The Killing (1956) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Killing (1956)



Critic Consensus: An expertly crafted noir with more on its mind than stylishly staged violence, The Killing establishes Stanley Kubrick as a filmmaker of uncommon vision and control.

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Movie Info

A gang of greedy petty criminals plan a race track robbery. The plan gets foiled and disaster ensues.

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Sterling Hayden
as Johnny Clay
Vince Edwards
as Val Cannon
Jay C. Flippen
as Marvin Unger
Marie Windsor
as Sherry Peatty
Ted de Corsia
as Randy Kennan
Elisha Cook Jr.
as George Peatty
Joe Sawyer
as Mike O'Reilly
Timothy Carey
as Nikki Arane
Maurice Oboukhoff
as Kola Kwarian
James Edwards
as Black Man
Rodney Dangerfield
as Onlooker (uncredited)
Kola Kwarian
as Maurice Oboukhoff
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News & Interviews for The Killing

Critic Reviews for The Killing

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (11)

This taut crime picture was one of the earliest films in the career of Stanley Kubrick, but something of the director's voice and characteristic preoccupations are already evident here.

February 5, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Underneath The Killing's clockwork violence is a pungent layer of irony, something Kubrick would further explore many times later in his career.

September 14, 2013 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Faultless and enjoyable.

June 24, 2013 | Full Review…

Plotted with the kind of Swiss-watch precision and attention to detail that would eventually get Kubrick labeled Hollywood's most notorious perfectionist.

August 11, 2011 | Rating: A | Full Review…

At 27 Writer-Director Stanley Kubrick, in his third full-length picture, has shown more audacity with dialogue and camera than Hollywood has seen since the obstreperous Orson Welles went riding out of town on an exhibitors' poll.

August 3, 2011 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Even though he was just staring out, Kubrick instantly mastered the crime genre. A stunning film.

October 3, 2007 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Killing

A nice and tidy little heist film, one of the early works of Kubrick, is notable for a myriad of subtle details that work to crank up the suspense and tension until the sublime payoff at the very end. And there's film great Elisha Cook, with nearly a quarter of the film to story arc, which is tidy indeed. Kubrick before he was "a great director!"

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Kubrick already showed early signs of his genius when he brought us this masterpiece, an elaborate heist thriller full of rich details for its time, with a deliciously wry dialogue and a suspenseful plot that grows unbearably tense until the very end.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Admittedly, not a movie I would pick out for myself to watch, this wasn't a bad older movie. I particularly liked the gold digging wife and the ending at the airport. It's a heist movie, but the characters and acting are very good.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

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