Stanley Kubrick is one of my favorite directors. I love his elegant visual style, sharp intellect, and dark humor. I feel that every movie hes created has been marked by his undeniable genius. Here are my ten favorite Stanley Kubrick films.
After a mysterious monolith is discovered on the moon, a manned mission is dispatched to discover where it came from. But along the way, the spacecraft's supposedly infallible HAL 9000 computer goes through something akin to a nervous breakdown. To my mind, this science-fiction classic is visually stunning, brilliant, and enigmatic with an ending that is both baffling and sublime.
Psychotic U.S. Air Force General Jack D. Ripper sends B-52s to attack the Soviet Union with nuclear weapons. U.S. President Muffley assembles his advisors, including Dr. Strangelove, in the Pentagon's War Room. I think that Dr. Strangelove is possibly the greatest political satire in film history, in addition to being one of the best black comedies ever made.
During WWI, French generals assign a regiment the task of taking an impenetrable German position. The mission fails and three enlisted men must face court-martial. I think that Stanley Kubricks masterpiece "Paths of Glory" is a powerful antiwar film that has heartbreaking battle scenes along with plenty of gripping courtroom drama.
Based on Anthony Burgess's novel, Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange creates a disturbingly nightmarish and vividly cinematic vision of a near future where gangs wander urban streets at night committing acts of ultra-violence. Malcolm McDowell as Alex turns in a truly memorable performanceI can never forget the image of his evil grin.
Set in the 18th century, Stanley Kubrick's beautiful, lushly cinematic adaptation of Thackeray's novel tells the tale of the rise and fall of an impoverished Irish rogue who aspires to become a gentleman. I have never been bored by Barry Lyndon, although it's over three-hours long and leisurely paced. This entrancing period drama is one of my favorite films.
In Lolitabased on Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novelCharlotte Haze (Shelley Winters) is attracted to middle-aged professor Humbert Humbert (James Mason), but he falls in obsessive lust with her teenage daughter Lolita (Sue Lyon). Stanley Kubrick's fascination with the dark side of human nature is clearly evident in this black comedy.
Full Metal Jacket first shows how a group of young Marines are dehumanized during basic training. The film then follows some of the Marines on to their combat experiences during the Vietnam War. This is a coolly harrowing movie throughout, and to my mind Vincent DOnofrios and R. Lee Ermeys performances make the first part of the film particularly powerful.
To my mind, big-budget sword-and-sandal epics don't get much better than this. This lavishly cinematic movie tells the tale of Roman gladiator Spartacus (Kirk Douglas), who leads a violent slave revolt. Because of Kubrick's skills, the film's spectacle doesn't overwhelm the power of the story or the strength and humanity that Kirk Douglas lends to the title role.
Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson, at his diabolical best) becomes the troubled caretaker of an isolated resort hotel, where during off-season he and his family are the only occupants. Although this is an uneven film, I think Kubrick's genius transcends the pulp sensibility of Stephen Kings novel, creating a film of icy psychological horror.
Manhattan physician Bill Harford (Tom Cruise) is told by his wife (Nicole Kidman) she once considered leaving him because she was attracted to another man. Unhinged by jealously, Dr. Harford begins a nightmarish psychological odyssey into himself and through a coolly erotic underworld. To my mind, Kubrick's final film is still the work of a master.