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Requiem for a Dream (2000)

R | | Drama | 15 December 2000 (USA)
1:33 | Trailer

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The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions run deep.



(based on the book by), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
320 ( 19)
Top Rated Movies #80 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 33 wins & 62 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Janet Sarno ...
Mrs. Pearlman
Mrs. Scarlini
Joanne Gordon ...
Mrs. Ovadia
Charlotte Aronofsky ...
Mrs. Miles
Michael Kaycheck ...
Donut Cop (as Mike Kaycheck)
Corn Dog Stand Boss
Chas Mastin ...
Lyle Russel


Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) is a retired widow, living in a small apartment. She spends most of her time watching TV, especially a particular self-help show. She has delusions of rising above her current dull existence by being a guest on that show. Her son, Harry (Jared Leto) is a junkie but along with his friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) has visions of making it big by becoming a drug dealer. Harry's girlfriend Marion (Jennifer Connelly) could be fashion designer or artist but is swept along in Harry's drug-centric world. Meanwhile Sara has developed an addiction of her own. She desperately wants to lose weight and so goes on a crash course involving popping pills, pills which turn out to be very addictive and harmful to her mental state. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


From the director of [Pi]



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for intense depiction of drug addiction, graphic sexuality, strong language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 December 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Réquiem por un sueño  »


Box Office


$4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$64,770, 8 October 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Darren Aronofsky wanted Giovanni Ribisi for the role of Harry Goldfarb because he had curly blond hair, which Harry had in the novel. See more »


(at around 1h 30 mins) When surgeons amputate a limb, they first remove the muscles/tendons and the nerves, and then they cut through the bone. They do not simply saw through the flesh as depicted here. See more »


Sara Goldfarb: In the end it's all nice.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits each disappear as if being melted like heroin. See more »


References Ginî piggu 4: Pîtâ no akuma no joi-san (1986) See more »


Bugs' Got a Devilish Grin Conga
Performed by The Moonrats
Marcel Reginatto - Saxophone, Vocals
Brian Emrich - Bass Guitar, Vocals
Oscar Oñoz - Trumpet, Vocals
Theodore Birkey - Keyboards, Vocals
Tico Torres (as Hector Torres) - Percussion, Vocals
Darren Aronofsky - Vocals
Engineered, Programmed and Mixed by James Murphy for DFA at Plantain Recording House NYC
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Awful and Essential
25 November 2002 | by See all my reviews

I'm not going to waste space with a synopsis, as every second or third review provides one. A good indication of a challenging and original film is the number of 1/10 and 10/10 reviews, where the 1/10 reviews consist of just a few lines. A pretty sure sign that those folks weren't able or willing to watch with an open mind. Which is a good sign for casual viewers to give this film a wide berth.

I wish everyone I care about would see Requiem for a Dream. Not because they will like it, or that it will teach them something they did not already know, but that it's a rare piece of work that will challenge and probably change them. It's a film that has never been made before, with nothing to compare to it - a rarity these days. I often find myself recommending films to people that I am unable to briefly describe. These are usually the most involving and affecting ones. I'd like my family to see this, but can't *recommend* it to them. I've recommended it to two friends, and they both had the same reaction: I am glad I watched it, but I doubt I'll be in the frame of mind to watch it again, knowing what you feel.

As I sat watching the credits roll, I began crying, but I'm still not sure why. Partly in reaction to the devastatingly tragic ending, partly the beauty (yes) of the film, partly my gratitude for good things in my life. I watched it again the same night with my girlfriend, not because I wanted to upset her, but I felt that I had to share it. After the credits rolled, we both were silent for a good ten minutes. I found that I had thoughts I wanted to express, but could find no words. This is one of the few films that are painful to experience, but I feel compelled to share with people I care about. Some others in that short list include The Thin Red Line, Happiness, River's Edge,and The Deer Hunter.

These films all share a quality that's difficult to name. No one likes feeling disturbed or shattered by a film, a work of art, a piece of music, but I feel experiencing these emotions and being asked to think, not just be entertained, is important now and then.

"Favorite" does not apply to this for me - this isn't about entertainment. One of the most devastating and beautiful experiences I've had watching a film. One of the top five films I've ever seen.

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