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Donnie Darko (2001)

R  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi  |  26 October 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 541,111 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 2,082 user | 281 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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Arthur Taxier ...
Dr. Fisher
Mark Hoffman ...
Police Officer
Bob Garland
Joanie James


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


You can never go too far. See more »


Drama | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 October 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$727,883 (USA) (1 October 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Richard Kelly grew up in Midlothian, VA. This was used in one of the original scripts, but was later changed to Middlesex, VA. See more »


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 »


[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 »


Referenced in Teen Age Riot (2009) See more »


For Whom the Bell Tolls
Written by Stephen Baker (as Steve Baker) and Carmen Daye
Courtesy of Associated Production Music LLC
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Great movie
9 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Donnie Darko was a great and thought provoking movie. Most people will probably not understand the movie the first time they watch it, because they don't know what to watch for, but the 2nd time you watch the movie most will consider it a great and profound movie. Another way to understand Donnie Darko is to have someone that has already seen the movie to watch it with you and tell you which parts of the movie to remember towards the end of the movie. This is not a movie to watch if one does not like to think during movies. Donnie Darko is also not a movie for the lazy movie watcher to watch. I normally like the easy brained movies that require no thought-process but this is one thought provoking movie that I give a 10 out of 10.

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Message Boards

Recent Posts
IMDb must have wiped out years of commentary .... olliemankz
Why did Dr. Thurman say that it would be just Donnie and Frank? andonethousand
why did Drew B (teacher) buckbo
Why is his mom so calm in the end? monik_dark_angel
Reviewers that gave it a 1 star rating..... J_mac_Attack2000
I just don't get the significance of Jim Cunningham's program... Albino_Hyena
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