User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 570 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 79 out of 570
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  1. Aug 14, 2015
    6
    A spectacular and metaphorically masterpiece. But unfortunately slow and boring.

    The first thing you notice while watching 2001: A Space Odyssey are the incredible visuals, that's so incredible. This movie is from the 60s, and I'm stunned by how awesome they made the film. We see astronauts in zero-gravity, spinning space ships and a lot more that I didn't think was possible in the
    A spectacular and metaphorically masterpiece. But unfortunately slow and boring.

    The first thing you notice while watching 2001: A Space Odyssey are the incredible visuals, that's so incredible. This movie is from the 60s, and I'm stunned by how awesome they made the film. We see astronauts in zero-gravity, spinning space ships and a lot more that I didn't think was possible in the 1960s. It's a deep and meaningful movie, that gives the audience a lot to think of, that's worth a lot! That, in combination with a mysterious feeling and much metaphorical scenes that means a lot makes this movie really unique. Those are the most important aspects of the film, but there are also many bad things. The worst thing is the second act, where nothing really happens and I was overall very bored. The space scenes in the second act are great but they're just too slow. It's the same with the characters, they are a bit vague and the conversations are boring. Even though the film is in my taste a bit too boring, is every scene important if you want to understand the bigger picture.

    In fact, I do like this movie, but everyone knows that a boring and slow film might not work with every individual. Especially not with me. The opening scene is fantastic, but it's too slow, but interesting. The best parts of the film is actually the beginning and the ending, they are both spectacular and fascinating. They should on the other hand have laid much more focus on the middle of the movie, it's to slow there. Of course, imagine seeing this film in the 60s, a time when most people haven't seen our Earth from above, it must have been something extraordinary! Well; it's a new generation now, and we want more action, but I bet I would have loved this Kubrick-movie it in the 70s! The best aspect of the film I forgot to mention is the soundtrack, so incredible! The sad thing is that it disappeared in the second act.

    2001: A Space Odyssey is overall a great film, but the boring scenes are just too much for me. I recommend everyone to see this film twice, because there're many fundamental aspects of the film that you don't perceive the first time. The boring scenes does unfortunately lower my rating considerably.

    6.8/10
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  2. Aug 13, 2015
    5
    Great philosophy inside the movie itself,. I wouldn`t reccomend it to people that cannot stand a movie without tension happening all the time. There is approximately 25 minutes of two and a half hour film that are really tense. Yet I`m not that kind of person but I still found that movie way too long. The movie portrays bunch of interesting topics such as technology, time, space, humanGreat philosophy inside the movie itself,. I wouldn`t reccomend it to people that cannot stand a movie without tension happening all the time. There is approximately 25 minutes of two and a half hour film that are really tense. Yet I`m not that kind of person but I still found that movie way too long. The movie portrays bunch of interesting topics such as technology, time, space, human evolution, human behaviour which is pretty cool and presented in a good way. But the thing missing were the characters. After the movie was finished I didn`t know almost nothing about persons in the movie. Expand
  3. Jul 21, 2015
    5
    Stanley Kubrick really likes to throw us for a loop. However, it doesn't work like I would have hoped. First off, there is no denying that this movie is straight up beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous to look at. The effects still hold up to this day. The musical score is also beautifully orchestrated and unforgettable. I doubt that anyone will deny that. But the biggest problem with "2001: AStanley Kubrick really likes to throw us for a loop. However, it doesn't work like I would have hoped. First off, there is no denying that this movie is straight up beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous to look at. The effects still hold up to this day. The musical score is also beautifully orchestrated and unforgettable. I doubt that anyone will deny that. But the biggest problem with "2001: A Space Odyssey" is that it is excruciatingly slow. It pains me to say it, but this is the first Kubrick movie that got me bored at parts. There are sections in this movie that drag on for so long. And in those moments they really rely on the visual spectacle and beautiful score to cover up the progression of the story (at least I thought). At one point near the end when it was suppose to be super intense, I was trying to keep my eyes open. This movie could have easily been cut 30-40 minutes shorter.And honestly, you don't care about the characters. They seem kind of emotionless. The character you care about is the HAL - 9000. It was such an interesting antagonist and it really is what carries the weight of the movie on its shoulders. This is a hard movie to understand on a first viewing. It's not really a fault of the movie, however with the slow pace, it can distract you from what's going on in the story. Overall, "2001: A Space Odyssey" is a masterpiece on a technical and orchestral level, but sadly nothing more than a painfully slow burn to endure with not so memorable characters. I give this a C! Expand
  4. Jul 9, 2015
    4
    With it's tediously long shots of people floating around space, obnoxious music, distracting intermissions, lack of flowing narrative, little character development, and the conflict of the story only appearing in the last 35 minutes and the ending being a severe case of too much, too late, I simply did not enjoy this film.

    But with it's groundbreaking special effects, beautiful
    With it's tediously long shots of people floating around space, obnoxious music, distracting intermissions, lack of flowing narrative, little character development, and the conflict of the story only appearing in the last 35 minutes and the ending being a severe case of too much, too late, I simply did not enjoy this film.

    But with it's groundbreaking special effects, beautiful cinematography and genuinely disturbing antagonist, I get why the film is remembered.

    It tries to be more of an experience than a story, but my personal music and film preferences kept me from enjoying it. The film just constantly felt like a pat on the back followed by a slap in the face. Recommended, but only because I'm sure lots of people will like it, even though I don't.
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  5. Dec 18, 2014
    5
    Technically and visually good, but boring and long.
    Yeah, the visual effects are incredible considering the movie is soon to be 50 years old. The main character's acting is good, but you know what? The movie is incredibly long, and almost nothing happens at all. Some of the scenes go on and on and on and on. And on. It is supposed to be very artistic, but I found it dull and boring. It's
    Technically and visually good, but boring and long.
    Yeah, the visual effects are incredible considering the movie is soon to be 50 years old. The main character's acting is good, but you know what? The movie is incredibly long, and almost nothing happens at all. Some of the scenes go on and on and on and on. And on. It is supposed to be very artistic, but I found it dull and boring. It's just ok. And don't get your panties in a bunch and say I can't appreciate art, because I can, I am an artist myself, so shush. Go watch The Shining, if you have to watch Kubrick.
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  6. Nov 12, 2014
    4
    Too abstract to provide anything, Stanley Kubrick's "masterpiece" is an overlong, lifeless adventure with one dimensional characters and a terribly disjointed plot (if there is any).
  7. Apr 2, 2014
    6
    A well crafted piece of art. Incredibly unusual last act! From "Open the pod bay doors, HAL" unleash the thrills and mystery of an influential, mind blowing adventure unlike any other, from prehistoric ape-ancestry into uncharted realms of space. Personally, I loved the middle, HAL was terrifying and unpredictable villain. Not everyones type of movie. The film ends leaving more questionsA well crafted piece of art. Incredibly unusual last act! From "Open the pod bay doors, HAL" unleash the thrills and mystery of an influential, mind blowing adventure unlike any other, from prehistoric ape-ancestry into uncharted realms of space. Personally, I loved the middle, HAL was terrifying and unpredictable villain. Not everyones type of movie. The film ends leaving more questions than answers. Expand
  8. Feb 23, 2014
    6
    Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" is often claimed to be the greatest and most influential Sci-Fi classic of all-time. Cases have been made for and against it, mainly whether the film is brilliant or boring. Which is it? Is it a brilliant, sacred jewel of cinema, or is it a dull, lifeless bore? In this case, it's not a matter of OR, but rather, a case of AND. "2001: A SpaceStanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" is often claimed to be the greatest and most influential Sci-Fi classic of all-time. Cases have been made for and against it, mainly whether the film is brilliant or boring. Which is it? Is it a brilliant, sacred jewel of cinema, or is it a dull, lifeless bore? In this case, it's not a matter of OR, but rather, a case of AND. "2001: A Space Odyssey" is both brilliant and boing, however not necessarily at the same time.

    Before an examination of both sides, a few points must be made Crystal clear. There are two absolutely essential qualities that must be exhibited to attain enjoyment: A persistent patience, and a clear, conscious open mind. If neither of these two factors are present upon viewing, the film will come off as an instant failure, thus remaining as a frail, distant memory.

    As I conclude this introduction, it must be noted that this movie is not any way, shape, or form a "bad" movie. There are spurts and shines of both brilliance and bore; however, it is up to the viewer to decide where and how these victories and faults outweigh the other. Now, onward to the actual review. Let's take a look at the cons first.

    CONS:

    Pace. Pace. Pace. Paint drying on a wall is faster than the pace that is demonstrated in this film. The momentum is excrutionally painful and abysmally slow, which serves as the prime reason for its downgrades. For those who require a constant, accelerated speed for pace, this would be an ill-suited movie. For those who don't mind a slower progressing, trance inducing plot, this is the quintessential film.

    No emotional connection with any of the characters. At no point throughout the course of the film does the viewer feel any sort of liking, disliking, sympathy, suspicion, or annoyance for any character. They are all bland, with no exceptional quality. Kubrick should've known this, and it's an unfortunate shame that a movie as potentially great as this has this undeniable flaw.

    PROS:

    Excellency of 'Style over Substance': Despite the cons, "2001: A Space Odyssey" is a beautifully and wonderfully constructed movie. It is the pinnacle of movies that was able to escape the grasp of the basic fundamental concept of substance over style. Where it lacks in substance, it makes up for - plus more - in style. The effects? To say these effects were way past its time would be an understatement.

    The Famous Match-Cut: This, in my purest opinion, is the strongest suit for this movie's credentials. If unclear on what a Match-Cut is, Wikipedia defines it as "a cut in film editing between either two different objects, spaces, or compositions in which an object in the two shots graphically match" (this is often done to link a strong parallel between the two objects). Although the effects are seen by the general public as the film's greatest accolade, this Match-Cut can't be denied as the best in cinema history. The appraisal this sequence could receive should be endless, an even that wouldn't be enough. Starting with the opening of "The Dawn of Man" (literally), the segment spirals through the events of a tribe of apes being ruled by another, discovering the use of bones, and overcoming the tribe through the use of those bones. As the leader of the victorious tribe throws the bone in the air, it rotates in a clockwise rotation. Upon its coming down, the scene shifts from the falling bone to a satellite in outer space, 4 million years later. The scene that transpires is one that truly can not be put into words. The segment, along with the music implemented, unquestionably makes this one of the most appraised and memorable segments in all of cinema. Just that 5 minute work of art will make every viewer indulge deeply in thought to realize how far the human race has truly come.

    Cinematography: Time and time again, Stanley Kubrick is able to achieve perfection when it comes to cinematography. Every shot and every angle is executed perfectly without any sort of fault. What else should we expect? There's a reason why he's often labeled as a perfectionist.

    These are the pros and cons of the movie as I saw fit. This movie will not be viewed as awe-inspiring by all, but is definitely a journey that everyone must experience. As stated in the beginning of this review, "2001: A Space Odyssey" will be remembered either as a life-changing endeavor, or a time-wasting, disappointing tease of what could have been. 6.25/10
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  9. Jan 11, 2014
    4
    I like to think that I'm pretty open minded when it comes to different film genre's but 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of those critically acclaimed films that has just never connected with me. Yes, I understand that there is hiding depth and meaning behind the (especially at the time) beautifully crafted scenes but the slow pace, and running time of over two and a half hours, made it aI like to think that I'm pretty open minded when it comes to different film genre's but 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of those critically acclaimed films that has just never connected with me. Yes, I understand that there is hiding depth and meaning behind the (especially at the time) beautifully crafted scenes but the slow pace, and running time of over two and a half hours, made it a chore to sit through. I'm all for cinema that does something different but I watch movies to be entertained and in that regard 2001: A Space Odyssey just doesn't work for me. Expand
  10. Jul 23, 2013
    6
    First thing first, this is not a movie; this is a piece of art completely focused on realism, logics and detailing of complicated space science of expected future. Additionally some imaginations are also added in the movie to give philosophical and dramatic touch.
    Overall this is a combination of Failure and success and both are so much mixed up with each other that one can’t classify
    First thing first, this is not a movie; this is a piece of art completely focused on realism, logics and detailing of complicated space science of expected future. Additionally some imaginations are also added in the movie to give philosophical and dramatic touch.
    Overall this is a combination of Failure and success and both are so much mixed up with each other that one can’t classify them.
    Still elements of success and failure are as under:-

    SUCCESS POINTS
    • Most detailed and realistic picturization of outer space and technology.
    • Realistic acting.
    • No attempt to create any kind of thrill, a completely different approach for a Sci-Fi movie.
    • Beautiful use of Music.

    FAILURES POINTS

    • Lack of connectivity through entire movie between the different phases.
    • Lack of conclusiveness. (Either thrill or conclusiveness, one is must).
    • Poor ending.
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  11. Apr 14, 2012
    5
    Honestly, I couldn't handle this movie at all. I only watched about 15 minutes of it, and after the second time I couldn't handle it. It just seemed very very boring. All I saw were monkeys going abe sh*t because there's a giant black...I don't know. A Bar? A Box? I don't know and I don't care. If this whole movie is gonna be quiet and weird than I don't think this is the movie for me. I'mHonestly, I couldn't handle this movie at all. I only watched about 15 minutes of it, and after the second time I couldn't handle it. It just seemed very very boring. All I saw were monkeys going abe sh*t because there's a giant black...I don't know. A Bar? A Box? I don't know and I don't care. If this whole movie is gonna be quiet and weird than I don't think this is the movie for me. I'm just amazed that this was critically the best movie by Stanley Kubrick. I've seen some of his weird movies that I don't get and understand how people would actually like it. Like 'A Clockwork Orange' and 'The Shining'. The only movie I found very decent was Full Metal Jacket. I'm just gonna give this movie half credit for the popularity for the viewers and reviewers. Expand
  12. Mar 1, 2011
    4
    It is way to long and drawn out. I suggest you read the book. There is no reason to sit through the process when you can curl up with a good read. It actually is like watching paint dry.
  13. MarkB.
    Aug 14, 2004
    4
    Although a classic, the way 2001 looks and plays out is hopelessly dated by today's standards. While it definitely doesn't insult the viewer's intelligence, this becomes it's undoing as Stanley Kubrick overestimates his ability to hold the audiences attention. After halfway through, the backdrop becomes erratic and convoluted as if to match the increasing, but jumpy Although a classic, the way 2001 looks and plays out is hopelessly dated by today's standards. While it definitely doesn't insult the viewer's intelligence, this becomes it's undoing as Stanley Kubrick overestimates his ability to hold the audiences attention. After halfway through, the backdrop becomes erratic and convoluted as if to match the increasing, but jumpy plot. The audience is left bored and confused. This is a film to see only once to honor the milestone that it once was. Expand
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. This is the way this ground-breaking monument was meant to be seen: in mind-boggling 70mm.
  2. Its special effects are used so seamlessly as part of an overall artistic strategy that, as critic Annette Michelson has pointed out, they don't even register as such, and thus are almost impossible to trivialize, a feat unmatched in movies.
  3. 100
    Only a few films are transcendent, and work upon our minds and imaginations like music or prayer or a vast belittling landscape...Alone among science-fiction movies, 2001 is not concerned with thrilling us, but with inspiring our awe.