The Best Films By Stanley Kubrick

Matthew Clark

Stanley Kubrick is an American filmmaker and cinematographer, who produced most of his work in the UK. Kubrick’s films are known for their unique cinematography and use of music to invoke a dazzling sense of realism. Many of his films are adaptations from literature, and include a range of different genres including war, horror, crime and science fiction. We discover the best movies by this director of cult-classics.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Among the most important science fiction writers during 20th century was Arthur C. Clarke, the writer of the screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey, as well as the book of the same name that was written simultaneously. The work between Kubrick and Clarke on this science fiction epic is noted for being one of the first accurate portrayals of space flight in cinema. This film depicts a future in which interplanetary travel is a reality, and follows a voyage to Jupiter controlled by a sentient computer called Hal 9000, who carries a group of scientists on a critical mission that will potentially affect future human evolution. 2001: A Space Odyssey leaves a lot to be explained and understood, and was described by Kubrick as “basically a visual, non-verbal experience”, but it nonetheless remains one of the most important films of the science-fiction, or indeed any, genre.

2001: A Space Odyssey

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

A Clockwork Orange

The Shining (1980)

One of the most chilling roles of Jack Nicholson’s career was in Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining, written by supernatural fiction and horror writer Stephen King. Nicholson plays writer and recovering alcoholic, Jack Torrance, who moves with his wife Wendy and son Danny to a hotel in Colorado to become the winter caretaker and have the opportunity to write in solitude while the hotel is snowed-in. Danny is revealed to have developed a supernatural telepathic ability, and has horrifying premonitions about the hotel. After being trapped in the hotel due to the weather, Jack’s mental health starts to deteriorate, leaving him and his family in danger. The Shining has been established as a classic of cinema, and the themes and symbolism within the film has been deeply analysed, making it another of Kubrick’s cult-classics.

The Shining

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

The penultimate film of Kubrick’s career was released in 1987, 12 years before his death. It follows the story of a platoon of the US Marines in Vietnam in 1967, a year that saw a huge escalation in the fighting. Full Metal Jacket is an adaptation from a chilling semi-autobiographical novel written by U.S. Marine Corps veteran Gustav Hasford, which gives an insight into the real experiences faced by soldiers during this brutal conflict. This film gained critical acclaim for being a superbly made piece that vividly describes the more subtle and personal challenges faced by soldiers during each stage of their involvement in the war, from training to the actual fighting.

Full Metal Jacket

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

The last film of Kubrick’s career starred the then married couple Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in an erotic thriller loosely based on Traumnovelle, a novella by Austrian writer Arthur Schnitzler. This dark and unsettling film chronicles the strange experiences of Dr. Bill Harford, which go against his own sense of morals as he finds himself in dream-like scenarios wherein he is accidentally involved in abnormal sexual rituals. Eyes Wide Shut was recognised by the Guinness World Records for having the longest constant movie shoot, lasting 15 months, something that can be attributed to Kubrick’s intense attention to detail and perfectionism.

Eyes Wide Shut
landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article