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When Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) is reluctantly put in charge of the Quick Stop market on his day off, he tries, though half-heartedly, to perform his minimum-wage duties as efficiently as possible. This gets tough amidst the on-going fight with his girlfriend, Veronica (Marilyn Ghigliotti), and his attempt to get back together with his ex-girlfriend, Caitlyn Bree (Lisa Spoonhauer). Meanwhile, his friend and alter ego Randall (Jeff Anderson) is working behind the counter of the adjacent video store -- at least when he feels like it. Randall's unabashed disdain of his place of… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A buoyant, bleakly funny comedy chronicling a day's worth of activity at two adjoining stores."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"The film looks no more expensive than it was; some of the acting (by local nonprofessionals) is spectacularly amateurish; the story is a series of anecdotes about hockey, shopping and loving the one you're with. But it's worth loitering in this shop."
‑ Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine
"an exemplar of what can happen when the stars align and someone's home movie can help foment a revolution"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"Smith dogpiles absurdity and obscenity on top of each other. The dullness of the dead-end jobs is brightened by bizarre bits--a fat guy asking for softer toilet paper, drops dead on the toilet."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"It's not John Cassavetes' Shadows (1959), but what Kevin Smith's Clerks, lacks in subtlety it makes up for in laughs"
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"A hoot one moment, a hiss the next, the film is about as even as a city road after a hard winter. But the script's sheer vigour sees us through."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"At 24, Smith also knows something about casting. Using a mixture of stage actors and novices, he's found the right ensemble tone to make Clerks seem as spontaneous as it needs to be."
‑ John Hartl,
"Clerks remains a defining debut, a symbolic shot into the darkened domain of legitimate moviemaking."
‑ Bill Gibron, PopMatters
"Kevin Smith actually pulled it off."
‑ Brad Laidman, Film Threat
"Cheap, touching, and downright nasty, Kevin Smith's first feature still remains the ultimate cinematic tribute to slackers."
‑ Chris Barsanti, Slant Magazine
"Clerks is so utterly authentic that its heroes have never heard of their generation."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"There's no denying the raw and energetic feel Smith created with a memorable script, great characters and a genuine sense of Gen X angst."
‑ Ryan Cracknell, Movie Views
"...the film's inherent deficiencies are generally overshadowed by the distinctly earnest vibe."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"It comes from bad stock, curses like a longshoreman and doesn't bring a gift. Nevertheless, it's the life of the party."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
" is the ability to identify with the characters that makes the story so universal. I mean, we've all known people like these who have annoyed us all our lives."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
More reviews for Clerks on Rotten Tomatoes

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