2001: A Space Odyssey - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

2001: A Space Odyssey Reviews

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August 15, 2017
The best example of Kubrick's directing genius, and by using his visual storytelling he creates a true space odyssey that does not rely on actors or the written word; it created precedent in the science fiction genre that doesn't seem to ever be overcame by anyone else. Most notably the opening sequence resonants with me, the simplistic wonderment it brings even after multiple screenings.
August 12, 2017
There is no possible way you can criticize the visual artistry of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The use of miniatures, perfectly designed sets, and other special effects was just marvelous. It's hard to not be awed by the beauty of what is presented, and this includes the opening scenes of the Dawn of Man with gorgeous landscape shots. The other remarkable thing is how clearly Kubrick and his team thought through the technology of the future. While most of it is not real tech that we have today it feels logical and authentic. This world-building is simply magical, and they rarely call attention to it, letting things speak for themselves.

I went into 2001: A Space Odyssey knowing that many of its detractors take issue with the pacing. So I anticipated some slow sections in the film and did my best to disregard them and simply enjoy the visual spectacle (and the score when it was there.) Despite my best efforts it's hard for me to deny that there is some bloat in this film. Things that could take moments take minutes, and many of them are not essential scenes with any plot progression. I wasn't overly annoyed by any of it. However, there were a few of these long scenes with no audio other than one monotonous sound and that almost drove me insane.

The one time I did love the story in 2001 was the part that is most widely known, talked about, and parodied. The journey to Jupiter is fascinating, and the interactions between HAL and the crew has that traditional sci-fi feel. The real problem is that this is one short act of a much longer movie. This isn't a film about a computer malfunction and how it affects the crew. In fact the stuff I like is basically a distraction or odd subplot to the main storyline. As we see in the first hour and last half hour of this film it's something much more esoteric about creation and evolution. And, I'll be honest, this is the kind of stuff I despise in film.

2001: A Space Odyssey is 100% ambiguous, makes no sense, and asks the viewer to draw their own conclusions. You could spend months reading online papers with thousands of different opinions on the "real meaning" of what happens in 2001. Which means there is no real meaning. You can't put the pieces together and come up with a logical explanation because the film flies in the face of logic. It's like walking through the abstract art section of a museum. I don't go to films for them to ask me "what do you think happened?" at least not to this extent. The problem is I can see the magic in parts of 2001, and I think if it ended more clearly I would embrace it, but sadly it ends as an inscrutable LSD-fueled fever dream and I was more annoyed than interested.
August 10, 2017
The perfection of filmmaking.
August 9, 2017
Excellent movie.
Rating: 9.1/10.
August 9, 2017
Greatest movie ever made
August 9, 2017
Greatest space movie of all time!!!!
August 6, 2017
An enlightened and systematic story by Arthur C. Clarke given Kubrick's precision filmmaking makes movie gold.
August 6, 2017
This movie may confuse a lot of people as it is certainly tricky to fully understand. That being said, it is still an incredible science fiction film and was truly groundbreaking for the time it was made. Maybe you will get all the way through, maybe you won't...but if you like the Sci-Fi genre, you should at least give it a try.
½ August 5, 2017
While it may not have the most interesting plot, it makes up for that with its spectacular visuals.
July 30, 2017
this is an amazing movie and I highly recommend you watch it
½ July 28, 2017
Lifeless and utterly pointless, a story with no end in sight. Though it might have been a masterpiece back in the 60's, today it's nothing more then a reminder of how much we've advanced in the art of directing movies.
July 18, 2017
For 1968 I presume it blew all other popular films right out of the cinema with people especially travelling to the theatres to watch this widely linear masterpiece.

Ranging from the beginning of human intellegence, a scarily sentient space ship, right through to the complete understanding of the whole universe's endless imposibilities. This film leaves you completely confused and bewildered with how it wraps up its strange twist with the protagonist transforming into a giant embryo, only to float above the earth observing all of the insignificant humans going about their insignificant lives.

For this, Stanley Kubrick, I give you 5 stars.
½ July 13, 2017
I'm not going to lie even after reading a book and several websites the ending still confuses me. Otherwise this is a great movie with Kubrick's typical good camerawork and a thought provoking film focusing on how human intelligence came to be and the possibilities of what might be out in the stars plus the Hal 9000 reinforces my distrust of allowing computers too have to much AI.
July 12, 2017
Saying that's something is the "best" work of Kubrick may be narrow-minded. His complete collection of work is a Stonehenge of filmmakng - something most will never completely comprehend. 2001 may have been a movie that worked superficially as a prophecy of technology to come, but Kubrick made sure the sci-fi was the least mind-blowing thing about it. The real discovery is in the film's meditative, if psychedelic, narrative. A haunting experience, more so than a coherent cinematic plot, the film speaks to me as a reminder of the infinitesimal perspective of man when attempting to behold the universe.
July 11, 2017
In my opinion, and ever since I watched it at 14... The greatest film of all time. No other flick has or will compare to the grand beauty and meaning behind this film. Greatest film of all time, greatest work of art ever produced. Kubrick is the best.
July 7, 2017
Greatest sci-fi film created
½ July 4, 2017
I felt this movie was one of the best I've ever seen until the end, not because of the specific finale, but the unending sequence of nature in the negative that is more than unnecessary. Though I don't agree with the eventual evolution of man into a state where he no longer uses tools or weapons via space exploration, it still was a well crafted film, except for the needless scenes of forced boredom.
July 2, 2017
I forget who said it, but someone once said that "2001: A Space Odyssey" was the first film ever made ... that virtually all other films could exist as plays, musicals, books, concerts, etc without losing too much. I'm not sure I agree completely with that sentiment, but I do understand where it is coming from. "2001", in my opinion, remains the finest work of film ever made, and I'm not sure what comes in second.

The controversy comes, perhaps, in the acting. The acting is fine, but there is so little for the actors to say and do because the film is so rooted in visual storytelling. One could argue that the high point of acting in the film is Daniel Richter who plays the un-named ape man (called Moon-Watcher in the credits and novel). The other acting high point may very well be Douglas Rain who voices HAL. There is no weak acting for sure ... and Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood give great performances as astronauts keeping a cool and collected demeanor under pressure.

Kubrick famously dumped Alex North's score for the film, and replaced it with extent classical music. Clearly, this had an effect (even people who have never seen the film, know that Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra" is associated with this film). I think this was used for great dramatic impact. Not simply that the music was good (it was), but in using music that has its roots in a shared culture, it emphasizes the idea of mankind's past being so critical to the film, especially as the film transitions to the future.

Here was Kubrick's great conundrum: How does an artist pose great questions about humanity's past and its links to the future ... about the dualistic nature of man as creator/explorer and destroyer, about how humanity has evolved and continues to evolve, and the still unknown nature of evolution's link to technology (both as a function of evolution and a driver of it), and doing so in a visual medium? Raising such deep questions without words would be virtually impossible for many, but Kubrick is a grandmaster of the medium of film, and that is what I think he accomplished. I say "think", because the film itself is something like that monolith. One can never be sure what Kubrick's actual message was, and until his death he refused to say much other than to say that the film speaks for itself.

That might be the great beauty of this masterpiece - it is a film, like any great work of literature or art that requires a repeated viewings, and provokes and requires great thought ... not simply about what the film is saying, but how the viewer individually connects to it.

No film that I have ever seen has moved me to such contemplation as this one has.
July 2, 2017
At first I watched it and I was confused, I saw everyone else hail it. So I watched in-depth analysis of the film. I saw the effort and work put into this, the symbolic meaning in each shot. Now, the movie is my favorite film of all time.
½ June 23, 2017
One of the most controversial, ambigous, iconic and revolutionary movies ever made! Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" was way beyong its time and it wasn't really appreciated as it deserved to be. Almost 50 years later, it is considered one of the best movies of all time. Its rithm is a bit dragged but purposeful, it just sometimes could be faster. But obviously, it deserves to be watched by everyone!
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