The Killing

Critics Consensus

Stanley Kubrick's The Killing is a clever and brisk crime film with plenty of twists.



Total Count: 39


Audience Score

User Ratings: 22,166
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Movie Info

A gang of greedy petty criminals plan a race track robbery. The plan gets foiled and disaster ensues.


Critic Reviews for The Killing

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (38) | Rotten (1)

  • This taut crime picture was one of the earliest films in the career of Stanley Kubrick, but something of the director's voice and characteristic preoccupations are already evident here.

    Feb 5, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Faultless and enjoyable.

    Jun 24, 2013 | Full Review…
  • At 27 Writer-Director Stanley Kubrick, in his third full-length picture, has shown more audacity with dialogue and camera than Hollywood has seen since the obstreperous Orson Welles went riding out of town on an exhibitors' poll.

    Aug 3, 2011 | Full Review…
    TIME Magazine
    Top Critic
  • [The film] at first tends to be somewhat confusing, soon settles into a tense and suspenseful vein which carries through to an unexpected and ironic windup.

    May 8, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Arguably Stanley Kubrick's most perfectly conceived and executed film.

    May 8, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Characteristically Kubrick in both its mechanistic coldness and its vision of human endeavour undone by greed and deceit, this noir-ish heist movie is nevertheless far more satisfying than most of his later work.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Killing

  • Feb 11, 2016
    Being a relatively straightforward crime thriller makes it somewhat unique in the Kubrick filmography, and it's still one of the best movies in the genre.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 08, 2014
    Good, establishes tension by taking its time with the elaborate set-up. The theme of irony runs strong. Well-shot. It maybe would have even been better had the studio not forced the narration onto the film, against Kubrick's request -- in that way, it brings to mind the same dilemma of 'Blade Runner' and the difference between having its narration vs. without. Overall, a good film. I'd put it 3.5-4, but I'll bump it to 4 here.
    Kyle M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 24, 2014
    A decent film noir and an interesting early work by Kubrick. One that is forgotten for good reason - it is passable but not terribly memorable. One can see Kubrick just pumping this out.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 29, 2014
    Kubrick already showed early signs of his genius when he brought us this masterpiece, an elaborate heist thriller full of rich details for its time, with a deliciously wry dialogue and a suspenseful plot that grows unbearably tense until the very end.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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