Eyes Wide Shut - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Eyes Wide Shut Reviews

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½ November 21, 2017
Eyes Wide Shut: Kubrick's slow burning cinematic thriller won't win many but yeilds impressive work otherwise.
November 13, 2017
Great movie, Stanley Kubrick really made sure every little detail was perfect
Super Reviewer
November 7, 2017
For many, Stanley Kubrick is one of the greatest directors America has ever produced and has offered up some of the most thought provoking films throughout his career. Unfortunately, his last film didn't receive the credit that it deserved. Literally days after delivering the final film, Kubrick died. However, in some senses, I'm actually glad Kubrick didn't have to witness his swansong's much maligned backlash. A big factor in this was the poor marketing campaign. For the first time, Kubrick released a film in the internet-age where information was readily accessible on the secrecy of its production. Rumours abound, it was flaunted as a sexually explicit bonkfest with Cruise and Kidman and the trailers teasing the audience with the real-life, married couple's nudity certainly didn't help matters. In truth, what (little) you see in the trailer is essentially all there is in the entire film between the couple. Added to which, there were rumours that Cruise would be shooting heroine for the film and wearing a dress. Needless to say, those who flocked in their droves to see such controversy where left sorely disappointed. What they really missed, though, was a rich and provocative meditation on sexual desires and the human psyche.

Plot: Happily married New York City doctor, Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) appears to have the perfect life with his wife Alice (Nicole Kidman). When she admits that she had a potent sexual fantasy about a man she never met and was tempted to cheat on him, he is left reeling from shock, and goes out into the Manhattan night where he meets strange characters and enters into a world of sexual adventure for the first time in his life.

Within minutes of the film's opening, we are voyeurs in the lives of our main characters. We witness them at a party where Alice flirts with an older lothario who imparts his wisdom that women only got married in order to lose their virginity, freeing them to do as they pleaded with other men. Meanwhile Bill is being accosted and propositioned to an upstairs bedroom by two beautiful models, promising to show him "where the rainbow ends". Despite these encounters amounting to nothing, they set the tone for the rest of the film in how this seemingly contented married couple will have their fidelity questioned.

It's moments like these that showcase Kubrick's command of space. I love his ability for crafting a place or scene that is vast yet strangely intimate. He gives a place importance and here it is no different. Despite being set in the vibrant sprawling nightlife of New York City, we seem enclosed in the lives of our two main characters. Kubrick's craftsmanship was just as evident in the The Shining whereby he conveys the loneliness and isolation of his characters and somehow manages a palpable sense of claustrophobia within grand open spaces. If for nothing else, it brings his actors to the forefront and enhances their performances. Speaking of which, Cruise and Kidman are very brave and dynamic here. Their real life marriage (at the time) effectively seems to permeate the characters - giving a very intimate portrayal of a strained, unfulfilled relationship. It should also be noted that with Kubrick's fastidious approach to filming that the psychological torment that he put his actors through led to the break-up of Cruise and Kidman not long after filming wrapped. Much was said about Kidman's performance but this is by-and-large Cruise's film. He's the anchor and it's among his strongest work as he absolutely smolders on screen as his Dr. Harford is always heavily weighted on and there's an escalating sense of danger in his experiences.

Kubrick's last film is not just one to be viewed but one to be immersed in. That's the absolute beauty and captivating nature of the film. It draws you in and, much like the protagonist, you have no idea what you're in for but you're swept along with it as if in some hypnogogic state. As a self-proclaimed admirer of David Lynch, Kubrick has managed to make a film that the idiosyncratic Lynch would be proud of. In the latter stages it becomes quite an intriguing, surrealistic mystery that begins to question Harford's perception of events. Over the course of the evening, Harford experiences a prostitute, a proposition from a teenage girl, the suggestion of his sexual orientation and, of course, an en masse orgy. But, is this the world that he's been cloistered from experiencing a reawakening? Or are these manifestations of his sexual fantasies and desires? These are the questions that begin to surface as the film's dreamlike, ambiguous nature grows stronger.

It's not just what's underneath Eyes Wide Shut that's impressive, though. On the surface, the film is
also visually stunning. Kubrick shoots on a grand scale where production designers Leslie Tomkins and Roy Walker capture both the interiors and exteriors with lavish flamboyancy. There's also an abundance of colour on display and cinematographer Larry Smith deserves the utmost credit with his stunning contrast of warm and cold colours that adds to the foreboding atmosphere that's tangible within the themes of the film.

An avant garde, near masterpiece from Kubrick. Consider, if you will, David Lynch directing Martin Scorsese's absurd, dark comedy After Hours and you'll get a little closer to understanding it. Premature judgement has harmed the film but it is still, admittedly, not for everyone. It's not the explicit orgy that people expected but a deeply surreal, and hypnotic, psychological exploration of sexual tension, paranoia and jealousy. But if viewed from a subconcious perspective it is a hugely rewarding experience. Sadly, it was Kubrick's last film but it's also one of his finest.

Mark Walker
Super Reviewer
October 25, 2017
I should not have watched this with my mom
½ October 14, 2017
Complex movie. I thought I knew what it was about but then I watched a review of it on Youtube and realized I knew nothing at all. Still its an excellent film.
October 10, 2017
Achei esse filme muito doido, pra nao dizer meio sem sentido.
½ October 5, 2017
Dense and hypnotic, Eyes Wide Shut succeeds mainly on the mood it creates and the eye-popping performances of its two leads; Nicole Kidman comes off at once playful, sexy, and a bit cruel. Tom Cruise, on the other hand, is at the absolute height of his unbelievably-handsome and charismatic powers. The story may not make much sense, and may in fact be largely inconsequential, but it's a bit like a foreign film that way. It's more about an exploration of two extremely sexy and wealthy people attempting a traditional marriage.
½ September 4, 2017
I knew before watching Eyes Wide Shut that there was a lot I was going to hate in it. I don?t care for graphic nudity and sexuality in film, and that?s a big thematic part of this movie. I did not enjoy that aspect (although it felt oddly horrific instead of sexual in the way it was presented.) What might have bothered me just as much was the fact that the 2 main characters are so unsympathetic. They behave horribly towards one another and constantly make moronic decisions. Also many of the lines are worded in a way that normal people would never speak, and delivered in a strange fashion that feels stilted and unnatural. Yet there was something in Eyes Wide Shut that lifted it above my hatred to be a film I admired despite not enjoying it. There?s this dream-like quality to everything that happens in the film, and the way it is presented. It?s so strange that I wouldn?t have been surprised if we found out at the end nothing was real and it all happened in Tom Cruise?s mind. The visuals are gorgeous, the set design helps with that, and the exterior night shots are also brilliant. There?s something hypnotic about Eyes Wide Shut, it almost made me feel sucked in as if I were experiencing these things alongside the protagonist. I struggled to make it through this film, because so much of it was like my movie kryptonite, but I can?t deny Kubrick?s artistry and vision. I may not like it, but he made something special out of this film, and I can actually see why others love it.
½ August 6, 2017
Kubrick's coldest film.
August 5, 2017
This film is absolutely brilliant. Like many of Kubrick's films, I didn't love this movie the first time I saw it, in fact, I didn't really get it. Yet, watching it again, I realize theres a lot to work off of and think about. Kubrick considered this film to be one of his best films he has directed, and so do I.
July 26, 2017
Intensity in multiple encounters, haunting visuals and themes, complexity in the characters and intentions. Would've loved to have seen Kubrick's completed version.
½ July 26, 2017
Stanley Kubrick Last Film.
Magic and Psychedelic.
July 12, 2017
Was it Stanley Kubrick's last mangled masterpiece (that he never quite finished) or was it a tightly wound watch that we're still trying to figure out? I avoid such speculation, partly because a true follower of Kubrick would probably form an opinion rather quickly and I'm not one to take issue with whatever his fans think. More to the point, I enjoyed the movie simply because it was Tom Cruise at his most vulnerable on screen. IMO, this was one of the very few films that made him genuinely likable, and then spent the next 2-3 hours emotionally gouging him. For the record, I don't think Kubrick was actually confessing or condemning anything about the Illuminati, as much as he simply used masonic imagery to toy with our imaginations, much in the way he poked us with Apollo imagery in The Shining. Kubrick was a violent dinosaur intellectually speaking and just wouldn't have felt right about leaving us a more specific social commentary.
July 11, 2017
The reason this isn't considered one of the greatest films of all time, is because it was marketed very badly, after Kubrick's death. He would never have let it be advertised as romance or erotica in 1999. It is a deep psychological thriller that studies all of the conscious and unconscious desires/fears in relationships and sex. It is subtle and powerful. Should be considered no less of a masterpiece than any of Kubrick's other films.
June 27, 2017
It is definitely Stanley Kubrick's weakest, but certainly a strongly influential work, since he passed away after doing it, playing a safe-but effective card, with strong dialogue, suspense and, especially, his typical signature in prominent and powerful visuals, creating atmosphere and tension towards the majority of the film, which is carried, for the most part, thanks to Cruise and Kidman's amazing chemistry.
½ June 24, 2017
Sexy, scary, scandalous, philosofical and insanely unsettling and tense, the last Kubrick's work might not be his best, but it was definitely better than "Fear and Desire" or "Barry Lyndon". It might get a little bit slow or dragged but, so are other Kubrick movies, if you like movies that take their time quietly, this one is ideal.
½ June 9, 2017
Okay, so I originally kinda shit-canned this one when I first saw it ages ago on video, but I have had to reassess in recent months. The film isn't bad, but it's not *that good* either - the most intriguing thing I got out of it the second go 'round was the house porn of all the super sexy mansions and expensive Manhattan apartments, which looked amazing.

Yeah, there's a lot of fun nudity, but after awhile it hits a saturation point that makes it hard to find that stuff interesting, and then you're left with a boring fairly loveless marriage that's not all that interesting, to be perfectly honest.

It's worth a rental for a bit of further observation, but it's still far from my favorite Kubrick film.
June 3, 2017
Second time round for this fellow, didn't like it first time however without the hype and hooplah it really is rather good, Rigidly assured, very measured, always good to look at and with a singular soundtrack. Thriller? No. Erotic? Not particularly. Intriguing? Definitely; illustrating, as it does a degenerative morality at the heart of Western society...could be the Illuminati or any other secret cohort of the well heeled feasting off the powers of paganism and it's inherent evil.
May 26, 2017
Kubrick's last film on the big screen. This is a very good movie that plays with your mind. It has an odd and eerie feeling to it. Great movie based on dream story. Good back story acting, drama, suspense and a really weird party.
May 22, 2017
I saw this movie in the theaters when it came out. I saw it in my youth as a teenager. Never in my entire life have i ever encountered a film that could make sex and nudity so dreadfully boring.

The plot is essentially useless and meaningless.

The sex scenes were boring and not interesting.

The acting was contrived and forced.

Literally one of the worst movies of all time.
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