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Primer (2004)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 53,240 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 337 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:

What happens if it actually works? 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 is about to reveal to Aaron how the time manipulator works, they are standing in front of the white truck. The four-way hazard blinkers are blinking, then the camera cuts to another one. At that point, the blinkers are off. Then they are on again with the third camera change. 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

References The Matrix (1999) 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.....


309 of 373 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
Aging in the Box? superflygt@aol.com
I understood most of what went on... except this! androtceran
Aaron's wife (sexist?) rzajac
Why create the big box in France? jpalmquist-99-955350
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