The Shining

Critics Consensus

Though it deviates from Stephen King's novel, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness -- exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson



Total Count: 81


Audience Score

User Ratings: 480,827
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Movie Info

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" -- or, rather, a homicidal boy in Stanley Kubrick's eerie 1980 adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel. With wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and psychic son Danny (Danny Lloyd) in tow, frustrated writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) takes a job as the winter caretaker at the opulently ominous, mountain-locked Overlook Hotel so that he can write in peace. Before the Overlook is vacated for the Torrances, the manager (Barry Nelson) informs Jack that a previous caretaker went crazy and slaughtered his family; Jack thinks it's no problem, but Danny's "shining" hints otherwise. Settling into their routine, Danny cruises through the empty corridors on his Big Wheel and plays in the topiary maze with Wendy, while Jack sets up shop in a cavernous lounge with strict orders not to be disturbed. Danny's alter ego, "Tony," however, starts warning of "redrum" as Danny is plagued by more blood-soaked visions of the past, and a blocked Jack starts visiting the hotel bar for a few visions of his own. Frightened by her husband's behavior and Danny's visit to the forbidding Room 237, Wendy soon discovers what Jack has really been doing in his study all day, and what the hotel has done to Jack. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

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Jack Nicholson
as Jack Torrance
Shelley Duvall
as Wendy Torrance
Philip Stone
as Delbert Grady
Lia Beldam
as Young Woman in Bathtub
Billie Gibson
as Old Woman in Bathtub
David Baxt
as Forest Ranger
Manning Redwood
as Forest Ranger
Lisa Burns
as Grady Girl
Louise Burns
as Grady Girl
Burnell Tucker
as Policeman
Jana Sheldon
as Stewardess
Kate Phelps
as Receptionist
Norman Gay
as Injured Guest
Joe Turkel
as Lloyd the Bartender
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News & Interviews for The Shining

Critic Reviews for The Shining

All Critics (81) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (69) | Rotten (12)

  • Kubrick is master of visual images, and many of the scenes display his brilliance. But much of the suspense ends in anti-climax, and Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall seem over-extended in trying to maintain the terror.

    Jul 17, 2019 | Full Review…
  • When you sit down to The Shining, you sit down with normal expectations of being diverted, perhaps even being gripped, but not being undermined. But the film undermines you in powerful, inchoate ways.

    Apr 25, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Shock effect and graphic imagery don't compensate for the sense of pointlessness and even distaste that is left at the end of the movie.

    May 22, 2016 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • If The Shining isn't trivial, it certainly encourages one to think that it is. But, perhaps, even that's a change for the better. Generally, it's the other way around.

    Feb 17, 2016 | Full Review…

    Derek Malcolm

    Top Critic
  • A masterpiece.

    Oct 6, 2013 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Ben Walters

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Deeply scary and strange.

    Nov 1, 2012 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Shining

  • Aug 20, 2019
    Here's something not often talked about regarding The Shining: it contains one of the best soundtracks in movie history.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Jul 27, 2016
    Danny's not here right now Mrs. Torrance
    Spencer M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 25, 2016
    I loved the book better than the film. Stanley Kubrick gives his visions to lots of films he has done and made them so perfectly right.
    Film C Super Reviewer
  • May 02, 2016
    Chilling, haunting and unforgettable - The Shining is a horror masterpiece that radiates some of the finest filmmaking of all time.
    Sean T Super Reviewer

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