JT Film Review

79 – 2001: A Space Odysey (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey REVIEW

5/5 stars

Director – Stanley Kubrick

Cast – Keir Dullea, Gary Rockwood, William Sylvester, Douglas Rain


– followed by 2010: The Year We Make Contact


2001: A Space Odyssey is often hailed as one of the best science fiction films ever made, and even one of the best films period. I can’t say I disagree. The themes of the film, the ground breaking special effects (which still hold up today), and the pure vision are all excellent reasons to consider this film as one of the Greats. The “antagonist” of the movie (if there is one) is the infamous HAL-9000 computer, who has become one of the most iconic film characters of all time, and the song The Blue Danube has become forever linked with graceful space travel.

In short, this movie has been lauded, praised, and generally worshipped so much that is pointless for me to continue too much. It is a masterpiece, and it is unique, but it is not perfect.


Heaven forbid that such a thing be said. However, it is important to always see a film in context, and with an unbiased eye; especially one as revered as this one.

The quibble I have (and rest assured it is only a quibble, and a comparatively minor one) is in the length of some shots. The film in and of itself is well-paced. It is deliberate, slow, and precise. But off and on there will be a sequence where the shot length is unjustified, in my opinion. The two main points where I noticed this were as follows: when Dr. Poole goes outside the spaceship to fix the infamous AE-35 unit, we are shown his spaceship move all the way around the ship to get tot he offending antennae. It is a very long scene, one that really has no purpose, and kills any tension already established. The second is the famous “Entry into Jupiter” scene. This is essentially one long sequence of dazzling pyrotechnic displays of light,and is absolutely psychedelic and mesmerizing. I don’t know why Kubrick decided to make it 10 minutes long. However, it is almost indefensible in my opinion.

This movie is, at heart, an art film, and Kubrick was definitely experimenting all throughout the film. Thus, that such little quibbles should be raised is inevitable. The power of the movie, the vision, the uniqueness of its storytelling methods, and yes, its “flaws”, all come together to create a truly unique experience, and one that is downright moving. It is rare that such a big budget is allowed for such a personal project, but it was, and because of that we have one of the best films of all time. if I may glow, it even transcends the time period that the film was made. There are very few clues as to when the film was made (except for a few of the actors; some are stereotypical Leave-it-to-Beaver types, all white, straight-laced “Mad Men“), and as I said earlier, the special effects are top-notch. Any film lover who has any resemblance of an open mind should watch this, and then watch it again.


2001: A Space Odyssey is a classic in all the good senses of the word. It is one of the most highly original movies I have seen, if not the most. It’s sense of awe, majesty, and power will leave you amazed. It is marvelous.



“2001: A Space Odyssey” on other websites:

IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia



April 1, 2010 - Posted by | 5 Stars, Film Review, Genre - Sci-fi, Year - 1960-1969 | , , , , , , , ,


  1. The hard sci-fi standard! Have you seen Moon? I was quite impressed….

    Comment by Joachim Boaz | August 20, 2010 | Reply

    • I haven’t seen Moon actually. I’d heard great things, but then someone whose opinion I would trust for the most part said he really didn’t like it. That has put a damper on my enthusiasm to see it, but I plan to see it someday.

      Comment by jamesturpin | August 20, 2010 | Reply

  2. Oh, I loved it! I’m so glad someone FINALLY returned to some sci-fi minimalism a la 2001: A Space Odyssey… It’s not nearly as good but very worth your time!

    Comment by Joachim Boaz | August 20, 2010 | Reply

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