The Shining (1980) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Shining (1980)

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Critic Consensus: Though it deviates from Stephen King's novel, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is a chilling, often baroque journey into madness -- exemplified by an unforgettable turn from Jack Nicholson.

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"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" -- or, rather, a homicidal boy in Stanley Kubrick's eerie 1980 adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel. With wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and psychic son Danny (Danny Lloyd) in tow, frustrated writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) takes a job as the winter caretaker at the opulently ominous, mountain-locked Overlook Hotel so that he can write in peace. Before the Overlook is vacated for the Torrances, the manager (Barry Nelson) informs Jack that a previous caretaker went crazy and slaughtered his family; Jack thinks it's no problem, but Danny's "shining" hints otherwise. Settling into their routine, Danny cruises through the empty corridors on his Big Wheel and plays in the topiary maze with Wendy, while Jack sets up shop in a cavernous lounge with strict orders not to be disturbed. Danny's alter ego, "Tony," however, starts warning of "redrum" as Danny is plagued by more blood-soaked visions of the past, and a blocked Jack starts visiting the hotel bar for a few visions of his own. Frightened by her husband's behavior and Danny's visit to the forbidding Room 237, Wendy soon discovers what Jack has really been doing in his study all day, and what the hotel has done to Jack. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

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Cast

Jack Nicholson
as Jack Torrance
Shelley Duvall
as Wendy Torrance
Philip Stone
as Delbert Grady
Lia Beldam
as Young Woman in Bathtub
Billie Gibson
as Old Woman in Bathtub
David Baxt
as Forest Ranger
Manning Redwood
as Forest Ranger
Lisa Burns
as Grady Girl
Louise Burns
as Grady Girl
Burnell Tucker
as Policeman
Jana Sheldon
as Stewardess
Kate Phelps
as Receptionist
Norman Gay
as Injured Guest
Joe Turkel
as Lloyd the Bartender
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Critic Reviews for The Shining

All Critics (91) | Top Critics (18)

The classic Stanley Kubrick film isn't just scary - it is also, in its own odd way, defined by a hopeful perspective on life and death.

November 6, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

It's an interesting movie, but not the ultimate work in its genre that some expected from one of the great directors.

September 24, 2019 | Full Review…

Kubrick is master of visual images, and many of the scenes display his brilliance. But much of the suspense ends in anti-climax, and Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall seem over-extended in trying to maintain the terror.

July 17, 2019 | Full Review…

When you sit down to The Shining, you sit down with normal expectations of being diverted, perhaps even being gripped, but not being undermined. But the film undermines you in powerful, inchoate ways.

April 25, 2018 | Full Review…

Shock effect and graphic imagery don't compensate for the sense of pointlessness and even distaste that is left at the end of the movie.

May 22, 2016 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

If The Shining isn't trivial, it certainly encourages one to think that it is. But, perhaps, even that's a change for the better. Generally, it's the other way around.

February 17, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Shining

Danny's not here right now Mrs. Torrance

Spencer Macklin
Spencer Macklin

Super Reviewer

Jack Nicholson's performance alone defines this frightening motion picture. Stanley Kubrick's The Shining may stray away from the Stephen King novel, but the film's disturbing tone and psychological barrage is memorable and, to this day, is held up as one of the most outstanding horror films ever made. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

Stanley Kubrick's brilliant adaptation of Stephen King's novel about a frustrated writer forced to take the job as caretaker at a remote hotel consumed with evil. Outstanding performances by Jack Nicholson and the rest of a top notch cast add to the eerie premise created by Kubrick's use of lighting,colors, foreshadowing, music, and attention to the slightest details. This film is by all means "A masterpiece of modern horror."

Eric S
Eric S

Super Reviewer

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