A very bad film—snide, barely competent, and overdrawn—that enjoys a perennial popularity, perhaps because its confused moral position appeals to the secret Nietzscheans within us. It's a movie that Leopold and Loeb would have loved, endorsing brutality in the name of nonconformism. At best, Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film suggests an Animal House with bogus intellectual trappings. But the trappings—the rationalizations and spurious arguments—are what make it genuinely irresponsible, genuinely abhorrent. With Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, and Michael Bates.
By Dave Kehr