Barry Lyndon
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With ornate imagery reminiscent of paintings from the story's 18th century period, Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's novel depicts the rise and fall of a sensitive rogue in the British aristocracy. Young Irishman Redmond Barry (Ryan O'Neal) leaves home to seek his fortune after apparently killing an English officer in a duel. Through a series of mishaps and accidents, Barry winds up fighting with the Prussian army in the Seven Years' War under the command of Capt. Potzdorf (Hardy Kruger); at war's end, Potzdorf enlists Barry to spy on a shady… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"One of cinema's most heartfelt and sustained (it runs over three hours), if cynical, visions of an individual's powerlessness."
‑ Wally Hammond, Time Out
"All of Stanley Kubrick's features look better now than when they were first released, but Barry Lyndon, which fared poorly at the box office in 1975, remains his most underrated. It may also be his greatest."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"One of the most graphically-driven, purely audio-visual of all nominally narrative motion pictures."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"Its story of an 18th-century social climber, adapted from Thackeray, unfolds in Gainsborough-esque landscapes and in rooms lit either by milky-white sunshine or shimmering candle flames."
‑ Edward Porter, Times [UK]
"It's a work of technical brilliance and considerable beauty; the slow and deliberate pacing only serves to make Barry's adventures more fascinating."
‑ Wendy Ide, Times [UK]
"Stanley Kubrick's magisterial Thackeray adaptation now stands as one of his greatest and most savagely ironic films, not to mention one of the few period pieces on celluloid so transporting that it seems to predate the invention of cameras."
‑ Jim Ridley, Village Voice
"Barry Lyndon isn't a great success, and it's not a great entertainment, but it's a great example of directorial vision: Kubrick saying he's going to make this material function as an illustration of the way he sees the world."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"...the point at which Kubrick's black humor crosses over into blatant parody."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"The film's truly outstanding performance is by Patrick Magee, an actor of terrifying intensity."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"Barry Lyndon is something to rediscover."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"Ryan O'Neal's excellent performance captures the shallow opportunism endemic to the title character who is brought down as much by his own flaws as by the mores of the ordered social structure of 18th-century England."
‑ , Variety
"The loveliest of Stanley Kubrick films. Indeed, Barry Lyndon is the one Kubrick movie that could even invite that adjective (or epithet)."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"Clichťs are affirmed and words proven inadequate when you're actually confronted with the beauty of the thing."
‑ Simon Miraudo, Quickflix
"It's a tour de force, with the director pushing the limits of film technology to realise his singular vision, developing new camera lenses to tell this 18th Century cautionary tale with only natural, available light."
‑ , Film4
"Director Stanley Kubrick's opulent epic is certainly a feast for the eyes, with every scene beautifully framed and the attention to exquisite detail breathtaking."
‑ , Sky Movies
More reviews for Barry Lyndon on Rotten Tomatoes

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