If you think its a good movie then do me a favor, cut out ALL the parts where there is NO dialog, plot development character development, or story progression and then get back to me, okay? i think you'll find you have a movie that is 30, maybe 40 minutes tops. yes you can have character and plot development visually but that is NOT what you get in 2001, you get crap floating in space to music PERIOD. Just look at how long that simple flight to the moon takes, fuck look at how long that damned stewedardess takes just bringing a fricking tray! Is that tray integral to the story? Does it move the plot forward? NOPE, its just Kubrick being in love with the idea of space travel so he has to show us every.boring.tiny.bit. of space travel.
As Nicholas Meyer once said "A scene should never last for longer than it can justify itself" and Good Lord is that rule ever broken in 2001! BTW did you know that what you are watching is the SECOND release? The ORIGINAL theatrical release had another hour and ten minutes of crap floating in space to music and he had so many people walking out and bad reactions to screenings he cut it down, so why do you think X amount of crap floating in space is good but everyone thought Y amount of crap floating in space is bad?
So I'm sorry but for me there is one simple little test,how much of the movie can you HONESTLY describe the plot, not guess and make up shit like so many of the Kubrickians do, which just FYI look up what Kubrick has said on the movie and you'll see it wasn't SUPPOSED to have any kind of defined meaning...well if your fricking director says something doesn't have meaning then guess what? It doesn't have a fricking script because THAT IS WHAT THE SCRIPT IS FOR, it lays out what the fricking film is about, but how much of the ACTUAL plot can you honestly describe that isn't gonna end up EXACTLY like what Matthew was doing, "the ship is going, the ship is going, the ship is going" a billion times over?
And just FYI I don't agree with everything matthew says its just damned hard to find any critic that doesn't suck Kubrick's dick, no different than how Terrence Malick can make the most pretentious POS in the history of film and the critics will trip over themselves to kiss his ass, in fact you'd be hard pressed to find a director whose behind got kissed more than Kubrick, he could have filmed a guy eating a pickle and won an Oscar. But again look at Kubrick's own work, ALL of his movies have rich plot, characters, narrative...except one. Hell you could remove the fricking sound from a good 60% of the movie and not miss a damned thing because its just SFX put to music!
BTW if you want to see a GOOD movie with no CGI booms, no SFX put to music, just a deep rich story that makes you think? Try "The Man From Earth" sometime, or hell pretty much anything Kubrick did OTHER than 2001. Even Clarke said there weren't any definitive answers to be found on screen....really? I mean for fucks sake the guy is admitting that even the writer doesn't have an answer which means there IS no answer, and he STILL gets a pass?