2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)



Critic Consensus: One of the most influential of all sci-fi films -- and one of the most controversial -- Stanley Kubrick's 2001 is a delicate, poetic meditation on the ingenuity -- and folly -- of mankind.

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Movie Info

A mind-bending sci-fi symphony, Stanley Kubrick's landmark 1968 epic pushed the limits of narrative and special effects toward a meditation on technology and humanity. Based on Arthur C. Clarke's story The Sentinel, Kubrick and Clarke's screenplay is structured in four movements. At the "Dawn of Man," a group of hominids encounters a mysterious black monolith alien to their surroundings. To the strains of Strauss's 1896 Also sprach Zarathustra, a hominid invents the first weapon, using a bone to … More

Rating: G (violence)
Genre: Classics, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 25, 1998
Warner Bros. Pictures


as David Bowman

as Frank Poole

as Dr. Floyd

as Moonwatcher

as Halvorsen

as Michaels

as Ape (killed by Moon-...

as Ape (attacked by Leo...

as Stewardess

as Poole's Mother

as Astronaut

as Aries 1B-Lunar Shutt...

as Astronaut

as Astronaut

as Floyd's Daughter

as Aries 1B Stewardess

as Stewardess

as Poole's Father

as Mission Controller
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Critic Reviews for 2001: A Space Odyssey

All Critics (70) | Top Critics (16)

2001 will emerge from its initial long-run Cinerama engagements and subsequent extended runs as one of MGM's all-time box office hits ...

Full Review… | November 9, 2014
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Though it fails as drama, Stanley Kubrick's venture succeeds as dazzling visual art.

Full Review… | April 1, 2014
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

2001 lingers on the mind like a tall, black riddle: Where are the new bones, the new tools, that will take us higher? Do we even deserve them?

Full Review… | December 24, 2013
Time Out
Top Critic

Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey is some sort of great film, and an unforgettable endeavor. Technically and imaginatively, what he put into it is staggering.

January 14, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

Kubrick's spaceships are perhaps little more than Airfix models, but he makes them majestic, even awesome in the proper sense of the word.

Full Review… | December 1, 2014
Times [UK]

It's an overpowering experience, awe-inspiringly photographed by Geoffrey Unsworth, groundbreakingly enhanced by Douglas Trumbull.

Full Review… | November 29, 2014
Observer [UK]

Audience Reviews for 2001: A Space Odyssey

Kubrick's meditation on humanity and the universe is an unparalleled masterpiece and one of the most visceral and important films in cinema history.

Kase Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

Although many will find it more than difficult to interpret upon first viewing, it cannot be denied how much of a visionary tale it was for a 1960s film. 2001: A Space Odyssey revels in its audacious score, groundbreaking imagery and a notorious allegory that's ambiguous to the audience even to this present-day. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer


It's like, whoa, you know? I'm glad I got to see this on the big screen because it was just like...whoa...you know?

During the first however many minutes of ominous tones, I kept thinking I was seeing images on the blank screen. They turned out to be just retinal shadows, but the suspense was so awesomely claustrophobic. So many spoofs and homages of Kubrick's ethereal blend of airless space, kaleidoscopic frenzy, and classical music did not diminish this movie-watching experience for me, and what an experience it was. The story, while ponderingly slow and ham-fisted, is an epic fantasia full of cacophony and silence, peace and fear, primitive pasts and equally primitive futures.

The SFX were ridiculously advanced; images of Earth and space look just like recent representations in "Gravity" or "Interstellar." The "gravity boots" were an ingenious way to sidestep the weightlessness effect. Keir Dullea is remarkably good and understated as Dr. Dave Bowman, in all his heavy breathing and bottled-up rage. HAL, of course, is a freakish delight.

I wasn't quite sold on the symbolism of the monolith, and I expected the piercing noise that it emitted to have some kind of debilitating, foreshadowing effect, but alas, it was only just a biggest, blackest, metaphor.

Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

2001: A Space Odyssey Quotes

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