The Shining. Dr. Strangelove. 2001. These are my three favorite movies and I will never stop talking about them. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy every Stanley Kubrick movie, however. I am capable of going on at great length about any of them! In fact, instead of sorting them by conventional standards, I thought a fun exercise would be to rank the films of cinema’s greatest auteur by how bad you wish I would just shut up already when I talk about them!
#14. Paths of Glory (1957)
This story of a general refusing to lead his soldiers to certain death is still incredibly relevant today. This is just a straightforward, powerful film without too many elements to “geek out” over, so I guess I’ll just have to be annoying about how it should have won more awards or something.
#13. Lolita (1962)
I’m too scared to talk about this one for more than a minute. Please let’s just move on.
#12. Spartacus (1960)
This is a looong and old movie about a prince being sold into slavery and fighting to regain his freedom. This is the performance that would make Charlton Heston a legend. Wait. I am thinking of Ben-Hur. Which one is Spartacus? Ugh, that is so annoying. Whatever. Good cinematography and battles. You gotta see this one.
#11. Fear and Desire (1952)
Kubrick’s first film, and first of many anti-war movies he would make. I can be annoying about this one merely by bringing it up:
“This is like that scene in Fear and Desire. Oh, you don’t know Fear and Desire? It’s Kubrick’s first anti-war film, and for my money it’s as impressive a debut feature as you’ll find in the ‘50s.”
Pretty annoying for a movie I’ve never seen, huh?
#10. Killer’s Kiss (1955)
I don’t have a lot of ways to be annoying about this early noir from Kubrick that shows his potential, but is far from his best work. I just recite the Leonard Maltin intro I saw on Turner Classic Movies a few years ago whenever I’m talking to someone about Stanley Kubrick.
#9. The Killing (1956)
Did you know this gangster movie is 67 years old and just as good as anything Tarantino ever did? Oh, or that Nolan lifted the bank robber’s masks in The Dark Knight from the horse track robbery portrayed in the film? Or that I’ve told this to the last dozen people I’ve met on the bus and not a single person has thanked me for the insight? Some people are so annoying!
#8. Barry Lyndon (1975)
For a movie I’ve never seen, I can tell you so much about Barry Lyndon. Like for one, it’s highly underrated among the Kubrick oeuvre. With its gorgeous cinematography, engaging performances, and shocking attention to detail, it’s a real shame more people haven’t seen it!
Honorable Mention: A.I. (2001)
I know what you’re thinking. “Hey Mark, you absolute dipshit, A.I. was a Steven Spielberg movie that came out after Kubrick’s death!” You’re right, but did you know A.I. was a project Kubrick had wanted to make for years, which makes the project a unique merging of the two director’s sensibilities? That’s why the film is ultimately a cold, mechanical analyzation of a love between a boy and his mother. It’s like a Spielberg/Kubrick collab, a true once in a lifetime event. Also, maybe you’re the dipshit, dipshit.
#1. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Okay, there’s actually a six-way tie for first place here. It’s really just too close to call. Did you know that Stanley Kubrick made this movie about weird underground sex clubs because he caught wind of Jeffrey Epstein and all that sicko shit and that’s why he lived in London because America and its elite weirded him out, then he spoke on it with this movie and they killed him for it? I refuse to research this any further, but I am pretty sure that’s exactly what went down. Pretty messed up, right? Hey, where are you going?
#1. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Hey, would you like to hear all about how R. Lee Ermey was a real drill sergeant that nailed the audition and got the part? Or maybe how the jarring tonal differences between the film’s two segments were meant to highlight the journey of those that were drafted into the war, a disorienting but intentional statement on the chaos these young men were ordered to endure? Anyway, my dad was in Vietnam and he said this was the best Vietnam movie, so if you disagree with anything I say about how good this movie is I will be very annoying about this fact and try to make you feel like shit.
#1 Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Did you know this film was originally going to end in a pie fight? And that Lenny Bruce was offered a part? And that Peter Sellers originally was going to play every single role? I haven’t fact checked every last one of those, but they’re so fun to talk about I just keep telling anyone that will listen. And then even some other people that don’t want to listen.
#1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Influencing everything from Star Wars to Barbie, I like to pretend I’m the only one of my friends that knows about this one. No matter what movies people are talking about, I will interject to tell you that 2001 is better, and refuse to elaborate on the parts of the movie that nobody understands. You either get it or you don’t, dude. Also, just to be extra annoying, I call it ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ every single time I refer to it. Unreal, right?
#1. The Shining (1980)
As the documentary Room 237 proved, you can literally make up any scenario and project it onto this movie. Moon landings, the plight of the Native American, hell, one lady thinks it’s all about minotaurs? The Shining is just an incredibly versatile film to be annoying about. Depending on the day, I can speculate about how this movie predicted anything from Hurricane Katrina to the rise and fall of Quibi.
#1. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Oh my god, I don’t even know where to start on this one. Do you want to talk about the differences between the book and the movie? The soundtrack? You wanna just smoke a bowl and stare at my poster for a while? Before I get too excited about this opportunity and pass out, just remember that every element of this movie that doesn’t work was done that way on purpose to as to disorient the viewer, and any part that seems heavy handed or in poor taste is just you not getting some part of it. An absolute masterpiece (that it sounds like you might not be getting.)