Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
It was a freshening attitude then, though its long-term effects haven't been all to the good.
The film's projections of the cold war and antiquated product placements may look quaint now, but the poetry is as hard-edged and full of wonder as ever.
2001 will emerge from its initial long-run Cinerama engagements and subsequent extended runs as one of MGM's all-time box office hits ...
New York Times:
The movie is so completely absorbed in its own problems, its use of color and space, its fanatical devotion to science-fiction detail, that its is somewhere between hypnotic and immensely boring.
A cold, majestic motion picture, a movie that seeks to remind us of the vastness of space and our relatively insignificant place in it.
The film creates its effects essentially out of visuals and music. It is meditative. It does not cater to us, but wants to inspire us, enlarge us.
I assumed that this was what all movies ought to be: treasures for moral and aesthetic contemplation that did not provide all their answers on first contact.
2001 lingers on the mind like a tall, black riddle: Where are the new bones, the new tools, that will take us higher? Do we even deserve them?
Robert B. Frederick,
2001 compares with, but does not best, previous efforts at science fiction.
You can watch 2001 as a visual journey with nary a thought for what's under the surface or you can plunge into this vortex of interpretations. The great thing about 2001 is that either approach works fine. That's why it endures.
Now, seen in the actual 2001, it's less a visionary masterpiece than a crackpot Looney Tune, pretentious, abysmally slow, amateurishly acted and, above all, wrong.