Watchworthy

The Most Disturbing Kubrick Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated October 13, 2018 693 votes 166 voters 4.3k views 15 items

List Rules Films directed by Stanley Kubrick

List of the most disturbing Stanley Kubrick movies, as ranked by fans and critics. Stanley Kubrick, from 1951 until his death in 1999,made some of the most memorable and alarming movies of all time. His directing style leaned towards mind bending narratives with psychotic characters that haunted our nightmares for years to come. On most of his films he worked as both writer and director, taking complete control on the wickedly twisted stories and how they were told. In fact, he actually worked as a cinematographer,editor, camera operator, and visual effects person, for which he won an Oscar.

One of the most disturbing parts of the bulk of Kubrick’s work is that the main character was often very villainous, making it difficult for the audience to know who they should be rooting for, like in the film Lolita. Movies like The Shining and A Clockwork Orange are often listed as the most terrifying movies of all time, which is mostly credited to Kubrick’s unique style.

What are the most disturbing Stanley Kubrick films? This list includes movies that are scary, mind-bending, haunting, and sometimes even distressing long after the credits have rolled, which is why Kubrick is considered the master of the unsettling. 

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Disturbing Kubrick Movies
Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff

Released: 1971

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novella A Clockwork Orange. It employs disturbing, violent ...more

More A Clockwork Orange 

Kubrick And Codpieces: Behind The Scenes Of 'A Clockwork Orange' #43 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Books #582 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

2
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Disturbing Kubrick Movies
Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers

Released: 1980

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, ...more

More The Shining 

16 Utterly Bizarre Things You Didn't Know About The Shining #3 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #15 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Books

3
Full Metal Jacket is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Disturbing Kubrick Movies
Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey, Adam Baldwin

Released: 1987

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 film directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by Kubrick, Michael Herr, and Gustav Hasford was based on Hasford's novel The Short-Timers. The film ...more

More Full Metal Jacket 

Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Full Metal Jacket' #2 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #33 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Books

4
Lolita is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Disturbing Kubrick Movies
Christopher Lee, Peter Sellers, Shelley Winters

Released: 1962

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Lolita is a 1962 comedy-drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel of the same title by Vladimir Nabokov, about a middle-aged man who becomes obsessed with a teenage girl. The ...more

More Lolita 

#214 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Books #9 of 45 The Most Controversial Movies of All Time #10 of 15 Every Stanley Kubrick Movie, Ranked

5
Eyes Wide Shut is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Disturbing Kubrick Movies
Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Stanley Kubrick

Released: 1999

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Eyes Wide Shut is a 1999 American thriller film loosely based upon Arthur Schnitzler's 1926 novella Dream Story. The film was directed, produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick. It was his ...more

More Eyes Wide Shut 

#107 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #933 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #72 of 134 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again

6
2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Disturbing Kubrick Movies
Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop

Released: 1968

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, and was partially inspired by ...more

More 2001: A Space Odyssey 

#80 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #42 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
Dr. Strangelove or: How ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Disturbing Kubrick Movies
James Earl Jones, Peter Sellers, George C. Scott

Released: 1964

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, more commonly known as Dr. Strangelove, is a 1964 political satire black comedy film that satirizes fears of a nuclear ...more

More Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 

#54 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #111 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Books #89 of 1,138 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

8
Paths of Glory is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Disturbing Kubrick Movies
Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, Richard Anderson

Released: 1957

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Paths of Glory is a 1957 American film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb. Set during WWI, the film stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, the commanding officer ...more

More Paths of Glory 

#48 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #224 of 276 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #39 of 313 The Best Political Films Ever Made

9
Fear and Desire is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Disturbing Kubrick Movies
Paul Mazursky, Frank Silvera, Kenneth Harp

Released: 1953

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Fear and Desire is a 1953 American military action/adventure film directed, produced, shot, and edited by Stanley Kubrick. It is Kubrick’s first feature film and is also one of his least-seen ...more
10
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Disturbing Kubrick Movies
Sterling Hayden, Coleen Gray, Vince Edwards

Released: 1956

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

This film is a 1956 film noir produced by James B. Harris and directed by Stanley Kubrick. It was written by Kubrick and Jim Thompson and based on the novel Clean Break by Lionel White. The ...more

More The Killing 

#78 of 109 The Best Mafia Films #11 of 15 Every Stanley Kubrick Movie, Ranked #31 of 34 The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops

11
Spartacus is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Disturbing Kubrick Movies
Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis

Released: 1960

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Spartacus is a 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by Dalton Trumbo was based on the novel Spartacus by Howard Fast. It was inspired by the life ...more

More Spartacus 

#51 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #131 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

12
Barry Lyndon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Disturbing Kubrick Movies
Ryan O'Neal, Leonard Rossiter, Hardy Krüger

Released: 1975

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Barry Lyndon is a 1975 British-American period drama film written, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the 1844 novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray. It ...more

More Barry Lyndon 

#374 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #113 of 554 The Best '70s Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
Killer's Kiss is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Disturbing Kubrick Movies
Frank Silvera, Ruth Sobotka, Felice Orlandi

Released: 1955

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Killer's Kiss is a 1955 American film noir directed by Stanley Kubrick and written by Kubrick and Howard Sackler. It is the second feature film directed by Kubrick. The film stars Jamie Smith, ...more
14
The Seafarers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Disturbing Kubrick Movies
Don Hollenbeck

Released: 1953

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

The Seafarers is Stanley Kubrick's fourth film and third short documentary, made for the Seafarers International Union, directed in June 1953. There are shots of ships, machinery, a canteen, and ...more
15
Flying Padre: An RKO-Pat... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Disturbing Kubrick Movies

Released: 1951

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Flying Padre is a 1951 short subject black-and-white documentary film. It is the second picture directed by Stanley Kubrick, after Day of the Fight. The film is nine minutes long.