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Donnie Darko (2001)

A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.

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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
Tom Tangen ...
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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

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

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

26 October 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$194,220 (USA) (16 June 2017)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The words "Cellar Door" are written on the chalkboard in Karen Pomeroy's (Drew Barrymore's) classroom. When Donnie asks about their meaning, she replies that "This famous linguist once said that of all the phrases in the English language, of all the endless combinations of words in all of history, that Cellar Door is the most beautiful." In the director's commentary, Richard Kelly mistakenly attributes the phrase to Edgar Allan Poe, but it was actually J.R.R. Tolkien, who, in his 1955 essay "English and Welsh", said that "Most English-speaking people will admit that cellar door is 'beautiful', especially if dissociated from its sense (and from its spelling). More beautiful than, say, sky, and far more beautiful than beautiful." See more »

Goofs

When the students all write "They made me do it" on the board, Sam Bylen is followed by Donnie Darko. Cherita Chen wrote between those two, but the original cut skips her moment. It is restored in the director's cut. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Elizabeth: I'm voting for Dukakis.
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Crazy Credits

"Proud to Be Loud" Performed by The Dead Green Mummies -- this song is actually performed by the band Pantera. (The Dead Green Mummies do not exist.) Pantera has all but disowned their first four albums, this song is track 5 on the fourth of those albums, "Power Metal." The band presumably did not want to be credited with the song (as they don't consider any of their pre-1990 material part of their discography) and made up the name The Dead Green Mummies. See more »

Connections

Featured in Overrated (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Head Over Heels
Written by Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal
Performed by Tears for Fears
Courtesy of Mercury Records Limited
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A thought provoking masterpiece
6 May 2003 | by (Calgary, Alberta) – See all my reviews

Donnie Darko is a type of movie that provides any viewer a type of material that promotes hard thinking and even harder re-thinking. After the film ends, it's almost impossible to keep yourself from thinking of all the possible way to interpret such a film. It's not quite surreal or full of quirky nonsense, it's more like a set of events, which seem to make sense on one level, no sense on another level, and finally perfect sense on another level. The movie acts as an illusion to what's really going on, its almost pleasantly distracting.

Our main character, Donnie Darko, is a boy suffering from sleep walking, and now what appears to be delusions. He manages to avoid a certain death with the aid of a man in a bunny suit. This twisted bunny also informs Donnie that the world will come to an end within the month. This sparked curiosity and dread in Donnie, who also has every other aspect of a teenager's life to worry about. The film proceeds with the feel of a teen flick, the style of a horror, and a plot suited for a fantasy.

The end of the movie is the part which will make you want to watch it again. You'll think you've discovered what's really going on after the first time, prove yourself wrong on the second time, and will sit and watch every possible detail the third time. Richard Kelly has created an instant cult classic, and perhaps something more than that. Extremely well written with believable characters speaking believable dialogue.

I'll be the first to admit, this film is not for everyone. People will either love it, or despise it with all their heart. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and would recommend it to anyone who has a taste for dark humor and a desire to put the pieces of the puzzle together over and over, long after the film has ended. 10/10


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