“ROOM 237 Rodney Ascher’s documentary explores the many meanings read into Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 formal exercise “The Shining” by the film’s more obsessive fans. “It’s the revenge of the nerds ad infinitum,” Ms. Dargis wrote in The Times in March.”



MCCLATCHY TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE (syndicated to 30+ daily newspapers across the country)

““Tiresome!” isn’t exactly a word anyone feels good about seeing in the space of a movie poster where the questionably-edited raving critical quote goes. But there may be no more concise compliment and/or condemnation for “Room 237,” which collects a handful of opinions — from fans and scholars or lunatics and conspiracy nuts, pick your side — about the meaning behind seemingly every last frame that comprised the 1980 Stanley Kubrick film “The Shining.” In a fashion that’s neither completely free-flowing nor meticulously structured — divided by speaker, despite none being formally introduced or shown on camera, instead of approaching the film chronologically — “237″ picks apart “The Shining” any which way it can. A theory about the appearance of Dopey the dwarf on the wall? Sure. A connection between text on a room key and Kubrick covertly confessing his role in faking the moon landing footage? Yup! The significance of a window that, according to one theorist’s map of the hotel, couldn’t actually exist? For everything from poster designs to curious perspective shifts and paper tray placements, “237′s” relentlessly verbose panelists have one elaborate explanation after another about what Kubrick was communicating under the table to his audience. And with zero desire to take a breath between hypotheses about the film and its director’s restless mind, “237″ is primed to wear its audience out — whether mind-blown, overloaded, amused, exasperated, side-split or outright angry at the sheer volume of conspiracies spilling over the side — no matter who the audience is. The uninitiated, in particular, should think twice (or pop an aspirin) before engaging. There’s a temptation initially to recommend “237″ to fans of film theory regardless of their familiarity with “The Shining,” but the film quickly enters a whirlwind of disorganized insularity that’s completely impenetrable if you don’t know the source material well (to say nothing of not having seen it at all).”



USA TODAY Pop Candy (Release of the Week)…

“Release o’ the week: Room 237. The mesmerizing documentary about super-fans of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining will prompt you to take another look at the 1980 classic.”




“4 stars, out of 5 ‘Room 237,’ directed by Rodney Ascher, is a documentary about Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’ — and the secrets embedded therein.IFC Films Director Rodney Ascher’s documentary takes its title from the notorious hotel room that becomes one man’s eventual undoing in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaption of Stephen King’s “The Shining,” and it sets out to do nothing less than unlock the secrets behind Kubrick’s film. Granted, the “secrets” explored in Ascher’s film — which are sure to set film geeks and conspiracy theorists to drooling — range from admittedly intriguing to various levels of crackpottery. But even with the inclusion of some rather dubious analyses, there’s something haunting and fascinating about “Room 237.” Clearly, there’s something there in Kubrick’s film — even if nobody can agree on what it is. And that’s where Ascher’s film functions at its highest: as a tribute to the beauty of art in all its forms. At the very least, it ensures you will never watch “The Shining” in quite the same way again.”




“”Room 237″ (unrated, 102 minutes, IFC Films): Rodney Ascher’s documentary about the 1980 Stanley Kubrick horror film “The Shining” and five obsessive viewers with elaborate ideas about its hidden meanings belongs to a post-modern wave of film consumption, wherein spectators short-circuit conventional criticism and take the wheel of cultural discourse themselves. History professor Geoffrey Cocks notices the typewriter Jack Nicholson’s character uses and deduces that “The Shining” is Kubrick’s cri de coeur about the Holocaust. Artist John Fell Ryan specializes in screening “The Shining” backwards and forwards simultaneously to elicit buried synchronicities. It would be insufferable had Ascher not made the brilliant decision to stage “Room 237” as a montage of Kubrick’s own films to illustrate what his subjects are saying off-camera. What might have been tiresome conspiracy fodder becomes an homage to a cinematic master. You don’t have to buy into outlandish notions to find the meditations intriguing. “Room237” turns out to be about how we process history, human evil and our own mortality. Contains disturbing material. Extras include commentary with Kevin McLeod, a key figure in the online examination of Kubrick’s film; “Secrets of The Shining” panel discussion from the first Stanley Film Festival at the hotel that inspired Stephen King’s novel; deleted scenes; a making-of the music featurette.”