Stanley Kubrick: The Masterpiece Collection review

This new boxset serves up plenty of extras, but relies on the same old high-definition masters

Stanley Kubrick only made 13 feature films over the course of 46 years, but they remain 13 of the most influential and enjoyable flicks in the history of American cinema.

This new Blu-ray boxset collects together eight of his best-known: Lolita (1962), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon (1975), The Shining (1980), Full Metal Jacket (1987) and Eyes Wide Shut (1999). The most notable omissions are Fear & Desire (1953) and Spartacus (1960), both of which are also available on Blu-ray here in the UK.

We can only presume that Warner was either unable to license those two titles for inclusion in this new set (as was the case with Dr. Strangelove... and its previous Visionary Filmmaker Collection BD boxset), or simply wasn't interested in doing so. 

Picture: This £130 package does little more than pull together a host of previously available discs in shiny new packaging, meaning that Kubrick fans have to put up with the same old 1080p encodes.

The undoubted highlight is Sony's 4K restoration of Dr. Strangelove, which still impresses as much as it did back in 2009. 2001: A Space Odyssey also dazzles, while Lolita and Barry Lyndon both look extremely authentic. However, the HD masters for A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and Full Metal Jacket look tired and could do with new scans. Worst of all is Eyes Wide Shut, which appears very noisy and inconsistent for a film made just 15 years ago.
Picture rating: 3.5/5

Audio: While Lolita sticks with a DTS-HD MA presentation of its original mono soundtrack, the rest of the films are presented as 5.1 mixes. The quality of these tracks varies as greatly as that of the hi-def imagery – the worst offender, once again, being the curiously flat and lifeless Eyes Wide Shut.
Audio rating: 3/5

Extras: All of the extras that appeared on the original standalone disc releases are re-served here, and the set also includes the bonus disc housing the feature-length Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures and O Lucky Malcolm! documentaries from the earlier Visionary Filmmaker Collection boxset.

There is some fresh content, though: a second bonus disc housing three further documentaries (Kubrick Remembered, Stanley Kubrick in Focus and Once Upon a Time… A Clockwork Orange); a fantastic 80-page hardback (packed with production art, storyboards, photos and other miscellany); and a reproduction art print.
Extras rating: 4.5/5

We say: The wealth of extras make this an enticing boxset, but the films themselves are in need of more TLC

Stanley Kubrick: The Masterpiece Collection, Warner Bros., All-region BD, £130 Approx