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Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise ... see more see more... , Nicole Kidman , Alan Parker , Paul Mazursky , Sydney Pollack , Malcolm McDowell , Shelley Duvall , Matthew Modine , Peter Ustinov , Ken Adam , György Ligeti , Douglas Trumbull , James B. Harris , Tony Palmer , Alex Cox , John Calley , Steven Berkoff , Wendy Carlos , Arthur C. Clarke , Allen Daviau , Keir Dullea , Michael Herr , Richard Schickel , Chris Chase , Marie Windsor , Jan Harlan , Leon Vitali , Milena Canonero , Margaret Adams , Douglas Milsome , Steven Marcus , Brian Aldiss , Louis C. Blau , Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick was one of the most acclaimed and controversial filmmakers of his generation, but he was also an intensely private man who rarely gave interviews and produced most of his films under a... read more read more... shroud of secrecy, which tended to foster a great deal of rumor and speculation about his working methods. Jan Harlan, who worked as Kubrick's assistant and executive producer on several projects (and was also his brother-in-law), directed this documentary, which offers a rare in-depth look into Kubrick's career as a filmmaker, structured around interviews with a number of actors, writers, technicians, composers, friends, and family who speak on the record about his relentless perfectionism, his creative vision, his life both on and off the set, his relationships with actors, his unrealized projects, and his importance and influence as an artist. Among those who share their thoughts in Stanley Kubrick -- A Life In Pictures are actors Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Malcolm McDowell, Peter Ustinov, and Keir Dullea; writers Arthur C. Clarke and Michael Herr; special effects artist Douglas Trumbull; composers Wendy Carlos and Gyorgy Ligeti; filmmakers Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Paul Mazursky, and Sydney Pollack; and Kubrick's spouse Christiane Kubrick. Stanley Kubrick -- A Life In Pictures was originally produced as a television project, to be aired in three parts, though the project was shown in its entirety at the 2001 Berlin Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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89% liked it

7,800 ratings


85% liked it

13 critics

Unrated, 2 hr. 21 min.

Directed by: Jan Harlan

Release Date: January 1, 2001

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DVD Release Date: October 23, 2007

Stats: 353 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (353)

  • July 28, 2013
    A movie by Kubrick's devotees...for Kubrick's devotees.

    Full review coming to on August 21, 2013.
  • April 10, 2013
    Stanley Kubrick is one of cinema's greatest filmmakers and his impact on the medium is like no other filmmaker. This is a brilliant documentary that chronicles the life of Kubrick and it has some incredible interviews. This is a great documentary about a talented filmmaker and if... read more you love Kubrick's work, then you should definitely give this one a shot. Kubrick's contribution is one of the most important in the medium. With this film, various filmmakers discuss his unique approach in making pictures and how he crafted such unique movies that pushed the boundaries of what the medium could do. His influence is unmatched and his work has inspired countless directors. Kubrick was a wonderful filmmaker and he has made some of the most memorable films and some of the greatest as well. There never was a filmmaker quite like Stanley Kubrick. Fans of the director owe it to themselves to check this well crafted documentary and it is a complete work on the career of Kubrick. The film is narrated by Tom Cruise and has interviews from Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and other great filmmakers. As you watch the film, you come to truly understand the genius that was Stanley Kubrick. Life in Pictures is a wonderful film that is in depth and in many ways is a fine tribute to Kubrick's legacy. I really enjoyed the film, and it really gave me something truly interesting to watch. I love Kubrick's work, and this documentary definitely gives you a glimpse into a long and unique career of a director who brought film into an artful medium. Whether you enjoy his films or not, his impact is like no other filmmaker in history, and he redefined cinema as an art form.
  • March 24, 2012
    An outstanding and enlightening glimpse into the life of a notoriously reclusive legend.
  • November 8, 2011
    A fantastic documentary on the life and work of Stanley Kubrick. Although it's 2 1/2 hours long, I still feel like it could have been longer. I would like to have heard more about his personal life, his unused projects and some of the other things that the running time just doesn... read more't allow. It's great to hear from the illustrious Kubrick alumni; even those with big names who are merely fans are terrific to hear from.
  • December 3, 2009
    A great documentary and one of the most informational about Stanley Kubrick. It has a lot of great interviews from actors/crew he worked with in the past. It also has a lot of information about Kubrick's directing style and research techniques.
  • June 24, 2009
    stanley kubrick, cat lover :) altho it doesn't completely debunk his image as an odd recluse i did learn some interesting things from this, probably the best documentary so far on the publicity shy genius. featuring nice photos and home movies and i never knew about kubrick's ... read moreaborted projects, aryan papers and napoleon; script:
  • October 23, 2007
    A really great documentary that any fan of Kubrick's should see. A lot of home movie and behind the scenes footage with plenty of great interviews offer some great insight into the man and his work. My only gripes are that it was a little paint by numbers and that slack-jawed dou... read morechebag Alex Cox was interviewed. I'm more interested in what comes out of my own ass than what comes out of his mouth.
  • September 24, 2007
    Good documentary, nothing mind blowing but a well done look at the prolific director's life.
  • August 4, 2007
    A top-notch retrospective of Stanley Kubrick films. Narrated by Mr. Tom Cruise himself. Lots of great clips and interviews are included. Quite fascinating and well-made!
  • July 13, 2008
    [font=Century Gothic]After Stanley Kubrick died in 1999, I remember a woman talking about how after seeing "2001: A Space Odyssey," her and her boyrfiend instead of making out like normal teenagers, discussed the film. Can you think of a higher compliment than that?[/font]
    [fon... read moret=Century Gothic][/font]
    [font=Century Gothic]"The looks of befuddlement on your faces speak volumes." - usher at the Screening Room, New York City, following a showing of "Eyes Wide Shut" in October, 1999.[/font]
    [font=Century Gothic][/font]
    [font=Century Gothic]"Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures" is a captivating and insightful documentary that fully humanizes the late, great Stanley Kubrick(1928-1999), filmmaker extraordinaire, whose life is told through never before seen photos and films starting with his early life in the Bronx. Also included are interviews with collaborators(most notably Ken Adam), fellow filmmakers(Sydney Pollack, Woody Allen, Alex Cox, Paul Mazursky and Steven Spielberg all worhsip at this particular altar), actors(especially Malcolm McDowell and Jack Nicholson) and family members who attest to a rich family life that was never far from where he worked.(The press had long established Kubrick as an eccentric recluse, instead of the detailed and passionate filmmaker he really was. He just never gave that many interviews which tends to antagonize the media, especially the sports division.) [/font]
    [font=Century Gothic][/font]
    [font=Century Gothic]If I have a bone to pick with this very fine documentary, it is with the chronology of events in the early 60's. "Spartacus" is an excellent film but it is decidedly schizophrenic in telling both personal and political stories. It is also debatable whether it should be fully considered one of Kubrick's films.(One book on his films gives the movie all of two lines.) In his autobiography, "The Ragman's Son," Kirk Douglas so disliked Kubrick, that not only did he include his personal attacks, but also what Malcolm McDowell said which he has since recanted to a degree. The documentary fails to mention that Kubrick got fired from "One-Eyed Jacks" after Spartacus which was probably the best thing that ever happened to him. Even with "Lolita," he is still learning the ropes. It feels like it is made by somebody who is tap dancing through a minefield blindfolded.(For that reason, I prefer Adrian Lyne's remake. Mind the blasphemy.) Once it was decided to do "Dr. Strangelove" as a comedy(but I still very much like both "Fail Safe" and "Seven Days in May"), then there was no looking back and a string of memorable movies begins which is ended by "Eyes Wide Shut."(I had an epiphany while watching "Unconscious" last year that it was a mistake for Kubrick to set this movie in the present day.) [/font]

Critic Reviews

David Hunter
October 2, 2007
David Hunter, Hollywood Reporter

Engaging but decidedly less than earth-shattering.

Geoff Andrew
February 9, 2006
Geoff Andrew, Time Out

The film pays no more than lip service to properly objective criticism. Full Review

Dennis Schwartz
June 30, 2009
Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews

An uncritical and sanitary study on the legendary director. Full Review

Cole Smithey
January 21, 2008
Cole Smithey,


Jeffrey M. Anderson
October 16, 2006
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid

A most welcome documentary. Full Review

Christopher Varney
December 6, 2005
Christopher Varney, Film Threat

Like the man himself, the fascination with Stanley Kubrick: A Life In Pictures lies in the details. Full Review

Marjorie Baumgarten
March 10, 2003
Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle

Kubrick's brother-in-law and longtime collaborator is in a fine position to have the inside skinnny on the enigmatic director. Full Review

Jeremy Heilman
April 16, 2002
Jeremy Heilman,

Gives the impression at times that filmic history is being rewritten before our eyes. Full Review

Michael W. Phillips, Jr.
February 28, 2002
Michael W. Phillips, Jr., Goatdog's Movies

Informative, entertaining, and somewhat maddening. Full Review

Shane Burridge
July 19, 2001
Shane Burridge,

It adds up to a great homage

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