David Browne
September 23, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Natural Born Killers

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
118 minutes
performer
Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Rodney Dangerfield, Robert Downey Jr.
director
Oliver Stone
distributor
Warner Bros.
author
Quentin Tarantino, David Veloz
genre
Drama, Mystery and Thriller, Comedy

We gave it an A-

Rarely have movie and soundtrack been so perfectly matched as with Natural Born Killers. Just as watching Oliver Stone’s heavy- handed media-is-murder tale is like seeing the same film on different channels, hearing the soundtrack-”assembled” by Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, who, as with Woodstock ’94, knows a high-profile, career-making move when he sees it-is the equivalent of punching around a radio dial and hearing snippets of different songs and styles. There’s plenty of music-from old-world doomsayers like Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan to new-world ones like Dr. Dre, L7, and NIN-but Reznor and the nearly 20 listed technicians also seamlessly add bits of movie dialogue in and around the songs. The resulting sonic collage is surely one of the most ambitious soundtracks ever devised. Reznor truly works up a head of dead-body steam on pieces like ”Sex Is Violent,” which jams together a wail by Jane’s Addiction, a nightmarish screech by alternative diva Diamanda Galas, and snippets of the film’s garage-sex scene.

The soundtrack’s cumulative effect, like the movie’s, is utterly exhausting, and you end up admiring the album as much for the technique as the content. Reznor’s score is a mini-movie all its own. Even better, it’s a hypnotic white-noise soundtrack that’s almost more disturbing than Stone’s own work. A-

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