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The Shining

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom, USA

1980

Rated R • 2h 24m

Director Stanley Kubrick

Starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Genre Horror, Thriller

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Jack Torrance accepts a caretaker job at the Overlook Hotel, where he, along with his wife Wendy and their son Danny, must live isolated from the rest of the world for the winter. But they aren't prepared for the madness that lurks within.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

40

Variety by

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.
70

Salon by Andrew O'Hehir

Stephen King reportedly loathed the liberties Kubrick and co-writer Diane Johnson took with his story, but King's ur-villain, the emasculated husband from hell, has never been more clearly presented on-screen.
40

Chicago Reader by Dave Kehr

Kubrick is after a cool, sunlit vision of hell, born in the bosom of the nuclear family, but his imagery--with its compulsive symmetry and brightness--is too banal to sustain interest, while the incredibly slack narrative line forestalls suspense.
80

The New York Times by Janet Maslin

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."
38

The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Jay Scott

Kubrick certainly doesn't fail small. One could fast forget The Shining as an overreaching, multi-levelled botch were it not for Jack Nicholson. Nicholson, one of the few actors capable of getting the audience to love him no matter what he does, is an ideal vehicle for Kubrick. [14 Jun 1980, p.E1]
50

Time by Richard Schickel

It is a daring thing the director has done, this bleaching out of all the cheap thrills, this dashing of all the hopes one brings to what is, after all, advertised as "a masterpiece of modern horror." Certainly he has asked much of Nicholson, who must sustain attention in a hugely unsympathetic role, and who responds with a brilliantly crazed performance.
100

Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

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.

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