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Primer (2004)

PG-13 | | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller | 27 May 2005 (Spain)
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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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


If you always want what you can't have, what do you want when you can have anything? 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 USA:

$28,162, 10 October 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$424,760, 19 December 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Shane Carruth stated that at most an 80-minute movie could be made from the footage; the film ended up being 78 minutes long. He stated that the shooting ratio was 2:1. See more »


When Aaron and Abe are in the kitchen and Aaron is wiping blood from his ear, the camera crew's reflection can be seen in the oven door. Also a microphone is visible from below and between them. 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,...
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Crazy Credits

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


References The Matrix (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A film for the days when science fiction was about wrestling with ideas . . .
24 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

A group of young scientists work at a frantic pace to invent they are not quite sure what, but their efforts start demonstrating interesting side effects. From their work in a small cottage industry of error checking devices they are forced to confront the fact that they have discovered something too valuable to market. As they explore the potential of their machine, they are caught in a frantic loop to second guess themselves.

Science fiction in the cinema has largely been dominated by the visual impact, and so this is a welcome (for some) return to the world of ideas. This is not an easy-rise entertainment film but one where you have to concentrate to keep up, working out the logical implications of what's happening. If made on the scale of Men in Black or the Matrix it would descend to the level of spoof – as it is we follow the two main characters knowing that their actions are having momentous effects on the world around them and on themselves. Instead of flashy graphics, we are left to keep the ramifications of the story in mind as the characters themselves grapple with what they know is happening but can't even let themselves look at directly.

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