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Film critics pick the 50 best movies of all time

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49. '2001: A Space Odyssey'

"Kubrick's aim was always high," Kinn and Piazza write of the 1968 film by the director. "But this time he shot his arrow past the stars and into the heavens to explore his ideas about man's place in the universe, extraterrestrial life, and the lives and deaths of intelligence and the imagination."

According to Frederick I. Ordway, the scientific advisor and technical consultant for the movie, director of NASA's Office of Manned Space Flight George Mueller called the office complex where Ordway and designer Harry Lange were researching "NASA East" because of the large amount of material on space they had with them.

In an interview with writer Joseph Gelmis, Kubrick said of the sometimes ambiguous movie, "In a film like '2001,' where each viewer brings his own emotions and perceptions to bear on the subject matter, a certain degree of ambiguity is valuable, because it allows the audience to "fill in" the visual experience themselves." 

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