of the one with an expiration date in the next century). As such, "Clerks" has become a particular favorite among young, semi-ambitious kids stuck in dead-end jobs like these.

When a customer asks what the store's pet cat is called, and Randal says she's named "Annoying Customer," I don't think I'm overstating it to suggest he's saying what everyone in America would LIKE to say.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=216&reviewer=247
originally posted: 08/19/01 23:05:22
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User Comments

8/07/14 David Hollingsworth crude, offensive but hilarious slice-of-life 5 stars
12/23/13 Michelle O even if you never HAVE inhaled, this will give you a true buzz 5 stars
8/20/12 Dane Youssef Raw, authentic and wickedly-biting debut from Smith that defined what work and life was. 5 stars
5/11/10 PAUL SHORTT PROFANE BUT WITTY AND WELL ACTED 3 stars
8/19/09 Jeff Wilder Acting-amateurish Production values-cruddy Characters and dialogue-excellent, 4 stars
3/22/09 Dane Youssef One of the greatest portraits in cinema history to paint working-class life. 5 stars
9/25/08 Shaun Wallner Funny Movie! 5 stars
5/09/07 Edwin Menguin How is this funny? Good 1st film though 2 stars
4/23/07 fools♫gold Wow, tough to believe the same guy directed "Clerks II"~~~ 5 stars
1/27/07 Prongz Even Funier if you've worked as a clerk and you can say "Been there Experienced That"! 5 stars
1/02/07 Sam "that's supposed to look real " wtf dude? he didnt have money so he HAD to do it like that! 5 stars
9/13/06 MP Bartley Not the earth shattering film of lore, but good enough despite some very subpar acting, 4 stars
8/11/06 nicolecrom2678 The one that started it all! 5 stars
7/26/06 Big Dick DaMooch would you like to suck my cock bezerker 5 stars
5/22/06 Agent Sands One of the 1994 indie movies that broke new ground. 4 stars
5/05/06 dionwr Great script given so-so execution; still, touched a generation as Hollywood stuff didn't 4 stars
5/02/06 Ryan_A (part of) the reason HBS/eFC exists today. Still a favorite. 5 stars
5/01/06 William Goss Buncha savages in this town. 5 stars
5/01/06 David Cornelius I'm not even supposed to be here today! 5 stars
5/01/06 HBS-SH close crying in the tub 5 stars
1/12/06 Indrid Cold Subpar acting and most of the jokes fall flat, but yes, several hilarious moments. 4 stars
6/07/05 John Aster Habig intelligent insightful but vulgar beyond redemption and the characters r unsympathetic 3 stars
4/16/05 sidman656 pure genius, it made me think 5 stars
3/19/05 Tay An ok movie, the dialog kind of reminds me of Napoleon Dynamite 3 stars
2/22/05 Jeff Anderson Kevin Smith's brilliantly written & directed FILM DEBUT! LONG LIVE JAY & SILENT BOB!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/14/04 Tom Benton An outstanding debut for Kevin Smith: profane, funny, and just downright awesome... 5 stars
11/27/04 Abbath A few glaring flaws, but so much fun to watch that it is easy to overlook them. 5 stars
6/01/04 gtefdg great writing 5 stars
5/16/04 DM Obviously amateurish, but more often than not just plain funny 4 stars
3/18/04 Umbrella Corporation. SALSA SHARK... We're gonna need a bigger boat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/17/04 PAYNE_KillerZ TV SHOW WUZ BETTER... SORTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/06/04 Daveman So good, you'd never have thought it was from th man reponsible for such turds as Mallrats. 4 stars
3/03/04 Noel Bowers I watch this movie over and over and over! 5 stars
12/11/03 Phil M. Aficionado I totally agree with Chef ADogg, except I couldn't have made a better movie myself. Sadly. 2 stars
10/19/03 Josh Standlee I like Jay and Silent Bob, but I also like movies that actually have a plot! 2 stars
9/16/03 Matt Parzynski this is one of the greatest movies in history. watch it. then watch it again. and again. 5 stars
7/13/03 Samuel Justus This is were they all started and hat a great starting it was!! A masterpiece!!! 5 stars
6/05/03 Ghetto Smurf Black and white? The budget can't have been that low... 4 stars
5/25/03 Bobo Everybody snowball....eeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwww 4 stars
5/16/03 Mr. Hat (I'm Back Mo'Fos!) Smith's 1st movie, & 2nd best. Ending is brilliantly intentionally immoral. 5 stars
5/12/03 joker-smoker-toker this is a great movie. it drags along in some parts, but still great. 5 stars
3/23/03 Winthrop J Applesmythe III if you aren't in love with Clerks, you must never have seen it. 5 stars
3/11/03 Apathy He broke his neck trying to suck his own dick... hahahaha... ahaha...ha...ha...ha......... 5 stars
11/22/02 Charles Tatum All reputation 2 stars
9/03/02 Joe Zappa The acting is horrible, but the script is funny. 4 stars
8/26/02 Martin This is Cinematic Literature! 5 stars
7/23/02 Roy Smith Actually watchable. KS fell apart after this. 4 stars
6/20/02 Film Dude God bless Kevin Smith. 5 stars
5/24/02 online_at_work this movie is sheer fucking genius. i love it. 5 stars
4/13/02 oldgoatmon Great movie. See the other movies, decide for yourself on which is best. 5 stars
3/30/02 Rockitman007 This (along with PI) is what turned me on to Independant Films 5 stars
2/03/02 Cameron Ovo Pure genius 5 stars
2/01/02 Steven Yarbrough Perhaps it's not what you're used to in a film, but at least it's interesting. 5 stars
1/01/02 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is were Jay & Silent Bob startd & well... you know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/30/01 sarafina I think i left a wet spot on the sofa after this one 5 stars
10/14/01 Mr. Hat Jay and Silent Bob kick ass! 3 stars
10/07/01 Hogwash The acting sucked? Only the supporting cast. What the hell do you want for 27 grand? 4 stars
10/04/01 Caiphn 'Supposed to look real.' I'd like to shoot you in the face. 5 stars
9/14/01 Transitional Man A perfect, outrageous Buddy comedy that'll have Lewis and Martin chuckling in their grave 5 stars
8/21/01 Metallica This is where it all started. The Jersey Trilogy is the best. 5 stars
7/31/01 Keyser Soze A classic something or other 5 stars
6/12/01 Movies 'R Kewl Andrew, you don't put opinions out on a movie you never saw, you fucking moron. 5 stars
6/06/01 King Jackass Oh yeah, and hang on a sec, what was that called again? 5 stars
5/21/01 MeatFlute Some crappy acting, some good acting. I'm gonna Wrangle on outta here . . . 4 stars
5/19/01 kingjackass222 any1 who didnt like this movie, SUCK MY ASS 5 stars
3/24/01 Monster W. Kung Fucking sucks. It's bloated garbage that's supposed to look real and it's just really dumb. 1 stars
3/23/01 Alex My guess is those that hated it didn't like the big words for each scene 5 stars
3/20/01 bterry Something different 4 stars
3/19/01 TNT-6 Average. Some funny moments, but overall there's MUCH better independent stuff. 3 stars
3/03/01 Berzerker What a Wookie!!! See it again!!! 5 stars
2/27/01 Village Moron Hey Jake, try not to suck any dick on the way to the parking lot... 5 stars
2/19/01 Dr. Fell The first and still best of the New Jersey Trilogy 5 stars
1/31/01 SlackJack The most over-hyped low budget movie ever. The dialogue is too artificial. 2 stars
1/05/01 Seth Ramsey Funny as hell. I have seen the milk lady at the store several times in my own life. 5 stars
12/19/00 Al Jinx is right this movie was slow. Only Smith cronies would like this boring shit 1 stars
12/02/00 scott wahls Kevin Smith is my personal hero, alternate ending saw Dante killed by robber (no joke) 5 stars
11/28/00 SP very funny with a great voice and tone 5 stars
11/28/00 Joe Smith A landmark in independent films 5 stars
11/12/00 The EVIL Penguin you'll laugh even in your sleep 4 stars
10/22/00 P. Rodriguez Jinx, see a doctor - NOW! 5 stars
10/20/00 Teep Pretty funny some of the time! 4 stars
8/15/00 The Bomb 69 can't understand how people do not love this 5 stars
8/08/00 Mic Insightful and very funny. 4 stars
7/28/00 Jinx I tried, but the characters & story were uninteresting. Put me to sleep. TWICE. 2 stars
7/14/00 Bender Entertaining, very funny and semi-thought-provoking. 4 stars
6/26/00 The Jizmopper Great movie! very tasteless! 5 stars
6/26/00 Robert Baum Intensely Funny. Not for those with an IQ less than my shoe size. 5 stars
6/14/00 Zippo XxX Kevin's first of the 4 films and like most series is the BEST! Can't wait for the Sequal! 5 stars
6/12/00 perverted pixie The classic Smith film. "Dogma" was just hyperbole, compared to this musing. 5 stars
6/11/00 Micah S. Nice moments but overall mean spirited and meandering. 3 stars
5/11/00 Girl9 I Love Smith, but I didn't love Clerks.It's more like something you'd show in a film class 2 stars
5/06/00 Greg Romer Overrated movie that is so stupid you'll want to cry 1 stars
4/28/00 Phil Lesnie I live for movies like this! Kevin Smith is a god! 5 stars
4/17/00 Bruce A screamingly funny movie, I couldn't stop laughing 5 stars
4/13/00 Gingerwoman Are you people crazy? Why don't you just videotape yourdog going toilet and sell that? 1 stars
3/29/00 malcolm snootch to the nootch motherfucker! 4 stars
3/15/00 Chloe Sesta Jacobs So dirty, yet so funny! KEVIN SMITH ROCKS! 5 stars
3/13/00 The Bomb 69 fuckin a!! 5 stars
3/10/00 Nathan The film that got me into movies . Well done!!! 5 stars
1/19/00 Perverted Pixie "Clerks" kicks! 5 stars
1/13/00 Bently Fooking amazing, a real zinger of a movie 5 stars
12/04/99 Michael Grimm Chef ADogg is a fucking idiot and wouldn't know comedy if it smacked him upside the head 5 stars
11/30/99 Dr. Acula Loved this movie, See Jay & Silent Bob before they become Bill & Ted 5 stars
11/18/99 bishopj@pumpkinsfan.com Berserker, Berserker, would you like to suck my cock? Hilarious stuff man. Good film. 5 stars
11/06/99 Deadly Dennis This is a real sick puppy , but a total laugh feast . It blow my mind. 5 stars
10/25/99 will yes indeedy! 5 stars
10/20/99 Pyro You'll forget it's in black and white in 5 seconds! 5 stars
10/14/99 johnny bluejeans continuity errors rule! so did star wars references before phantom menace. 5 stars
10/12/99 Noisy Jim Kevin Smith is great. Flat out. There is no other way to put it. 5 stars
10/12/99 Eric Dorn Other than Continuity errors, Clerks offers a wonderful mix of dialog, humor, and realism. 5 stars
10/11/99 Shutterbug 1st & 2nd time watching fell asleep...too stoned...3rd time - sober & LOVING IT!!! 5 stars
10/11/99 baby_dave_be this film kicks my ASS 5 stars
10/11/99 Jared Love those dick and fart jokes, love 'em. 5 stars
10/11/99 Scott Clerks ruled. Mallrats sorta did. Chasing Amy fucking did. Dogma...........? 5 stars
10/11/99 Klaus Mogensen Among the best in this decade 5 stars
10/11/99 CL Smooth Chef ADogg What Planet are you on ? 5 stars
10/11/99 Duck Now this is afilm! 5 stars
10/11/99 Ami the Wonderbread The beginning of it all!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
10/10/99 TJ Been there, lived that...! But Kevin made the movie.) 5 stars
10/10/99 Nomad The greatest social commentary on my generation. Bunch of savages in this town anyways 5 stars
10/10/99 Randal no time for love dr. jones 5 stars
10/10/99 Andy Hartmann Seen it the theater, own it on DVD, and love every frame. It's my life, just funnier. 5 stars
10/10/99 Darren McGrath Can't stop watching it. Nocookie cuttermovie here. Jay $ Silent Bob my heroes. 5 stars
10/10/99 the Grinch Funny...not a masterpiece by far, but grab a beer and relax."I don't appreciate your ruse." 4 stars
10/09/99 SJKelley You've gotta be kidding me. Indulgent, try-too-hard comedy. 2 stars
9/21/99 Todd My life to a 'T' 5 stars
9/03/99 The glassgow pariot OH BOY! I love it! 5 stars
9/03/99 Myra Can we say.. trendy? 2 stars
7/25/99 blue literally the funniest movie ever made (even simply for "berserker" olaf alone) 5 stars
7/14/99 J. Random Hacker That's what life is... it's a series of down endings. 5 stars
7/03/99 J-Dogg This is a really great film, 50 times better than that "Mallrats" shit. 4 stars
6/14/99 Mikeal Kevin Smith RULES! Funniest movie I've ever seen! Absolutely AWESOME! 5 stars
6/07/99 Elizaveta SalsaShark... 5 stars
5/09/99 carl this is one for the record books. 5 stars
5/01/99 PurityJustBegs An hysterically funny, yet also strangely poignant portrait of everyday life 5 stars
5/01/99 tom koza great flick 5 stars
4/15/99 Tristynn must've missed something. It was all I could do to sit through this one.maybe I was PMSing! 2 stars
4/15/99 Brad Funny fucking shit, man. 5 stars
4/12/99 mariav hahaha 5 stars
4/11/99 TK This is like one of the best flick ever made! 5 stars
4/09/99 Keith Calder Very very funny. 5 stars
4/05/99 Michael Grimm the best, most real movie ever made, Kevin Smith is god 5 stars
4/05/99 Vince (the MFC) "37" 5 stars
4/05/99 Mikef anyone who gives this movie a sucks all ass is someone who sucks all ass. 5 stars
3/30/99 The Graduate Too fucking funny! See it, so you'll know why everyone laughs at the number "37." 5 stars
3/28/99 Ebert's twin This Movie sucked. I could stand around in 7-11 and see this shit 1 stars
3/27/99 TJwills Irreverent Humor. Pervers gags. Necrophilia. Gotta love it 5 stars
3/27/99 Lisa This job would be great if it weren't for the fucking customers. A must for any clerk. 5 stars
3/26/99 Rob Mckechnie If you hate this movie you're just a tubby bitch! snoogems. 5 stars
3/24/99 Skiv "You know I'm your hero..." 5 stars
3/23/99 dan the man this is the best fucking movie ever made! 5 stars
3/17/99 Madcap the best of the three by far 5 stars
3/02/99 bill stanbar this movie will live on in my hearty forever 5 stars
2/23/99 tina russell What can you say about Kevin that hasn't already been said? The beginning of excellence!! 5 stars
2/23/99 Scott Get your fat ass off your computer & go watch it.... NOW 5 stars
2/18/99 Nibby7 Let's hear it for CLERKS - Hooray Hooray, Hooray 5 stars
1/31/99 Vick Di Brecci More than just "worth a look", right-on interplay between char, underrated acting, funny 4 stars
1/27/99 donkey_dew Kevin Smith is just too damn cool. CLERKS is awesome. 5 stars
1/24/99 YellerDog EXCELLENT FILM, best indie I've ever seen. 5 stars
1/19/99 Chronically hip With the lack of moviemaking skill shown, this script had to be way funny to make up for it 4 stars
1/11/99 Bluntman I adore this movie! 5 stars
1/11/99 Shane Brandon Kicks 5 stars
1/07/99 demon_shredder This is a damn good peice of funny as shit movie making. Kevin Smith is way fucking cool. 5 stars
1/01/99 randy F it was goooood 5 stars
12/25/98 dan kevin smith kicks ass 5 stars
12/17/98 jenn WOW! I WANT Kevin Smith! 5 stars
12/14/98 Jules Funny, black and white, and indie. But worth 5 stars? Hardly. 4 stars
12/13/98 Binky Rating number 37! Great movie. Really very funny. 5 stars
12/03/98 Brian WOW! best movie ever! mad props Kevin! 5 stars
11/28/98 Mike F mr Smith, will you marry me? 5 stars
11/28/98 d`d` Some folks already consider this a "classic" in it's own right. You MUST see this movie! 5 stars
11/26/98 B perhaps the best film of the 90's. Best dialogue i've ever heard in a movie 5 stars
11/25/98 Jack Aster it just keeps getting better 5 stars
11/25/98 Mr.Pink This was a damn funny movie! 4 stars
11/24/98 Fred If you don't like this movie, FUCK YOU! This is the comedic standard. Can't be beaten. 5 stars
11/18/98 MinxxDaShorty The Necrophiliac, the salsa shark it was all good!!!! 5 stars
11/16/98 Gamma Can't say enough about it. Fucking Awesome doesn't cover it. GO RENT IT NOW!@%&*! 5 stars
10/26/98 Silent Rob Kevin who...??? I just liked the cat! 5 stars
10/23/98 Timmy C They don't come any better than this. Noonch. 5 stars
10/22/98 Jon Dye The best Lesbian movie without tits in it. 5 stars
10/18/98 Kwyjibo Funny, but hardly a film that had to be made. 3 stars
10/02/98 wind the movie that started it all. this movie rules 5 stars
10/01/98 Helle Marie What can I say? Kevin Smith- The man is a genious! Fuckin` great movie- I fuckin` love it! 5 stars
9/28/98 Marty in St.Louis Anyone who doesnt like this movie is a big dumb retard poop face. 5 stars
9/27/98 Heather I've seen this one at least 80 times and still love it. An amazing film! 5 stars
9/19/98 Ronnie DeVries What else? It's brain candy for smart people...and lots of bad words and dick n fart jokes. 5 stars
9/17/98 Mike You know what's great about this movie? Everything. I've seen it over 100 times, no joke. 5 stars
9/17/98 Gazza Probably the best ever movie made, absolutely awesome stuff. 5 stars
9/16/98 cheryl_ann chuck quotes it way too much, but i still love just as much as i did the 1st time i saw it. 5 stars
9/13/98 Chip Taylor Great movie about a group of homos. Yeah, of course they're homos. 5 stars
9/06/98 Admiral Mung Bean Soda (+/- 12db) Potty-mouth humor filmed from a 7-Eleven surveillance camera. Whatever. 2 stars
9/05/98 BBReBozo Trendy "indie" shit. Trendy street-hockey playing losers. Trendy wretch-inducing shit. 2 stars
9/03/98 Badass You'll piss your pants!!!! A wonderful comedy and a timecaplse for Generation X. 5 stars
9/03/98 Scott Taylor Hilarious. Great quotable moments. Jeff Anderson's awesome. Good rewatching value. Yummy! 5 stars
8/30/98 Ed Burns If I ever see Kevin Smith in person, I'm kicking his ass. 3 stars
8/27/98 Chuck-D Movie that changed my life, I know that sounds dumb, but it did. 5 stars
8/25/98 Pete 'Clerks' -- It'll change your life 5 stars
8/22/98 Mister Whoopee They should colorise it. Or make a sequel! 4 stars
8/21/98 Angelika Kevin is truely a "god among directors". 5 stars
8/20/98 rotten f. milk 37 is my favourite number. I want to get like, 37 of those. 5 stars
8/17/98 Mike F Do I even need to comment? 5 stars
8/15/98 J-Guy I want to see this film 37 times. (okay, I've seen it more already.) 5 stars
8/15/98 {{{OZ}}} The film that showed me it could be done. Kickass. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  13-Sep-1994 (R)
  DVD: 07-Sep-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Feb-1995 (R)




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