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2001: A Space Odyssey

The most legendary and widely discussed film of the 1960s, and Kubrick’s most famous work in a string of masterpieces, 2001 has had—and still does have—a profound impact on ideas about the way our society treats the march of technology and humankind’s place in the vast universe. A mysterious black obelisk (the Monolith) appears both in the pre-human time and in the future of 2001, communicating something indecipherable yet violent to both ape and man. Perhaps the Monolith has an effect on futuristic computer systems like HAL 9000, an on-board AI assistant who attempts to take control from two astronauts (Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood) on a mission to Jupiter to research the Monolith and its effects. A film with deeply philosophical intentions, 2001 is an epic on the grandest of scales, and one with sustained relevance for our postmodern world.

Genres: Sci-Fi

Other Films by Stanley Kubrick

Lolita

Lolita began the string of masterpieces that form the second half of Kubrick’s career, through which he became one of world cinema’s most heralded filmmakers. A simple setup forms the basis for this tale of intense obsession: Humbert Humbert (James Mason), a professor in his 40s, moves to New Hampshire for the summer and takes

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

A nuclear-age parable of unmatched film-historical importance and generalized hilarity, Kubrick’s vision of the day before doomsday remains frightening—and side-splitting—over fifty years after its original release. When über-patriotic General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) decides, of his own accord, to launch a nuclear attack against the Soviet Union without a war order, jittery British Colonel

Paths of Glory

Kubrick’s classic tale of corrupted leadership and the farce of legal proceedings during wartime (WWI) strikes resonance today through its portrait of average soldiers who must pay the price for their superiors’ malfeasance. Led by Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas in one of his finest roles as the moral compass of the film), the French 701st

Eyes Wide Shut

In the late 1990s, near the end of his career, Kubrick, known for his painstakingly crafted visions of Western culture— infused with a deep, unsettling malaise—enlisted Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, at the time Hollywood’s hottest power couple, for a visceral exploration of marital un-fulfillment and existential dread. While at a lavish party, the couple