User Reviews (628)

Add a Review

  • Kevin Smith has delved into action ("Mallrats"), drama ("Chasing Amy") and philosophy ("Dogma") in his Askewniverse, but Clerks, the first film of the series, is still the best.

    Shot on a ridiculously low budget, using mostly friends and relatives as the cast and crew (see the line in the credits where "Boom" is credited as "whoever happened to be holding the pole"), "Clerks" is such a great film just because it doesn't try to be more than it is. You get the sense that this movie is in black and white not to be pretentious, but just because it's a prosaic look at prosaic lives.

    Kevin Smith's real gift is writing funny, witty dialogue, and that's what carries this film. From Star Wars debates (did the destruction of the second Death Star in "Jedi" cost innocent contractors their lives?) to perfectly serious debates about sex ("Thirty-seven???"), this is the ultimate movie for anyone who's ever been going nowhere and doing nothing. It's a day in the life of the guy working at the corner store, no more, no less. But it's absolutely brilliant.

    People either love or hate Kevin Smith movies. Chances are, if you can appreciate the humour of low-brow jokes about pornography as high art, then you'll enjoy "Clerks". His brand of humour isn't for everyone. This is his first film and it's flawed, to be sure. But in my humble opinion, it's still Smith's best.
  • Clerks is one of those movies everyone knows everything about even before they've seen it. The most fascinating aspect is probably the back-story: Kevin Smith sold his comic-book collection to finance it, shot it in the convenience store where he was working at the time, and cast his school friends in the various roles (two of them wound up playing three or four characters each). The film became a huge hit at Sundance, and is now widely (and justly) considered one of the best independent movies of all time.

    The plot is quite easy to sum up: nothing happens. It's just a "regular" day in the lives of a few people working in or outside a Quick Stop convenience store. The fun starts immediately, as Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) is asked to replace a sick colleague. This upsets him a lot, since it's supposed to be his day off ("You know what the worst part is? I'm not even supposed to BE here today!"). So now he has to serve a bunch of rather annoying or excessively weird people, with occasional help from his friend Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson), who "works" in the video store next to Quick Stop. Together, they discuss things like hermaphroditic porn or, Tarantino-style, which Star Wars sequel is better (Jedi or Empire?), and also try to find ways of not working, or at least make the day less boring (as Randal puts it:"This job would be great if it wasn't for the f**king customers"). Between these discussions, they also interact with Dante's present girlfriend Veronica (whose sex life causes heated debates) and ex Caitlin, who's apparently engaged to some Asian design major. And let's not forget Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith himself), two drug dealers consistently located outside the store.

    Smith uses these characters to reference his favorite movies (the previously mentioned Star Wars, as well as Jaws and Indiana Jones) and talk about any subject in the filthiest way imaginable. Some incredibly outrageous stuff is mentioned ("jizz moppers", necrophilia, "snowballing"), but unlike John Waters, he never shows the events discussed by Dante, Randal et al. Everything occurs, or has occurred, off-screen, so all we get to do is have a good laugh, because no matter how crude it gets (the film is rated R for "Extensive Use Of Extremely Explicit Sex-Related Dialogue"), Smith's writing remains genuinely funny. Randal, in particular, steals every scene with his existential musings ("I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class. Especially since I rule.") or very politically incorrect antics (the top? Reading a list of pornographic flicks in front of a mother and her baby).

    If you haven't seen it yet, do it, and fast: Clerks fully deserves its cult status. It has priceless dialogue, wisecracking characters and loads of swearing. What else can you ask for?
  • This has to be my all time favorite comedy and one of my all time favorites overall. About three years ago a friend of mine came to school one day raving about the funniest movie he had seen on late night. He talked about this black and white low budget movie about two blue collar losers who talked endlessly about sex. From that description I wasn't anticipating a masterpiece but I decided to rent it anyway. It was probably the best surprise I have ever had. I was laughing the entire time, so much so that I nearly woke up everyone in my house. For months afterwards my friend and I would endlessly talk about and quote this incredible film. Everyone I have recommended it to has loved it and I can easily see why. I know that some people attack the movie as being vulgar and excessive. The way I see it it is being true to life (I'm sure that when you have 10 hours to kill you'll talk about the average pay of a gizz mopper). In short I absolutely love this film and it gets better and better with every viewing. Rent this film as soon as possible if you haven't already.
  • In 1994, an ambitious filmmaker named Kevin Smith was left nearly dead-broke by his commitment to his low-budget debut feature, "Clerks." Shot in black & white and filmed in and around a New Jersey convenience store, "Clerks." is genius on celluloid despite little change of scenery, wooden acting (none of the actors are professionals), and a shoe-string budget; it's also pretty damn funny. "Just because they serve you, doesn't me they like you" became an immortal tagline for one of the best independent comedies of all time, which also launched the career of its director. There's nothing PC about this debut feature, and the relentlessly explicit sex-related dialogue got the film its original certificate, the dreaded "NC-17" rating, which was later dropped down to an "R" rating on a successful appeal by the filmmakers; the characters harass their customers, leave the store during the day to tend to personal matters, and hang-out with girlfriends - not the stuff of responsible employees - and definitely NOT something you would see in any Hollywood production today. In an era rife with censorship and political-correctness, "Clerks." would undoubtedly receive the scorn and protests of the fundamental religious Right and Left. The film features Dante (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson), two bored New Jersey convenience store employees who are both called in on a Saturday (Dante is especially upset because it's his day off) and the two break every rule in the book as they meander through the day and encounter all sorts of colorful characters. Throughout the day, Dante complains about about his girlfriend Veronica's (Marilyn Ghigliotti) sex life, Randal shirks his convenience store duties by shooting the breeze with Dante, philosophize about their daily predicaments, play hockey on the roof of the store, and observe unruly and bizarre shoppers. There's little plot but it's pure fun all the way to the ending with plenty of laughs too. But if you're the sensitive type, you should stay as far away from "Clerks." as possible, as the dialogue will certainly make you squirm in your seat. "Clerks." also contains many Smith trademarks including "Star Wars" talk, references to Spielberg movies, comic books and hockey, all qualities of which would do Smith good in his so-called "New Jersey Trilogy." P.S.: Watch out for Smith in his iconic role as Silent Bob with sidekick Jay (Jason Mewes) as they loiter outside the store and hassle customers.

  • On his day off, the clerk of a convenience store Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) is summoned by his boss to be the substitute for his coworker that is ill. He is worried since he has a hockey game. Along the day, his friend Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) that works in a video store on the next door stays most of the time with Dante. He is visited by his girlfriend Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti) that discloses intimacy to him; he learns that his former girlfriend Caitlin Bree (Lisa Spoonauer); he gives a break and plays the hockey game with Randal; he goes with Randal to a wake. Meanwhile the drug dealers Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) sells drugs on the sidewalk.

    In 1994, the low-budget "Clerks" is a milestone to the career of Kevin Smith. Divided in nineteen chapters in black-and white, using a few locations and with unknown cast, the witty "Clerks" is a very funny comedy even twenty-two years after its release. My vote is eight.

    Title (Brazil): "O Balconista" (The Clerk")
  • I am very biased on the 9 rating i gave this movie. I could have even given it a 10 for I am, and for a long time has been a clerk. This movie to me was as moving and compelling as Passion of the Christ was for some Catholic people i know. In fact, in some moments, it even brought me to tears. The film is about a guy who works in a convenience store. He comes across the weirdest and most annoying customers that, ironically, don't shy too far from those in real life that I, myself have come across. This clerk is visited by his girlfriend and regularly visiting by his distraught and careless friend who is a clerk at the neighboring video store. If you aren't a clerk, and you watch this movie, remember this: This movie is as true to form as it gets. Some people claim it to be one of the best comedies of the past decade. I say it's the best Documentary of all time.
  • If you have seen American Pie and think of it as being honest and real about sex and the way kids talk, then Clerks is right up your alley. I don't think a movie has pleasantly shocked me more than this one has. And make no mistake about it, this is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen.

    By now we've all heard the story of how Kevin Smith somehow scrounged up $27000 to piece this rag tag film together. It was at a film festival and some film executive saw it and offered him a generous amount of money. They fixed it up and before you know it we have the best indie film ever made. Kevin Smith is now a recognizable name in Hollywood and that alone should make you want to see this film.

    Dante and Randal are best friends. They work at a small convenience store and a crappy little video store respectively. As a matter a fact, the video store is so inept that Randall actually goes to one of the bigger video stores in town to rent his movies. Anyway, Dante is obsessed with his ex-girlfriend that cheated on him and he has a present girlfriend that is wonderful to him. That is the basic premise for the movie. And that is all you need to know about the plot. Because what the film is really about is how these characters really talk to each other. It is a bunch of clever anecdotes pieced together hilariously to form a movie. But some of the scenes are just so damn funny that Clerks stays with you for a long long time.

    Take for instance a scene where Dante and his girlfriend are discussing the various responsibilities of a man and a woman in sex. Each has an obvious gender biased view of the act but listen to how honest it is written, it gives meaning and much hilarity to the scene. From here, the two end up discussing how many people the other has slept with. And we all know that is an absolute no no in relationships. Because no matter how many or how little the number is, it is too much. But that would be too easy for Smith to end it at that. No, he takes it a step further. From here Veronica ( the girlfriend ) explains that she has only slept with X amount of guys but she has gone down on 36 others. Dante is mortified. How can she do that? And she explains that when she "does it" it means more than when she goes down and that is supposed to make him feel better. It of course doesn't and the pay off in the scene is brilliant as Veronica is walking back to her car. And that is just one of the scenes that makes the film work. There are dozens of other scenes similar in nature that are so humourous yet painfully honest that you laugh but when the giggles subside, you realize that it is so true.

    The obvious strength of this film is the writing. But beyond that, Smith establishes himself as a director that can get a performance out of his actors. Almost every major character in here is so well done that you think they had 20 attempts to get it perfect instead of the 3 or 4 that the budget would allow. Dante is well played by O'Halloran but it is Anderson as Randle that I think steels the picture. He is so honest and natural in every scene that he is in that it actually bothers me that he has not established himself in the game. Is it because no one wants to give him a role or is it that he has no interest in movies? I don't know, I just wish he was around again because he is electric.

    Jay and Silent Bob are funny as well and Bob provides the film with one of the funnier moments as he dances out of nowhere and then he shocks us with his only line of the film. And what he says may as well be Socrates talking and not a simple street hood. It really works.

    I love Clerks. It is such a fun movie and if you haven't seen this gem, check it out. Like it for the funny film that it is, but love it for whats behind it.

    This film has heart. And Smith is an inspiration to anyone that wants to do what he did. After all, he proves that nothing is impossible. He is living proof of that.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    An original story with subtle character details that may be lost with some moviegoers, but the fast-paced, ceaselessly witty humor will be enjoyed by all viewers.

    The plot was simple enough: a day in the life of 2 bored clerks and 2 laid back weed dealers. The motifs and character development were both wonderfully crafted. Kevin Smith showed no signs of struggle in his directorial debut. Fittingly he was also able to deliver one of the best lines of the film "they are a lot of beautiful girls out there dude, but not all of them bring you lasagna, most of them just cheat on you." It was Silent Bob's only line of the movie, and it was a doozy. It caused Dante to have a revelation (at least he thought that he did; I thought that it was only momentary, likely to fade quickly).

    Although the movie itself was saturated in comedy, it held a semi-serious tone throughout. Both of the clerks are intelligent and seemingly capable of holding far more prestigious jobs. Dante is frustrated by his place and life, but places the blame on anyone but himself, refusing to accept responsibility for his problems. Randal has underachieved, not because he blames other, but because he is easily content. He would rather hold a job with no responsibility than assume a hapless position in which he is ruled by a condescending and controlling boss.

    Smith introduces an interesting take on the different personalities that lead the 2 friends to similar places in life. Randal has a more enlightened perspective on life that allows him to be happy, and it is his insight that eventually helps Dante see things more clearly. The final conversation indicates that both friends are capable of achieving higher in life, and they can help each other to do so.
  • Everyone has to start somewhere. Kevin Smith started his popular Jay and Silent Bob series with Clerks., a $50,000 film whose soundtrack cost more than the actual movie cost to make. It's poorly done, it's monochromatic (which actually works to its advantage), it's cheap, but it's funny, and that's all that really counts. The story is more than I thought it would be, and it's continuously funny throughout the whole short runtime. Many of the crude adventures of Dante and Randal are now legendary.

    Dante (Brian O'Halloran) works at the Quick Stop convenience store. He's called in on a day off. His friend Randal (Jeff Anderson) works next door at a video store, but sporadically closes it to hang out at the Quick Stop. Throughout the day, various things occur, such as a gum representative trying to get people to stop smoking and chew his gum, a rabbi using the employee's bathroom (with an unexpected twist at the end), disrupting a wake, and the now-classic scene at the video store with "Happy Scrappy Hero Pup".

    This movie has non-stop humor going for it. Whether it's Dante's or Randal's confrontations with the unruly customers (who seem over-the-top yet regular), their conversations about nothing (especially Star Wars), or their departures from their respective stores to play hockey or whatnot. I can see that Clerks. is to minimum wage earners as Office Space is to office workers. Dante's always a little timid when it comes to dealing with the unruly customers, but when Randal takes the stage, it's a lot funnier.

    Although the parts about Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti) and Cairlin (Lisa Spoonhauer) weren't that interesting (except for the 36...make that 37 people), they were necessary, and seemed to create a plot out of this, basically, sketch comedy. It succeeded, and turned it into a great all around film. Most of these people had never acted before, and although it does seem like they're just reciting their lines (there's almost no break in between the dialogue), they do a good job at it. Sometimes it seems a little too scripted (for voice and diction, etc.), but for a bunch of first-timers, it's not bad at all.

    Considering the rest of the series (besides Mallrats, which I haven't seen), I'd say Clerks. is close with Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back for the funniest Kevin Smith movie. They're also the two crudest, and the first and last in the series, respectively. But Clerks. will always stay as it was when it was released 10 years ago-revolutionary. It showed that money and action aren't important to make a movie funny.

    My rating: 8/10

    Rated R for extensive use of extremely explicit sex-related dialogue.
  • perna14 August 1998
    Why claim ultra-budget movies as being the "best film ever" when you can see some guys with almost no scenary and a very low budget make a great movie that is intelligent, funny, has a good soundtrack AND is well done at the same time? Not to mention the autoral thing. It's the kind of movie that makes me think "hey, I wish I'd made this movie... and I could!" : ) --- PS: I call it life savior cause I quit my job as a clerk on the most chic CD store in my town, and couldn't figure out why. When I saw this movie I found out and recovered the trust in my self.
  • Funny, fast paced story of an assortment of pathetic losers, their dreams, girlfriends, and go nowhere lives. I laughed all the way through at the give and take between the two lead characters and their stupid friends and lovers. Both intelligent, sometimes even sagely; the two men lead lives of loneliness and boredom leading to a careless attitude about their jobs which, in time, will become their position on all things unless they choose to reverse the course they are following. I was groaning with glee as the store clerk had it out with his lady friend over how many men she had fellatio with. I liked the way the film was broken up into titled parts, each comprising a small story within the tale. Zany, well worth the price of entry.
  • This movie completely and perfectly describes the details of over the counter life as a clerk! It is one of the funniest movies i have ever seen.Kevin Smith is a very talented and insightful director with a great since of humor.The movie does look very cheesy and low budget, but a little movie trivia, Kevin Smith sold his comic book collection to fund this movie. Then after the movie became a hit he bought his comic books back! I currently work for blockbuster video and life is exactly like this movie! Thanks to this movie some of us are thinking about holding a hockey game on the roof of the store when we quit!I recommend this movie to every person who works as a clerk in a convenience store, or in a video store. This movie for those who don't work in mediocre place such as this will explain to you why we are the way we are!
  • "Clerks" are about two guys, Dante and Randal. Dante is the main character, who is having the worst day of his life. The day never goes right for him, for starters he isn't meant to be at work, on top of that there are constant bickers with his girlfriend and not to mention his video store sidekick Randal. Whereas Dante is dislikeable and at times annoying Randal is the comic relief. A genius character, who doesn't give a damn about his work. The two characters work off each other brilliantly, the picture and direction may not be great but the script is genius, extremely funny and witty, which makes it one of the funniest movies of all time. Kevin Smith rocks!

    The charm of this film resides entirely in the dialogs and in strange and sometimes weird (even creepy) situations. The conversations between Dante and Randall cover a large variety of topics, including but not limited to "Star Wars" and life in general... The conversations they have with various customers are even better... Two small time marijuana dealers, Jay and Silent Bob, who make their sales in front of the two shops, intervene in a couple of occasions - they don't say much, but their contributions are important. The language is very strong and the humour occasionally doesn't fly very high but still, this film has considerable charm and some gags are simply irresistible. Cynical and lucid Randal is a character somehow more appealing than Dante, on whom the whole story focuses, but ultimately I grew fond of both of them. Bottom line, this is an excellent, quite clever little comedy, with certainly a lot of strong language (but ultimately not so many "F" bombs) and a little bit of necrophilia, but ultimately surprisingly tender and gentle.

    Overall rating: 9 out of 10.
  • I see I am clearly in the minority here and it wouldn't be the first time, but I just didn't find this movie all that entertaining. Maybe this movie has a cult following that I don't get.

    Firstly, the acting was atrocious. Now, that could have been the intent, but if so, I never got that impression. The dialogue was delivered so mechanical, most times it seemed like the actors were reading directly from cue cards.

    Secondly, this movie had no direction. Where was this movie going? Again, maybe I missed the intent, but was it just to capture the dull and pathetic life of a clerk and those around him? I don't expect every movie to have a mighty and life altering message, but at least have a loftier aim than go to work, have a screwed up day and go home.

    Finally, there was entirely too much profanity. It was to the degree that it had no more impact. If vulgarity is going to be used, then using it sparingly can make it funnier and have more of an impact on the script. The flagrant use of profanity in this movie just made the movie juvenile and childish.

    Overall the movie just didn't move me. I laughed very little, there was nothing to think about, and there were no magnificent or even decent performances. I did like one scene though, and that was the different take on "The Return of the Jedi". I thought that was an interesting and funny take on the movie, but I also think that-that could have been done in a short film. Cut this movie down to a five minute short film about the innocent independent contractors on the Death Star and the movie is a lot better in my opinion.
  • Dante Hicks is woken by his boss asking him to come into the shop to cover him till midday. Dante opens up the shop with a little help from his friend Randal in the video store next door. The discovery that his ex-girlfriend is engaged is just the start of a bad day involving mix-ups and difficult customers.

    Kevin Smith's first film is very funny and indeed very rude. However when you see his later films you can't help but notice that he got better as he went on. The basics are all there – the pop culture dialogue, the quick, rude wit, the movie obsession etc., however he lacks a certain structure and he hasn't yet realised the strength of his other characters.

    The lack of structure is OK since this is an indie movie – but watching it now I wanted less crudity and more humour. I also wanted more of Jay and Bob but only because of how they were used in other films. It's unfair to judge this by later standards. I first saw this in 95 in the cinema and laughed to death but seeing it 7 years on it was not quite as funny.

    However the film is still very good and the weaknesses can all be explained by the budget. The whole thing is shot at night due to the shop being open during the day but the external shots and the explanation of the shutters make it unnoticeable. The weakness in the cast is understandable but it tends to make the dialogue slightly more believable. Fans of Jay and Bob will be disappointed with their input if you're watching this after watching Smith's other films.

    Overall this is very crude and very funny. The weaknesses can be put down to the budget but this should be enjoyed as Smith marking out his territory and moving from nothing into the big time.
  • There are a lot of people in this movie trying desperately to look cool. The main character does several times, Randal does constantly, and Jay and Silent Bob are poster boys for trying to ber cool. And lets not credit how the biggest kiddie superego, Kevin Smith, tries to sell this image of how cool he is. But the fact of the matter is that it all looks really quite foolish: if this movie hadn't been hyped so much, it would be the flick that if Smith showed it to his friends, they'd point and laugh AT it, instead of with it. Nothing here works right. Several attempts at romantic subplots just don't seem convincing because they don't sound real at all. Smith apparently has some philosophy that apparently all women are sluts or sexually maladjusted. The non-story isn't very compelling because Dante and Randal, our resident leads, repeat what has happened over and over and over again, just in case we might have missed the nothing we've been watching. Another way Smith shows arrested development is that, frankly, the guy has some weird animal views: a cat is shown in a litter box for absolutely no reason aside from pleasing the stoners, and a dog is shown drinking from a toilet. This sort of scatology made me want to stop the tape twice, but I was sure with the reputation this has, something "smart" has to happen. I have heard so much about this movie's intelligent dialogue. I'm sorry: I've read wittier stuff in bathroom stalls. It isn't very natural sounding when characters break out in prepared monologues, and how several characters speak exactly the same.

    If this is the movie that defined Generation X, Generation X was a joke.
  • Mark my words, the world is in for big trouble in about 25 years. Once the generation of maturity retarded losers that praise this film comes into power, civilization as we know it will cease to be. Watching this film (home movie?) is like sitting in a junior high school locker room listening to 11 year old boys play grab ass. Seriously, if this film is entertaining to you, all I can say is you have had the bar set so low in your life that it is unlikely anything good will ever come out of it, save being really good at Limbo.

    I have read here many people praise this film for its brilliant script. All I can say about that is: "Don't Bogart that joint, my friend!" To the sober minded, the script is simply stupid. In one scene dope dealer Jay sets clerk Dante straight with a diatribe about how selling soda for 78 cents more than a supermarket is tantamount to pushing drugs. Excellent point, ... DUDE, WHO SMOKED THE LAST OF MY 'METH?! If this script speaks to you all I can say is stay away from neighborhood dogs.

    Forget the horrendous acting, forget the crappy camera work, the unintelligible dialogue, the murky sound work, the fact that it didn't really have a plot of any kind, forget, even, that all of this is agreed upon by even the fans of this film, (in other words, forget the fact that this is a crappy film), can anyone quote me any memorable lines that a person over the age of 12 would find interesting, let alone brilliant? The script is pedestrian at best.

    Some have praised this film as being one of the funniest of the 90's. I suppose if you consider predictable bathroom humor and dick jokes, delivered with the finesse of an drunk uncle, funny then this is a masterpiece. I found it pathetic. I don't mind crude comedy if it is done well, as in Animal House, Caddyshack, Bevis and Butthead, et. al., this film has none of that. It is hack. Bevis and Butthead mocked the idiots they portrayed, this film celebrates them. The slight (very slight, I never laughed once) amount of comedy provided by Jay and Silent Bob and sometimes Randal, are never enough to save the movie, let alone their scenes, and even these are presented with such stumbling insecurity it feels like watching a really bad stand up on amateur night at The Apollo. In that regard one might say a joke or two were kind of funny, but how could you say that amateur had one of the best sets you have ever seen?

    Looking over the user comments here on the IMDb it appears many of the fans of this film do not have the capacity to do anything other than presume those who didn't like the film just didn't get it. I got it, you are the one who does not get it. Unfortunately, by the time you realize that you will be sucked so far into the vortex of the downward spiral you call your life you will be doomed to emulate the losers of this film.

    From the generation that made popular Jerry Springer, eating vomitous putrefactions for a prize and wearing pants around your thighs, comes the hallmark movie for losers: Clerks. As Butthead would say: "Stop, in the name of all that which does not suck!"
  • I used to swear that this was one of the best movies, especially best independent film and one of the best screenplays. But after watching it many more times, it does dawn on a viewer that a lot of things are amiss in this movie.

    First there is the acting, where nearly ever character has at least one take (that made the final cut) where they have a noticeable pause because they either (A)forgot their line (B)got tongue tied on the dialogue Kevin Smith wrote up.

    The dialogue itself is the second major flaw in this movie. It's really hard to count this as a definite flaw when it does so much for the movie, but at the same time it is obvious that cons of the dialogue: (A)covering too much essential material too briefly (B)statements that are too long and elaborate for the given actors to do them justice (C)unrealistic detail and stream of conscious in the character's statements; out-weigh the positive aspects: (A)humorous anecdotes and tangents expressed through tirades (B)unique character interaction.

    This is not to say in any way that this movie is poor, but these attribute bring it considerably below the mark of 7.9 that IMDb voters have given it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Sorry. I can see where this movie might be funny if you're actually about 22 years old. But if you're much older than that, the jokes, the general humor and the film's attitude are all going to be tediously duplicative of any one of dozens of other teen/young adult movies or TV shows or episodes of SNL or Mad TV etc. that you've been exposed to over the years.

    I don't mean to criticize the many people who have written to say they thing this is one of the best movies they've every seen. If you're young and haven't seen this type of movie before, I'm sure it is. But believe me, there is little originality to it and there are others like it with more creativity and much stronger performances. Overall "Clerks" felt like a dull and over-long student film. There's nothing wrong with student films per se, it's just that I don't think we need to see them if we're not film studies professors.

    Besides one magical moment noted below, the only deeply funny thing about 'Clerks' is that (at the time I'm writing this) it is listed as one of the IMDb "top 250" of all time. Fortunately, as of right now it ranks at #249, so happily it will drop off the list quite soon.


    There is one moment of magic in the film --- when Jay and Silent Bob are standing outside in the dark, with Jay dancing to the boom box and, completely unexpectedly the theretofore impassive SB leaps in to the dance. Sublime.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    OK, here's a film with everything going against it: minuscule budget, amateur actors, first time director, static shots, dimly lit, episodic structure, little plot, foul language; and yet it is extremely entertaining. The main reason? The sharp and witty dialogue from a truly gifted writer, Kevin Smith. Smith is not the most visual of directors (although he has improved with time); his strength is in character and dialogue. Like Tarantino, his films are laced with pop culture references and profanity. Unlike Tarantino, they are filled with a lot of depth and heart.

    Clerks, of course, is the story of a day at a soulless job. Dante and Randal are clerks at a convenience store and video store, respectively. They hate their jobs, or at least their customers. Dante whines about it, Randal gets even. Meanwhile, outside the store are Jay and Silent Bob, two pot dealers, who act as a sort of cock-eyed Greek chorus. Dante is completely lost, stuck in a job he hates, no direction in life, doesn't appreciate the girl he has, but longs for the girl who has treated him badly. Randal just wants to watch movies and hang out. Most of the customers want a pack of smokes.

    The film is often over-praised, but is an important one in the indie film world. Smith proved that good writing and a unique voice could be the basis for a film career, and that entertaining films didn't need large budgets, studio involvement, or even camera movements.

    The acting is amateurish and often self-conscious, but it serves to deliver the jokes and insights. Within those limitations, Smith is able to construct entertaining characters. Most seem like buddies from high school, or people in the neighborhood, with more interesting conversations.

    The look of the film is bland and dank, which fits the setting beautifully. Smith will never be mistaken for Ridley Scott or Michael Mann, in terms of visuals, but he gets the job done.

    The film is definitely worth viewing, if nothing more than as an introduction to a director's career. It is often very funny, depending on your sensibilities and tolerance for some of the more sophomoric humor. It tells a story of real people in a real setting, with a little added "color" for entertainment value. If nothing else, it gave the world Jay and Silent Bob, the funniest pair of stoners since Cheech and Chong.
  • It's in the top 250 at IMDB. Wow! Did we see the same movie? This is one of the worst movies I've ever sat through.

    I'd heard so much about Kevin Smith's clever dialogue, but unless you think that mentioning a fictional toddler movie title followed by a list of ersatz porno movie titles is wit, you'll find this movie as moronic as I did. Even by the movie's low budget standards, the acting is uniformly terrible -- I've seen more compelling high school theater. The plot, if you can call it that, is arbitrary in the worst way.

    Couple this with over-the-top stylized cinematography that serves no aesthetic purpose, characters that show no development and come to us purely through clunky exposition, and you have the most over-rated movie of the 90's.
  • alexnmacleod8 July 2002
    I'm not going to waste much time on this. I only want to warn people that the acting, dialogue, plot (or lack of plot), and most everything else about this film stink. The other people who have commented on it obviously represent an incredibly narrow braindead segment of society. Don't bother.
  • daveisit7 December 2000
    "Clerks" can be realistically related to, and is funny which is why it's a great movie. The low budget is irrelevant to how enjoyable the movie is. It's the amazing script that made the movie, and some solid acting with some excellent deliveries.

    It's Unreal!
  • Terrible acting, they might as well be reading from a book. This movie is so boring and so utterly contrived its worthless! I was expecting something as good as American Movie, but this movie sucks.

    Its still playing on the dvd, but believe me, typing on my pc is more exciting than watching this.

  • grimacinglummox18 November 2006
    I've heard so many good things about this movie that, I just had to see it. What I came away with after viewing it was a bad taste in my mouth.

    How can so many people like this piece of garbage? I'll summarize with this... Unlikely dialog, delivered by slack jawed uninteresting losers, who feel life has given them a bad break.

    No one talks like they did in the film. I've met a broad spectrum of people from every conceivable profession and, none of them spoke the way the people in this piece-of-crap film do. This movie is so overrated its not even slightly funny.

    I do like some other of Kevin Smith's films however. But this is not one of them. I'll never figure out why people hold it in such high regard.
An error has occured. Please try again.