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Bonnie and Clyde Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    There is something special about the production, with its brash, vivid style, indelible performances by movie icons, and bold mixture of violence and comedy, romance and tragedy.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Bonnie and Clyde is a milestone in the history of American movies, a work of truth and brilliance. It is also pitilessly cruel, filled with sympathy, nauseating, funny, heartbreaking, and astonishingly beautiful.

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  • 40

    out of 100

    The New York Times

    It is a cheap piece of bald-faced slapstick comedy that treats the hideous depredations of that sleazy, moronic pair as though they were as full of fun and frolic as the jazz-age cutups in "Thoroughly Modern Millie."

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  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    Penn's film oozes an intellectual's fashionable contempt for the characters.

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  • 60

    out of 100


    This inconsistency of direction is the most obvious fault of Bonnie and Clyde, which has some good ingredients, although they are not meshed together well.

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  • See all Bonnie and Clyde reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Trendsetting outlaw drama is violent, complex.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this was one of the first movies to get the newly minted R-rating. There are lots of shootouts and a violent finale in a hailstorm of bullets that was compared by commentators to the Vietnam War (yes it was) for graphic bloodshed -- though far gorier movies have since arrived to "entertain." There is a glorification of the anti-social outlaw lifestyle (but an awareness of how criminals manufacture such myths themselves, for the positive PR), and the main characters smoke and drink. Bonnie is sexually frustrated (discretely topless in her opening scene) with Clyde, who seems to have intimacy-impotence problems (in the original script he was gay, or at least bisexual). Their bedroom dysfunction is a recurring theme, though it's coached in tasteful euphemism.

  • Families can talk about the historical facts of Bonnie and Clyde compared with this movie, and the hero-worship legends built about their gang (and other outlaws, in fact, such as John Dillinger and Pretty Boy Floyd, whose bios were partially filched for this script). Do you think this movie glorifies robbery? Could it have ended peacefully? Do you think this film comments negatively on hero-worship of criminals, or was it part of the problem? What about the constantly under-indictment rappers of today, and their idolization of the likes of Al Capone and Scarface?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Plenty of glorification of the outlaw lifestyle here. The titular criminals are played by two good-looking actors who create characters that are a lot more sympathetic (and sexy) than the lawmen in pursuit of them, many of whom they kill. Two supporting characters sadly contrast their criminal lives with their religious upbringings (it may say something that these two are the weak links who will bring down the gang).

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Considerable shooting, as well as pistol-whipping and reckless driving. Once this movie was considered the utmost in graphic carnage -- though far bloodier movies have come along since. Nonetheless, we are shown blood-reddened bullet wounds (a rare thing in those days) and an infamous climax with a lethal hailstorm of ammunition.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Bonnie is dressed only in panties in her introductory sequence, though camera angles and editing obscure her breasts. Bonnie and Clyde's unsatisfying sex life is a reoccurring theme; she's sexually hotwired, perhaps a nymphomaniac, and Clyde is possibly homosexual, but the script wraps these diagnoses up in euphemisms and evasive dialogue (Clyde saying he's "no lover boy").

  • language false0

    Language: Pretty mild under the circumstances, with "hell" uttered a few times.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Mention of store names, products with mostly a 1930s vibe.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lots of smoking. Some drinking and talk of drunkenness.