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Donnie Darko (2001)

R  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi  |  26 October 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 541,447 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 2,081 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


Dark. Darker. Darko. 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?


Noah Wyle's character, Prof. Kenneth Monnitoff, is seen eating hard candy in some scenes because Wyle decided his character would be diabetic. See more »


When Donnie's science teacher begins talking about Roberta Sparrow's book, Donnie puts the Slinky around his neck. The camera cuts to Donnie taking the book and cuts directly back to a rear angle of Donnie to show the Slinky still taut around his neck, which it would not be if he had released his grip on one end of it. See more »


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

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 »


References The Stepford Wives (1975) See more »


Ave Maria
Written by Giulio Caccini (as Giulio Caccino) and Paul Pritchard
Courtesy of Associated Production Music LLC
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Brilliant mix of black-humour, time-travel and a teen love story.
4 June 2004 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Donnie Darko (2001) - 9.5 / 10

There are very few movies that hit at such a level 'Donnie Darko' does. It weaves in everything about a movie you've come to love; and it has something different to offer everyone.

'Donnie Darko' tells the story of a young Middlesex guy, Donnie Darko. He's a fairly troubled teenager, who awakes one night to confront the shocking news that the world will end in 28 days time. Over the course of these 28 days we watch as Donnie turns everyone's lives upside down, and witness things only possible in your darkest dreams.

Jake Gyllenhaal (The Day After Tomorrow, October Sky) plays a brilliant troubled teenager. Giving us the best performance of his career. Mary McDonnell (Independence Day) plays Donnie's mother with the same dedication and brilliance any mother would.

If you haven't yet seen 'Donnie Darko', place it at the top of your to see list! If you've seen it, place it at the top of your to buy list! Easily one of the top ten movies of all time.

282 of 514 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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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