Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Stanley Kubrick | 1964 | ★★★★★
After suffering some sort of psychotic break, a general at a small, remote military base (Sterling Hayden) gives orders for the aircraft under his control to launch an attack against the USSR. With only him knowing the recall code, the US president (Peter Sellers) and his war committee search for a way to avoid all-out nuclear conflict – a search that becomes ever more frantic after they learn that the Soviets have just finished the construction of a doomsday machine, which will automatically launch a counterattack against the US so potent that it would wipe out most of the world’s population and leave it all but uninhabitable for the next 93 years. Contrasting beautifully lit, deliberately composed interior scenes with handheld, grainy combat footage, mirrored in the contrast between the grim subject matter and the oft low-brow humour, further underscored by the curious combination of both straight and broad performances, Kubrick’s brilliant black comedy is certainly a strange mix, but – against all the odds – a decidedly heady one, never the less.