Critic Reviews



Based on 17 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Film Threat
Randal is a beautiful hostile piece of work that only could have come from America. He's the sort of guy who never put in a quality day at the office in his life, but somehow probably winds up winning the biggest lotto drawing ever with a ticket he stole from his loser best friend's Quickie Mart.
Nothing, no matter how outrageous, is beyond Smith, and his willingness to flaunt cinematic taboos is one of the reasons why Clerks is such a unqualified success.
A randy, irreverent, slice-of-life no-budgeter that's played for laughs and gets them.
Although a few bits (the film is done in blackout sketch style) fall flat and a good ten minutes could be shaved off the running time with no visible damage, it's an impressive and irascible debut that rings true even when you're laughing too hard to hear it.
Chicago Sun-Times
Within the limitations of his bare-bones production, Smith shows great invention, a natural feel for human comedy, and a knack for writing weird, sometimes brilliant, dialogue.
Much of "Clerks" is extremely funny and dead-on—in terms of its intentionally satirical, Gen-X-istential gloom.
The New York Times
[Smith] also has an uncommonly sure sense of deadpan comic timing. [25 Mar 1994, p.C10]
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Even augmented by the priceless commodity of Smith's talent, $25,575 can only be stretched so far. Apparently, it won't buy you a stellar cast - some very strong lines receive some rather flat deliveries. And some distinctly lame scenes survive the chopping block.
USA Today
A few crude verbal exchanges nearly got Clerks an NC-17 rating; some (not all) of these provide some of the funniest moments in a film that's funny about 30% of the time. [24 Oct 1994]
TV Guide Magazine
Unlike his models, however, Smith hasn't demonstrated that his sensibility reaches much beyond bathroom humor and meaningless drift.

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