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Donnie Darko (2001)

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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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Top Rated Movies #212 | 11 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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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

Taglines:

Dark. Darker. Darko. 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:

$727,883 (USA) (1 October 2004)
 »

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

Well out of his teens, Vince Vaughn reportedly turned down the part of Donnie due to his age. Mark Wahlberg was interested in the part, but apparently was only willing to play the part with a lisp. Jason Schwartzman was also strongly considered for Donnie, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Tim Robbins was the first choice for the role of Eddie Darko. Mara Wilson was considered for the role of Samantha Darko, but she turned it down. See more »

Goofs

Elizabeth receives her admission letter to Harvard in October, before Halloween. (The party she and Donnie have is a Halloween party to celebrate her admission.) However, Harvard belongs to the universities that use the universal application and notification dates: applications have to be received by Januay 1 and letters of acceptance (or rejection) are mailed on April 15. To be coherent with Harvard's system, the film would have to take place in April, not October. 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 Dancing with the Stars: Round Five (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Notorious
Written by Simon Le Bon (as Simon LeBon), Nick Rhodes and John Taylor
Performed by Duran Duran
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
compelling, eerie, intense, haunting, evocative, potent, sad, heroic
22 April 2005 | by (Vulcan) – 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.


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Recent Posts
Donnie's mental issues prior to the jet engine falling thenotblindbandit
Gyllenhaal peaked here ciscothekid
Director's Cut is not good. matthew-vaughn-141-344338
IMDb must have wiped out years of commentary .... olliemankz
No other movie touched me the way this one did Reznik_T
Are Gretchen and Donnie's mom the same person? cartesianthought
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