User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 290 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 290

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  1. Dec 16, 2011
    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.
  2. Oct 3, 2012
    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.
  3. Jun 28, 2013
    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.
  4. Oct 9, 2010
    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.
  5. Oct 11, 2010
    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 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
  6. Jan 7, 2011
    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 be honest I feel a bit like Jack sometimes...Wendy!! Expand
  7. Feb 20, 2011
    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.
  8. Jul 10, 2011
    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.
  9. Jul 25, 2011
    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.
  10. Sep 26, 2011
    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
  11. Oct 1, 2011
    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
  12. j30
    Nov 15, 2011
    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.
  13. Jul 27, 2012
    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!
  14. Oct 15, 2012
    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.
  15. Nov 15, 2012
    One of the only truly epic horror films ever made, The Shining tops even greats such as 'Psycho' and 'Halloween.'
  16. Nov 24, 2012
    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
  17. Jan 6, 2013
    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. Collapse
  18. Mar 15, 2013
    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
  19. May 27, 2013
    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
  20. Sep 29, 2013
    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.
  21. Oct 29, 2013
    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.
  22. Nov 26, 2013
    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.
  23. Nov 30, 2013
    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.
  24. Jan 25, 2014
    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
  25. Apr 27, 2014
    A masterpiece in every form of that word. If you don't like this movie you are living life wrong. Jack Nicholson turns in an amazing and iconic performance while Kubrick uses his brilliant movie magic to craft one of the best Horror movies ever.
  26. Apr 29, 2014
    A masterpiece of horror cinema history. "The Shining" is strange, a slow-burning, step by step haunting and disturbing your mind till it blows and your mouth gaped. Stanley Kubrick and Jack Nicholson's outstanding performance bring this film to high level and hard to matched and put it to be a standard for modern horror film. At last, The Shining is the greatest psychological horror ever made and I'm convinced that credit never switch to another film for long long time. Expand
  27. Aug 8, 2014
    A great movie that involves the viewer with its wide variety of details that give each scene a tone of realism that enhances the feeling of suspended activity and it is logical to Jack Nicholson really was incredible, it was possible to perceive anger in every word Jack said.
  28. Sep 5, 2014
    "The Shining" is my personal favorite film from Stanley Kubrick. It's filled with tension and scares, a creepy and isolated atmosphere, and memorable characters. Like all of Kubrick's films, it's beautiful to look at and extremely detailed. "The Shining" is also one of the scariest movies I've ever seen. Definitely watch this if you're a fan of horror.

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)
    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.