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Top 10 Stanley Kubrick Movies

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stanley kubrick

If we make a list of one of the most influential directors of all time, Stanley Kubrick would certainly be on that list. One can expect bravura use of music, innovative set pieces, intensive character study, distinctive cinematography, dark humour, and shocking psychological elements from Kubrick’s projects. He never liked the Hollywood film industry. His goal to achieve perfectionism in the scenes often got him in verbal spats with several of his performers. His complete artistic control over his projects allowed them to be unique and extraordinary. That’s the kind of man Stanley Kubrick was!

Here are the top 10 Stanley Kubrick movies! Enjoy!

The Shining

the shining

The Shining (1980)

More than 40 years have passed since The Shining was dispatched in the theatres, but it is still impossible to watch this movie with a cool and calm mind. The author, Stephen King, has his fair share of issues with this one. However, the audience loved it. Nowadays, many people believe that it played an important role in laying the foundation of pop culture. Jack Nicholson delivered one of his most fierce and frightening performances ever. The modern critical reception has been more positive towards Kubrick’s vision of this story. He pushed the leads, especially Shelley Duvall, to the limit. She even started suffering from Alopecia during the filming.

Clockwork Orange

clockwork orange

Clockwork Orange (1971)

Ultra-violence and Beethoven!

This movie is probably one of the most controversial projects in the entire filmography of Stanley Kubrick. We can definitely admit that not everyone possesses the heart to watch it. Some find it very disturbing. On the other hand, the remaining ones call it an artistic piece of work. Like most of Kubrick’s projects, this one has also gained more positive reception from the moviegoers in recent times. One cannot ignore its effective use of musical score, inventive dystopian set designs and a bone-chilling performance from Malcolm McDowell.

Barry Lyndon

barry lyndon

Barry Lyndon (1975)

Barry Lyndon might not have turned out a commercial success for Warner Bros, but it certainly earned the reputation of a cult film. Despite having a slow pace and a runtime of over three hours, it gives a detailed character study of the titular character. It was immensely praised for its outstanding use of natural light in the scenes. The cinematography here is remarkable. Ryan O’Neal excelled at giving a top-notch performance.



Lolita (1962)

It seems like Stanley Kubrick frequently liked to drown in the sea of controversies during his time in Hollywood. Lolita was placed among the contentious films of the 1960s. A middle-aged man who becomes sexually infatuated with a teenage girl… it is enough to fill the audience with rage. The novel itself received a lot of criticism on its launch. But Kubrick decided to give it a bit of a comedic touch. He deftly balanced the sensitive tone of the movie with several humorous elements. Nowadays, it is considered one of his greatest movies ever.

Full Metal Jacket

full metal jacket

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

You are looking at a movie that showcased the darkest portrayal of the infamous American-Vietnamese conflict. A young, big-sized, and feeble-minded newly recruit joins the army training process only to be pushed to the limit by his drill instructor. His batchmates beat him for facing the punishment of his mistakes during the training. In the end, he loses sanity and ends up taking the life of his instructor. Boom! Is it chilling enough to shake your bones? The more you watch this movie, the more you will witness the harsh reality of war. Kubrick was commended for dispatching a gripping storyline blended with darkly comic elements.

The Killing

the killing

The Killing (1956)

Low budget and failure at the box office did not stop this movie from becoming one of the greatest cult movies of all time. Its promotion process sucked. Additionally, its filming was not easy at all. The crew faced a lot of technical and budget issues. But it overcame every obstacle with exhilarating performances and a knockout plot. The vintage cast of Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards, and others gave their 100% in this project. It was praised especially for its unique camera angles and amazing shots.



Spartacus (1960)

There came a time when this iconic masterpiece was on the verge of becoming a complete disaster. But thanks to Kubrick’s direction, staggering performances, impressive battle sequences, and a top-notch screenplay for saving the day for Spartacus. It seemed like controversies always followed the director wherever he used to go. This project also got surrounded by several prominent disputes. First, there were tensions between the director and the star, Kirk Douglas, for its overall direction. Furthermore, screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was also blacklisted in Hollywood for his rumoured association with the Communist Party. Despite all the dilemma, it turned out to be a blockbuster.

Paths of Glory

paths of glory

Paths of Glory (1957)

Paths of Glory marked the first-ever collaboration between Kirk Douglas and Stanley Kubrick. It is focused on the events of the first World War. Douglas plays the role of a French commander who neglects his command as he believes that it would be a complete suicidal attack. As a result, he finds himself surrounded by the clouds of court-martial. It cemented Kubrick as a top filmmaker in Hollywood. The realistic portrayal of war, amazing action scenes, and a fantastic ending made this film one of his best projects ever.

Dr. Strangelove

dr strangelove

Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Stanley Kubrick was one of the few filmmakers who never hesitated while tackling sensitive topics. The Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union was also among them. But it was only Kubrick who managed to bestow an ideal satire on the overall war and its consequences with the help of this elegant creation. All the crucial political elements of America and the Soviet Union got artistically ridiculed in this film. It is largely considered the greatest political comedy ever made.

2001: A Space Odyssey

2001 a space odyssey

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Can you imagine a flawless concoction of intelligence and imagination? Well, you are looking at it! Largely misunderstood upon its release but received a large commendation in modern times, this Kubrick project was nothing but a cinematic magnum opus. It gained rave reviews for the accurate portrayal of artificial intelligence and space scenes. It proves that sometimes it is better to stay away from the traditional ways of filmmaking and trust your vision. And that’s exactly what Kubrick did! The unique narrative structure blended with the perfect musical score in this film can be enjoyed countless times.

Hollywood geek, foodie, poet, and a part-time content writer. I love rock songs and voice acting.


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