Widely acclaimed as one of the greatest science fiction movies ever made, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) may be a bit plodding at 148 minutes, but it set new standards in the genre with its revolutionary set designs, special effects, thematic complexity and haunting sense of realism.
Written by director Stanley Kubrick and world-renowned sci fi author Arthur C. Clarke, the story begins in caveman times when a mysterious black monolith apparently bestows upon man the intelligence to fashion weapons. In a classic cut, a tossed bone tumbling through the air dissolves into a spinning satellite in orbit over Earth. The year is now 2001 and a similar monolith has just found buried on the moon, emitting a signal that is traced to the planet Jupiter.
On a mission to Jupiter to unravel the enigma, all but one member of the five-man crew is killed by insecure, mutinous computer HAL 9000, or just plain Hal to his pals. The surviving astronaut, Dr. David Bowman (Keir Dullea) finally manages to disable haywire Hal and complete the mission with a transforming discovery that may have repercussions for all mankind.
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