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2001: A Space Odyssey

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United Kingdom, United States · 1968
Rated G · 2h 29m
Director Stanley Kubrick
Starring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Douglas Rain
Genre Adventure, Mystery, Science Fiction

Humanity finds a mysterious monolith buried beneath the lunar surface and sets off to find its origins with the help of HAL 9000, the world's most advanced supercomputer. But, when HAL begins to display increasingly strange behavior, the team is forced into a tense showdown between man and machine.

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What are people saying?

Ricardo Rico Profile picture for Ricardo Rico

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.

Summer Goldstein Profile picture for Summer Goldstein

The ultimate trip, indeed! 2001 is an overwhelming feat of visual storytelling – learning more about how the film's various sequences were composed using different image-making techniques only makes me further appreciate its craft and its epic quality.

What are critics saying?


The New York Times by

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.


Empire by Angie Errigo

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.


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.


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.

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