Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Mar 28, 2013
    Like “The Shining” and its maze within a maze, Mr. Ascher’s movie is something of a labyrinth. Puzzling your way through its compilation of vaguely lucid and crackpot ideas is pleasurable though, for avid movie lovers, it may also feel like a warning.
  2. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Mar 27, 2013
    Room 237 makes perfect sense of "The Shining" because, even more than "The Shining" itself, it places you right inside the logic of how an insane person thinks.
  3. Mar 24, 2013
    The doc positions The Shining as a comparably coiled, thematically overflowing microcosm--standing in for cinema, for history, for obsession, for postmodern theory buckling under the film's heft.
  4. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    Feb 10, 2013
    Room 237 captures the true nature of viewing, talking about and dissecting movies to the nth degree and it is infectious.
  5. Reviewed by: Kevin Jagernauth
    Feb 10, 2013
    Unique and at times profound, it's a reminder of how much Kubrick left for us to appreciate in his work, and how the greatest films always leave something more to be discovered with each viewing.
  6. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Feb 10, 2013
    Handsomely produced and never less than hugely entertaining, Ascher's film is catnip for Kubrickians and critics both professional and otherwise.
  7. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Mar 27, 2013
    The effect of Room 237 is intense. It’s a deep dive into the rabbit hole of semiotics, designed to train viewers to become alert to what they’re really seeing.
  8. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Apr 11, 2013
    It is undeniably fun to see such a great movie sliced and diced and put back together in so many ways. Too often when we see a movie we like, we just say it’s good, recommend it to someone and leave it at that.
  9. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Apr 4, 2013
    Room 237, which goes into national distribution this weekend, may be the surpassingly eccentric — and enormously entertaining — film that Kubrick deserves.
  10. Reviewed by: Steve Erickson
    Mar 26, 2013
    Even if the theories don't persuade you, the film fascinates. It's revelatory about the nature of spectatorship in an era when technology allows audiences to watch films frame by frame.
  11. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Feb 10, 2013
    Nutty, arcane and jaw-dropping in equal measure, this is a head-first plunge down the rabbit hole of Kubrickiana from which, for some, there is evidently no return.
  12. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Apr 18, 2013
    Watching Room 237 is like being stuck on an airplane next to a stranger hellbent on convincing you of his very detailed, very paranoid theory of the universe. Actually, it’s like being stuck on a plane full of those guys, each with a different yet compellingly insane take on reality. And the in-flight entertainment features only one movie: “The Shining.”
  13. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Mar 28, 2013
    Ascher's unique and unforgettable film is a tribute to movie love. I couldn't have liked it more.
  14. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Apr 18, 2013
    The credibility of these theories ranges from faintly plausible to frankly ridiculous, but Ascher isn't interested in judging them; his movie is more about the joys of deconstruction and the special kind of obsession that movies can inspire.
  15. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Apr 5, 2013
    Here at least the gobbledygook is entertaining.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 69 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 25
  2. Negative: 9 out of 25
  1. Apr 1, 2013
    For every interesting point these Kubrick "experts" make, there are two Dark-Side-of-the-Moon-played-along-with-The-Wizard-of-Oz leaps of faith. There's value in exploring the intricacies of such a classic film, but the pacing of this documentary suffers due to the inclusion of some pretty silly (and lengthy) conspiracy theories. Unless it's really a movie about ridiculous obsession. In that case, 11/10. Full Review »
  2. Nov 11, 2013
    This film made very wild assumptions about the most minute of details in Kubrick's The Shining. Some connections were so loose that I could barely believe they were being discussed in a serious manner. I had to create an account simply for the fact that I thought this movie was so bad, and if I can save just one person the time it takes to watch this film, it will all be worthwhile for me. Avoid. Full Review »
  3. Nov 1, 2013
    I love documentaries. This is the worst documentary I have ever seen. It seems to have been pieced together by a film school student. Each person picks out random meaningless items and state this is the focus and point of the movie. You can look at a poster and state that poster is the entire meaning of the movie. One commentator has to pause so he can take care of a crying child. This is not professionalism. I was completely intrigued by this and it is time that I spent that I will never get back. Do not watch this documentary. Save yourself. This has nothing to do with Stanley Kubrick or The Shinning. It has everything to do with untalented delusional people that want to feel a part of something bigger. Full Review »