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Barry Lyndon 12 rating

Kubrick charts the rise and fall of an 18th-century charlatan as an acerbic study of self-destruction amid social ritual.

Period drama 1975 185 mins

Director: Stanley Kubrick



Kubrick adapted William Thackeray’s The Luck of Barry Lyndon and in his hands, the eponymous mock-heroic soldier of fortune, becomes the plaything of fate. Ryan O’Neal is deliberately awkward and at times blank as Kubrick’s Lyndon, who embarks on a tour of 18th-century Europe, encountering battles, gambling houses and stately homes in pursuit of wealth, title and a family to call his own. His rise and fall are charted as a study of self-destruction amidst social ritual and class attitudes.

Ranked joint 45th in the 2022 Sight and Sound Great Films of All Time poll