The visionary filmmaker has directed a bunch of fantastic films over the years, and some of them are as perfect as a film can get. If there was a mount Rushmore of directors, Kubrick would without a doubt be on it
FEAR AND DESIRE
The black and white film is probably the most uninteresting film of the director’s filmography. It looks nice, like every other film made by Kubrick, but the story and characters are simply not interesting. It’s also a very short film, so there’s barely any character development.
Barry Lyndon is an extremely unlikeable character, which makes it hard to latch on and sit through the entire runtime of this movie, which is 3 hours long. The visuals and costumes are breathtaking and the scope is grand, but the story itself is pretty uneventful and drawn out. There’s also the narrator who comes out and explains everything to the audience, which is extremely dated and makes us look as if we’re too stupid to understand what’s actually happening on screen. I’ve recently watched this film for the first time, and can’t imagine wanting to re-watch this film anytime soon.
A dark comedy set in the cold war, Dr. Strangelove is a weird and strange film that depicts the horrors of war which centers around the nuclear conflict between the U.R.S.S. and U.S. and follows the president of the United States who is trying to stop a nuclear apocalypse from happening. The film is beautifully shot, well acted and overall a pretty decent war film, even if it is far from being Kubrick’s best film in my opinion.
Although Stanley Kubrick completely disowns the picture since it went through production hell and he wasn’t satisfied with the finish product, Spartacus is one of the director’s best films. It has brilliant visuals and grand sweeping landscapes and the battle sequences are brilliantly realized. There are some character motivations that don’t make much sense and the beginning is rather long, but overall the film is boosted by Stanley Kubrick’s swift direction and Kirk Douglas’s stellar performance.
There is a Spartacus reference in this film, which I found rather strange and amusing since both films were done by the same director. Lolita is a very good film but far from the director’s best film. The main character is unlikeable, a bit like Barry Lyndon, but at least I was invested in what was going on and it wasn’t too long. The film is beautifully directed and while I don’t think the ending makes much sense, it’s a movie that I can see myself re-watching.
FULL METAL JACKET
One of the best war films ever made, Full Metal Jacket is beautifully shot and wonderfully acted. The first and second act of this film are extremely different, and almost feel like a different movie entirely and having said that, I appreciate the first half better than the second.
EYES WIDE SHUT
One of Kubrick’s best, Eyes Wide Shut is a weird film that has dreamlike imagery and incredible visuals. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman give the best performances of their career (they we’re married at the time of filming, which made them the perfect on screen couple) and tracking shots of the city are absolutely gorgeous. Plus it has one of the weirdest and most disturbing scenes that I have ever seen in a movie. The atmosphere is so wrong and so bizarre that makes you feel uneasy. I would never watch this movie with my mom I’d tell you that much. Way too awkward. The only problem with Eyes Wide Shut is its length. It’s half an hour too long, and you can really feel it in its running time. Other than that, the film is a brilliant psychological thriller. And it’s better the second time around. If you hated it the first time you’ve seen it, take it another go. You might find some things you missed. It’s a weird movie, and it won’t entertain everyone, but I love it.
One of the most brutal movies that you can ever watch, A Clockwork Orange is a masterpiece. It is without a doubt one of the most violent movies that I have watched, and there are some rough scenes in there I promise you. Malcolm McDowell gives one of the best performances of all time as Alex, who is a young man who likes to listen to Beethoven and also likes to rape women. This is probably the creepiest character who has ever lead a movie and he does some pretty awful things until he gets treated and rehabilitated. Clockwork Orange is a brilliant masterpiece, and is a disturbing, macabre journey through hell and redemption.
2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY
A mind-boggling and brilliant science-fiction film, 2001 A Space Odyssey stills holds up today, almost 50 years later. The scope of this movie is just huge, and absolutely incredible. It looks better than some of the CGI crap that comes out today. The space scenes are gorgeous, the execution perfect and the ending is one of the most beautiful and most confusing things that you’ll ever see and oh boy is it worth it.
This film is a masterpiece. Jack Nicholson gives one of the best performances of all time as Jack Torrance. Shelly Duvall is fantastic as Wendy, who hated working on the film since she and Jack Nicholson didn’t get along so well. Danny Lloyd, who was selected for his role since he had the ability to maintain his concentration for long periods of time, gives one of the best child performances ever as Danny (he also never knew that he was in a horror film during filming; Kubrick managed to led him to believe that he was in a drama about a family that lived in a hotel which is incredible). The music, the tracking shots, the landscape, everything makes you feel cold and claustrophobic. This is filmmaking at it’s finest, and The Shining is one of my favorite films ever.
Let me know what are your favorite and least favorite Stanley Kubrick’s movies down in the comments below! I think we can all agree that he is one of the best director’s of our time.