Regarded as the most talented and versatile film-maker of all times, Stanley Kubrick indeed was responsible for evolving Cinema to new heights.
Inspiration to the likes of Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Woody Allen,The Coen brothers, Ridley Scott – in 2000, BAFTA renamed their lifetime achievement award in the name of Stanley Kubrick!
He never won an Oscar in the ‘best director’ category (the only time he won was in 1972 for his film 2001:A Space Odyssey in ‘best visual effects’ category) but all his films are immensely popular and groundbreaking in their own ways.
Introducing visual effects never seen before, using steady cams for the first time ever, shooting with lenses meant to be used by NASA and combining all that with brilliant selection of music – Stanley Kubrick is unique and awesome.
All of Stanley Kubrick’s films are favorites of mine and this list almost covers his entire life’s work.
Ok then, here we go.
10. Spartacus (1960)
A slave revolting against an empire – this film was the first of it’s kind.
Thanks to Kirk Douglas not only for his superb acting but primarily for looping in Kubrick as the replacement director for this film.
Won four Oscars Spartacus is one of the best historical film ever made.
Kubrick’s last Hollywood project.
9. The Killing (1956)
Kubrick’s first so-called professional film that has the touch of his genius.
Only in his twenties Kubrick managed to create a superb suspense thriller. One of the best in it’s genre till date.
Good performances and a gripping story line.
A classic heist story told in style – film noir at it’s very best.
8. Lolita (1962)
Kubrick was bold enough to adopt Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel and that too successfully.
A young girl ‘a nymphet’ and a middle-aged professor (her step dad) – a scandalous affair in the making.
In those days when censor boards were proudly rigid only Kubrick could have done justice to such a plot. And believe me he did.
7. Paths Of Glory (1957)
WWI was never been shown in such realistic and non-glamorous way before this film.
According to many this film is Kubrick’s first masterpiece. Shot beautifully, superb script and great acting by Kirk Douglas.
An anti-war film that stands the test of time, one of my personal favorite.
A must watch.
6. Barry Lyndon (1975)
An artistic, slow yet passionate film that got seven Oscar nominations and won four of them.
A simple story of an Irish man, his love and his passion shown in gorgeous details.
Kubrick’s craftsmanship as a director is simply extraordinary in this film; each frame looks like a painting.
5. Full metal jacket (1987)
This time Kubrick tags the audience with a soldier’s journey- through the training till the actual war in Vietnam where as the poster says ‘the wind doesn’t blow, it sucks’.
The first half connects us more strongly but the second half is equally important – the film is like an open-ended justification. (if that makes any sense at all).
The music is awesome – a special treat for war-film lovers.
4. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
A cup of fresh, dark, black comedy for you.
Only few filmmakers can take the most serious topic of the season and turn it into something hilarious. Kubrick yet again proves to be the master of it.
George C. Scott is too good in the film but Peter Sellers steals the show by playing three different characters in the film including Dr.Strangelove (as the title goes).
3. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
The last film of Kubrick – a film that denies to clarify realism from fantasy.
It talks about sexuality in a way completely different from any other so-called sexual films.
The suspense that a single note of piano can create, the exquisite acting capabilities displayed by Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman – Kubrick’s ultimate swan song.
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
According to many this film is Kubrick’s artistically most productive one.
A slow-paced film that tops the Sci-Fi genre (as most of Kubrick’s films tops their individual genre ratings).
Incredible advancements in visual effects (the film got an Oscar in this category), Kubrick not only makes a futuristic film but also enlightens the future of Cinema.
1. The Shining (1980)
It’s time to get scared as Kubrick contributes to the horror genre.
The film is interpreted in many different ways but still at the core it is a terrific horror thriller and probably Kubrick’s best creation ever.
Great performances by Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and the kid who knows how to shine – Danny Lloyd.
and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most crazy one. A must watch)
+1. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Extreme violence, painfully sexual, emotionally draining, often perverse and deeply wicked – according to me this is the ultimate film that Kubrick made in his lifetime.
A crazy film and hat’s off to Malcolm McDowell for such a performance.
Art of film making at it’s best, Kubrick’s disturbing yet entertaining satire will make you uncomfortably satisfied.
Famous quote by Stanley Kubrick.
“How could we possibly appreciate the Mona Lisa if Leonardo had written at the bottom of the canvas: ‘The lady is smiling because she is hiding a secret from her lover.’ This would shackle the viewer to reality, and I don’t want this to happen to 2001″