By Matt Singer | Criticwire March 29, 2013 at 10:07AM
Director: Rodney Ascher
Criticwire Average: B+ (74 critics)
Official Synopsis: "After the box office failure of 'Barry Lyndon,' Stanley Kubrick decided to embark on a project that might have more commercial appeal. 'The Shining,' Stephen King’s biggest critical and commercial success yet, seemed like a perfect vehicle. After an arduous production, Kubrick’s film received a wide release in the summer of 1980; the reviews were mixed, but the box office, after a slow start, eventually picked up. End of story? Hardly. In the 30 years since the film’s release, a considerable cult of 'Shining' devotees has emerged, fans who claim to have decoded the film’s secret messages addressing everything from the genocide of Native Americans to a range of government conspiracies. Rodney Ascher’s wry and provocative 'Room 237' fuses fact and fiction through interviews with cultists and scholars, creating a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of Kubrick’s still-controversial classic."
"Stands as a thrilling testament to the fact that art is -- and should be -- open to interpretation."
"A love story about movies and their meanings."
"An ode to movie love at its most deliriously unfettered."
"Will make you love 'The Shining' all over again."
"Like 'Slacker' mixed with any DVD commentary by a film critic."
"A fascinating study of 'The Shining' and all the real and imagined secrets these interviewees have spent the greater part of the their lives obsessing over."
"More about the interpretation of all movies than just the interpretation of 'The Shining.'"
"I imagine double features of this movie followed by 'The Shining' itself will become popular late-night showings."
"At once entertaining and reprehensible."
"An embarrassment to the intellectually ambitious Kubrick."
"Room 237" is now playing in limited release and available on VOD and iTunes.