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Overall Rating
4.56

Awesome78.19%
Worth A Look: 11.11%
Average: 2.47%
Pretty Bad: 4.94%
Total Crap: 3.29%

7 reviews, 201 user ratings


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Shining, The (1980)
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by Scott Weinberg

"An epic and involving horror movie. It creeps up on you."
5 stars

From the deep creepy opening music, you can feel a sense of dread beginning to form. The payoffs in this movie take their time coming, but that's why it works. It's a portrait of a man's slow descent into insanity. Well, maybe not THAT slow. We are talking about Jack Nicholson here, after all.

Stepehen King wrote the original novel, so of course he deserves all the credit for a creepy "haunted-hotel" story. But Stanley Kubrick is the star in this one. His stylistic camerawork and smooth motions make The Shining into a bona-fide movie experience. From the opening helicopter shots that show Jack's long drive up a mountain to the way the camera flows through the deserted hallways of a cursed hotel, Kubrick easily displays his skill.

To the 3 people unfamiliar with the plot, here it is: Jack brings his skinny wife (Shelly Duvall) and creepy son (complete with talking finger) to the Overlook hotel to act as caretaker. This requires this weird family to spend 5 months completely alone and secluded for five months. (I'd kill my whole family if it were one month, so I can relate to this movie.) Unfortunately, the hotel seems to come complete with all sorts of evil vibes and terrible legacies. After about 90 minutes, the kids finger starts turning out to be right and all hell breaks loose.

It's a pretty basic story, actually. The reason The Shining remains a favorite among horror fans is how Stanley Kubrick shows us this particular story. It is slow, but never boring. We slowly learn the past about the hotel and also some unpleasant things about Jack as well. While his impending madness seems evident to the audience, his annoying wife realizes too late that Jack is a few quarts low.

The look of the movie is truly beautiful. The hotel itself is pretty wild, and watching young Danny ride his Big Wheel through the empty hallways is cool as hell. When the horror stuff kicks in, Kubrick's eye for detail is just as powerful. Quiet jolts are as prevalent here as loud bangs. (I especially hate those two little girls. I first saw this when I was about 12, and I've always been terrified of them.)

The glue between the visual thrills is Jack Nicholson. Some have said that his transition from sane to loony is unconvincing, as he seems pretty creepy in his first scene! I choose to see Jack as a character that was pretty close to losing it anyway, and this trip to a deserted and haunted hotel probably didn't help matters much. Anyway, Jack gives an unforgettable performance. Whether that's because he's a genius or a ham doesn't really matter. You remember the job he does in The Shining. It will probably stand as one of his most memorable ever, and that's saying a lot. When he kicks the dementia into high gear, it's just a joy to behold.

No, not an all-time classic, but it's a big scary dog of a movie and you need to see it if you wanna beat it. Lights out. Alone. Do it. Then do it with The Exorcist. If you need a good therapist after all that, call me.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1383&reviewer=128
originally posted: 12/16/99 17:14:22
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User Comments

10/29/16 morris campbell no its not faithfull 2 the book but its still great 5 stars
3/31/15 stanley welles a spellbinding horror epic 5 stars
12/11/12 Jilly Wildly overrated. Nothing happens, just camera operators walking around. 1 stars
6/06/11 the truth kubrick does horror. a hallmark of the genre 5 stars
2/20/11 Ark Saw it at age 19 and scary as hell! 5 stars
11/17/10 ant and rich (In film studies) Classic film! Not quite what Stephen King envisioned, But a masterpiece never the less! 5 stars
11/15/10 Chad Dillon Cooper Great film from a great film maker 5 stars
11/10/10 Steve Benkin i have never understood the high acclaim this gets. Left me cold. 2 stars
1/13/10 Jeff Wilder Ridiculous and changes A LOT from the book. But still good. 4 stars
1/08/10 BOB THE BEST! 5 stars
10/03/09 art OVERRATED!,NICHOLSON IS SO HAMMY! 1 stars
10/01/09 brian The perfect horror film. Bone-chilling. 5 stars
9/21/09 Aaron Direction and acting are great, but pacing and script are uneven. 3 stars
7/29/09 Knightfox21 CLASSIC!!!! A true representation of what a horror film should be! 5 stars
7/23/09 Steven M The best horror ever made! good eerie creepy music!! jack nicholson at his best!! great! 5 stars
7/14/09 faiche13 Creepy kids, axe wielding psycho, anorexic Shelley Duvall - what more could you ask for? 5 stars
7/14/09 FrankNFurter A clausterphobic, pervasively creepy masterpiece.Goosebumps galore! 5 stars
7/09/09 art A SICKO MOVIE! 1 stars
2/26/09 PAUL SHORTT GRANDIOSE GHOST STORY, BRILLIANTLY MADE 4 stars
9/22/08 don Great 5 stars
5/14/08 John Jack Nicholson is the shit and this movie is the balls 5 stars
11/03/07 jake My favorite horror movie, one of the scarriest films ever made, great cinematography 5 stars
6/13/07 al smith very scary nicholson gives the greatest performance ever 5 stars
5/19/07 fools♫gold Thegreatesthorrorflick, indeed (that'snottosay manydon't matchuptoit). Bttr thn the "Dr." 5 stars
4/14/07 zenshark It's horror for the brain... and it works. 5 stars
4/04/07 LoveShining Absolutely the best horror ever made. Goes directly to your psyhce and not to your stomach. 5 stars
2/24/07 George Enjoyed the sense something was going to go awfully wrong and the build up towards it. 5 stars
2/06/07 David Pollastrini brilliant, frightening 5 stars
12/22/06 Quigley didn't scare me, but it was pretty creepy. music ruined it sometimes. Nicholson was amazing 4 stars
11/20/06 chris. duvall SUCKS. lloyd is okay (his only movie, he's just a kid). nicholson is phenomenal. 5 stars
11/11/06 Bill Hi all 2 stars
10/30/06 Homer J. Fong about as scary as a fluffy orange kitten 2 stars
8/18/06 Nix the music makes the movie scary as hell 5 stars
7/14/06 David Cohen Actually improved on the book in my opinion 5 stars
6/25/06 George Scared the hell out of me 5 stars
6/22/06 TB Nicholson was the best 4 stars
6/19/06 marysue great!!!!! 5 stars
6/16/06 Josh Racine The best horror movie ever! 5 stars
6/11/06 Billy So good it scares the hell out of me 5 stars
4/30/06 John So scary I shit my self.......LITERALLY!!!!! 5 stars
4/29/06 TERRY AWESOME AND SCARY 5 stars
4/22/06 Jack This is an Awesome horror film 5 stars
3/13/06 Joshua W. Great thriller, a classic 5 stars
12/22/05 MrsVoorheesBabyBoy Still one of the Greatest horror movies ever 5 stars
12/22/05 Ethan M. "Here's Jonny!" A classical horro film. 4 stars
12/21/05 Carolyn Rathburn Classic Nicholson, eerie, good movie 5 stars
12/11/05 chris brilliant movie nicholson actually made me beleive he was mad thats how good he played it!! 5 stars
11/20/05 John Dog "Here's Johnny!!!" 5 stars
11/11/05 zeitgeist Kubrick owns King 5 stars
11/06/05 Ben Best horror movie ever! 5 stars
11/05/05 farnqwo aler 5 stars
11/04/05 Meryl read the book... it's much scarier. Even the remake is much scarier. 1 stars
10/16/05 Moctezuma A true horror classic 5 stars
9/29/05 Ape It is a masterpiece, this movie is a must see if you haven't already, 5 stars
9/26/05 The Overlooker Scary as hell! 5 stars
9/13/05 Total Crap Oh My GOD. The Little Girls, the Crazy Lady in Room 217, Scary Shit. Nightmarish! 5 stars
9/02/05 Tom Burns Very creepy, and very good. 5 stars
8/26/05 Michael no no no 1 stars
8/23/05 Isaac Baranoff Of course, it's not faithful to the book, but it's a great Stanley Kubrick film! 5 stars
8/23/05 Martin a true masterpiece of eeire, inexplicable terror! brilliant! 5 stars
8/20/05 ES The saving grace of this movie is jack's dementia, his ghostly conversations are hilarious 4 stars
8/06/05 Pierre Masterpiece! 5 stars
6/22/05 rachel schauer its totaly creepy 5 stars
6/12/05 Manu Ginobli woot 5 stars
6/11/05 Anthony G Masterpiece, its jack nicholson for fucks sake! 5 stars
5/26/05 Jake A Horror movie masterpiece 5 stars
2/23/05 robin de loxley great film 4 stars
2/16/05 Wilt Chamberlin Heeeeeeere's Stephen King! 5 stars
12/15/04 kelly! adair! wohoooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams Jack fucking Nicholson 5 stars
10/30/04 HL So Bizarre and Nicholsen Too. Not for Everyone. 4 stars
10/26/04 some guy My favorite horror movie, just the atmosphere makes you want to crap your pants 5 stars
10/24/04 UMER jack is at his sinister best and the movie really SCARES 5 stars
9/05/04 henro wonderful 5 stars
9/03/04 T.B. This Movie make me laugh 4 stars
7/03/04 nortika great horror flik. 5 stars
6/28/04 john bale Manic Jack with unnerving soundtrack and disturbing visuals. One of few great Horror movies 5 stars
6/27/04 FIN A Classic. Good Horror, Brilliant Screenplay, Jack Nicholson's performance is amazing! 5 stars
6/19/04 J HERES JOHNNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
6/13/04 Monster W. Kung Unbeatable for atmosphere, good not great as a story. Way better than King's crapola, tho. 4 stars
4/27/04 Ryan The best horror flick ever made 5 stars
4/11/04 valerie hart fantastic film one of the best and creepiest fils ever made!!!! 5 stars
4/07/04 Sig "Here's Johnny!" - Jack Nicholson, 1980 "The Shining" 5 stars
4/02/04 re a great film 5 stars
3/31/04 American Slasher Goddess Excellent horror classic. 5 stars
3/24/04 Lord Haw Haw Brilliant psychological horror. Excellent all around. 5 stars
3/23/04 Trannon Goble One of My Favorite 10 Films 5 stars
3/21/04 movieguy a great film 5 stars
2/24/04 Dr.Lecter So chilling it's nearly hypothermic 4 stars
1/31/04 gretchen gamey Have watched it many times,Really creepy 5 stars
1/28/04 Helios Those morons who love "The Ring" so much need to stop by and feel the true power. 5 stars
1/26/04 Eric Olive oil almost ruined this movie.I would have rather seen Pam Grier.Thank God For Jack. 4 stars
12/03/03 ROY L. CAIN,JR. Jack Nicholson at his best. Makes you wanna bash the f*** in somebodys head! 5 stars
12/02/03 Pin Steadycam + The Arbus Twins 5 stars
11/27/03 John a bit long winded perhaps but the good parts are some of the best you'll ever see 5 stars
11/07/03 Samuel One of the greatest films of all time... 5 stars
11/06/03 American Slasher Goddess One scary rollercoaster ride. 5 stars
10/20/03 Josh Standlee When you are in the mood for a good horror fest, look no further, my friend. 5 stars
9/22/03 Darryl Best adaption of a King story. A classic. 5 stars
8/25/03 Allison H. This is an awesome movie, SCARY!! 5 stars
7/12/03 Indrid Cold I love Stan the Man, but it's thoroughly unscary. (He's IN THE PICTURE, gasp!) 3 stars
7/04/03 Dave Hopman Good movie, although Stephen King's mini-series (1997) was far superior! 4 stars
6/19/03 Francisco Lombo much more than a horror movie, a master piece on the problem of evil, thoroughly excellent 5 stars
6/14/03 Alice One of the greatest 5 stars
4/20/03 defranco71 Not only one of the best horror movies, but one of the best movies ever. 5 stars
4/19/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" Lyrik Here's Johnny! 5 stars
4/18/03 Andrew Carden Nicholson Is Over-The-Top, The Film Is Overlong...but Still Pretty Scary. Duvall Is Good. 3 stars
4/05/03 Zach Jack Sommersby: You're an idiot. 5 stars
2/15/03 Hi there Here's Johnny!!! 5 stars
2/05/03 TheChronic fucking fantastic 5 stars
1/24/03 Almira Gandhi Really good. Jack Nicholson adds a lot of comic relief. 5 stars
12/31/02 Jack Sommersby Never boring, but nonsensical and clunky as hell. Nicholson is a disgrace. 2 stars
12/15/02 R.W. Welch One of the few really spooky movies out there. Top drawer direction. 4 stars
12/14/02 the Grinch Overrated, but still a great watch. Not Kubrick's best, though... 4 stars
12/04/02 Aaron I love the freezer scene. Nicholson is nuts!!! 5 stars
11/24/02 Kyle Nicholson rules! Seriously, this is one of the best horror films ever! 5 stars
11/11/02 ricky charlesworth an excellent film 5 stars
11/09/02 Michael Bolton Nicholson kicks ass. 5 stars
11/04/02 Del Why does the bitchslap have so many fucking pop-ups. Now that sucks all ass. 5 stars
11/02/02 T Boring 2 stars
11/01/02 H.A.G I did not write that previous comment. It was just one of my "friends" being an asshole. 5 stars
9/19/02 Joe Angelucci What the fuck is in room 237??? 4 stars
7/11/02 .Choadushouse. One of the true classic horror films. And an example of a GOOD horror film, unlike Scream. 5 stars
7/10/02 Henry Ginsberg HAG I get boners from watching this film. OH YEAH. HARDER PLEASE. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO 5 stars
6/06/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.... 4 stars
5/19/02 john waite check out the close up on jacks face in front of the fire...proper horror film 5 stars
5/16/02 Dark Baron Nicholson is the horror flick himself 5 stars
5/15/02 Brandon :D No TV and no beer make Homer something something... 5 stars
4/27/02 maximal01 Aaaaah...nothing like sex with a corpse...What? (read: this movie rocks). 5 stars
4/26/02 Charles Tatum Bloated and dull- like Kubrick himself 2 stars
4/07/02 Film Dude Whoa. See this, all of you. 5 stars
4/05/02 Imaginer Worth seeing only for its art direction. Don't believe the hype. It didn't scare me a bit. 3 stars
4/03/02 Ellisa Rhodes On The Edge of my seat 5 stars
3/17/02 K y L e One of the best horror movies ever made. 5 stars
2/25/02 Cat Creepy Fun! 4 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Nicholson was great. Duvall's shrieking was tiring. The book is better. 3 stars
2/16/02 murat Kubrick's only good film.Jack gives the role of his life. 5 stars
1/15/02 maja a film that you've got to see......the music is undescribable 4 stars
12/23/01 karlisha monday chillingly frightening to the soul no matter how many times you see it 5 stars
11/01/01 Tam A classic. The "Here's Johnny" scene really sticks in the mind. 5 stars
10/23/01 glenn rinker Best horror movie of all time. Kubrick was a genius. This movie plays with your mind. 5 stars
9/28/01 Henry Ginsberg Great music.Jack Nickolsen is the definitive psycho. 5 stars
9/23/01 Larry Smith NICHOLSON....Scared Shelly Duvall's wits out of her! 5 stars
9/23/01 Matthew Bartley took me 4 attempts to watch this all the way through.I've seen it scare grown men still 5 stars
8/30/01 I love movies if you see only one horror movie in your life... 5 stars
8/30/01 Gary Nicholson gets too hammy, but it doesn't spoil this tense, artistic and very creepy horror. 4 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk Kubrick and Nicholson are both fucking briliant...don't miss this. 5 stars
8/04/01 Matt The only movie that can still scare the shit out of me after multiple viewings! 5 stars
7/05/01 Connoisseur actually is is quite funny (and also very scary... best horror film i've ever seen) 5 stars
6/23/01 JON so well done... simply a classic 5 stars
6/14/01 Bada Bing Crosby Opening scenes ALONE better than most full-length movies 5 stars
6/13/01 King Jackass j. mortell WHO SAID THIS MOVIE WAS FUNNY?! THE ONLY THING THATS FUNNY IS HOW DUMB YOU ARE!! 5 stars
5/10/01 the scarecrow J.MORTELL it isnt supposed to be funny retard 5 stars
4/29/01 Dom Corleone a masterpiece 5 stars
4/24/01 BGuha It's a Sunday Afternoon Movie 3 stars
4/04/01 j.mortell i didnt think this movie was that funny at all 1 stars
3/31/01 Erik North An epic horror film from Stanley Kubrick, a master. 5 stars
3/30/01 Scoogy My favorite motherfucking movie of all time 5 stars
3/23/01 TNT-6 Not Kubrick's best, but still very good. 4 stars
3/21/01 bterry Gotta love Nicholson! 5 stars
3/18/01 Beetlejuice Well...It's very.....homey. 5 stars
2/26/01 skye not my favorite kubrick, but loads of fun. 4 stars
2/18/01 Soggy Bottom Boy No, I'm not gonna hurtcha... I'm just gonna bash your fuckin brains in! 5 stars
2/17/01 Michael Nicholls Kubrick reworks King's haunted hotel novel as a very dark sitcom 5 stars
2/10/01 Golbez Simply the greatest horror movies of all time. 5 stars
2/06/01 Classicdog A Kubrick classic. Nicholson is awesome. 5 stars
1/22/01 scorekeeper words can not express how good this is. Trust me, you'll have a pillow over your eyes. 5 stars
1/15/01 Skip excellent 5 stars
1/13/01 A. Riopel Not scary at all, even if it's well done 4 stars
12/16/00 Winky YOIUSUCWK~ 1 stars
11/24/00 The EVIL Penguin My favorite horror film; Kubrick RULES! The mini series sucked. 5 stars
11/18/00 salvo Well done Stan, well done 5 stars
8/01/00 KLS One of the best pictures in history!! 5 stars
7/11/00 Matthew Bartley If you're not scared...you're dead 5 stars
5/10/00 charlie harrison a cult horror classic, Kubrick and Nicholson at their best!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
4/12/00 kohawk scariest film to date 5 stars
4/06/00 PSUshorti This movie is the epitome of what a horror film should be. Kubrick keeps our hearts racing. 5 stars
1/02/00 Nice Guy Eddie One of the best horror movies of all time, incredible acting, directing and camera work. 5 stars
12/18/99 Zeitgeist I first saw this movie when I was 5. Bad Idea. The twins still scare the shit out of me. 5 stars
12/18/99 Dick Laurent In my opinion this film is the scariest horror film currently in existense!! 5 stars
12/17/99 Fenris The dead, naked, fat lady frightens me. 5 stars
12/12/99 Tyson Stewart Just a fine, well-acted (Jack), and entertaining film, with a few unforgettable scenes! 5 stars
10/26/99 Karahde Khan Scariest movie ever. King disowns it, but I disown anything with a script written by King. 5 stars
10/24/99 Matthew White Awesome. Excellent film. 5 stars
9/17/99 strike Not one of kubrick's best, but still...IT'S KUBRICK!! 4 stars
9/13/99 K Pillsbury the twins!!nothing more needs to be said 5 stars
9/07/99 Glitter Berry A disgrace to anything and everything that made the book a classic. T-O-P-I-A-R-Y 1 stars
7/17/99 soccer_mum Classic Kubrik. Scared the bejesus outta me...Scarey in a good way...leave a nightlight on! 5 stars
7/11/99 Daria This movie scared me shitless. And I'm not scared easily at all... 5 stars
7/04/99 J-Dogg Some people don't like this but I think it's a masterpiece in horror. Eerie and disturbing. 5 stars
6/28/99 Chris Gianaras Greatest horror movie ever made. Nicholson's over the top performance is dead on. 5 stars
6/22/99 Elizaveta eerieness... 5 stars
6/07/99 Elizaveta Kubrick strikes again!!! 4 stars
4/19/99 jimmy jam REDRUM---Rent me 5 stars
4/15/99 Jon Jackson Pretty classic, a little tedious, snoozer ending. 4 stars
4/07/99 tom scary, disturbing, fun for the whole family 5 stars
3/10/99 Go Swans Heeeeeerrrrrrreeeeeeee's Johnny! The late Kubrick's greatest. 5 stars
2/02/99 Matthew Bartley Pisses all over the Exorcist 5 stars
12/09/98 little jerry Feels like we're trapped in those rooms at the end of 2001.These two are Kubrick's greatest 5 stars
11/28/98 Mr.Pink Kubrick's worst movie AND it's still GOOD!! 4 stars
11/27/98 Lord Of The Dunce A seriously fucked up movie. Nicholson was awesome. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  23-May-1980 (R)
  DVD: 12-Jun-2001

UK
  N/A

Australia
  13-Nov-1980 (MA)




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