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Primer (2004)

PG-13 | | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller | 27 May 2005 (Spain)
1:42 | Trailer

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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.



1,954 ( 26)
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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


Engineers Aaron, Abe, Robert and Phillip are working on an invention, the prototype being built in Aaron's garage. This project is beyond their day jobs. The project truly does belong to Aaron and Abe, as they use all their free time working on it, primarily trying to overcome the many engineering related problems they've encountered. It is during one of his tests with the invention running that Abe discovers that a protein inside the main unit has multiplied much more rapidly than it could in nature. Rather than the invention being a protein super incubator, Abe, using himself as a guinea pig, and a very meticulous one at that, discovers that the invention can be used as a time machine. In his self experiment, Abe was especially careful not to interfere with his own self in that time warp. Abe passes along this discovery to Aaron, who he expects will tell his wife Kara in what is the sanctity of their marriage, but he doesn't want to tell either Robert or Phillip. Much to Abe's ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What happens if it actually works? See more »


Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

27 May 2005 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Kapsül  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$424,760 (USA) (17 December 2004)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One scene that did not make the final cut showed that Abe was diabetic. The shot, which showed him taking time out of a conversation because he needed to give himself an insulin injection, was intended to establish that the circumstances of Abe's life have taught him to be careful and methodical. See more »


When Aaron and Will are talking on the basketball court, a boom shadow is visible on Will's shoulder. See more »


[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.
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 »


Featured in Visionado obligado: Primer (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

No Maps for These Territories
9 October 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's not easy to follow. The production values aren't perfect. There's not an obvious 'good guy' or 'bad guy.' But was this movie any good? Oh hell yes.

This movie has been compared to "2001" because of the sci-fi angle. But while the movie has one sci-fi element in it (the device), the movie isn't even about that. It's about these two guys, and how it affects them individually, and their relationship with one another.

I found this movie to be fairly challenging, but worth the ride. I was up for hours discussing this movie with friends, and if that's not what you like to do with your movies, then this one probably isn't for you. But if you like something that tweaks your brain, that you can watch repeated times, that you can really chew on... then here comes "Primer," like a ghost in the night.

It's too early to tell where this movie will reside in cinematic history-- revered, forgotten, or somewhere in between-- but it's already won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance (where it beat out 'Garden State'), and just won't go away. It moves along, it's clever, it held my attention. Even "Pi" didn't do that, and if you're a film nerd, that's saying something.

If you're not a film nerd, approach this one with more caution. Remember, Shane Carruth had no idea even how to make a movie when he started making this one, but the end result is something far more fascinating than your typical film-school snob could ever put together. This is wholly original, and took me someplace I have never been. And that alone makes the "2001" comparison start to look more and more accurate.....

348 of 434 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
when did aaron know abe was not prime? deb-44686
How many duplicates via "fix the party" loop? Is this a plot hole? jmcteer-35663
Nahh, Terrible. Needs Remake... elsucre99
Temporal Analysis of Primer being reposted mjyoung-2
What was Granger doing? joeproof16
Primer is not complicated, it's obfuscated. (and good) Tim851
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