Ranking Stanley Kubrick's films

by dirty_dutchman | created - 06 Mar 2011 | updated - 06 Mar 2011 | Public
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1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
86 Metascore

Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Daniel Richter

Votes: 485,758 | Gross: $56.95M

Amazing, mesmerizing, powerful, atmospheric, unique, brilliant...I could go on, but I lost my thesaurus. Not only is it Kubrick's best film, it is one of the best films of all time.

2. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

PG | 95 min | Comedy, War

8.5
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96 Metascore

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn

Votes: 381,571 | Gross: $0.28M

Between Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden and Slim Pickens, this is the best executed satire in the history of film. Period.

3. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

R | 116 min | Drama, War

8.3
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76 Metascore

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio, Adam Baldwin

Votes: 550,321 | Gross: $46.36M

The first half of the film is brilliant. The second half is brilliantly dark.

4. Paths of Glory (1957)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, War

8.4
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After refusing to attack an enemy position, a general accuses the soldiers of cowardice and their commanding officer must defend them.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou, George Macready

Votes: 137,975

Arguably one of the best and poignant anti-war films of all time. The ending is particularly striking.

5. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

8.3
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78 Metascore

In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke

Votes: 628,268

Malcolm McDowell is perfect as Alex in this ridiculously twisted story. It is not for the weak willed.

6. The Killing (1956)

Not Rated | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

8.0
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Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, Jay C. Flippen

Votes: 68,140

Kubrick hit his stride right out of the gate with this meticulous and smart heist caper.

7. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

R | 159 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

7.4
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68 Metascore

A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Todd Field, Sydney Pollack

Votes: 251,333 | Gross: $55.69M

The amount of patience Kubrick demonstrates with this film is far more than it takes to watch it. It is SLOW, but utterly captivating.

8. Barry Lyndon (1975)

PG | 185 min | Adventure, Drama, History

8.1
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An Irish rogue wins the heart of a rich widow and assumes her dead husband's aristocratic position in 18th-century England.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Hardy Krüger

Votes: 115,682

If anyone ever questions Kubrick's determination as a director, look no further than Barry Lyndon.

9. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

8.4
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63 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 697,620 | Gross: $44.02M

This movie wins points for irking Stephen King, not to mention giving us Jack Nicholson unleashed.

10. Lolita (1962)

Not Rated | 153 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

7.6
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A middle-aged college professor becomes infatuated with a fourteen-year-old nymphet.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon, Gary Cockrell

Votes: 75,834 | Gross: $9.25M

James Mason does a decent job carrying this story, which becomes somewhat drawn out at about the halfway mark.

11. Spartacus (1960)

PG-13 | 197 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

7.9
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87 Metascore

The slave Spartacus leads a violent revolt against the decadent Roman Republic.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton

Votes: 106,360 | Gross: $30.00M

As an epic, it's fine. But as a Kubrick movie, it's the worst. Unlike every other movie he directed, he had no control over this one. He was brought in after the fact because of Kirk Douglas' temper tantrum. This movie is more a favor to Dalton Trumbo than anything else. Kubrick's brilliance is nowhere to be found in this Ben-Hur wannabe.