8.1/10
647,748
2,149 user 343 critic

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.

Director:

Writer:

Popularity
480 ( 30)

On Disc

at Amazon

Top Rated Movies #228 | 11 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Memento (2000)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A man juggles searching for his wife's murderer and keeping his short-term memory loss from being an obstacle.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A boy who communicates with spirits seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette
Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An insurance salesman/adjuster discovers his entire life is actually a television show.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney
Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

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

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend.

Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The Bride wakens from a four-year coma. The child she carried in her womb is gone. Now she must wreak vengeance on the team of assassins who betrayed her - a team she was once part of.

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In 1954, a U.S. Marshal investigates the disappearance of a murderer, who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In a future British tyranny, a shadowy freedom fighter, known only by the alias of "V", plots to overthrow it with the help of a young woman.

Director: James McTeigue
Stars: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Rupert Graves
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

When their relationship turns sour, a young couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.

Director: Michel Gondry
Stars: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson
Trainspotting (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.

Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller
Fight Club (1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

An insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, crosses paths with a devil-may-care soapmaker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Meat Loaf
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Arthur Taxier ...
...
Mark Hoffman ...
Police Officer
...
Bob Garland
Tom Tangen ...
Man in Red Jogging Suit
...
...
...
...
Edit

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:

Life is one long insane trip. Some people just have better directions. 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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 October 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Final theatrical film of Patience Cleveland - who played Roberta Sparrow (Grandma Death). See more »

Goofs

When Donnie finds the 1911-style pistol in the closet the hammer is not cocked and the safety is on. It is impossible to engage the safety on a 1911-style unless the hammer is cocked. And there is a screw or pin visible in the rear left side of the slide which does not exist in a real 1911. 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

Referenced in Lesser Known Love: Go Go Moba Boy (2017) 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 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.


354 of 486 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2,149 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page