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Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 315 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A married couple with a small son are employed to look after a resort hotel high in the Colorado mountains. As a result, they are the sole occupants during the long winter. The hotel manager warns them not to accept the job because of a tragedy that occurred during the winter of 1970. (Warner Bros.)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 10
  2. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    100
    Ostensibly a haunted house story, it manages to traverse a complex world of incipient madness, spectral murder and supernatural visions ...and also makes you jump.
  2. 88
    But there is no way, within the film, to be sure with any confidence exactly what happens, or precisely how, or really why. Kubrick delivers this uncertainty in a film where the actors themselves vibrate with unease.
  3. Reviewed by: Jeremy Knox
    80
    For a supposed mainstream movie, Kubrick’s The Shining isn’t very audience friendly. Half the time you have to guess what the hell is going on, and if you're not familiar with Kubrick's narrative style you’ll be completely lost.
  4. 70
    Stephen King reportedly loathed the liberties Kubrick and co-writer Diane Johnson took with his story, but King's ur-villain, the emasculated husband from hell, has never been more clearly presented on-screen.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    50
    It is a daring thing the director has done, this bleaching out of all the cheap thrills, this dashing of all the hopes one brings to what is, after all, advertised as "a masterpiece of modern horror." Certainly he has asked much of Nicholson, who must sustain attention in a hugely unsympathetic role, and who responds with a brilliantly crazed performance.
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    40
    The crazier Nicholson gets, the more idiotic he looks. Shelley Duvall transforms the warm sympathetic wife of the book into a simpering, semi-retarded hysteric.
  7. 30
    Kubrick is after a cool, sunlit vision of hell, born in the bosom of the nuclear family, but his imagery--with its compulsive symmetry and brightness--is too banal to sustain interest, while the incredibly slack narrative line forestalls suspense.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 57
  2. Negative: 3 out of 57
  1. j30
    Nov 15, 2011
    10
    A horror classic. An unforgettable performance by Jack Nicholson as the tortured soul of Jack Torrance. Stanley Kubrick's direction pushes allA horror classic. An unforgettable performance by Jack Nicholson as the tortured soul of Jack Torrance. Stanley Kubrick's direction pushes all the right buttons. Expand
  2. Sep 29, 2013
    10
    A classic horror film for the ages, The Shining's genius (besides being directed by Kubrick) comes solely from the fact that there is noA classic horror film for the ages, The Shining's genius (besides being directed by Kubrick) comes solely from the fact that there is no certainty of what is real or what Jack is imagining: and this is what makes the film so intriguing. Plus, Jack Nicholson is his most "Jack-Nicholson-ish" in this movie, making the faces and movements he's so famous for nowadays. Expand
  3. Dec 16, 2011
    10
    My favorite film of Kubrick's. You feel like you're becoming as mad as Johnny while watching, building up cabin fever and fear in a mixture ofMy favorite film of Kubrick's. You feel like you're becoming as mad as Johnny while watching, building up cabin fever and fear in a mixture of nauseous scenes. Expand
  4. Oct 29, 2013
    9
    Quite possibly the creepiest, most well written movie ever. There are so many creepy moments and Jack Nicholson was an amazing actor fewQuite possibly the creepiest, most well written movie ever. There are so many creepy moments and Jack Nicholson was an amazing actor few actors could top his performance in this. Expand
  5. Oct 6, 2011
    8
    Illustrating the true, crazy countenance of mankind when confronted in extreme isolation and horror, Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" is aIllustrating the true, crazy countenance of mankind when confronted in extreme isolation and horror, Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" is a modern-horror masterpiece that criticizes not only us, but also the disjointed society. (P.S: This was probably the best movie Jack Nicholson performed in. Ever.) Expand
  6. Apr 5, 2012
    8
    So disturbing, yet exciting. Jack Nicholson plays a perfect role, and this movie loves to mess around with you. It doesn´t haveSo disturbing, yet exciting. Jack Nicholson plays a perfect role, and this movie loves to mess around with you. It doesn´t have any real scares, but is way more unsettling than any current horror flick. Some great camera work, too. Expand
  7. KurtW.
    Jun 12, 2007
    1
    Possibly the dumbest movie I've seen. Not scary at all. The characters and their acting were laughably bad, especially the wife... every Possibly the dumbest movie I've seen. Not scary at all. The characters and their acting were laughably bad, especially the wife... every time she walked, talked or screamed, I could not take her seriously. Expand

See all 57 User Reviews

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