CLOCKWORK ORANGE, A
Fitting for a film that is ultimately about free will and individuality, this is Stanley Kubrick's most idiosyncratic work, an exceedingly artful evocation of a dystopian future and a hugely influential cult classic that remains challenging, rite-of-passage viewing for adventurous film lovers. Malcolm McDowell, in his signature role, is creepily charismatic as Alex, the Beethoven-loving ringleader of "the Droogs," a band of young thugs on the prowl for "a little of the old ultra-violence." When Alex is jailed for murder and then subjected to an extreme behavior modification treatment that results in law-abiding conformity, he goes from ruthless predator to hapless victim; his case now taken up by the press, the erstwhile public enemy becomes a cause célèbre. DIR/SCR/PROD Stanley Kubrick, from the novel by Anthony Burgess. UK, 1971, color, 136 min. RATED R
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