IMDb > Primer (2004)
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Primer (2004) More at IMDbPro »

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Primer -- 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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7.0/10   50,924 votes »
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Release Date:
27 May 2005 (Spain) See more »
If you always want what you can't have, what do you want when you can have anything? See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
2 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Staggeringly good, gorgeous, fascinating and beautifully structured science fiction film See more (327 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Shane Carruth ... Aaron

David Sullivan ... Abe

Casey Gooden ... Robert

Anand Upadhyaya ... Phillip
Carrie Crawford ... Kara
Jay Butler ... Metalshop Worker
John Carruth ... Man On Couch #1
Juan Tapia ... Man On Couch #2
Ashley Warren ... Hostess

Samantha Thomson ... Rachel Granger
Chip Carruth ... Thomas Granger
Delaney Price ... Laney
Jack Pyland ... Aaron's Co-worker
Keith Bradshaw ... Clean Room Technician
Ashok Upadhyaya ... Laboratory Technician
Brandon Blagg ... Will
Jon Cook ... Will's Cousin
David Joyner ... Rachel's Date
Eric De Soualhat ... Translator
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Kevin Lucero Less ... Seth (uncredited)
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Directed by
Shane Carruth 
Writing credits
Shane Carruth 

Produced by
Shane Carruth .... producer
Original Music by
Shane Carruth 
Cinematography by
Troy Dick (uncredited)
Film Editing by
Shane Carruth 
Casting by
Shane Carruth 
Production Design by
Shane Carruth 
Sound Department
Shane Carruth .... sound designer
Reggie Evans .... location sound
David Ho .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Daniel Bueche .... camera operator
James Russell .... assistant camera
Anand Upadhyaya .... camera operator
Editorial Department
Omar Godinez .... telecine colorist (uncredited)
Other crew
Chip Carruth .... caterer
Kathy Carruth .... caterer
David Sullivan .... production assistant
Scott Douglass .... thanks
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for brief language
77 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

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 »
Boom mic visible: Boom shadow is visible on the truck door when Abe and Aaron are at the gas station.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, good days, when by anyone's judgment they would have to be considered clever. No one would say that what they were doing was complicated. It wouldn't even be considered new, except for maybe in the geological sense. They took from their surroundings what was needed and made of it something more.
See more »
Movie Connections:


What is the conventional understanding of what occurs in the film?
What is the object initially placed into the box, which ultimately accrues the protein buildup?
Whose voice is heard speaking on the phone, and to whom is he speaking?
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58 out of 88 people found the following review useful.
Staggeringly good, gorgeous, fascinating and beautifully structured science fiction film, 23 February 2008
Author: ametaphysicalshark from

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.


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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Primer (2004)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Time travel sketch! Srirachachau
I understood most of what went on... except this! androtceran
Primer is not complicated, it's obfuscated. (and good) Tim851
Technically fascinating but 'soulless' abnormallynormal001
So who is the worse friend? Abe or Aaron? Makarov-324
Aaron's wife (sexist?) rzajac
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