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2001: A Space Odyssey Reviews

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Super Reviewer

November 2, 2006
2001 is a film that does not concern anything so trite as human relationships. 2001 is a film of a scale so epic as to never have been conceived before. Up until 1968, sci-fi was all about flying saucers, death rays and theramins. Kubrick set about making a film themed around the history of the human species, from the dawn of man through to space exploration and beyond. The first thing that strikes you about this film is its sheer visual spectacle; Kubrick's juxtaposition of classical music with the elegance of space travel shows technology not as clunky and ugly, but a thing of beauty. His use of colour is breathtaking, from the cold blues of outer space, to the vivid reds of the ship's systems and the stunning pure whites and primary colours of the still brilliant looking retro future styling of the space station's interiors. He takes pains to show the logistics of space travel, mixing the mundane with the surreal images of an existence without the influence of gravity. But it is the stargate sequence that is the truly jaw dropping part of this film, and it is still one of the most visually stunning scenes ever committed to celluloid. The main criticism levelled at this film is its infamous obtuseness, Kubrick deliberately leaving the implications of the themes he is exploring for the viewer to conclude for themselves. I would seriously suggest to anyone having trouble coming to grips with it to read the book, as it does explain all. Kubrick was an artist, and this is his masterpiece; only he could even have attempted to sum up the entire history of humanity in a single cut. Amazing.
Carlos M

Super Reviewer

November 4, 2009
With an extraordinary production design and cinematography - which includes mind-blowing photographic effects - this impressive work of poetic contemplation depicts Nietzsche's philosophical concept of the ‹bermensch in a truly majestic cinematic experience.
michael e.
michael e.

Super Reviewer

October 28, 2012
A fantastic film about the meditation of technology and evolution of man with a fantastic villain, fantastic effects for the time and great actors
Joe M

Super Reviewer

August 30, 2011
Every once in a while a work comes along that's so good that it destroys the genre forever. No Scifi movie can ever top 2001. The obsessive compulsive genus that is Kubrick shows in spectacular form.

Super Reviewer

October 1, 2010
Through time, animals first inhabited the earth, and were much smarter beings than us, but when we became a part of the world, we were ready to explore. Human's do not share the same mind-set as, say, an ape, but with the right amount of fear in their eyes they might. This is the story of how a man is reborn in space and how technology will ruin our lives if we rely on it to keep us going. Stanley Kubrick takes space in the physical sense and in the mental sense, and places you, literally, in his "stage." The visuals are spectacular, the story is unlike anything I have ever seen in my entire life, and the meaning behind everything in this film is absolutely breathtaking. "2001: A Space Odyssey" is easily one of the best Science Fiction films ever made!
Matthew Samuel M

Super Reviewer

August 26, 2012
Another flawless, artistic, iconic piece from Kubrick. Beautiful, ambitious, and, like The Shining, hypnotic.
Albert K

Super Reviewer

July 15, 2012
2001 is a pretty difficult movie to review.
1) It was made in 1968.
2) Its storytelling is drastically different from today's contemporary standards.
3) 2001 is, at its heart, an art-house movie that leaves much to open interpretation.

I, for one, absolutely dig art-house films but do not tend to enjoy open ended interpretations because, in the end, I want to see why the director placed such an open ended idea there in the first place. "Tree of Life"? Naw, not for me. "The Fountain"? What the hell happened in that? I still don't know. Nevertheless, "2001: A Space Odyssey" is one of those rare movies where it forces viewers into an artistic state of mind with enough interesting narrative twists to draw me into its universe coupled with breathtakingly, extraordinary cinematography.

Mind you, this was made in 1968. Yes, 1968. And with such age, it still manages to trump many of the contemporary films in terms of storytelling and superb cinematography. Yeah, the pacing is extremely patient and methodical, and it seems to marvel over certain sequences for way too long than it should, but nevertheless, once the pacing seemed unbearable, 2001 threw in a curve ball that drew me back in. For an avid film-goer, even 2001 pushed my patience, and this was mainly due to my familiarity with loud, fast-paced contemporary movies. Regardless of this, I can't help but to imagine how revolutionary "2001: A Space Odyssey" must've been during its time when filmmaking was restrained by technology, the lack of knowledge of the world outside of Earth, innovation, and mind-pondering questions about the roots of man never particularly being shared through a motion picture. And that's why whenever 2001 was brought up in conversation, words like "poetic" and "awe-inspiring" came up. It's not even because that it was revolutionary during its time, is the reason why I enjoyed it. I genuinely enjoyed the film for its narrative turns and artistic storytelling.

2001 is an ambitious film. Yes, it kinda did annoy me how open-ended it was, not because of the frustration of taking some time to sit down and interpret the movie myself, but simply because I wanna know what makes Stanley Kubrick tick. Regardless of this personal annoyance, "2001: A Space Odyssey" is definitely a poetic motion picture that is entertaining enough to draw me into its world, even though I don't agree with its message. It's fresh. Funny, I thought I would say that about a movie that came out in 2012. Sadly, the innovative films are those from the past, not in the hope of the future of filmmaking, that is, if Hollywood continues down its path that its on now.
Daniel L

Super Reviewer

July 10, 2012
2001: A Space Odyssey was groundbreaking when it was first released and holds up to today's standards due to its meticulously crafted effects and score. However the film has its slow scenes and some underdeveloped characters. Despite these flaws, 2001 still shines, especially thanks to Douglas Rain's performance as the computer HAL 9000.
Adriel L

Super Reviewer

June 4, 2011
Wondrous movie that leaves with a sense of awe, and something emotionally profound cannot be described with words. It is a realization of our place in the universe, our trivial existence and of what lies out there that is unfathomable to the limits of the human mind, or at least just one interpretation of this phenomenally contemplative experience. A masterpiece of film making at its highest form; art.
Phil H

Super Reviewer

March 9, 2008
Probably the greatest sci-fi (and maybe) actual movie ever made, this movie was the first movie to break the mould with effects and style in sci-fi that everybody else followed. Kubrick's vision is perfect and his movie making a true art and skill, every angle is perfection and made to work beautifully from the lighting to the details on the costumes...its lavish. Almost an actual silent movie for the first 30mins, Kubrick has the nerve to not include any dialog making it truely unique, its just visual art accompanied by classical music,
almost an intergalactic space age opera or ballet for the senses.

The plot is also very good yet kinda minimalistic. Adapted from the Arthur C. Clarke novel, with his input, assistance and help from NASA this really put the film into the realms of pure reality and technological advancement to which no other films have bettered to this day.
It takes a good few viewings to catch everything and understand the plot fully, as you do the film grows on you emotionally.
Many don't understand the story and find it boring thus not enjoying the experience which is a shame, the same happened when it was first released, all I can say is read the book, read about the film, watch and learn.

Epic in scope and unbeatable in most every department even to this day, the effects are tremendous despite being viewed in total silence for the most part. Add to that one of the greatest scores ever devised and you really can understand how this rates so high.

What dissapoints me is we are now beyond this date and not up to the technology shown, even 2010 has been and gone and we're nowhere near Europa :( oh well.
Matthew Roe
Matthew Roe

Super Reviewer

March 19, 2012
Not that I need to say much on the works of Stanley Kubrick, but this film is the visual manifestation of a magnificent space opera in which it flows like the score, changing with each note. Supplying some of the greatest practical effects ever put on film, a vast range of interpretations, and a viewing experience that can hardly be equaled, it makes us look into ourselves as well as the future of our species in equal measure. In addition to all of the landmarks that this film breaks in the realms of sic-fi, fantasy, character study, and filmmaking as a whole, it creates one of the greatest and most iconic film villains ever to grace the screen, HAL 9000. Not only serving as the film's antagonist, but also as a commentary on what humanity is racing toward, technological perfection, logical superiority and supersession by what we have created. Science fiction films after 1968 owe much of what they are to "2001", and to the film master Stanley Kubrick.
Jay H

Super Reviewer

February 11, 2012
Visually stunning, emotionally powerful, and scary as hell, 2001: A Space Odyssey is widely considered to be the best science fiction film ever made. But does it even belong in that category? Well, it's certainly not comparable to other famed science fiction films such as Star Wars and Blade Runner. No, 2001 is in a class of its own. Yeah, its premise fits into the genre, but unlike its possible peers, 2001 isn't made to entertain. It's a work of art more than anything, a true example of film's potential. Its sole downfall, if it could even be considered a negative, is its ambiguity. I can't even begin to speculate on what Kubrick meant in creating this film. I guess its meaning is up to the individual viewer, which isn't a bad thing. It just means the first viewing is necessarily unsatisfying in this regard, needing additional understanding in order to appreciate the film.

Nevertheless, one does not need to see the film multiple times to appreciate the superb visual effects present in 2001. Though it's old enough that its premiere occurred during my father's first month of life, its visual effects, which won an Oscar so long ago, would still undoubtedly be nominated for and possibly win the award if it were released in this modern day. It's pretty impressive. Not hard to see why this is a classic of American cinema.
Tyler K

Super Reviewer

September 4, 2011
Incredible. This masterpiece of a motion picture is astonishing from the Dawn of Man to the End of the Universe. Remember able Special effects litter this Stanley Kubrick classic. Incredible acting and use of sound is also a very nice touch to this masterpiece. Based of the book with the same name by Arthur C. Clark, only in the book everything is viewed from a different perspective. The book; clear. The movie; mind blowing. This very bizarre piece of work is just what I wanted.
paul o.
paul o.

Super Reviewer

October 31, 2011
Sci-fi genius! This film has inspired science and culture with its mystic and ambiguous plot; in other words, its a classic!
Graham J

Super Reviewer

October 27, 2011
This may be the most grand movie experience ever created. Beautiful, hypnotic and horrifying.
Christopher H

Super Reviewer

June 19, 2011
This is my favorite movie of all time. The visuals look just as stunning now as they did in 1968. The music is iconic and epically beautiful. The story is deep and very complex, dealing themes from man's place in the universe, how far human's have come and how far we need to go. Although the movie is science fiction, it is also a big budget art house film. The movie holds something new to discover with each viewing, making the re-watch value very high. Stanley Kubrick crafted a masterpiece that has endured even past the year 2001, and will continue to endure for many years to come.

Super Reviewer

March 12, 2011
2001: A Space Odyssey is the most incredible achievment in the history of filmmaking, and is (tied with Star wars V as) the greatest Science Fiction film ever. The plot is one of the most incredible adventures that I have ever seen, it starts off millions of years in the past, and ends with one of the most spectacular and thrilling moments I have ever seen in a movie, the adventure of the dawn of man, the journey to Jupiter, the malfunction of the HAL 9000, and the final mysterious and incredible endings ever put to film. The cast is great as well, Keir Dullea's final moments in the film was truly great, and Douglas Rain was perfect for the voice of the HAL 900. The special effect of the film were the greatest breakthrough in cinema ever, I have tried over and over to describe how to incredible these effects are, and they last 30 minutes of the film are too amazing for anyone to describe, this just proves that Stanley Kubrick the most influential director of all time and true genius. The score of the film gives it a sense of horror and tension and it was truly beautiful. 2001: A Space Odyssey is not only Kubricks second best film (A Clockwork Orange I think is his best), it is the most influential sci fi film ever and all people who plan on making a science fiction movie need to take lesson from this one film and Star Wars, a true masterpiece in every sense of the word.
Movie Monster
Movie Monster

Super Reviewer

September 25, 2011
Welcome to Movie Monster's 300th Review!

2001: A Space Odyssey. Woah. Wow. Those words came out of my mouth as I watching this brilliant piece of film. This is the first Stanley Kubrick film I've seen and I can easily see why so many people on RT look up to him. The direction is fantastic, the editing is awesome, and the tone is haunting. It puts the "science" in "science fiction". This is one you don't want to miss out on.

The film was released in 1968. No kidding. This came out in 19 FREAKIN' 68! This is a film way ahead of it's time. The film depicts an alternate and advanced look at space travel during 2001. Similar to Fantasia and Pulp Fiction, the film is told in segments. The first is "The Dawn of Man" which shows the early humans AKA apes finding a strange and extraterrestrial object. This segment features no dialogue and starts off the film excellently. It's cool to see how the prehistoric era and the future is envisioned in the film. The last two segments feature thrilling space exploration involving a discovery on the moon and two astronauts who face their ship's uncooperative computer, HAL 9000, on their way to Jupiter.

This may sound like an exciting film. It actually is but it is also very creepy. Space is depicted as a mysterious and spooky place. The movie informs it's audience to not ever go there. The film is exciting, thought provoking, and undoubtedly creepy. Two scenes in this film kept me up at night. What's scarier is that they were so quiet. This film can perfectly balance it's thrilling sense with it's mysterious one. The writing is also very good too despite the lack of dialogue.

My favorite aspect of the film is the storytelling. It is brilliant. I love the use of classical music during the scene where they're headed toward the Moon. Music plays a big part in the film. The score is epic and haunting. Very haunting. During the creepy scenes, a group of demonic opera singers (That's what it sounds like to me.) back it up. Sometimes it feels overdone but it adds a lot. Kubrick tells the audience that you don't need dialogue to tell a story. The classical music does that for us. The visuals, production design, and props are also fantastic and are way ahead of it's time. 19 FREAKIN' 68! I can't believe it! I can't imagine all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into the production.

2001: A Space Odyssey has become one of my new favorite films. Because of it's storytelling format, the film is flawless and the visuals, music, and performances are fantastic. It probably won't serve well to casual moviegoers (I'm talking to Cody-Fairless-Lee, Kadeem S., and Sean C. ~The One Coz~.) and many have you have already seen it by now. Those who haven't need to. It is truly an experience. 2001: A Space Odyssey is a dazzling piece of cinema. Thank you for reading my 300th review.

"Unfortunately that sounds a little like famous last words."

Super Reviewer

February 3, 2011
HAL: I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

"The Ultimate Trip."

2001: A Space Odyssey is one the most influential and challenging films ever made. It's a movie that succeeds solely because of a director that doesn't take any liberties with his film. Kubrick crafts a movie that is unlike any other, a movie that only he could make and it is a masterpiece. It's extremely deep and there's no possible way you can get everything out of it because there is so much. It's thought provoking beyond anything that I have ever seen. I'll admit that the first time I watched, I didn't really care for it. But I ended up starting the movie over again almost immediately. That second viewing was much more enjoyable, even though I still hadn't the faintest clue exactly what was going on. I've seen it a few more times since and with every viewing you pick up on more and more. The film just continues to get better and better with each additional viewing. There's too much going for just one viewing.†

Obviously Kubrick didn't tie himself down with formula and easy to digest and distinguish plot. Most of the important aspects of the film aren't even talked about. He shows them through a variety of methods that doesn't really include talking about them. It's weird that when seemingly nothing is going on, Kubrick is still progressing the ideas of the movie. He gives us long, drawn out scenes where all that we see is a spaceship moving through space. It seems like he just wants us to think about what we just watched and decipher what exactly happened.†

2001 isn't really a movie for the casual film fan. So if that's what you are, stick to Fast and Furious and whatever else Vin Diesel is putting out because I can tell you this isn't a movie for you. It's extremely slow and Kubrick doesn't go out of his way to entertain. It turns some people off because of this slowness and the fact that they go into it thinking it's going to be like Star Wars. This isn't an action sci-fi. But it is more exciting then most action films. It isn't meant to be merely watched, but studied. Every detail must be accounted for because nothing Kubrick put in the film is done without a reason for it.†

2001 is widely considered not only one of the best science fiction films, but one of the best films period. The movies ending just begs you to watch it again. Every time I watch it I have the compulsion to just watch it again. From beginning to end I am totally hypnotized by every detail of 2001. I will say this to those who haven't seen it. If you do watch it and are not sold on it after the first monolith scene, you might as well just stop watching because the movie is not going to get much better for you.†

This is the ultimate sci-fi film in my opinion and is probably, technically put, Kubrick's best film; even though it's not my favorite from him. It's more of an experience than anything else and for all you stoners out there, this is a film to watch high.

Dr Floyd: Don't suppose you have any idea what the damn thing is, huh?†
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