A few months ago I decided to watch A Clockwork Orange, as I was only inspired by its IMDB ratings and reviews and the generally high public opinion about the movie. So I was expecting a great movie. I won't lie, but it seldom happens that I cannot tolerate at least the first half of a movie, but in this case, it happened. I couldn't watch it more than 30 minutes, and those 30 minutes I was wondering what is the story, why is this nude and violent. It felt overly violent and sexually explicit to me in the first half hour and I couldn't see how those aspects contributed to the story. This movie made my mind go crazy and irritated like no other movie, not even A serbian movie.

So I'd like to know why it is regarded such a masterpiece. Or does it take a drastic change after 40 minutes or something which I missed and should I give it one more try, which I am very reluctant to? Or did I just miss something about it that better explains how those to me rather repelling aspects of the movie contributed to its quality?

  • 3
    Have you considered reading some of the large amounts of literature about it?
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 14:59
  • I tried to rephrase the question a little to make it sound a little less opinionated (even if it still is quite a bit) while keeping the original intent.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 16:14
  • 1
    This movie made my mind go crazy and irritated like no other movie – Making some assumptions about the number of movies you consumed, this actually is a remarkable achievement and shows that A Clockwork Orange is a very powerful movie. As @Catija already hinted, a good movie or any piece of art must not necessarily be enjoyable. Think, e.g., about anti-war movies: if they are enjoyable (other than from a point of view that is purely appreciating the art), they most likely did something wrong.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


There are many reasons, probably too many to list. But here are a few to start (although without citation)

  • it presents a credible but bleak vision of the near future
  • the scenes of violence are brutal, yet also choreographed as well as any dance scene (and with perfectly matching music, too)
  • the character arc of the protagonist as he goes from thug to victim to political pawn (you actually feel sorry for him)
  • the sly humorous digs at bureaucracy
  • the gorgeous cinematography
  • in fact, the use of classical music throughout to set tone (I know, it's not even the first Kubrick movie to do this, but it is a great exemplar of this technique)

That said, it is not for everyone. Don't force yourself to watch it if you aren't enjoying it.

  • 4
    Very nicely put. I think it's interesting how some often seem to think that a "good film" is one that everyone will enjoy watching.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 16:41
  • Exactly. I'm glad I watched Citizen Kane, once without commentary and once with, and while I found it ponderous and dull, I cannot deny its influence on later films. Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 16:52
  • Personally I don't sorry for the protagonist at all. It triggers me how at the ending scene of "Un prophète" Luciani crawls back, beaten - he was a monster but something makes me feel pity. I can not find any sympathy to the protagonist of "A Clockwork Orange".
    – shabunc
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 19:02

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