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3,972 Ratings

The Killing

Directed by Stanley Kubrick
United States, 1956
Thriller, Crime, Film noir


A gang of greedy petty criminals plan a race track robbery so they can live a life without monetary worries. When the plan foils disaster ensues. A taut and twisted noir aided by a radical time-shuffling narrative and razor-sharp dialogue from pulp novelist Jim Thompson.

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The Killing Directed by Stanley Kubrick
So much has been written about Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing, (1956) and for good reason, it’s a masterpiece. The young director’s third film, The Killing is frequently deemed the pioneering triumph of Kubrick’s career – his first great film. A film noir, a heist picture, filled with noir veterans, it could be classified simply within those two genres, but Kubrick always tweaked genres upturning convention with something harder, funnier, more philosophical, beautiful and ugly.
April 13, 2015
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To critics at the time, it was a fairly standard low-budget crime drama, though a very good one with a dash of stylistic pizzazz. The fractured narrative and multiple perspectives made audiences’ heads hurt, however, and the picture bombed in theaters. Today, apart from being thought of as “that early Kubrick movie,” it’s generally considered, yes, a fairly standard late noir heist picture, if a very good one with a dash of stylistic pizzazz. But it’s much more, and more subversive than that.
February 19, 2015
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As the mistakes pile up, making a once carefully modulated plan on paper turn to dust, The Killing constantly threatens to fulfill such genre conventions. But Kubrick withholds the expectation of capture, betrayal, or death until the last possible moment, stretching out Jim Thompson’s bullying and brilliant dialogue sequences, juxtaposing them with hypnotically fluid long takes through clogged interior spaces.
September 14, 2013
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