Mankind finds a mysterious, obviously artificial, artifact buried on the moon and, with the intelligent computer HAL, sets off on a quest.
Release Year: 1968
Rating: 8.4/10 (205,462 voted)
Critic's Score: 86/100
Stars: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester
Storyline "2001" is a story of evolution. Sometime in the distant past, someone or something nudged evolution by placing a monolith on Earth (presumably elsewhere throughout the universe as well). Evolution then enabled humankind to reach the moon's surface, where yet another monolith is found, one that signals the monolith placers that humankind has evolved that far. Now a race begins between computers (HAL) and human (Bowman) to reach the monolith placers. The winner will achieve the next step in evolution, whatever that may be.
Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke
Cast: Keir Dullea
Dr. Dave Bowman
Dr. Frank Poole
Dr. Heywood R. Floyd
Dr. Andrei Smyslov
Dr. Ralph Halvorsen
Dr. Bill Michaels
Aries-1B Lunar Shuttle Captain
(as Edward Bishop)
Man's colony on the Moon... a whole new generation has been born and is living there... a quarter-million miles from Earth.
Release Date: 6 April 1968
Filming Locations: Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Surrey, England, UK
Box Office Details
(31 December 1984)
Did You Know?
Evidence of Stanley Kubrick's attention to detail: there are visible replacement instructions for the explosive bolts in the ejection apparatus of the pods.
The pacing of the interview on "The World Tonight" is evidently that of an ordinary conversation, not one with 7 minute delays edited out.
Here you are, sir, main level please.
Sometimes reading the user comments on IMDB fills me with despair for the
species. For anybody to dismiss 2001: A Space Odyssey as "boring" they must
have no interest in science, technology, philosophy, history or the art of
film-making. Finally I understand why most Hollywood productions are so
shallow and vacuous - they understand their audience.
Thankfully, those that cannot appreciate Kubrick's accomplishment are still
a minority. Most viewers are able to see the intelligence and sheer
virtuosity that went into the making of this epic. This is the film that
put the science in "science fiction", and its depiction of space travel and
mankind's future remains unsurpassed to this day. It was so far ahead of
its time that humanity still hasn't caught up.
2001 is primarily a technical film. The reason it is slow, and filled with
minutae is because the aim was to realistically envision the future of
technology (and the past, in the awe inspiring opening scenes). The film's
greatest strength is in the details. Remember that when this film was made,
man still hadn't made it out to the moon... but there it is in 2001, and
that's just the start of the journey. To create such an incredibly detailed
vision of the future that 35 years later it is still the best we have is
beyond belief - I still can't work out how some of the shots were done. The
film's only notable mistake was the optimism with which it predicted
mankind's technological (and social) development. It is our shame that the
year 2001 did not look like the film 2001, not Kubrick's.
Besides the incredible special effects, camera work and set design, Kubrick
also presents the viewer with a lot of food for thought about what it means
to be human, and where the human race is going. Yes, the ending is weird
and hard to comprehend - but that's the nature of the future. Kubrick and
Clarke have started the task of envisioning it, now it's up to the audience
to continue. There's no neat resolution, no definitive full stop, because
then the audience could stop thinking after the final reel. I know that's
what most audiences seem to want these days, but Kubrick isn't going to let
us off so lightly.
I'm glad to see that this film is in the IMDB top 100 films, and only wish
that it were even higher. Stanley Kubrick is one of the very finest
film-makers the world has known, and 2001 his finest accomplishment.