Room 237

User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 75 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 75
  2. Negative: 15 out of 75
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  1. Jun 12, 2013
    6
    Some of the theories sound insane and probably are, but they are all entertaining. Any Kubrick fan should watch this documentary at least once. Just to see how through Kubrick's attention to detail and overall brilliance people can extract anything and everything.
  2. Jun 9, 2013
    5
    The Shining is a great film by a brilliant director known for his attention to detail. Therefore the assumption of this documentary that there is nothing on this film by accident is stretched to the point that every speck of dust is analysed and potentially paraphrased as noone is really in the mind of Stanley Kubrik. And even though parts of it are somewhat interesting as a topic ofThe Shining is a great film by a brilliant director known for his attention to detail. Therefore the assumption of this documentary that there is nothing on this film by accident is stretched to the point that every speck of dust is analysed and potentially paraphrased as noone is really in the mind of Stanley Kubrik. And even though parts of it are somewhat interesting as a topic of conversation between cine-files, the full picture carries far to many ludicrous theories to be taken seriously. Expand
  3. Apr 8, 2013
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. 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. Expand
  4. Apr 25, 2013
    6
    A documentary, that in some way tries to prove that cinema is a form of art, because what is art, if not something (among other things) that makes us think?! Room 237 proves that certain movies and certain movie scenes can be interpreted many ways. Most of the ideas presented in this documentary are silly or ridiculous, so this way Room 237 is also about obsession. Movie obsession. AlsoA documentary, that in some way tries to prove that cinema is a form of art, because what is art, if not something (among other things) that makes us think?! Room 237 proves that certain movies and certain movie scenes can be interpreted many ways. Most of the ideas presented in this documentary are silly or ridiculous, so this way Room 237 is also about obsession. Movie obsession. Also about the human mind that seeks for hidden meaning, and pattern when there is none. Could be better if they would focus on some more "legit" theories, or made a comparison with Kubrick's other movies. Also felt it was overlong, and after about an hour I felt somewhat bored. Worth a look for anyone interested in cinema. Expand
  5. Apr 13, 2013
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Yeah, sure, it's awful silly and, that's a good point. Great in fact. Anything over analyzed is, don't you think? And that's what's happening here, isn't it? Enjoy the ride and the film is fine, a 5 pointer out of 10. 10 being the best. Well, one could say, there are things that any film maker obsesses over, any film maker, and, that carries with all their films and approach, with every film. Maybe Kubrick made the landing for a deal to return to the states no harm no foul. But, he left because he hated what the U.S. govt. was has always seems to do. Someone forgot to bring the camera. It was faked so that, just in case it the live feed didn't work, they could show their fake footage as real, and, every one knows, we shoot into the trees in vietnam films to show folks back home we're doing something.... Expand
  6. Dec 23, 2013
    6
    An interesting topic selection when it comes to the theme the doc is contributing. But, poor execution and unclear when the main suggestion is that the Moon landing was fake and that was Kubrick who directed the so called video of it. Could have been better
  7. 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 andWent 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
  8. Jun 16, 2014
    5
    Slogs on by hitting every single conspiracy theory regardless of how absolutely moronic. If they just would have dissected the most popular and believable ones it would have been much better. Could have been interesting but halfway through I had a headache from rolling my eyes so much. Don't waste your time.
  9. 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. InFor 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
  10. 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.
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.”