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Donnie Darko (2001)

R  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi  |  26 October 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 541,937 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 2,083 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


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


During the film Donnie surrenders to the 3 temptations which Jim Cunningham mentions: alcohol, drugs and premarital sex. The other film that was being played in the cinema where Donnie and Gretchen watched "Evil Dead" was "The Last Temptation of Christ". See more »


While discussing Watership Down in class (1:33 approx. of Director's Cut), Donnie calls his English teacher Ms. Farmer. The character's name is Ms. Pomeroy. Farmer is the gym teacher. 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 The Sims 2 (2004) See more »


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

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

27 October 2001 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

The fact that this is the Directors first film is amazing to me. The scenes dripped with style, yet that style never seemed distracting. None of it was self congratulatory or gluttonous. The visuals were supported by a truly emotional score and its hard to find fault in the 80's pop tunes that found their way into some of the more impressive scenes.

The story is very much thought provoking. Its the type that leaves you pondering the possibilities voiced by the characters. There is nothing condescending about this film. Answers arent simply handed out, rather the viewer is left to draw many conclusions instead. The acting is also top notch. If i hadnt known beforehand that Patrick Swayze was in this film I would have been shocked. His character is amusing and interesting all at the same time. A great cameo for him. Drew Barrymore is forgetable, though that in no way detracts from the film. Of course the star is Jake Gyllenhaal. There is nothing that can be said to properly praise his performance. The rest of the cast chosen fit their roles perfectly. All of these things combine to create a stunning film. One can only hope that filmgoers will give this little gem a shot and support a true wonder. This is the only film I have awarded a 10/10 on the IMDB.

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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
Director's Cut is not good. matthew-vaughn-141-344338
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
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