90

Film Threat

By Brad Laidman
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.
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88

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
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.
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80

Wall Street Journal

Rough around the edges, it's humor decidedly sophomoric in parts. But that's part of its charm. [19 Jan 1995, p.A16(E)]
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80

Empire

Smith's script simply crackles with an endless succession of humorous gags and on-the-ball observations while Anderson's brilliant performance as the shop assistant from hell is worthy of a film 100 times as expensive.
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78

Austin Chronicle

By Marc Savlov
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.
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75

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
The latest slacker manifesto, Clerks lacks the grunge artistry of either "Stranger Than Paradise" or "Slacker," but it's a fast, likable 90 minutes at the movies.
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75

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
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.
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63

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Rick Groen
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.
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63

USA Today

By Mike Clark
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]
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60

TV Guide

Unlike his models, however, Smith hasn't demonstrated that his sensibility reaches much beyond bathroom humor and meaningless drift.
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70 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.