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80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 57 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: A documentary that explores the numerous theories about the hidden meanings within Stanley Kubrick's The Shining which continues to inspire debate, speculation, and mystery more than thirty years after its release. Using voice over, film clips, animation and dramatic reenactments, Room 237 investigates five very different points of view drawing the audience into a new maze, one with many ways in, but no way out. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Mar 28, 2013
    100
    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: Ian Freer
    Feb 10, 2013
    100
    Room 237 captures the true nature of viewing, talking about and dissecting movies to the nth degree and it is infectious.
  3. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Mar 27, 2013
    91
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Mar 26, 2013
    80
    Room 237 asks that you bring your own noodles; as docs go, it leaves you with questions, some worry and rib-sticking satiation.
  5. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Mar 29, 2013
    80
    Even these ludicrous notions illustrate the real point of Room 237, as I see it, which is that “The Shining” is a disturbing, complicated and highly unusual creation of pop cinema that works on many levels, and whose slow-acting toxin continues to spread through our cultural veins more than 30 years later.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Apr 4, 2013
    75
    I found most of what's actually put forth in the film interpretively ridiculous. But I'm just one theorist among millions, and the film worked for me anyway.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Mar 28, 2013
    38
    I’m probably more intrigued than 99.3 percent of the American public by the idea of deconstructing the hidden symbols in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” but the theories proposed in the doc Room 237 aren’t eye-opening. They’re laughable.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 21
  2. Negative: 6 out of 21
  1. Sep 25, 2013
    9
    Great Documentary!! Huge Kubrick fan and this is a must watch for any of his fans. You will not be disappointed. Very intriguing and pieces a lot of information together from The Shining. Expand
  2. Mar 29, 2013
    8
    Room 237 is a documentary on making Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece The Shining... And it's epic. The film has good pace it's a good movie and very good acting. The film is disturbing and good at the same time. Collapse
  3. May 31, 2013
    8
    Do not miss t point of this documentary. It is a window into the world of the cinephile conspiracy theorists that is almost as disturbing as The Shining itself at times. Crackpot theories range from connections to moon landing fakery to Holocaust undertones, each put forward by fanatical and obsessed writers and amateurs. The documentary gives these people plenty of opportunity to explain their ideas, but that doesn't mean it agrees with them. It relates how kubrick's movies were so intricate and detailed that they sucked some viewers into an overlook-like world of endless overanalysis and misinterpretation Expand
  4. 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
  5. 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. Expand
  6. 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
  7. 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. Expand

See all 21 User Reviews

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