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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G  |   |  Mystery, Sci-Fi  |  15 May 1968 (UK)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 390,902 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 1,688 user | 278 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest.



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Top Rated Movies #92 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Richter ...
Sean Sullivan ...
Douglas Rain ...
HAL 9000 (voice)
Frank Miller ...
Bill Weston ...
Aries-1B Lunar Shuttle Captain (as Edward Bishop)
Glenn Beck ...
Alan Gifford ...
Ann Gillis ...


"2001" is a story of evolution. Sometime in the distant past, someone or something nudged evolution by placing a monolith on Earth (presumably elsewhere throughout the universe as well). Evolution then enabled humankind to reach the moon's surface, where yet another monolith is found, one that signals the monolith placers that humankind has evolved that far. Now a race begins between computers (HAL) and human (Bowman) to reach the monolith placers. The winner will achieve the next step in evolution, whatever that may be. Written by Larry Cousins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Still The Ultimate Trip. [2001 re-release] See more »


Mystery | Sci-Fi


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

15 May 1968 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

How the Solar System Was Won  »

Box Office


$10,500,000 (estimated)


$56,715,371 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (theatrical release) | (initial release)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints)| (70 mm prints)| (2001 re-release)



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Incrementing each letter of "HAL" gives you "IBM". Writer Arthur C. Clarke claimed this was unintentional, and if he had noticed ahead of time, he would have changed it. HAL stands for Heuristic Algorithmic Computer. IBM product placements appear in the movie as well, including the computer panels in the spaceplane that docks with the space station, the forearm control panel on Dave's spacesuit, and the portable viewscreens on which Dave and Frank watch "The World Tonight". See more »


The phase of the Earth reverses while the moon bus is en-route from Clavius to Tycho. See more »


[first lines]
Aries-1B stewardess: Here you are, sir, main level please.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the 2001 UK cinema re-release, the music carries on for 10-15 minutes after the end of the credits. See more »


Referenced in The Sopranos: The Test Dream (2004) See more »


Gayaneh Ballet Suite
Music by Aram Khachaturyan
Performed by Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra (as the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra)
Conductor Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
Courtesy Deutsche Grammophon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Tribute to one of the top 5 filmmakers of our time...
7 March 1999 | by (Philadelphia, PA) – See all my reviews

I write this review just after hearing of Stanley Kubrick's death. It's a great loss, and I write about 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, because I feel it is the consummate Kubrick film, the one he will be most remembered for. It is a picture like no other, not only revolutionizing science fiction, but changing the way films are conceptualized. It was probably America's first 'art' film and has inspired the likes of George Lucas and countless other writers and directors.

Aside from its visual greatness, the reason the film spawns so much discussion and analysis is because so many people have so many different interpretations of it. Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, his co-writer, had a vision, but we have never really found out what was going through their minds. Of course, the skinny on its 'message' is how technology of the future will take over humanity and decide the course of our lives unless we are careful. 2001's ending is one of hope, a version of our rebirth through the star-child's flight back to earth. It is meaningless to many, but discerning filmgoers will understand.

Although 2001 does not have the wicked, dark humor of DR. STRANGELOVE or CLOCKWORK ORANGE, or contain strong, eccentric characters that filled his earlier works like PATHS OF GLORY or SPARTACUS, I still feel he would've liked to be remembered most for this. If anything, HAL will be his most memorable character, dangerous, murderous, and artificial. It was a half-decade in the making at a time when Hollywood was still churning out dull musicals and just waking up to the New Wave of French and Italian cinema. Kubrick was a maverick director who made great films on his own terms, his own time, and for everyone else to marvel at. He will be missed.

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