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2001: A Space Odyssey
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2001: A Space Odyssey More at IMDbPro »

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23 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Dueling Gods

Author: tedg ( from Virginia Beach
29 September 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers herein.

Since the disaster of `Sparticus.' Kubrick has centered each project on the mysteries of the narrative. Each film explores some theory or notion about the paths of storytelling and the fragility of those paths. Some get very abstract, like `Barry Lyndon,' where identities are adopted and plowed into nature. Some are rather simple, like `Shining' where the building is the author and teller of the story. But this is the most fun and in many ways the most interesting.

Here we have three warring gods. Each might be the one who has created this reality or part of it. Each might be the liar who is telling the story. None can be trusted, or can they? The three are the `real' reality in which we live, but that of course may be completely unfettered by any logic. In the sequel, Clarke has this reality subject to jingoistic forces. The new gods in the equation are two:

An extraterrestrial force. It may have even made us and how we see. It may have made all the reality we see as well. It is incomprehensible and capable folding time and consciousness. It may have made the story we are seeing.

Dueling with it are humans and HAL. HAL is a machine with reasoning skills beyond that of humans. Thrust into this aether of creation, it may have gained extra powers over what is real and what is not. It may be at odds with the humans or the aliens. It may not be, in fact the aliens may be machines and see HAL and siblings as the point of their efforts. HAL sometimes seems human, sometimes reason itself (Dr. Spock is the palest of imitations), sometimes in cahoots with either or both camps.

HAL might be telling us the story, a point underscored by his camera eye. We can't trust anything we see. But along the way, we see some pretty impressive things. It it hard to describe today when every third movie has a spaceship. But when this appeared, there was nothing at all like it. We were conveyed to a new and unfamiliar world, one created new for us, by whom and for what purpose we did not know.

Ted's Evaluation -- 4 of 4: Every visually literate person should experience this.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Extremely pretty film, but also extremely dull

Author: Wildeee from United States
15 May 2016

2001: A Space Odyssey is a visual experience like no other. Every frame of this movie is set up to near perfection, and the special effects haven't dated at all. Unfortunately, visuals aren't everything that make a movie.

2001 is just so dull and boring. Sure every shot is pretty, but every shot also lasts what feels like a minute. We get shots of spaceships slowly docking, shots of astronauts running around the spaceship exercising for what feels like forever, and a long scene at the end where an astronaut flies through space while looking out at a very pretty array of colors. And the first 20 minutes are monkeys messing around with bones without a single word being said, a scene which sets the feeling of utter dullness the rest of the film has.

2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the movies everyone looks into, arguing about exactly what it means. It is not a movie to be enjoyed, but a movie to analyze. And while some may be able to get some theme about human evolution out of it, for me to enjoy a film, it can't just be "deep", it has to be fun too, and there is nothing about 2001 that is fun.

Should you watch 2001: A Space Odyssey? If you can bypass the story and view it as a purely technical production, then sure. But if you can't do that, then I do not recommend it.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Mona Lisa of movies

Author: Oltgon from Norway
7 March 2016

I consider 2001: A Space Odyssey to be Art House, thought provoking, with great atmosphere. Going in watching 2001, you must rather focus on its atmosphere, which the visuals creates. 2001's plot alone is quite weak, but it's not intended to be strong, it's more about moving the story, then creating something special with the visuals, trying to give you more questions than it answers. Kubrick successfully provokes thoughts and emotions with this mesmerizing movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey is more of an experience, more about what you feel throughout the movie, and the thoughts it provokes. Kubrick creates tension through his use of pace, slow pace both story-wise and delivery from the actors. Kubrick wanted to make the audience leave the theatre with more questions than answers, which he expressed multiple times.

The visuals, from its stunning cinematography to the ships in space, capturing my attention, seemingly it's as interesting for me looking back - from this day and age, as someone from 1968 would, if I had to guess. Its effects aged better than I expected, and kept astounding me. Kubrick shows here why he's regarded as being ahead of his time, even ahead of our time. Kubrick conveys years of information with only a simple cut, which can be seen early on in 2001.

If you go into this movie expecting a fast paced sci-fi movie, you will most likely be disappointed. Not liking 2001 doesn't mean you're dumb, it's easy to see why someone wouldn't like 2001. It's long without much of a ''real story'' and lack of character development, with slow pacing and length, which are all good reasons for not liking it. Try to be open minded, marking it as ''pretentious'' is just as narrow minded as the people labeling others stupid for not liking it.

2001: A Space Odyssey's score/soundtrack is a collection of classical compositions, the greatness and power it provides the scenes is much stronger than what typical film scores - typically telling us what to feel; as it most likely would, so having these compositions makes the movie more ambiguous and powerful, in my opinion.

I recommend watching this movie with an open mind, analyse it or just appreciate its stunning visuals. As I've stated multiple times, you may find it boring, but it's still a must see!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Stanley Kubrick is an Unmatched Genius Filmmaker

Author: iyerlakerfan
10 October 2015

Admittedly, I never heard anything about 2001: A Space Odyssey until I saw a cameo of the HAL 9000 computer in the Epic Rap Battle between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates (nicepeter and epicLLOYD). I went to the library, borrowed a copy, put the DVD inside, and thought, "Well, this ought to be the clichéd sci-fi story.

And for the next two hours, I sat in amazement as I saw the breathtaking visual accomplishment of a movie. It never failed to enthrall me and keeping me on the edge of my seat. It was, in my opinion, a highly realistic view of one envisioning the year 2001 in 1968.

I finished the movie, and immediately went into IMDb for the results, and I was fairly shocked at the amount of people who disliked the movie. Most of those dislikes said something along the lines of "Overrated", "boring", and "someone tell me what the hell this is about."

Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick never really intended the audience to understand the movie completely: "If you understand '2001' completely, we failed. We wanted to raise far more questions than we answered."

I completely agree with him. It isn't really much of a story of dialogue (which is kept to a minimum in this movie) as it is a visual story, along the lines of "Metropolis" or "A Trip to the Moon." The purpose of cinema is to provide a visual outlet to fascinating ideas and conceptions, relying on dialogue only to convey an actual story. 2001 manages to do both without the need of much dialogue, and therefore achieves what cinema originally intended to do.

That is why 2001 is my favorite movie of all time. 👍👍 10/10 (and I would rate it 11/10 if I could.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

It's a movie that I can't compare with anything else I have seen in my life...

Author: Tom van der Esch from Netherlands
30 June 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

2001: a space odyssey.

For a long time, I had this movie on my computer and refrained from watching it. I'm not really sure why, because people close to me kept saying it's a great film and that I should watch it right away.

And so I finally watched it yesterday.

The movie is confusing, to say the least. The first 3 minutes are completely dark, with a strange sound that reappears throughout the movie.

We then switch to a prehistoric planet, where apes and other animals are the (so it seems) only inhabitants. We see how they slowly, yet surely become smarter and learn some primitive techniques. Ironic enough, the scene ends when an ape kills another one using a bone. I guess the movie wants to tell us that violence is bad? But it is a sad and painful aspect of the (future) human race...

The next story is about a research center (of some sorts) in outer space where a computer, called HAL, operates the whole mission. The research center is going towards Jupiter. The reason is explained in the movie, but it slips my mind as I am writing this. At some point, the computer malfunctions and things go bad.

The final, and most confusing, story is basically a journey into the unknown. You could say that the 'odyssey' part of the movie applies to this last bit. For almost 15 minutes we, the viewers, are exposed to a colorful collection of lights, beams and shapes. At the end of it all, we see one man age in a single, isolated room. In the end, he returns as a fetus, as we see him float above the Earth.

The black monolith, symbolizing evolution (I think), appears in all of these stories. There's probably a deep, philosophical explanation to it all, but I didn't get most of it.

I'm sure this movie is an icon of it's time and yes, it is sometimes well-written and cleverly put together. However, my biggest complaint is that I wouldn't really call this a movie. Now that's not a bad thing, mind you.

2001: a space odyssey is more like a string or chain of events. It's not really a movie as in having a plot, cast and connected scenes. It's a movie that really is unique to anything I have ever seen.

I can understand the high rating, but I wouldn't give it an 8 or higher. I give this movie 6 out of 10 stars, only judged by a movie's point of view.

If I would judge this movie as something else, it would get a higher rating. It certainly is a creative piece of art. But I don't watch a movie for art, I watch it for a movie.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Slow, Cosmic Ballet

Author: Ryan from King of Prussia, PA
13 February 2005

There is no question what Stanley Kubrick is looking for in 2001: man is insignificant. Space is vast, space is monotonous, and humans are insignificant because we cannot comprehend the vastness that is space. This space movie begins on Earth, before man had inherited it, when mankind was still toiling in the form of hapless primates, barely surviving and not at the top of the food chain. Then it happened. What exactly? We don't know, but something from above, in the form of a black monolith, helps the primates become man. Zip ahead a couple of thousand of years (literally, cut from prehistoric Earth to the space age is unofficially the biggest jump in time in movie history) and we find man living in space. One of the most famous, and beautiful scenes, of the movie is the ballet between a space ship and the spinning Hilton Hotel orbiting the Earth to the classical song "On Blue Danube." The music suggests grace and elegance in space travel, but the action and dialog suggest slow, tedious, boring work. This might as well be a silent movie, the most interesting dialog comes from a taped BBC interview that appears halfway through the movie. The character with the most speaking may be the computer that runs a ship that is headed towards Jupiter, on a mission to investigate another monolith. The infamous HAL 9000, voted as one of movies best villains, is not really a villain, just a confused cyborg. The computer is in charge of two living, breathing scientist and 3 who are hibernating. There is action, but not in the usual sense of science fiction action. There are no lasers, nothing blows up, just slow, problem solving. What happens at the end of the movie is open to interpretation, and that's the fun of the movie. What one of the astronauts goes through when he finds another monolith orbiting Jupiter is up to the viewer. Whatever you think happens, it is important to remember that we as humans look for answers, but in this universe, maybe we aren't supposed to have all of them. This is not a movie to be taken literally, everything is symbolic. There are no wasted shots, no teases, nothing extraneous. It's up to the audience to figure out, to answer one famous question, "what the hell just happened."

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:


Author: edocterces from Queensland, Australia
24 May 2003

I have waited an extremely long time to comment on this movie. And now I am going to write one, I have no nothing new to add. So instead I wish to make a blatantly useless personal attack on anybody who says this movie has no plot...

WHAT THE HELL! You don't like 2001, that is fine with me. However, I have no idea how anybody could say 2001 has no plot! The plot is not the greatest of all time- it IS the plot of all time. To those who complain about the dawn of man sequence and about how useless it is: do you realise anything at all. My friend's sister is 11 and can't make 2 minute noodles, but calling anything in the movie irrelevant is just plain ridiculous. Everything is in the movie for a purpose, and if you can't realise that then you need help.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A boundary still unsurpassed

Author: simonhorne from Kent, UK
5 August 2002

This film has the most astonishing first 25 minutes of any film in the history of cinema and they always leave me awestruck. These first 25 minutes have no dialogue or voiceover at all, but tell the evolution of man in a very profound and intense way; punctuated and complemented perfectly by Kubrick's fabulous choice of music.

Much of the film uses quiet naturalistic dialogue which gives the film a sense of "realism". Many of the Special Effects are still passable even by today's standards. the only exception being the Wormhole sequence towards the end which does look a quite dated now.

2001 is THE thought provoking film of the last century. It seeks to answer some of our questions of man's relationship with the universe, the essence of humanity and the nature of existence, and in doing so seems to leave you wanting to ask even more.

2001 is unparalleled, unequalled and in a Genre of it's own. There has been and never will be a film like it again.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A totally unique cinema experience

Author: NateW from California, USA
1 July 2002

Over the years 2001 has gained a lofty position as one of the best and most influential sci-fi films ever made. While it is certainly a well made and unique film, it's an acquired taste that will take multiple viewings to appreciate. Many people see it as a mind boggling one-of-a-kind movie that remains among the best American films, others see it as a boring, confusing ego trip on the part of Kubrick. Seeing as how Stanley Kubrick is one of my favorite directors, I has grown accustomed to his directorial style. I feel that Kubrick made this film the way he did to convey the empty, vast feeling of space with long sustained periods of slow moving objects and silence. 2001 is definitely not a film for casual viewing. Although it is rather slow moving, you really need to watch every second of this film to soak in the environment and atmosphere that Kubrick creates. It is far ahead of it's time in content and effects, but the effects do not replace plot as is the case of most adventure movies churned out today at a regular pace. He really leaves the film open to induvidual interpretation, which is something all great films should do. I gave up several times on 2001 before I finally saw it all the way through. After two viewings, I now feel that it is indeed one of the great sci-fi films and it is not for all viewers. Once you have seen it all the way through, you will probably never see sci-fi films the same way again.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful, intelligent, creative - Kubrick shows how to make intelligent science fiction.

Author: Aidan McGuinness from Dublin, Ireland
24 June 2002

Watching a movie like `2001: A Space Odyssey' is mildly depressing on some levels, when you realise the film world has lost the talent of Stanley Kubrick. His movies feature heavily in IMDB's Top 250.. because they deserve to. This is certainly no exception, and I'd place it even higher than it's current #54 ranking.

The plot? Funnily enough there's not much of one, and it's hard to describe what there is. A giant black monolith appears before primitive man on Earth. Then it appears again on the moon in 2001, before also being seen near Jupiter. A crew, under the guidance of their onboard computer HAL, are sent to investigate. What is it? Well watch the movie (though you won't necessarily find out what it is.).

What of the script and acting? It's shocking to realise it's about twenty-four minutes into the movie before you get the first word of dialogue. In fact the dialogue is incredibly sparse. A lot of what's there is exposition, as a character explains why they're heading to Jupiter, or how HAL works, et cetera. There's little in the way of banter, though the movie doesn't suffer from it. The acting, what's needed, isn't particularly out standing - Keir Dullea, playing the principal scientist David Bowman is quite wooden and his main counterpoint, the soft dulcet tones of HAL, is a blinking red light. Yet they work because the speech is so sparse, so that you attention is never really drawn to the performances.

It's the direction that makes this movie entirely. In the hands of many others this movie would have been a shambles, but Kubrick elevates it to greatness. It's hard to imagine being able to make huge chunks of movie without dialogue interesting, and yet Kubrick does just that. It's an understatement to say the movie looks gorgeous - despite being a product of 1968, it still stands proud with it's use of detailed models (as opposed to the weak CGI still employed). The camera work is typically absorbing, often taking in huge vistas in a single shot that manages to frame the scene perfectly. There's a very meditative tone to it all - we can focus on a ship drifting for a minute, without ever finding it tedious. Each set piece is beautifully constructed, and yet never is there a feeling that Kubrick's style got in the way of creating a feeling of authenticity. There's never a break, or jarring moment, that jolts the viewer from the movie's universe, despite some increasing drug-induced moments towards the movie's end (which manage to still look fantastic - the Star Gate sequence is trippy, but dreamily invocative too). The sound is fantastically well chosen - the classical music score used at peak moments of the movie work great, and really add a sense of wonder to what's been shown. It's not just the music though that shines out, as Kubrick chooses to completely silence the movie at some points, or have one sound - such as heavy breathing - the only dominant noise on screen, drawing the viewer right into the moment with the character, with an intensity that would be lost if supplemented by needless music.

It's hard to fully describe the magic of `2001: A Space Odyssey'. It's an `experience' movie that needs to be seen to be able to understand why it still stands the test of time. Watch it in a quiet room and dream of what may yet be. 9/10.

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