Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ decline-of-civilisation novel remains a chilling, thrilling and unsettling cinematic vision of nihilistic violence and social control.
Set in a flamboyantly stylised near-future where gangs of disenfranchised teenagers indulge in narcotic cocktails and revel in acts of ‘ultraviolence’, the film centres on Alex (McDowell) and his band of droogs.
Following a botched home invasion, Alex is arrested and subsequently sentenced to serve 14 years in prison. Two years later, Alex is visited by a government minister who offers him the opportunity to complete his rehabilitation in two weeks if he agrees to be subjected to the ‘Ludovico Technique’, an experimental and controversial form of aversion therapy.
Read Kim Newman’s 5 star review for Empire: A much-maligned and misunderstood classic, this is one of Kubrick’s finest movies.
Run time: 136 mins
BBFC certificate: 18
“A monument of modern cinema”