Box art for The Shining

The Shining

drama, horror, thrillers

All work and no play makes Academy Award-winner Jack Nicholson ("As Good As It Gets," "Batman"), the caretaker of an isolated resort, go way off the deep end, terrorizing his young son and wife Shelley Duvall ("Roxanne").

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
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common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Creepy suspense/horror film. Older teens plus.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that blood flows throughout this film -- literally -- in several notorious scenes. There are axe murders and decomposed bodies. The main character, a recovering alcoholic, slowly goes insane and aims to kill his family. He verbally abuses his wife throughout most of the film. There is some alcohol and cigarette use.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the relationship between fantasy and reality in the film. Do you find yourself confused about what's "really" happening at various points in the film? In what different ways could these scenes be interpreted?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

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  • Audience


Audience Reviews

4 stars

A bona fide genre staple that works in spite of it's rather odd casting. King's story, Kubrick's direction and Nicholson's performance combine for a perfect storm of psychotic horror and suspense.

- flixsterman, Friday, October 22, 2010

5 stars

Like many adaptations in general (and Stephen King ones in particular), this strays from the source material, but, given that it's an adaptation by Kubrick, it becomes a thing of beauty and art in it's own way. Honestly, I'm kind of torn on this one. It's a difficult movie to summarize easily, but at the same time, it's not. It's weird that way, and so is the movie itself. Since there are no real set rules for the psychological thriller or the haunted building genres, the sky is the limit. That is especially true since this movie is a marriage of the two. It has a slow hypnotic pace that makes you very uneasy, and the fact that it takes a while for things to get cookin' only makes the pay off that much better and unnerving. When I first saw this, it terrified me. I had a hard time getting through the last oh, 30 minutes or so. As I kept forcing myself to watch it time and time again though, I began to realize the brilliance of things, especially once I learned who Kubrick was, and what he's all about. This movie definitely has Stanley's touch, and there's no mistaking that this is one of his movies, and not someone else's. The look is great, the direction is superb, the camera work and other things that contribute to the mood and atmosphere are executed nicely, and the performances are unforgettable. Honestly, as much as I love Jack, I kind of think that King was right to state that Nicholson seemed too obvious a choice, and that his descent into madness is not as surprising as a result. That may be true, but can you really picture anyone else in the role? This is one of those movies you could analyze endlessly, and many people actually have. Sometimes movies don't necessarily warrant that kind of attention, and at other times, some movies are purposely made that way (and in a frustrating way too.....*cough* David Lynch's films *cough* With this movie though, it's cool. You can take it at face value, or you can ponder over it for the rest of your life, but it won't seem pointless. This is a surreal and horrifying classic. Don't miss it.

- cosmo313, Monday, December 10, 2012

4 stars

Fans of Stephen King would know that Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" was not made for him. Kubrick takes liberties with the source material to really make it his own. If it wasn't for the insane level of perfection he delivers here, most people would have a problem with what he has done with the plot, yet it works so well I doubt many people care. Jack Nicholson delivers his icon role with chilling gusto and a perverse sense of humor. Shelley Duvall is great in her thankless role as the films moral center. My favorite thing about the film is how surreal and dream like the whole thing is.

- stevenecarrier, Thursday, July 22, 2010