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Primer (2004)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 51,109 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 328 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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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

When Abe and Aaron are in the walk-in freezer at the university laboratory, at the end of the scene, the knee of a crew member holding the microphone is visible when they walk out the door. 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

Featured in The 20th IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Staggeringly good, gorgeous, fascinating and beautifully structured science fiction film
23 February 2008 | by (prejudicemadeplausible.wordpress.com) – See all my reviews

If you've heard that "Primer" is a complicated, dense, and difficult film, you heard correctly. This is not simple entertainment, not even complex entertainment, this is a film that demands true focus and attention, and only then is truly rewarding. I can imagine countless bored people who watched and listened to the movie but didn't REALLY pay attention to it, didn't think with it. You simply cannot expect to like "Primer" if you aren't prepared to be an active participant IN the film.

The film is remarkably good visually, especially when budget is considered. Carruth clearly has a lot of talent. The cinematography is excellent, the shot composition is flawless, the strength of the visual storytelling astounding. Carruth's script is the best thing about the movie, and really isn't flawed at all. The dialogue flows naturally and the ideas are absolutely fascinating and captivating, and even the humor is effective. This movie does not use 'technobabble', it uses genuine scientific concepts as a basis for its events, and certainly some degree of knowledge of physics is needed for a proper understanding of the film.

I have seen "Primer" four times and I still don't completely understand it (or, at least I couldn't explain it too well to someone else), even after reading dozens of explanations. It's an incredibly rich and detailed film, and it's one that not only rewards but actually requires multiple viewings. This will and has already put many, many people off watching the film, but it only increases its greatness in my opinion. It is simply incredible how much these guys came up with using so little. Carruth's vision was unique and complete, and he made possibly the greatest debut film ever made, and with a 2:1 shooting ratio (the ratio between the total duration of its footage shot and that which results from its final cut) at that. If that doesn't prove that Carruth knew what he was doing what does? One of the most inventive, original, and unique movies ever made.

10/10


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Primer is not complicated, it's obfuscated. (and good) Tim851
Aging in the Box? superflygt@aol.com
Think the problem was not its premise but the way it was filmed. blazetariq
I understood most of what went on... except this! androtceran
Aaron's wife (sexist?) rzajac
Paradox.. stafil
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