The movie is so completely absorbed in its own problems, its use of color and space, its fanatical devotion to science-fiction detail, that its is somewhere between hypnotic and immensely boring.
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Its faults - sketchy narrative, overblown abstraction - are counterbalanced by its gripping engagement between man and machine, and its rhapsodic wonder at heaven and earth and the infinite beyond.
ReelViews by James Berardinelli
Watching this film demands two qualities that are sadly lacking in all but the most mature and sophisticated audiences: patience and a willingness to ponder the meaning of what's transpiring on screen. 2001 is awe inspiring, but it is most definitely not a "thrill ride." It is art, it is a statement, and it is indisputably a cinematic classic.
Chicago Reader by Jonathan Rosenbaum
Its special effects are used so seamlessly as part of an overall artistic strategy that, as critic Annette Michelson has pointed out, they don't even register as such, and thus are almost impossible to trivialize, a feat unmatched in movies.
Austin Chronicle by Marjorie Baumgarten
This is the way this ground-breaking monument was meant to be seen: in mind-boggling 70mm.
Chicago Tribune by Michael Wilmington
A masterpiece that can still leave you dizzy with wonder. As much as any movie ever made, this visionary science-fiction tale of space travel and first contact with extraterrestrial life is a spellbinding experience.
Entertainment Weekly by Owen Gleiberman
Still the grandest of all science-fiction movies.
Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert
Only a few films are transcendent, and work upon our minds and imaginations like music or prayer or a vast belittling landscape...Alone among science-fiction movies, 2001 is not concerned with thrilling us, but with inspiring our awe.
Probably my favorite Kubrick film. It's often hard to believe how well much of the effects and set pieces have aged since the 60's. Thematically, it's incredible how much scope Kubrick can cover, the film really does confront our place in the universe and it's so easy to fall into a sort of meditative state while watching this as the images and music wash over you.