User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 246 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 246

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  1. Oct 6, 2011
    8
    Illustrating 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.)
  2. Aug 4, 2011
    4
    One of the most over-rated horror pictures, yet based on one of Stephen King's finest novels. How could it go wrong? The primary problem is that the film simply isn't scary. I'll give it creepy, but only mildly. And only one scene stands out as being anything close to King's vision of supernatural fear ("Room 237"). Sure Nicholson is fun, and really, the cast is fine. But the secondary problem this film has is a critical fail: the movie's aim and thrust is completely muddled. 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 of nauseous scenes.
  4. Sep 25, 2013
    8
    First and foremost; don't go into this movie expecting a typical horror movie. It's not a jump-out-at-you scary movie. What it does do well is creepiness.
    The first time I watched it I was pretty underwhelmed. It was one of, possibly the only Kubrick film I'd seen that didn't deliver on my expectations. Often a Kubrick film will go above and beyond my expectations. However the more I
    thought about it, and after watching it a second time, and watching the documentary Room 237. My thoughts on the film have become much more positive and enthusiastic. In a lot of aspects this is some of Kubrick's best work ever. The carefully thought out shots. The way he creates such isolation and hostility for the viewer. You're off in your own world in the Overlook Hotel. Jack Nicholson is fantastic in it. The music in it is very good and effective to adding a whole extra level to the movie. And it'd have to be the most mysterious Kubrick film ever made. Even more than 2001. There are so many questions you'll be asking about this film. The ending won't solve all your questions; it'll add more. You could interpret this movie from so many angles. If you become intrigued in this film even after you watch it, go on the internet and look at the various interpretations and things the film had that you probably missed. This film still remains a mystery three decades on, it's not a total crowd pleasing film but if you're interesting it's definitely worth a watch. Collapse
  5. Oct 9, 2010
    10
    I'll be honest, I hate horror. The Shining is possibly the only horror film that has ever ingnited something within my interest. It's brilliant,daring and most importantly, not cliche. Surely the highlight of the film is the use of steadicam following the child around the place like some haunting ghost. Another superb achievement from Kubrick.
  6. Sep 23, 2010
    8
    Kubrick fastidiously detailed about the claustrophobic horror and suspenseful and hysteric moments. However, it is true that Kubrick failed to transform the original main point of the novel and deviated to make his own point of view.
  7. Oct 11, 2010
    10
    My first viewing of Stanley Kubrick's classic 'The Shining' left me somewhat...underwhelmed. As a 15 year old boy, my underdeveloped, action oriented brain, desired gore and cheap thrills...something that this film avoids. Viewing 'The Shining' as an adult however, was a truly unforgettable experience. So here are my two cents.... Hearing the term 'adaptation of a Stephen King novel' makes me want to vomit. With such duds as 'Storm of the Century', 'Rose Red' and 'Tommyknockers' falling within this category, I was sceptical. But thankfully, Kubrick diverts drastically from the source material, playing down the supernatural elements of horror. The fear of the characters' deteriorating mental health, and the potential of what they could do to one another, is far more terrifying than the threat of ghosts. This makes for a human, relatable, and intelligent horror; more frightening than the typical ghost story. Kudos to the screenwriters for taking a chance. Like most Kubrick films, the performances are strangely enigmatic. Shelly Duvall's portrayal of the seemingly 'desperate to please' Wendy, was irritating in the initial stages of the film. There was a self-consciousness to the performance, that felt slightly superficial. HOWEVER, when the hysteria sets in, Duvall delivers the goods. She is chillingly authentic, and utterly electrifying. It actually heightens the experience in the final third of the film. Apparently Kubrick was a prick to her on set in order to 'push her' into that place...so thankyou for that! It's magic. I find Jack Nicholson a difficult actor to really warm to, and his performance here is no exception to that. It's over the top, comical, frightening...and unpredictably mad. I think I would have preferred Jack Torrance to be a more likeable character in the developing stages, but nonetheless, he is fascinating. And Danny Lloyd would have to go on the list of 'best child performances ever'. The facial expressions, body language, and the eyes, are completely believable and nuanced! They struck gold with him. Typical of Kubrick, the film is a visual spectacle. Even by todays standards, the cinematography is mesmerising - a testament to Kubrick and John Alcott. Visually, the film is so absorbing. The camera rarely stops moving, in inventive (but non-distracting) ways. There is a sense that the characters are being watched by 'another presence' that is constantly tracking their movements. The camera work is subtly unsettling. It is so refreshing for a modern audience to watch a film like this, that relies on a slow and contemplative build up, and resonating images for scares. There is a genuinely creepy tone throughout, and the climax absolutely soars with thrills. And, strangely enough for this genre, 'The Shining' gets better with every single viewing. A well deserved classic! Expand
  8. Jan 7, 2011
    10
    My favourite horror film, possibly even my favourite film in general. The atmosphere is immensly creepy from beginning to end. The music, the camera work, all spells dread and impending horror. Those two girls still send shivers down my spine whenever I see them. Talk about stmosphere, this film has me gripped from begginning to end every time. Every scene is firmly etched into my mind, every image. Yeah I Ilike it just a bit....to be honest I feel a bit like Jack sometimes...Wendy!! Expand
  9. Jun 13, 2011
    7
    Great, scary, intense atmosphere and superb Jack Nicholson mixed with the mediocre performance by Shelley Duvall. Anyway, I think that this film was underrated for many years.
  10. Feb 20, 2011
    9
    Unflinchingly directed - There has certainly been a good number of well made and thrilling horror-films in the last thirty years, but few possesses the psychological tension that Stanley Kubrick created in 1980 with his adaptation of Stephen King`s novel "The Shining" which he wrote with novelist Diane Johnson, that stringently tells the fictional story about writer, husband and father Jack Torrance, who travels from the city with his wife Wendy and son Danny to attend a job interview during the winter at the Overlook Hotel considering an off-season job as a caretaker. Torrance's intension is to use the remote and isolated hotel to find peace while he is writing, but as he get's into his writing his mental state starts to change.

    From the majestic and long opening scene where the camera moves transversal through a dead silent landscape and towards the films main location, to the grand finale, this is a throughout captivating and mind-puzzling tale mostly seen through the eyes of a psychic young boy who receives frightening premonitions about the place his parents have brought him to and a grown man who unknowingly is faced with his own mind's evanescence. This increasingly chilling character study uses repeated imagery, shifts from regular to extreme close ups, concentrated, repetitive and no dialog whatsoever, short and long takes and frequently changes from scenes of eerie silence to scenes of climactic noise.This is the type of film such as, without making any comparison, Peter Weir's "Picnic at Hanging Rock" (1975) or David Lynch's "Eraserhead" (1976), where the mood is crucial for the films atmosphere, and in this case the mood is composed by Jack Nicholson's versatile mood-swings and the classic and orchestral music.

    Several stories are intersected in "The Shining", and they differ from the story of a writer's block, a horrible tragedy that happened in the past, a wife unable to reach her husband, a son unable to connect with his father and a man's broadening psychosis. It's impossible to overlook Jack Nicholson's electric presence as he transforms into a character that bewilders himself as far as conceivably possible in an oblivious mind. His multi-layered performance stands as a milestone in acting and Nicholson is as frightening as he is entertaining in his nearly exaggerated interpretation. With that said, this film wouldn't be as good as it is without the performances of Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers and Danny Lloyd, who's presence is just as effective as Nicholsons. The ingenious about "The Shining" is that it achieves a high level of tension without being overly violent. Yes, there is a flood of blood, but the greatest horrors of the film is the words, the sounds, the images, the faces, the moods, and how these cinematic elements spark the viewers imagination. This inner an outer mind maze is a vivid examination of supernatural spookiness that truly captures the feeling and perception of fear. Kubrick knew no boundaries as a film maker and his eleventh feature is photographically aesthetic and unflinchingly directed.
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  11. Jul 10, 2011
    9
    An atmospheric, slow-burning horror film that charts a man's descent into madness. Though the directing and writing is top notch, Nicholson is the real star of the show. His character is fantastically deranged and believable and is the commanding force in each scene he is in. Although not terrifying, the movie effectively builds tension and suspense culminating in a dramatic third act.
  12. Jan 20, 2012
    2
    Very slow and boring movie, I've ever seen. I actually fell asleep at the scene where danny is riding his bike. I want realy horror movie, not a b-budget, childish horror movie.
  13. Jul 25, 2011
    10
    This is by far my favorite movie! In my opinion it is more of a thriller than a horror film. Jack Nicholson plays the role amazingly well, Shelley Duvall's portrayal of Wendy is great, even though in the bookthe character is very different in the book. The kid is actually very creepy though.
  14. 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 all the right buttons.
  15. Oct 1, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. If there's one pure horror film that deserves the Best Picture Oscar just for its overall terrific (and terrifying) atmosphere, it's THE SHINING. I've only seen one of Stanley Kubrick's other films, which was 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, and if you think that Stanley Kubrick only makes those kinds of films, think again. This brilliant man takes mastermind Stephen King's already-horrific novel and crafts it into his own ingenious, twisted work that is probably more frightening than the book itself. And there's Jack Nicholson, who does an outstanding performance as psychopath Jack Torrance. When I saw this film, my immediate thought was that Nicholson's character was just as I imagined Torrance's personality while reading the source novel. It's possible to admit that sometimes Jack Nicholson does go a little loopy with his role, making it often seem more like his role as the Joker in BATMAN nine years later, but he never seems to go overboard, and his character always enhances the eerie-ness of the entire film. All in all, THE SHINING is a must-see. It's certainly not one of those "spewing guts" films where everything is grotesque blood and gore. Instead, the horror comes from the creepy, sadistic, intense mood, as this is a well-molded psychological horror. Add this to your shopping list (or your renting list) if you haven't seen it. See it again if you have already. Expand
  16. Aug 30, 2011
    8
    I like this movie, i though the whole concept of the family going to an isolated hotel, where strange things start to happen (the spiritual forces and stuff like that), i think it was original. "Heeere's Johnny!", i though that scene was awesome, although the choice of the female actress and the child should have been more efficient, like they kind of took a tool on the movie, with the way they perform, but Jack Nicholson was able to put a hell of a performance, like he usually does. Expand
  17. Sep 26, 2011
    10
    Another great example of how Stanley Kubrick had that ability to connect you with a movie, is not only the story what is spooky the great work of Jack Nicholson and the great elements that Kubrick increased is what make this film one of the must terrifying films of all of the time
  18. Oct 3, 2012
    10
    A spine chilling adaptation of Stephen King's loved novel that is both intriguing and frightening and placed against a goose bump inducing soundtrack. Stanley Kubrick's as always brilliant directing brings out the fear and makes it feel real. The Shining is one of the best horror films I have seen.
  19. Aug 31, 2012
    8
    Great, scary, intense atmosphere and superb Jack Nicholson mixed with the mediocre performances by everyone else. The ending is a little hard to understand but overall a very scary film.
  20. Aug 31, 2012
    8
    Jack was completely deranged and it was funny and scary at the same time. Not a damn clue at what happened at the very end which pisses me off, but everything was on key for this horror story.
  21. 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 have any real scares, but is way more unsettling than any current horror flick. Some great camera work, too.
  22. Jul 27, 2012
    10
    A brilliant horror movie!! and certainly one of the best stephen king movies. I really dont know why the critics give this masterpiece a 6.1, but thats out sh*tty generation, good movies are given bad reviews, and bad movies are given good reviews, thats just sad. To all people who gave this a good review, you have great taste, to all people who gave it a bad one, suck it!
  23. Mar 15, 2013
    9
    Honestly a strange film and not overly scary, but I think that's the point. The movie is stranger than it is scary and that really sets the mood throughout the film that something is off about this hotel. Kubrick really does a fantastic job in the director's chair and also plays critic a bit as he toys with the typical horror film techniques. Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall are also fantastic in the lead role and while this is not my favorite movie ever, it is certainly top ten material. Fantastic film. Expand
  24. Sep 28, 2012
    7
    Pretty much any Stephen King fan will tell you that all of his books are just in a totally different league to the films. His books are incredible, the films tend to be....meh (no, Green Mile and Shawshank you are in a different category altogether). Firstly, I think 'The Shining' needs defending. For one, it was made in 1980 and as such there are certain technicalities that are just simply unfair to compare to films of 2012. What this film does do incredibly well is make the audience afraid of something realistic and plausible (i.e. this extreme reaction to isolation) without using cheap jump scares like so many more modern horror films rely on. The reason for 7/10 would mainly be because I felt that Jack Nicholson, as brilliant as he is, was made to be a pretty unsettling character right at the start of the film whereas in the book, the main 'scary' aspect of it is that it's a slow decline and as such, you start to feel the strain. The book would be 10/10, I just felt like this film didn't make the most of certain aspects of the storyline. Bottom line is, it's not scary to a 2012 audience. The concept will always be unnerving but it's very unlikely that you'd walk away from this film genuinely scared simply because of how much more extreme horror films have become. However, it is a classic film, there are hundreds of good things to say about it I just think it needs to be watched as a piece of horror film history instead. Expand
  25. Oct 15, 2012
    10
    Kubrick has made a movie that will have to be reckoned with on the highest level ,With remarkable visual panache and a keen sense of irony, Stanley Kubrick rehabilitates Stephen King's trashy, terrifying novel.
  26. Nov 15, 2012
    10
    One of the only truly epic horror films ever made, The Shining tops even greats such as 'Psycho' and 'Halloween.'
  27. Nov 24, 2012
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I haven't read the novel, so I can't really comment about differences (much like the author has). But, I love Nicholson, and I really can't imagine anyone else filling the role of the father. Jack just brings such a powerful, evil, maniacal presence that he (IMO) has claimed that role as his own. The rest of the cast is filler to me. Nicholson's slow fall into madness (or, is it possession? Reincarnation?) builds to a great climax. Jack wielding his axe (which to my understanding is a croquet mallet in the novel, and one of the points of contention by Mr. Stephen King) is one of the best scenes I've ever seen. Expand
  28. Nov 25, 2013
    8
    Nicholson is predisposed to play such a character. The acting was just sufficient, nothing extraordinary. But there is no denying that it was a two and a half hour ride of pure thrilling scare after scare.

    There were some great individual scenes, like the ones with the twins and the bathtub woman, but they felt very disjointed and did nothing to affect the plot. There were some great
    concepts, like Danny's alter ego, but they all came to nothing.

    It could have been the greatest horror movie of all time, because at first glance it had all the ingredients to make one. I felt like the director wasn't sure if he believed in ghosts or not. The result wasn't very impressive. You either commit to that it was all in the brain and stick to the insanity spilling out of it accordingly, or you admit that it was all supernatural. Nevertheless, the build-up to the scares, and the scares themselves, and the subtle unsettling scenes with the twins, all combined to give the ultimate mind-boggling horror experience.

    The second time I watched it, more flaws jumped at me. The individual scenes manage to enthral you, but when you take the time to reflect on it, the incoherence and the lack of flow in the story, the director's dilemma to whether stick with supernatural element and explore it, or the mental breakdown of the protagonist, becomes more visible, and the result isn't pretty at all.
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  29. Jan 6, 2013
    10
    Sometimes, you just can't beat a classic, that's what The Shining's slogan is for the movie community, not only for the movie community, but yes also for our pop culture.

    Probably, it was one of the best movies i've ever watched, it's just brain-freezing moments that makes you complete frienzied on the movie.

    Kubrick has made thousands of masterpieces in history, but The Shining is
    one of the biggest of them all. Expand
  30. Sep 1, 2013
    8
    It's a movie that has that unsettling Kubrick feel. For it's slow build up, it manages to give me Goosebumps. Overall, it's a slasher movie at its best. Be sure to check out my YouTube channel "TheMovieManLife" for all things movies.
  31. Jun 28, 2013
    10
    This film is a classic, it is one of the best horror movies ever. No matter how many times I see it, it scares me all the time. The effect is perfect, you can note very good performances & of course the excellent music that makes the suspense. My favorite scene is when the kid goes inside the bathroom, what a surprise a had seen.
  32. Jun 18, 2013
    4
    Really not that good. Boring, dull, lifeless. Acting wasn't the best and the directing was terrible. The only reason I didn't give this a zero is because it scared me
  33. Feb 22, 2014
    9
    "The Shining" es un clasico entre las peliculas de terror, porque tiene un buen argumento y un buen guion para presentar, ademas cuenta con buenas actuaciones, en especial la de Jack Nicholson.
  34. May 27, 2013
    10
    By far, the best horror movie ever made (other than "Psycho"). Its imaginative, chilling, groundbreaking, well acted, well directed, and an all around masterpiece. To be honest, this movie is the reason I love Stephen Kings books and movies, it set the stage. The main reason that I like the movie is that its a horror movie but its not like a generic slasher flick that depends on the gore and violence, its not like that. Its an extremely imaginative movie that is based off of psychological horror, there's a lot of psychedelia in this movie, I'm not going to lie to you. It will put your mind to the test, it makes you think, how many movies can do that in such a beautiful way. The tone of the movie scares me, its a truly memorable film. I recommend this to all movie goers! Expand
  35. 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 few actors could top his performance in this.
  36. 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 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.
  37. Nov 26, 2013
    9
    This movie was always suspenseful and intense since the first shot. It did an amazing job at keeping me scared, which horror movies nowadays aren't even good at. I don't understand how people don't like this.
  38. Feb 5, 2014
    7
    Based off the legendary novel by Stephen King, Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" is a classic horror film with an excellent portrayal of what happens when an individual loses their touch with reality. Technically speaking, this is a flawless movie. However, "The Shining" does lose some points for two reasons: The flawed acting by some characters, and the obvious fact of Kubrick deviating from the novel.

    Despite the blatant flaws, it must be noticed that "The Shining" has many things going for it. For example, everyone knows the front cover of the film and the exact scene that is displayed. Needless to say, "Here's Johnny!" is the most recognized quote from the film, and is argued by some to be more legendary than when it was said by Ed McMahon. Beside the legendary quote, the biggest pro "The Shining" owns is that it is seemingly a perfectly executed technical movie, such as the great use of lighting at certain parts and how Kubrick was able to make every shot important and relevant. On a deeper note, "The Shining" has a very dark overlying tone throughout the movie which, personally, is an essential in any great horror film. The evil, sinister music that can be heard periodically throughout the film only helps in establishing its dark tone.

    On the other hand, despite the seemingly perfect directing, Kubrick is let down in a very disappointing way. As beautifully directed as this film is, it is only right for Kubrick to be given flawless acting. Sadly, this is not the case. Presented to the viewer is the laughable, embarrassing, and seemingly effortless acting, especially by Shelly Duvall, with the prime exception of Jack Nicholson. However, it is an even bigger disappointment that Kubrick let the audience down with his defiant variation of the novel. While the film is good and worth the watch, it would have been nice to see how it would've looked if he had stayed truer to the book, much like "A Clockwork Orange".

    All in all, "The Shining", while having some slight disappointments by the actors and director, comes up as a victory for cinema, and is definitely worth the watch. 7/10
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  39. Nov 30, 2013
    9
    As far as I'm concerned, this will forever be the best horror story ever written for the screen. Incredibly eerie and creepy. It's great when a film can pull you in and intensify your heart rate without the use of cheap scare tactics. Even over 30 years later, this film truly strikes fear in my heart.
  40. Jan 25, 2014
    9
    This is a truly great horror film. The movie is very different compared to other horror films. It follows Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) who is staying in an old, empty hotel with his family and begins to go mad. The events in this film spin into the strange and scary. It has many scary moments and it is very creepy. It also boasts excellent acting by Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. It did, however, take a bit of time for the horror to start, and also it was quite long, but it is still great. Expand
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 10
  2. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. Meticulously detailed and never less than fascinating, The Shining may be the first movie that ever made its audience jump with a title that simply says "Tuesday."
  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: 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.