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Donnie Darko (2001)

R  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi  |  26 October 2001 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 527,178 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 2,078 user | 278 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a large bunny rabbit that manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after narrowly escaping a bizarre accident.

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Title: Donnie Darko (2001)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Arthur Taxier ...
Dr. Fisher
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Mark Hoffman ...
Police Officer
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Bob Garland
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Joanie James
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Storyline

Donnie Darko doesn't get along too well with his family, his teachers and his classmates; but he does manage to find a sympathetic friend in Gretchen, who agrees to date him. He has a compassionate psychiatrist, who discovers hypnosis is the means to unlock hidden secrets. His other companion may not be a true ally. Donnie has a friend named Frank - a large bunny which only Donnie can see. When an engine falls off a plane and destroys his bedroom, Donnie is not there. Both the event, and Donnie's escape, seem to have been caused by supernatural events. Donnie's mental illness, if such it is, may never allow him to find out for sure. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What would you do if you knew the future? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some drug use and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 October 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$110,494 (USA) (26 October 2001)

Gross:

$727,883 (USA) (1 October 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Well out of his teens, Vince Vaughn reportedly turned down the part of Donnie due to his age. Mark Wahlberg was interested in the part, but apparently was only willing to play the part with a lisp. Jason Schwartzman was also strongly considered for Donnie, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Tim Robbins was the first choice for the role of Eddie Darko. Mara Wilson was considered for the role of Samantha Darko, but she turned it down. See more »

Goofs

The unmarried Jim Cunningham wears a wedding band throughout the film. According to Richard Kelly, this is an element of his untrustworthy and mysterious nature. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Elizabeth: I'm voting for Dukakis.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the closing credits, on the director's cut, there is the title of the movie followed by a drawing of Frank. See more »

Connections

Featured in Anatomy of a Scene: Donnie Darko (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

The Star Spangled Banner
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Francis Scott Key
Music by John Stafford Smith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
compelling, eerie, intense, haunting, evocative, potent, sad, heroic
22 April 2005 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

Being an angst-ridden teenager has never been easy, especially when you can see what's down the road, and it looks a lot like the end of your world.

Writer and Director Richard Kelly is an artist whose films I will anticipate and Jake Gyllenhaal is truly remarkable among a very rich cast. He plays a troubled young man with a brilliant intellect and a vast imagination, struggling with the boredom of standard education, and a society afraid of its own shadow (e.g. contemporary America). An imaginary friend, Frank - a seven foot tall metal-headed skull-faced demon-rabbit saves his life by removing him from the the scene of a catastrophe just before it occurs, only to lead him down an alternative path to an even more terrible oblivion complete with forecasts of doom, psychiatrists, and self-help charlatans.

This film feels as creepy as any well-made ghost story I have ever seen, yet redefines the genre of supernatural storytelling in a very unique and original way.

Donnie Darko is a film about heroism and sacrifice, decorated with disturbing imagery, the horror of everyday life, and a soundtrack reminiscent of Lynch's best. It is also a film worthy of several viewings and at least as many varied interpretations.

I can not honestly recommend this to anybody who attends films for the pure sake of entertainment. Nor can I recommend it to people who need straight answers or have limited attention spans. It's art, and does not need to provide pat explanations for itself. As entertaining as this film may be, it has an unrelenting and merciless dark side, and might disturb even the most veteran indy film carmudgeon.

This is a great film. See it.


336 of 430 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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why did Drew B (teacher) buckbo
Why did Dr. Thurman say that it would be just Donnie and Frank? andonethousand
Reviewers that gave it a 1 star rating..... J_mac_Attack2000
Why is his mom so calm in the end? monik_dark_angel
'Everyone dies alone' seanmaster25
Is it possible to understand the movie without doing all that research? bradleyjim84
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