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Primer (2004)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 55,057 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 338 user | 141 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there's something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they've built, wrestle over their new invention.

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Title: Primer (2004)

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2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Aaron
...
Abe
...
Robert
...
Phillip
Carrie Crawford ...
Kara
Jay Butler ...
Metalshop Worker
John Carruth ...
Man On Couch #1
Juan Tapia ...
Man On Couch #2
Ashley Warren ...
Hostess
...
Rachel Granger
Chip Carruth ...
Thomas Granger
Delaney Price ...
Laney
Jack Pyland ...
Aaron's Co-worker
Keith Bradshaw ...
Ashok Upadhyaya ...
Laboratory Technician
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Storyline

At night and on weekends, four men in a suburban garage have built a cottage industry of error-checking devices. But, they know that there is something more. There is some idea, some mechanism, some accidental side effect that is standing between them and a pure leap of innovation. And so, through trial and error they are building the device that is missing most. However, two of these men find the device and immediately realize that it is too valuable to market. The limit of their trust in each other is strained when they are faced with the question, If you always want what you can't have, what do you want when you can have anything? Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you always want what you can't have, what do you want when you can have anything? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 May 2005 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Kapsül  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$28,162 (USA) (8 October 2004)

Gross:

$424,760 (USA) (17 December 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The budget for the entire film was around $7000. Most of the money was spent on film stock. See more »

Goofs

During numerous takes the director, Shane Carruth, mutters "cut" under his breath. According to the DVD commentary, this is due to their extremely low budget which did not allow them to "waste" film. Carruth notes that a total of 80 minutes of footage was shot; the final film is 78 minutes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Aaron: [Sound of a phone ringing. Aaron, voiceover:] Here's what's going to happen. I'm gonna read this, and you're gonna listen, and you're gonna stay on the line. And you're not gonna interrupt, and you're not gonna speak for any reason. Some of this you know. I'm gonna start at the top of the page.
[pause]
Aaron: Meticulous, yes. Methodical, educated; they were these things. Nothing extreme. Like anyone, they varied. There were days of mistakes and laziness and in-fighting, and there were days,...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to Scott Douglass for having the faith to invest in the final stages of marketing and post production See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Deconstructor: Time Travel (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Incredible
13 June 2004 | by (Atlanta, GA, USA) – See all my reviews

You remember the first time you saw The Matrix (please, not the awful sequels) and you could barely keep up with what was going on, trying to piece together the pieces of what you were being told into a coherent story?

This movie was exactly like that. The first half or so is fairly linear (despite the frenzied Altman-esque style of everyone talking on top of each other), but then it gets WEIRD and it just absolutely blew me away. This film won a major Sundance award, and normally that means I won't like it (especially the normally pandering audience award winners) but this movie, and first-time filmmaker Shane Carruth, deserves absolutely everything it gets. I am just blown away.

Did you like Pi? If so, go see this one.

By the way, the attention to detail in the beginning is great. Often in thrillers with technical content, if you have a technical education you have consciously ignore all the stupid movie crud that they pull to make it into a good story. But this movie pulls off an incredibly believable technical story, with only a few distracting gaffs. That is, the tech jargon is good enough that you don't get distracted and can focus on the story line.

Final comment: Yes, it is very hard to follow the story line in this movie.

Obviously I'm not going to spoil it, but I think the following fact will help when the movie gets kind of hairy towards the end: Aaron is the dark-haired guy, Abe is the blond-haired guy.

This movie now has distribution and you should keep an eye out for it in the fall.


206 of 267 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Primer is not complicated, it's obfuscated. (and good) Tim851
Think the problem was not its premise but the way it was filmed. blazetariq
Paradox.. stafil
Aging in the Box? superflygt@aol.com
Why create the big box in France? jpalmquist-99-955350
Aaron's wife (sexist?) rzajac
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