User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 66 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 66
  2. Negative: 14 out of 66

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  1. Apr 1, 2013
    4
    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. Expand
  2. Nov 1, 2013
    1
    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. Expand
  3. Apr 1, 2013
    3
    There are some really interesting points about Kubrick's use of perspective and there is probably something to the Indian genocide theory. But then it tries to make a connection with the fake moon landing hoax?? Not only that but the filmmaker just assumes the viewer believes that crap and gives no evidence that the moon landing was faked, the nut case narrating just says its fake... so it is. Overall its an interesting watch all the way up to when they talk about how Kubrick filmed the moon landing and then you can just turn it off. Unless you're one of the morons who think we didn't go to the moon, then keep watching and enjoy the idiotic lies. Expand
  4. Mar 31, 2013
    0
    An utterly laughable tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy nut fest, possibly the worst thing I've ever had the displeasure of watching, i'd ask for my time back but i doubt the people who made this cares about the viewers.
  5. Nov 11, 2013
    0
    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.
  6. Jul 13, 2013
    2
    This has to be a joke. Can we just talk about how poorly made this is? The score, interviews, talking and narration is all incredibly choppy and the dramatizations are pretty bad. The people talking about their beliefs are essentially babbling; their arguments and discussions are embarrassingly incoherent, not only in what they're saying, but how they presented it. There are multiple times near the ending where these dumbasses negate and contradict their entire arguments, which are already inane to begin with. One argument says that a tray on a desk makes it looks like Ullman has an erection while shaking hands with Jack. Another says that Room 237 is a sex room and all of the carpet patterns look like penises. We don't know any of the people, their names or their jobs, so they have no credibility at all. One of the men confesses that he's unemployed and obsessed with The Shining, while a woman confesses that she got one of her conspiracy theories from her nine-year-old son. The documentary is such a terrific idea but its execution was shockingly, painfully bad and it actually made The Shining one of my favorite films of all time worse. The more they talked about it, the worse it got, and I got angrier. The people talking sound like they're mentally disabled or mentally ill; there are parts where the voiceovers stop and literally they say, "Wait, I have to help my son. He's crying, but I don't know. Ha ha." These people are so painfully stupid. I've been YouTube videos infinitely better than this pile of crap. A woman behind me was dying laughing at the film, and I started laughing as well. I guess I got some laughs out of it, but they ultimately bored me and made me angry with one of my favorite films of all time. 2.5/10, abysmal, two thumbs down, far below mediocre, etc. Expand
  7. Apr 8, 2013
    4
    This review contains spoilers. I'm shocked the critics liked this as much as they did. It's strange that you never see the documentarians' faces during the film and the stock footage of old movie-goers is annoying as hell. Most importantly, toward the end, the narrator explains that he was unemployed at home thinking about the movie obsessively and that he has no idea if any of this stuff was really intended by Kubrick. He suggests that the subjective intent of the artist never really matters. Hmmmm. As for the good stuff, all of the Apollo 11 imagery is interesting, but suggesting that Kubrick faked the images of the actual moon landing seems like a stretch even though the never say that the moon landing didn't happen. The Native American images were certainly interesting to dwell on. But to spend so much time on "cool" coincidences in overlapping images when playing the film backwards and forwards at the same time is ridiculous. My final thought is that it's great dwelling on this film again after all these years, but this movie seems like the musings of the film editor for High Times magazine, not fodder for a feature film. Collapse
  8. Apr 13, 2013
    4
    Went to this film with three The Shining/Kubrick devotees--ready to love this doc. Didn't happen. It opens with the descriptor: "a documentary in 9 parts" or something to that effect. Well, let me tell you that the sophisticated art house audience I saw it with was antsy, annoyed and ready to walk out by part 5. Re-watching The Shining footage is fun. The obsessive, odd, contrived and ridiculous "thematic theory" voice overs of the five or six offstage talking heads are alternately funny, interesting and just plain dumb. But that is the conceit of this film... how one can piece together any theory that you're LOOKING for giving enough viewings. (Okay, honestly, that "Minotaur"-ski-poster woman is just nuts.) The 'food pantry scene' became fodder for several theories ranging from the genocide of the American Indians to Kubrick's guilt over participating in the faked footage of the Apollo Moon landing. Problem is that this all gets silly, boring and then annoying after an hour or so. NO ONE in the audience I saw with left pleased with the experience as a whole. It was more a shake-your-head and vow not to indulge this over-indulgent doc director with your valuable time again. Expand
  9. Dec 23, 2013
    3
    Yeah, I love Stanley Kubrick and all of his films (except Barry Lyndon beautiful to look at but snooze time). The Shining is a great film and is totally picked apart by a strange group of people who fill this documentary with odd findings and conspiracy theories that really demand patience from the audience more than anything else. I found very little of it interesting (if I had found none I would have rated lower), and found most of it just silly. I found myself amused by the absurdity of it more than interested by the premises. Expand
  10. Jun 14, 2014
    0
    Moronic. Avoid at all cost , unless you think Bigfoot was behind the Kennedy assassination. In fact, that might be a better theory than the ones you get here to explain the meanings behind "The Shining".
  11. Apr 18, 2014
    4
    Lots of stretching in this one, and the arguments aren't that clear. If incoherence and boredom are the main goals, then the film has succeeded in spades.
  12. Jul 17, 2014
    2
    A documentary in glorification, Room 237 lies somewhere between sanity and the realm of the insane. If you had never thought Stanley Kubrick could fake the moon landing, apparently this documentary might be for you. If you had never thought Kubrick planted "clues" about this faked moon landing in The Shinning, this documentary might also be for you. Holocaust references? Minotaurs? All of it is here. One thing is clear and that is that most of the content in this documentary elevates Kubrick to the level of some film demigod. What is unfortunate is that somewhere along the way a lot of straws were grasped, but more horrifyingly apparently no one participating in this documentary noticed until about half way in. These Kubrick scholars talk sense in the first hour, when they speak in the abstract, but the attention to detail is largely misplaced and far from acute. Expand
Metascore
80

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: Rick Groen
    May 10, 2013
    63
    Are these enlightened critics or dark nutcases themselves?
  2. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Apr 18, 2013
    83
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Apr 18, 2013
    88
    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.”