Classic Movie Review: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Warning: film reviews may contain spoilers.

The classic 1968 movie by Stanley Kubrick, based on a book by the same name, follows how man has evolved into space and is now trying to find other sentient beings to guide them to the origins of life. They first have to overcome machines preventing their destiny, man has to continue their own evolution into higher beings.


The acting in this film isn’t extremely noteworthy due to the fact that the dialogue consists of less than 40 minutes of the movie’s run time of two hours and nineteen minutes. The most memorable thing about it in fact was the robot, HAL. The voice actor did an extremely great job by having a character who sounds soothing and terrifying at the same time. HAL laid open the question as if a robot could ever fully achieve free thinking. Other than that, HAL was probably the only outstanding thing about the acting not that the other actors did a bad job.

Image credit: Rotton Tomatoes


When it comes to directing, this movie is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. When watching the film, it’s hard to fathom it was made in 1968 because it’s aged well, even considering the standards of Sci-Fi filming in the modern day. The effects are extremely realistic and so immersive; the camera angles and the way they focused the camera were so advanced for a film from the 60s. It had low-angled shots, over-the-shoulder tracking shots, and so much more to enhance the cinematography. It is not to be understated that this film changed cinema– it was never looked at the same again.


This movie is a film you need to get in the right headspace for. For the average viewer, one could be easily confused and also bored. Critics of the movie call the movie boring for having too many drawn-out shots of empty space. My response to this argument is that it’s the entire purpose of the movie to add to the existential questions of where we come from and what are our origins in what appears to be an endless cycle of space and time. When watching this movie, you need to act as if you are analyzing a painting– be analytical and question what the artist is intending you to feel. The movie can feel like a slow burn at the beginning but it does pick up in the second half when tensions within the character start to raise. Other than that, I do recommend this movie, though most may not understand the immersive world that Kubrick is trying to portray and the philosophical questions he has presented.

disclaimer: You should always check movie rating guidelines to determine whether or not you would be comfortable watching it. The R-Hi does not endorse any film and watching is at the viewer’s discretion.

Featured Image credit: Alamy via BBC