As a life-long movie buff, I love a great many movies dearly, but the movies of one individual director have impressed, amazed, influenced and obsessed me more than those of any other. That director is Stanley Kubrick.

With the possible exception of his first two and final films (Fear and Desire and Killer's Kiss, both low budget journeyman films, and the tragically incomplete Eyes Wide Shut), each and every one of Kubrick's films stands out as a true cinematic gem. Some have even risen to the status of cultural milestones. Let's go through them.

The Killing (1956), starring Sterling Hayden and a stellar cast of noir actors is perhaps the greatest heist film ever made. Hard boiled, beautifully shot and innovatively paced, it still stands out today as an influential gem. There would have been no Reservoir Dogs without it.

Paths of Glory (1958), one of the most infuriating war films of all time. Set during World War I, three French soldiers are chosen to be executed for cowardice after a disastrous, doomed attempt to take a fortified German position. Kirk Douglas plays Captain Dax, the man chosen to serve as the soldiers' defense. Still incredibly moving today.

Spartacus (1960), also starring Kirk Douglas, was one of the most successful films of the year it was released. Even though Kubrick later disowned it, saying he was brought in as a hired gun, it still stands the test of time as one of the best of the epic films of that particular Hollywood era.

L o l i t a (1961) was a film they said could never be made. Based on the shocking bestseller by Vladimir Nabokov, the movie isn't quite as racy as the source material, but it gets away with much. Also, it happens to be deeply disturbing and moving. It also introduced Kubrick to Peter Sellars, who played multiple roles in both this film as well as...

Dr Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). At the time, in the wake of the October Crisis and the assassination of JFK, the idea of making a comedy about nuclear war was unthinkable. Kubrick proved them wrong, and crafted one of the funniest, most intelligent, and most diabolically bleak films of all time in the process. His follow-up was no less ground-breaking...

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). When you watch it now and realize we hadn't yet walked on the moon by the time this was shot, it becomes all the more incredible. One critic of the day said that 2001 wasn't about space travel... that it WAS space travel. Glacially paced, the special effects still boggle the mind to this day. A re-invention of the cinematic form.

Clockwork Orange (1971) was a brutal, savage, misanthropic exploration of civilization gone bad in the form of Alex and his gang of ultraviolent Droogs. If 2001 seemed like a promise, Clockwork Orange was more of a threat.

Barry Lyndon (1975) was one of Kubrick's only financial failures. Too bad, as it is one of the most beautiful films ever made. Set in 18th century Europe, it looks like Kubrick used a time machine to get some shots. Every frame of this film is a portrait.

The Shining (1980) disappointed some Stephen King fans back in the day, but in the years since this one was released, it has only gained in reputation as one of the most disturbing, spine-tingling supernatural thrillers ever made. It is so disturbing, in fact, that a cottage industry of "secret seekers" find all kinds of hidden meanings and subliminal messages in it.

Full Metal Jacket (1987) was Kubrick's Vietnam movie. Some people say the first half is better than the second, but that's only because the first half, featuring a profanity-spewing drill sergeant , is more memorable. Watch it again and see what you think.

Well, if that's not evidence enough of my love for Kubrick, I don't know what would be!