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Overall Rating
4.37

Awesome67.28%
Worth A Look: 16.89%
Average: 6.33%
Pretty Bad: 4.49%
Total Crap: 5.01%

10 reviews, 319 user ratings


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Donnie Darko
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by Rob Gonsalves

"The great American movie of the '00s so far."
5 stars

"Don't worry. You got away with it," says an eerie voice to the titular hero of "Donnie Darko." Those might also have been first-time writer-director Richard Kelly's words to himself on the set every day: Of the many varied and rich mysteries in "Donnie Darko," perhaps none are so compelling as the mystery of how this mesmeric, contemplative whatsit got made in the first place.

But it did — Kelly got away with it — and it's enough to give one hope for the future of movies as a medium still capable of enchantment and surprise. Having gotten a weak, token release in theaters, the movie has now achieved full, strong cult status, one of those oddities that neatly polarizes viewers into the get-its and don't-get-its. Me, I've seen it four times as I write this (probably more as you read this), so take the following as a bit of preaching from the converted.

Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal, dusting himself off after the indignity of Bubble Boy) is sixteen and one of the brighter students at the Middlesex Catholic private school he attends. As Gyllenhaal plays him, Donnie isn't a dorky outsize freak of virtuosity like Max Fischer of Rushmore (interestingly, Kelly's original choice for Donnie was Jason Schwartzman); he wears his intellect lightly, engaging his science teacher (Noah Wyle) in an effortless-sounding conversation on physics during which the teacher seems excited, if a bit nonplussed, at the prospect of having to keep up with one of his own students in science-geek chat (Wyle does quiet, affecting work in his scenes with Gyllenhaal). Donnie has the air of a kid who's spent a lot of time on his own reading and thinking. Oh, and receiving nocturnal visions of "Frank," which appears to be a man in a bunny suit topped with a ghastly metallic insectoid mask. "Why are you wearing that stupid bunny suit?" chortles Donnie (who seldom seems afraid of, or even surprised by, his visitor); Frank's rejoinder is chilling in its ping-pong logic: "Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?"

The story, which unfolds in the autumn of 1988 (as we learn so economically from the movie's first line of dialogue: "I'm voting for Dukakis"), involves time travel, tangent universes, portals -- the usual metaphysical jazz. Those so inclined can, and probably will, spend weeks deconstructing the temporal riffing, the snake-eating-its-tail circularity of the plot. I'm not so inclined; the time-travel aspect is, to me, the least interesting thing about Donnie Darko. I'm more taken with it as a diary of a mood, a moment; Kelly was thirteen in 1988, and though several '80s tunesmiths (Echo and the — ha! — Bunnymen, Tears for Fears, Joy Division, Duran Duran) figure prominently on the soundtrack, the movie doesn't turn them into a jokey K-Tel Super Sounds of the '80s, as The Wedding Singer did. If you were anywhere near high school between 1984 and 1989, the movie will, on some level, feel like your biography, and not just because of the cultural references. Kelly catches the depressive but unbowed mood of a nation after eight years of Reagan, faced with the choice of two lavishly uninspiring presidential candidates. The great fantasist was on his way back to California; God knew what the '90s would bring. Kids in school back then grew up post-Vietnam, absorbed the Iran-Contra affair through dinner-table osmosis; we (I graduated from high school in '88) were perhaps the first generation to be completely steeped in cynicism about our government almost from birth.

That all makes Donnie Darko sound vastly more political than I mean it to; all of that is simply background buzz, the reason its mopey milieu feels so dead-on. I wouldn't dream of giving away the myriad twists and turns, particularly the one on which the whole quivering apparatus is founded; though this isn't an a-ha!, the-main-character-is-really-[fill in the blank] thriller in the mold of The Sixth Sense, it really should be experienced as virginally as possible. Which leaves me with damned little to praise, except in the vaguest terms (wholly befitting the obscurantist movie itself).

My mind keeps flitting back to Sparkle Motion, an adolescent-girl dance team including Donnie's younger sister Samantha (Daveigh Chase), which performs at the school talent show, and gets wild cheers from everyone except unsmiling hipster English teacher Karen Pomeroy (Drew Barrymore, also one of the film's executive producers), who is earlier seen applauding the ungainly interpretive dance "Autumn Angel" by an eternally harassed Chinese student, who appears to have a crush on Donnie, who when not communicating with Frank has eyes only for new student Gretchen (not her given name) Ross (Jena Malone), whose guileless charms move Donnie to near-masturbation during a hypnotherapy session with psychiatrist Lilian Thurman (Katharine Ross), who privately shares the progress of said sessions with Donnie's parents (Mary McDonnell and Holmes Osborne), who dote on Donnie as well as Samantha and older sister Elizabeth (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jake's sister in our world, too), who is bound for Harvard and can't resist tweaking Dad at the table with her liberal leanings, which are definitely not shared by tight-lipped fundamentalist Kitty Farmer (Beth Grant), school gym teacher, Sparkle Motion coach, and acolyte of the self-help wisdom of motivational guru Jim Cunningham (Patrick Swayze), who thinks that everything boils down to fear or love, which, in this movie, everything sort of does.

Kelly shepherds this mad tumble of characters and incidents as smoothly and organically as we could want; it's like Magnolia foreshortened, given a patina of the uncanny, and whetted down to an edge. My favorite moment changes with each viewing; currently it's the genteel cattiness of the scene between Kitty and Donnie's mom Rose, wherein Kitty beseeches Rose to take Sparkle Motion to their destiny at Star Search even though Kitty knows she's the one who should be doing it, and Mary McDonnell coats her line with exquisite subtle malice: "And you can't go. Hmm." Previously, the favorite moment was the meeting of Donnie and Frank in a movie theater (showing The Evil Dead) as Gorecki-esque music groans and keens underneath Frank's instructions to Donnie. Kelly shoots widescreen and dead center, indulging in Kubrickian static shots and drawing out the paranoid trance of the movie's world. There's a geek-worthy shot early on, scored to the synth and hop of Tears for Fears' "Head Over Heels," that takes us from a sideways view of a schoolbus through a bustling school hallway, introducing several characters wordlessly and fixing them for us visually so strongly that their later words and actions seem preordained — that was my favorite the second time through; and the moment that officially handed my heart to the movie during my first date with it comes late in the timeline, when Donnie asks Rose, "How's it feel to have a wacko for a son?" and she pauses and, with every ounce of love and honesty this great actress can work up, gives a three-word answer that just speaks volumes, and just flat kills me.

Donnie Darko will inspire some of its fans to geek out over its paradoxes (are they intentional or not?); I prefer to track the emotional throughline of it — to narrow the film and its hero down to psychological or scientific architecture is to diminish it, to draw an X on a simplistic chalkline between fear and love. Kelly has come in for some criticism for what's assumed to be his sarcastic, superior handling of Kitty Farmer and her self-help savior Jim Cunningham, but I think Kelly loves everyone he takes the trouble to put on the screen — even Jim, who's destined for a Dickensian fate as cosmic payback for his presumptuous mastery of his universe, is a fascinating specimen, and I don't believe he belongs in another movie, as some have charged. Kelly isn't after anything so simple as taking the piss out of fatuous video-hucksters selling the One True Way to Personal Fulfillment (a goal already accomplished in many other films); if anything he's pointing up the folly of being that sure of anything — including oneself — in this (as we're reminded by the movie's closing tune) "mad world."

Aside from that, the drowsy surrealism and elaborate inconclusiveness of Donnie Darko will simultaneously guarantee it a rabid cult and put it way off limits to the don't-get-its. It shares with David Lynch's Eraserhead a stubbornly-what-it-is unhipness that ensures inadvertent, and possibly perennial, hipness. I don't understand some of it — the brooding talk of wormholes and destiny zips right over my head — and many of the characters are so deftly written and delicately played that I can't help wanting more than Kelly allows me to see of them. (The movie does escape the too-many-characters dilemma — also known as the Paul Thomas Anderson Syndrome — by zeroing in on Donnie and his quest.)

But the flaws, if you find them to be so, are merely grit in the texture. As with any richly woven work of art, if you're attuned to it, you take what you need from "Donnie Darko" at each given viewing, and you take something different every time.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4843&reviewer=416
originally posted: 12/23/06 14:20:28
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User Comments

3/15/13 Zach Ostendorf Just amazing, great plot, great acting, great dialogue. I love this movie. 5 stars
9/30/12 VLTampa Wached it several times and I still don't get "it" 2 stars
6/29/12 Matt Funny how time flies.... 5 stars
1/21/11 Crow94 Let your mind flow. 4 stars
9/17/10 Ariel Mesmerising - the scientific slant serves only to underpin the emotional, the focal point. 5 stars
6/03/10 User Name Uneven, though no doubt dark and capitivating. 3 stars
4/18/10 PAUL SHORTT LURID AND DARK BUT ENGAGING 3 stars
12/31/09 Dave A retarded emo kid with an imaginary rabbit. Yawn. 1 stars
12/16/09 A Girl good but not quite great 4 stars
10/01/09 Gremlin Breath of fresh air after all the cookie cutter big name crap movies. 5 stars
8/15/09 CTT Confused and dreary, good sound design 3 stars
7/08/09 *Holy_J@lapeno* Amazing simply amazing. Its a brain buster. A very cool idea behind the movie. 5 stars
6/16/09 Curtis This film requires a brain to watch... otherwise you won't like it... I loved it! 5 stars
3/25/09 mr.mike Pretty much demands a 2nd viewing. Reminds me of David Lynch"s films. 4 stars
3/02/09 Samantha Pruitt interesting, confusing me, still pretty cool! 4 stars
2/01/09 Anonymous. pretty friggin cool. :] 4 stars
12/10/08 rawrg why are you wearing that stupid man suit? 5 stars
11/26/08 Leo T weird wacky stuff... watch the dir cut... 4 stars
3/25/08 frank rox words really can't explain this movie. 5 stars
10/24/07 Ivana Mann Pretentious, overrated rubbish that defines "I don't understand" means "Brilliant." Yucky! 1 stars
10/10/07 carol amazing my favorite movie 5 stars
8/17/07 gerald hawks i think it was the right thing he died i mean donnie was a trouble young man 5 stars
7/31/07 ravenmad takes you to another place and time, but the ending is very sad. 4 stars
7/28/07 fools♫gold Almostasgreatas"Proof", whichGyllenhaal wasalsoin andwhichIunderrated. GREAT deleted scenes 4 stars
6/24/07 Beano i say id do it unprotected with this awesome movie 5 stars
6/09/07 Danielle Ophelia I took this film out for a wine and dine, then groped it up in a back alley. 5 stars
1/15/07 jeannie karlsen can't begin to tell you how much I loved this movie!!!!!! 5 stars
12/24/06 del An out-and-out masterpiece, simply put. 5 stars
11/20/06 Shelbi Hmm, Seen it many times in the past years. Doesnt get old. 5 stars
11/09/06 Dark Enchantress Good movie, could of been better, but good 5 stars
9/13/06 Bitchflaps See Primer instead 1 stars
7/31/06 chris lotsa teenie boppers found a first movie not made by disney to like 2 stars
5/26/06 Michele interesting and beautiful 4 stars
5/12/06 mr.seraph this is one of the most beautiful movies ive ever seens, and is one of my favourites 5 stars
4/21/06 Becky It wasn't as pretentious as I thought it would be. Kept me guessing... I really enjoyed it 4 stars
3/26/06 horse call me old-fashioned but films should have an ending 1 stars
1/16/06 ronald overrated and it sucked after a while 1 stars
12/30/05 Simon I hope this filthy movie wore a condom after mindfucking everybody. 1 stars
12/22/05 ALDO this film feels incomplete ... 3 stars
12/07/05 Karli This movie is just amazing and beautiful! 5 stars
12/04/05 Fireblaze it a great and awesome movie, and you dirtbags who say it isnt are full of sh** 5 stars
11/17/05 J Religion, Philosophy, Time Travel, Love, Fear, a 6 ft tall Bunny. What's not to like? 5 stars
10/23/05 Darryl Stewart An excellent display of mindfuckery. 5 stars
9/25/05 jake great flick. better the 2nd time. 5 stars
9/11/05 matt excellent 5 stars
9/02/05 Eden Extremely good for a debut film, but its getting overexposed now 4 stars
8/31/05 Klondo some windbag told me it was her favorite movie 3 stars
8/26/05 D Buckley It has a good feel, but it's not good. 3 stars
8/12/05 Kelly grabs your attention and holds it the entire way through 5 stars
8/12/05 ALDO could easily be awesome, but far too much setup and too little payoff 3 stars
8/12/05 ES Love the music video when he walks into school = not enough to save this movie 2 stars
8/08/05 E It's interesting in the beginning, but it lost me afterwards 3 stars
7/26/05 harry arvanitis confusing but good 4 stars
7/17/05 DM An extremely ambitious film that is very successful in places and muddled in others. 4 stars
7/09/05 Moctezuma What a load of overrated crap 1 stars
5/13/05 Indrid Cold Uncomfortable mixture of humor and horror. Kudos for audacity, but not execution. 4 stars
5/11/05 Simon Read EricDSnider's review. He got it exactly right. This flick sucked. 1 stars
4/27/05 lio a GOOD director doesn't need the audience to read a primer to understand the story 1 stars
3/16/05 Jody A great movie - Fantastic soundtrack. 5 stars
3/13/05 cinkcool Incredible..watch it multiple times, research on the internet...you'll understand it 5 stars
3/04/05 Jon Smith abominable 1 stars
3/03/05 Laurie Le Blanc An Amazing movie! 5 stars
2/25/05 Margaret a waste of time, it meant nothing in the end 1 stars
1/31/05 Lance Wright Still haven't figured out if it was a dream or not. 4 stars
1/29/05 romeo WHY ARE YOU WEARING THAT STUPID MAN-SUIT? 5 stars
1/15/05 FRANK HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPOS!!! :P 5 stars
12/18/04 Littlepurch wot the hell? don't think, u'll lose all track of proceedings! fantastic n bloody confusin! 5 stars
12/10/04 som1...dunno carol i agree wif u-thought provoking. BUT..the best ting was the music it.undr8d classic!! 5 stars
11/22/04 joel no comments 5 stars
11/09/04 Alaric L Richard Kelly must have been smoking pot, i mean a gaint bunny rabbit? come on 5 stars
11/09/04 none of ya bizzness best film of 2001 5 stars
11/07/04 Joe Huppert NICE 5 stars
10/31/04 Carol Cronin a beautiful, thought-provoking moview 5 stars
10/16/04 Denise cellar door 4 stars
10/15/04 dave it awesome, dude 5 stars
10/08/04 Judith The best movie I've seen in months- I was thinking about it for days afterwards 5 stars
10/04/04 Samuel A really great film, The Butterfly Effect totally stole the ending. 5 stars
9/26/04 Tor Honolulu One of the few movies I can watch over and over and over and it never bores me 5 stars
9/20/04 Daveman A sophomoric bore, endlessly open-ended, yet painfully uninteresting 2 stars
9/15/04 G the best film you will ever see! 5 stars
8/10/04 kyotomatt A very good movie. The ending was a bit predictable. 5 stars
8/09/04 Abbath A must see for anyone looking for something odd. 5 stars
8/08/04 Mike McGilvray One of the best films I've seen in years, and I watch alot of films. 5 stars
7/20/04 Victor H. Greatest movie that i have ever seen. i am obssesed with it. 5 stars
7/13/04 joesmoe the best movie i have ever seen 5 stars
7/01/04 Mikey Crunt The ending will destroy your life. What the hell was it all about? Stupid rabbits 5 stars
6/29/04 Samuel The ending will make you cry. 5 stars
6/26/04 PaleFace More funny than anything, I liked it. 5 stars
6/20/04 Tim Bit confusing at times. Love the ending, explains everything and 'Mad World' perfect tune 4 stars
6/20/04 Crystal It was beyond amaizing! 5 stars
6/19/04 Denise Duspiva good 5 stars
6/18/04 Ryan confusing and sad 1 stars
6/08/04 James Kustes Butterfly Effect seems to copy this a bit. It also reminds me of the book Dilbert Effect 5 stars
6/05/04 MyGreenBed Mostly for the youngin's to get their feet wet in arthouse cinema. Isn't great, isn't bad. 3 stars
5/21/04 Elena Pretty unique and original 5 stars
5/18/04 Sean Woelfel This movie is one of a kind,i like it,especially the creepy Frank the stupid man suit thing 5 stars
5/08/04 Daveman Convoluted, pretenious, boring and not as original as a lot of people would like to think. 2 stars
5/07/04 gollywog Interesting movie 4 stars
5/06/04 J.Peckerfoot fucking awesome. 5 stars
5/04/04 BRENDON IT HAS DEPRESSED ME FOR LIFE 5 stars
5/03/04 A F Damn!! 5 stars
4/30/04 Gray in the end he's realy happy for the first time in his life 5 stars
4/19/04 Klaus Werner Huebers Simply the best teen angst scenarios ever created besides the Joss Whedon universe. 5 stars
4/18/04 laura 'kinky' marilyn low budget, uninteresting, confusing!!! 1 stars
4/17/04 Alex Unique but horribly sad. I was depressed for two days afterwards. 4 stars
4/16/04 Amanda Engle i think this movie portrays something that has not previously been captured in film. 5 stars
4/10/04 Jon&Jane Very Intense - Surreal , Bizzare and 100% Entertainment! 5 stars
3/31/04 sansho Interesting but overrated 3 stars
3/28/04 JaZzi this movie is awesome! and jake is an amazing actor! 5 stars
3/20/04 Pin The Shining, Graduate, and ET bits were good. Acting was iffy in spots. 4 stars
3/20/04 Beastly This had one of the best endings I've ever seen 5 stars
3/19/04 panu Brilliant film making 5 stars
3/19/04 ICLimpBizkit great movie, had to watch it a few times while i wasn't fried to understand it. 5 stars
3/18/04 Umbrella Corporation. Now that demonic-rabit is our employee of the month... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/12/04 Matt This movie has thej power to motivate, to inspire and to devastate 5 stars
3/10/04 sumixam Entertaining and makes you think (in a good way) 5 stars
3/09/04 Steve King Mind-blowing 5 stars
3/05/04 Carly oh my god, finally someone made a movie that is oerfect! 5 stars
3/04/04 J An instant cult classic 4 stars
3/01/04 Andrew bael I kove this movie 5 stars
3/01/04 Star-Crosser .....Wow. 5 stars
2/24/04 Niklas Hte best movie ever! 5 stars
2/06/04 deathtomainstream film making at it's finest. this is a real movie. 5 stars
1/29/04 Zeus Looks like popcorn movies are now trying to cash in on the David Lynch crowd. 2 stars
1/27/04 Chloe Brody This is so awesome! It rocked in every possible way! Maggie is so cool! 5 stars
1/24/04 Elena Amazingly acted; Gyllenhaal pulls you into his vortex world with a natural ease 5 stars
1/16/04 escher Very well done. Drew seemed unnecessary though. 4 stars
1/12/04 Chlo Gyllenhaal Fucking amazing twisted shit! 5 stars
1/08/04 Jordan Jenna Malone is Such a Cutie - Great movie, DIFFERENT! - Emile Hersch would be a better DD 4 stars
12/27/03 I Would Like Showgirls and The Hills Have Eyes, it's not actually good, it's just "cult" 2 stars
12/11/03 eppu lost for words. 5 stars
12/11/03 Anne I totally loved this movie. Each time I see the movie again, the more I love it. Jake Gyl 5 stars
12/06/03 Louis about the best movie ive ever seen. the plot was really clever, not to mention twisted. 5 stars
11/23/03 Andrew Walker Quite simply the best film I've seen in a decade, unmissable! 5 stars
11/15/03 eddie one of the best movies ever made. its up there with fight club... truely amazing. 5 stars
10/22/03 Andy N Refreshing bit of origional script writing at a time when hollywood is running out of ideas 4 stars
10/15/03 Joe Watch this movie 5 stars
10/15/03 ludivina duran this movie is fucking awesome defineltly one of the best movies ever made! 5 stars
10/07/03 Dan Dufour One of the best movies I have ever seen!!! 5 stars
10/07/03 Taylor FUCKING AWESOME! 5 stars
10/02/03 Alvin I think this movie pretty much sucks. Ending did not moralise the story-disappointing 1 stars
9/30/03 g.i. bleed the toxic avenger had more plot twists than this donnie darko dark doodie 1 stars
9/30/03 Clkiff Greene Best movie ever,and I will always remember the first time I saw it. 5 stars
9/27/03 Chlo (Mrs. Jake Gyllenhaal) Dude, this kicked arse!!! 5 stars
9/23/03 Lesli Cox if you ignore the complete paradox it is ok 4 stars
9/22/03 Andrew Smith Donnie Darko is a great movie! Definitely a must see! The storyline is amazing 5 stars
9/21/03 Kai Kleimola Donnie Darko makes you think at the end, its not all about sex or violence 5 stars
9/21/03 Lisa Carroll This was one of the best films of its kind. Very entertaining. 5 stars
9/09/03 Pia The song "Mad World" really made it it, at the end 5 stars
8/29/03 doug kick ass 5 stars
8/28/03 Ben Wosotowsky As Tanya says, it changes you forever. Esp. the song "Mad World" at the end. 5 stars
8/28/03 James Gyllenhaal's performance is wonderful, though most of the film is worthless & pretentious. 2 stars
8/26/03 Tanya Piasentini It changes you forever. 5 stars
8/22/03 Dustin Ridgeway Brilliant camera work, angles, fusion of songs, eeriness, acting excellent. Very disturbing 5 stars
8/19/03 Nick Browne Donnie Darko - A companion to the lost and confused teenagers inside us all! Fantastic!! 5 stars
8/19/03 K Why do people pretend to like movies that suck? 1 stars
8/17/03 Brent Masterpiece 5 stars
8/09/03 Andrew A must buy 5 stars
8/07/03 Vitality1 Totally agree w/Souter's review. This movie needs to be seen & remembered. 5 stars
7/17/03 me... this movie kicked ass, so yall who said it sucked can go die...slowly 5 stars
7/14/03 Trish This movie was great.A little confusing at times.But if you watch it again you'll get it. 5 stars
7/09/03 The Talking Elbow Ambitious, intellectual, but not definitive enough. 4 stars
7/08/03 Charlotte Rayner Excellent 5 stars
7/02/03 jackass i wish donnie would have been tortured by gangsters 1 stars
6/26/03 Dana this is an awesome movie...u have to be high to watch it tho 5 stars
6/20/03 Michael Fuckin cool 5 stars
6/14/03 Eddie Kawelski Funny, endearing & original. Not for everyone, but top marks here..THEY MADE ME DO IT! 4 stars
6/12/03 Jimmy Today it'll make you think, a MUST see 5 stars
6/08/03 Ade Brilliant film must be watched l8 at night on ur own in the dark for full efect 5 stars
6/03/03 Dean Owen Best movie ever...it makes sense too if you think about it. it is the best story line ever 5 stars
5/31/03 Lena Fantastic change from the hackneyed stuff shown most of the time! Mind-boggling! 5 stars
5/29/03 Maalstrom A Truely Inspirational Movie That Expands Your Mind Every Time You Watch It 5 stars
5/25/03 John40 one of my favorites 5 stars
5/19/03 joey wolf quite possibly one of the most complex and meaningful scrips of all time... 5 stars
5/01/03 zeitgeist Richly imaginative and multi-layered, though the ending was a bit lackluster. 5 stars
4/30/03 Angolmois It's a Psychological Drama for teenagers. But only those with brains... 4 stars
4/15/03 Dead Ringers FX Rule! Too many pointless scenes. A shitty movie made be seemingly talented collaborators. 2 stars
4/07/03 Adam LaDuke A masterpeice of Sci-Fi wizardry 5 stars
4/02/03 Mike Disturbing, awsome 5 stars
3/23/03 jim one of best sci-fi flicks that kept it real and both interesting at same time, A++++ 5 stars
3/22/03 thorpedo incredible 5 stars
3/22/03 Skankin' inThePit my favorite film--best movie ever 5 stars
3/19/03 Jack Sommersby Ambitious and imaginatively written, but it's all to little avail. 2 stars
3/17/03 Robbie Banfitch yup, my favorite 5 stars
3/07/03 Brie this film is crazy and kick ass 5 stars
3/02/03 Rilee Hollingshead Its Awesome...Very Differnt 5 stars
3/02/03 karen my favorite movie, and i adore the gyllenhaals. A fucking plus. 5 stars
2/28/03 Dennis Jones Exelent movie, real thinker 5 stars
2/26/03 Logan Alkins Absolutely amazing film, a cult classic 5 stars
2/22/03 eFstuck one of my favorite films ever... 5 stars
2/21/03 Jim the movie geek a fantastic, unusual film, it portrays teenagers like they are. Long live Donnie. 5 stars
2/19/03 Pure Spring Water There is a thin line between open-ended and unexplained 4 stars
2/11/03 PAPPP Difficult to understand, but benifits from it. 5 stars
2/08/03 Skankin'inThePit Sometimes I doubt Your Commitment to Sparcle Motion! Best movie ever. period. 5 stars
2/08/03 natasha_theobald ambitious, bold, intriguing -- I loved it. 5 stars
2/07/03 Terry Absolutely brilliant! Wanna buy the DVD after seeing the movie once! 5 stars
2/04/03 Marleya Brillient 5 stars
2/04/03 Charles that scene when we first see the school was sooo cool. I love Sparkle Motion 5 stars
2/02/03 The Infamous EL NINA~ Donnie is the sexiest thing since Sloth (The Goonies.) I CAN DO ANYTHING I WANT & SO CAN U! 5 stars
2/01/03 Grospt Darkly brilliant 4 stars
2/01/03 Mr. Freeze GENIUS, PURE GENIUS. 5 stars
2/01/03 Jay One of the best movies i have ever seen! 5 stars
1/29/03 Marvin Queets Among the finest films of the past 10 years. A first-rate cross-genre mind-bender. 5 stars
1/24/03 Goofy Maxwell Cogent treatment of God, chaos & social disorder w.o. fatalism of "Cuckoo's Nest". 5 stars
1/23/03 Monster W. Kung Ridiculously overrated. Interesting ideas alone don't equal greatness. 3 stars
1/21/03 Matthew Smith what's the fuss over this piece of crap, overrated 3 stars
1/14/03 Vitality1 DVD extras definitely help. If only I could find this somewhere for sale! Damn good!! 5 stars
1/11/03 thejames Unique plot, wonderful acting and a great soundtrack. Not a single flaw. 5 stars
1/11/03 Marcello Ferenczy Confusing at first, but it gets better as the movie progresses. 5 stars
1/09/03 Mark Doggett The Best film i have ever seen 5 stars
1/04/03 Vince like it a lot. 5 stars
1/04/03 Simon You'll look at everything in a different perspective 5 stars
12/29/02 M. Reed if a movie leaves you feeling different than before then it is good....and this was perfect 5 stars
12/28/02 anniebelle haunting--couldn't forget it 4 stars
12/25/02 Marshall Absolutely Awseome!!! About time a movie made me think 5 stars
12/12/02 Phillip Iovino Dark and detailed. Unpredictable at times. 5 stars
12/09/02 Lauren McQuill Excellent! Mind-bending must see 5 stars
12/04/02 Gaz unable to express in words how good this was 5 stars
12/03/02 Via Della Rocca Not one to watch with your Grandmother who gets confused over the simplest of films 5 stars
11/21/02 Joseph Kettering Clever and fascinating with excellent performances 5 stars
11/06/02 Megan Hunt The is one of my absolute favorite films. It is definitely worth watching multiple times. 5 stars
11/06/02 Jim That rabbit was the freakin' creepiest thing I've seen in a long time ... 4 stars
11/03/02 Lord of the Flames So many clever little bits + clever original plot = kickass movie, SEE IT! 4 stars
11/01/02 Sara Bracher Best thing I've seen in ages 5 stars
10/31/02 Aiken Drum Mulholland Drive with teens. I thought it was going to be better after the hype. Hype sucks 4 stars
10/30/02 Andrew Trust me....you have no idea, nothing in this movie is what it seems to be 5 stars
10/30/02 ironfroggy Donnie Darko was worth all the late fees I paid to watch it a few more times. 5 stars
10/29/02 mattski dazzling, intelligent and original. plain awesome 5 stars
10/28/02 ^elendil^ A lot to say under an enjoyable sci-fi/mystery. 5 stars
10/18/02 Darkest of the Darkos An incredibly wicked take on "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Harvey". Intelligent fare. 4 stars
10/15/02 buffalojoe To quote Eric Cartman: "That movie has warped my fragile little mind." 5 stars
9/19/02 jashuay beautiful story line... the director's explanation on the dvd is fuckin dumb... 5 stars
9/18/02 Getchell Williams Awsome 5 stars
9/13/02 Monster W. Kung Good premise, good development. A little bit too many gratuitous 80s references. 4 stars
9/10/02 Mark Spivey Ive seen a lot of movies. This is the best, and theres not a shadow of a doubt about it. 5 stars
8/21/02 Gid Eva This movie blew my fucking mind. Surely a fine moment for american cinema 5 stars
8/10/02 Jon See it, or blee it! 5 stars
8/10/02 Girl 9 How can one movie be so intriguing yet annoying? The ending makes it just average. 3 stars
8/10/02 Rob A soul-stirring, surrealistic masterpiece. I rarely get as emotionally attached to a film. 5 stars
8/09/02 LessThanColleen Amazing, very twisted....my kind of movie. Kinda slaps you in the face at the end! A+ 5 stars
8/08/02 frozen yogi see this movie. now. it will blow your mind. 5 stars
7/31/02 Elizabeth Perry This movie was excelently done, everyone did their part perfectly 5 stars
7/30/02 Krakanova I shouldn't say anything. Richard Kelly's first film. He's not gonna do Scooby Do II 5 stars
7/10/02 .Choadushouse. Stunning. It took me by surprise. Great performances and insane twists! 5 stars
7/03/02 Albie Can't stop wayching it on DVD. Great performances and doesn,t sell out at all. 5 stars
6/22/02 Narco Dammit, why the hell didn't anyone see this? Gyllenhall and Malone are great. 5 stars
6/21/02 Gem I'm in love with this movie 5 stars
6/14/02 Pips HOLY SHIOT!!!! FUCKING AMAZING!!!!! 5 stars
6/12/02 Sara S. speaks to nearly every human emotion, leaves you stunned, one of the best films ever made 5 stars
5/28/02 luke my god its beautiful 5 stars
5/15/02 Bruiser Woods Subtext isn't as viewer-friendly as other heady movies like this, but it's quietly moving 5 stars
5/15/02 Lexy Z One of the best I've seen recently. 4 stars
4/25/02 Streppy if this flick was full of surprises for you..... then you really have to get out more... 3 stars
4/24/02 Roy Smith A stranger, slower version of Jaboc's Ladder for kids, illogic is not art. 3 stars
4/08/02 Joce this movie is the best it is my favorite I cant wait to see what the next movie is like!!! 5 stars
4/08/02 stoolie-bird the movie it ripped off, "the last temptation of christ", was much better. 3 stars
4/06/02 :) EricDsnyder, your all wrong i thought this movie was great, but you liked pearl harbor 5 stars
4/05/02 Phil Excellent film. One of my top five. 5 stars
4/03/02 Tom CUnningham Amazing!! Most people will never understand this movie, Much less appreciate it!! 5 stars
4/03/02 Pirate Jenny hauntingly beautiful. gets better every time you watch it. 5 stars
4/02/02 Rebecca I loved it, I just wish i understood it 5 stars
3/29/02 nubia ortega one of the best movies i've ever seen 5 stars
3/28/02 Michael Grimm WOW!!! Too inteligent for Hollywood. Can't wait for Kelly's next one. 5 stars
3/28/02 natasha unbelievable, mesmerizing -- you must see it! 5 stars
3/27/02 D. Jah-Voo patrick swayze as the anti-christ! 4 stars
3/26/02 Axe Murderer ok movie...but thats just about it 3 stars
3/24/02 Taylor A I loved it. Thats all i can say. 5 stars
3/22/02 Adam McDonald A timeless movie. It should be seen by anyone not afraid to think with their own brain. 5 stars
3/22/02 BigLebowski Great twist on teen angst flick... soundtrack outstanding... 4 stars
3/22/02 lauren mccreight I found myself waiting for something big to happen….it never did. 3 stars
3/21/02 Spyguy2 Damn! That was something special. Makes my favorite top 10, hell, top 5. See it. 5 stars
3/20/02 Tim FUCKING AWESOME! 5 stars
3/17/02 sheri brilliant 5 stars
3/03/02 Queen A Beautiful Film ... 5 stars
2/20/02 Sophia Holywelkin Sad, funny, creepy, moving... Pure genius. 5 stars
2/15/02 Lo if you dont understand it, you werent paying attention. watch it again and THINK!!!!!! 5 stars
2/05/02 NiKoyes Very fucking good movie 5 stars
2/03/02 Matt the best movie of the years 5 stars
2/02/02 Sara M. I loved it. I found it funny, thought provoking, original, and engrossing. 5 stars
1/29/02 Carly Gyllen. is great, Malone is miscast. Somewhat confusing, but funny and thought-provoking. 5 stars
1/24/02 zach whats with the ending? 5 stars
1/18/02 Monyman Bitchslap Reviewer is a stupid one 5 stars
1/18/02 Lara I saw this movie months ago and I still catch myself thinking about it 5 stars
1/14/02 Ruth go to donniedarko.com after seeing it, it clears a lot up. then see it again! 5 stars
1/14/02 Stan good movie 4 stars
1/11/02 Andy Darko score w/ Mad World at enjoy-records.com 5 stars
12/21/01 James Wolcott Valis meets Bergman?! 5 stars
12/14/01 Andy Serros A magnificent step forward for filmmaking. 5 stars
12/07/01 King of the Bros Can't wait for the sequel Darky Dorko starring Jaleel White!!! 5 stars
12/05/01 Andrew Carden Awesome Movie With An Excellent Script. 5 stars
11/26/01 Caiphn Bunnies are cute! 4 stars
11/22/01 Donnie Darko Trite, forgettable crap. Truly overrated 1 stars
11/19/01 Ashley I can't wait to go back and see this movie at least twice more. 'Twas amazing! 5 stars
11/17/01 Jeff This movie totally rocked. dark, unpredictable. great acting. 5 stars
11/16/01 Zeffer It's sad to think that those who don't understand a movie would rip on it. 5 stars
11/13/01 Da Shit what's lacking is more than made up for by the accuracy of its portrayal of adolescence 5 stars
11/12/01 tommy biondic I thought it had a really good idea about time travel, but the comedy spoiled it 4 stars
11/08/01 Lilly Worked on many levels...Hurray for your first movie Richard...please make some more SOON 5 stars
11/06/01 Mortis Excellent in everyway-script,directing,acting. Intense and wonderful! 5 stars
11/02/01 Leah Jake roks in everything he does!!!! Best actor ever!!! 5 stars
11/02/01 Shawn G. I thought it was good.....not overrated...me no like Drew though.. 5 stars
11/01/01 Matt Jena Malone was not in Scary Movie! 4 stars
11/01/01 Christie awesome debut- jack of all genres, master of none. hope it makes $$$ 5 stars
10/30/01 Sean Very well done, story and visually wonderful. 5 stars
10/27/01 Jeff Rigoni a pompous display of cum gargling nimrods at their best....indie dorks. 1 stars
10/26/01 Raymond L'Heureux donnie darko... to sum it up was for the legally schitzophrenics like myself!!! 5 stars
10/22/01 Boomshanka A great debut, but too much mustard on the hot dog. 4 stars
10/18/01 Lindsey My all-time favorite movie--I can't wait until the dvd with all the cut scenes! 5 stars
10/13/01 Brendon Macaraeg not perfect, but fun yet challenging to watch -- and what's wrong with that? 4 stars
9/18/01 Jan Zeleny best american movie since BRAZIL, you bitches 5 stars
9/10/01 Eva Fantastic! 5 stars
8/18/01 KL It should be obvious from this film that Richard Kelly has a ton of talent. See it twice. 5 stars
8/15/01 Sarah I was 20 minutes late for an interview because I couldn't bear to leave the film early. 5 stars
8/13/01 Eva One of the few films out there that ask you not to turn of your brain. 4 stars
8/09/01 Klaus Schneider 2 hours were not enough to tell the story 5 stars
8/01/01 Olof Truly amazing 5 stars
7/15/01 Tony Hansen Ooooh, oh no, a scary bunny rabbit. Isn't that deep? 2 stars
3/15/01 kerry this was way cool man. 5 stars
3/09/01 Jessica This movie may have been Richard's first but it was very well written and well done. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  26-Oct-2001 (R)
  DVD: 04-Feb-2003

UK
  N/A

Australia
  17-Oct-2002




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