Top 10 Stanley Kubrick Movies

Stanley Kubrick was undeniably one of the most talented and creative directors. A perfectionist, he always paid attention to the minutest of details, making his pictures a visual treat. He was not only a celebrated director, but he also raised the bar for other directors in the filmmaking industry. His significant work in the industry will be cherished for decades to come and this list of Top 10 Stanley Kubrick celebrates the talent and passion of a great director.


The making of this movie is still a mystery. Being a book adaptation, this movie smoothly overcame some of the major challenges of creating a film out of words printed on pages. Due to certain limitations, Kubrick used his expertise and cleverly changed the way the story spills through, avoiding provocative scenes and unwanted attention from the critics. In spite of the sexuality the movie weaves into the storyline, the depiction of it all remains artistic in several ways.


Kubrick created this epic historical film that was nominated for six Academy Awards, of which it proudly bagged four. This remarkable creation was a combined effort of Stanley Kubrick and Kirk Douglas, who was the producer and the lead actor of the movie. The action sequences in the movie revolving around the rebellious slave are truly worthy of praise as is the splendid cinematography. In its time, it was one of the grandest ventures in the movie industry.

Full Metal Jacket

With the never-ending war, Vietnam-based movies were on a constant production and release. Most Kubrick fans eagerly waited to see Kubrick’s creation on the subject. As always, Kubrick didn’t disappoint his fans. This 1987 war film is sprinkled with quirkiness and describes the mental volatility of soldiers. The film was not only directed by Kubrick, but he was also the producer and co-writer.


This 1964 ironic black comedy, by Stanley Kubrick, satirizes the nuclear fright. Based on a novel by Peter George, the film was produced, directed and co-written by Kubrick. The cast’s stellar performance was a result of Kubrick’s compulsion to be a perfectionist. He took numerous re-takes of a shot until he was sure it was perfect, finally bringing to the screen a work that is considered a fine example of moviemaking even today.

The Shining

Stanley Kubrick once again brought details from page to screen, with excellent poise, through his 1980 psychological horror film The Shining. The movie, which is an adaptation from a Stephen King novel, stars Jack Nicholson who contributes to the role impeccably. The story revolves around a writer, who’s suffering from writer’s block and turns homicidal as he slowly descends into insanity. Every scene is beautifully crafted and doesn’t fail to bring out the sinister motives of the psychological character played by Nicholson. Kubrick has his audience sitting at the edge of their seats with this one!

2001: A Space Odyssey

This 1968 science fiction movie was directed, produced and co-written by Stanley Kubrick. The movie is about a group of astronauts who are sent into space on an unknown mission. On their journey, they come across a myriad of strange behaviors displayed by their spaceship’s computer system, leading to a fight between man and machine. The movie at first, gained mixed reviews from its viewers and critics. However, later it went on to win an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Eyes Wide Shut

The movie Eyes Wide Shut has an oxymoron-ish undertone, not only in the name, but also in the hues the movie portrays. Kubrick called this movie “his greatest contribution to the art of cinema”. Eyes Wide Shut was Stanley Kubrick’s last movie before his death. As usual, Kubrick’s perfect sense of direction, using colors, visuals and props makes this movie a perfect sensual story about passion, sex and relationships. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman considered this movie an honor, considering that Kubrick was directing them. In spite of mixed critical reviews, the movie remains a work only Kubrick could have accomplished.

Clockwork Orange

Another classical hit by the auteur, Clockwork Orange, is a movie that was directed, produced and written by Stanley Kubrick. The movie touched upon delicate subjects like juvenile delinquency and gang violence. The protagonist of the movie is a youth whose interests are rather intriguing- Beethoven’s classical music, rape and ‘ultra-violence’.  Kubrick pays attention to specific details, taking numerous re-shots just to get the perfect visual, thus making the movie a treat for its viewers.

Barry Lyndon

This 1975 period drama film is about the achievements of an 18th century Irish adventurer. Kubrick’s keen sense of imagery is evident in some of the metaphoric scenes created in the movie using nothing but candle light. Kubrick’s unparalleled sense of direction has always made the best use of innovative ideas.

Paths of Glory

This 1957 anti-war movie, directed and co-written by Stanley Kubrick, is a story set during World War I. Starring Kirk Douglas, the movie is about a commanding officer who refuses a suicidal attack and is court-martialed and charged of cowardice. Kubrick plays with emotional sentiments and realistic images. Kubrick tends to draw out raw and rugged performances from his actors that are priceless!

These 10 Stanley Kubrick movies are a must-watch and a treat for movie buffs. His originality and eye for detail makes each of his direction no less than a masterpiece! One doesn’t need more reasons to place him on the same mantle as some of the most influential directors of all time.