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80

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

User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 56 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 20
  2. Negative: 6 out of 20
  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. Expand
  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 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
  6. 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
  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. Collapse

See all 20 User Reviews

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