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Check out this great movie before it leaves Amazon Prime Video next week

Astronauts walk in space in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
MGM

Every great streaming service has a bevy of worthy movies for you to check out. Unfortunately, given the fractured nature of the streaming landscape, it can be nearly impossible to keep track of what titles are on what service.

Prime Video has an ideal combination of archived titles and originals, and one of those archived titles is well worth checking out before it leaves the service. 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the most important sci-fi movies ever made. Here are three reasons you should check it out before the movie leaves Prime Video at the end of November.

It’s the template for every great sci-fi movie

A close-up of an astronatu with a red light reflecting on his helmet in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Image via Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Telling the story of a mysterious monolith that suddenly appears on the moon, 2001 is an elliptical space epic that features four distinct sections. What makes the movie so compelling, though, is Stanley Kubrick’s precise direction, and the film’s total lack of interest in arriving at anything resembling a firm conclusion.

The film’s most famous sequence involves HAL-9000, an artificial intelligence that eventually betrays the astronauts it’s supposed to help. HAL’s story feels especially relevant almost 50 years later, as we grapple with the arrival of artificial intelligence more generally.

The special effects hold up remarkably well

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY - Trailer

2001 may have been the first great space movie to feature amazing special effects, and those effects still hold up more than 50 years later. The simulations of artificial gravity still seem real, as do the sequences that are actually set in space.

Today, many of the effects in sci-fi epics are done with computer graphics, but everything in 2001 was done practically, which adds to the visceral sense that what’s unfolding in the movie is actually real. Featuring some truly incredible sets, and some imagery in its final 20 minutes that is trippier than anything that would be released in a blockbuster today, 2001 still looks just as good as it did when it was released.

It’s been referenced in everything

2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey Metro-Goldwyn Mayer

This reason for checking the movie out is far more practical, but if you’re someone who gets frustrated when you’re watching something and you feel like you don’t understand one of the references that is being made, then 2001 is an absolute mush-watch.

The film’s opening sequence, which features a bunch of primordial humans discovering violence, is directly referenced in Barbie, and also in 50 other movies and TV shows. The movie is filled with the kind of iconography that has made a lasting imprint on film history, and it’s worth watching for that reason alone.

2001: A Space Odyssey is streaming on Prime Video until November 30, 2023. If you’re a sci-fi fan, check out the 10 most influential movies ever made.

Editors' Recommendations

Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
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