Natural Born Killers

Year: 1994
Director: Oliver Stone
Writer: Oliver Stone/Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey Jr, Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Sizemore, Rodney Dangerfield, Edie McClurg
The project that caused a falling out between Stone and Tarantino after the latter believed the former strayed too far from the idea. Also the central example cited in countless debates about movie violence and whether it influences society (in this case, there is a strong argument that it does - in at least four murder cases worldwide, the perpetrators have admitted its influence on them). From a social perspective, it shouldn't have been made - the irony would go over too many kids' heads (and appears to have) who'd miss the point and worship/want to act like Mickey and Mallory Knox. Aside from the social consequences, one of the best films ever made for display of the craft and the message it delivers.

Stone shows his mastery of the technique of shooting movies like never before (or since) - and not just with the massive amount of cutaways, film styles and stocks used, but in the depiction. Portraying Mallory's home life as a squeaky clean American sitcom (with Dangerfield priceless as her abusive father) is a stroke of cinematic genius and still one of the best devices ever used in film. The story is simple - two young sociopaths (Harrelson and Lewis) 'marry', then drive all over America killing people.

The media - and in turn the public - falls in love with their Bonnie and Clyde finesse, and that's what Stone is satirising - our infatuation with criminals. Downey Jr as Australian flash-trash TV journalist Wayne Gale gives one of the performance of his career with a partly authentic Australian accent, at times sounding more like a Kiwi.

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