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3,709 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

Awards & Festivals

BAFTA Awards

1957 | Nominee: Best Film from any Source



What are people saying?

  • Nick Schwab's rating of the film The Killing

    A largely un-Kubrickian, Kubrick film. The Killing is often called a film-noir picture, but is more a procedural-heist film and is typical in its plot. Sadly more classical in its directing style, lacking that genre's (and the director's later) formalism, while its narrative is also classical, being much too neat, too agreeable, too standardized, and is quite uninventive in its telling. Sub-par Kubrick.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film The Killing

    Kubrick's first masterful film is partly indebted to its time, partly ahead of it, but that just shows how masters have to work within trends before shattering them. It's a crackling triumph whose perverse touches make it the first fully Kubrickian microcosm: a delusional battle of order against chaos. As bonus, producer James B. Harris was at the screening to tell stories about when Stanley was young and hungry.

  • smndvdcl's rating of the film The Killing

    An expert noir that is just as intriguing for its behind-the-scenes shenanigans. The clash of egos between a 26 year old Kubrick and a reputed cinematographer (Lucien Ballard) is a clear sign that Kubrick's meticulous attitude to the aesthetic would lead him on beyond previous greats. That dolly shot is ground-breaking. Glad that Kubrick 25mm lens beat off Ballard's request for a 50mm one further back.

  • Ethan's rating of the film The Killing

    This is one of the most meticulous heist films ever made. With Kubrick's keen eye for detail and Jim Thompson's authentic dialogue mixed with a knockout performance from Sterling Hayden and an excellent supporting cast, this film is nothing short of a masterpiece.

  • ASHES IN THE HOURGLASS's rating of the film The Killing

    A flawlessly executed noir that shows Kubrick's ability to create some of the most haunting imagery, in this case the shots with the clown mask and the briefcase. However, while it nails the big picture, it's lacking a bit in the smaller scenes with the characters and the relations. Also, it's influential nonlinear structure is surprisingly very tame and minimal and left me wanting it to used in more inventive ways.

  • Amadeus Magnus's rating of the film The Killing

    first part is not brilliant but the second (climax) is great and Kubrick's montage apperently influenced Tarantino (Jackie Brown). don't forget Reservoir Dogs (mexican standoff) and The Dark Knight with Johnny's mask. surely one of the best heist movies ever made. with best ending. what a finale...

  • mjgildea's rating of the film The Killing

    Easily my favorite Stanley Kubrick movie. For as gritty as the astounding and understated cast, dialogue and story are and for as early into Kubrick's career as The Killing was, his direction and camerawork are the standout and real focal point of this movie. Its a beautiful combination of a film noir and a heist movie that remains unfairly unknown.

  • Dave's rating of the film The Killing

    Can quickly be overlooked by Kubrick's other, more experimental films, but this influential noir remains at the top of my personal Kubrick list. Hayden and veteran character actors like Elisha Cook, Jr. shine.

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