Stephen Georg’s review published on Letterboxd:
Jesus... where do I even begin?
I'll start by saying this is only the second Kubrick film I've ever seen (the first being 2001 back in 2008). Obviously this is a far cry from the radical space adventure (which I plan to revisit soon), in a very different, very disturbing direction. The original film was actually rated X due to the immense amounts of violence and sex, but has since been reclassified as R. That alone can probably give you an idea of what you're in for.
The film follows Alex DeLarge and his droogs ("friends"—more on that in a sec) as they cause all sorts of chaos in a dystopian future. A Clockwork Orange is actually adapted from a novel by Anthony Burgess, and while I haven't read it myself, it's my understanding that the film did an excellent job of sticking to source material—namely, the weird mix of English, Russian, and slang that the characters speak. Unfortunately this also makes it incredibly difficult to understand, and we had subtitles on within 10 minutes of starting the film. Once I was able to read (and better understand) what the characters were saying, I appreciated their wacky speech much more.
Alex continues his tour of senseless "ultraviolence" until one day his luck runs out and he winds up in prison. His sentence is shortened when he agrees to a new form of treatment for criminals, in what is probably one of the most famous scenes in cinema.
The film is incredibly long but never too long—Alex is such an interesting character that I was always curious to find out what happened next. He's a terrible, deranged maniac of a man that I loved to hate, but found myself sympathizing with near the end of the film. I blame the absolutely amazing acting from Malcolm McDowell.
Would I recommend it? Eh... yes? Maybe? Man, I don't know. It's an incredibly hard watch and definitely not for everyone. What some see as genius others will see as smut, and I'm not sure where I fall in there. It's an interesting story made great by an amazing lead actor and faithful dialogue, then completely soaked in controversy.
One thing's for certain: I'll never be able to listen to "Singin' in the Rain" the same way ever again.