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

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Primer -- Two small time engineers trip upon an invention that far surpasses their aspirations.
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.


User Rating:
7.0/10   62,292 votes »
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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Primer on IMDbPro.
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:
Fun scifi romp done on a budget! See more (350 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

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

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?

The budget for the entire film was around $7000. Most of the money was spent on film stock.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
[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:


Why does Granger become comatose after his time trip?
Who is Platts?
Why does Aaron say that the boxes are "one time use only," when they use them day after day?
See more »
145 out of 248 people found the following review useful.
Fun scifi romp done on a budget!, 8 October 2004
Author: Samualt from Earth

No spoilers. I just saw this and thought it was great. It beats Hollywood films because it portrays science in a believable way. The acting was also good and very believable. Shane Carruth did a fine job as writer, director, and actor. I give it an A+.

Film Quality: The lighting and focus weren't always perfect but neither are most big budget films. I loved that you could at least hear everything they were saying in this film unlike most big Hollywood flicks where they ruin it with orchestra music and background noise (I have no idea what Tom Cruise said at the end of Collateral and I doubt anyone else does either.) Primer does an excellent job with film quality, especially considering their small budget. I found this film very watchable.

Story and Plot Quality: The story and plot are also good, but it does get a little convoluted by the end so I was somewhat lost when I left the theater. I think I understood all but the last 15 minutes. Personally, I think the director purposely made the end hard to follow so people might go see it again. I think a simple 2 minute narrative would have filled in all the gaps. A few segues (transition scenes) also could have been a little clearer. I find that I'm still figuring things out many hours later. Perhaps it was bad editing, but more likely a directors trick to make you think and possibly see it again. I would have done a few things different with editing, which is my biggest gripe here.

Who should see it: It isn't really a movie for the family. Take an enlightened friend or perhaps a date if that person has an open mind. The first half of the movie is there just to give background and make you believe that they could build such a machine. Children and old people aren't going to like this one because it doesn't have a lot of whiz-bang type stuff in it (No eye candy for the mentally challenged or immature.) Special effects are scarce, but really aren't needed in this intellectual thriller.

Rating: I rated this movie 10/10, but I was considering it's genre also. A budget scifi with lots of intellectual intrigue. If your looking for childish, comical, Hollywood whiz-bang type crap then go rent "Back To The Future" instead. I think Primer will sort out the men from the boys here!

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (350 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Primer (2004)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
The problem with this film.... peteitsme
Why create the big box in France? jpalmquist-99-955350
Gibberish trottta
Primer is not complicated, it's obfuscated. (and good) Tim851
Think the problem was not its premise but the way it was filmed. blazetariq
What did they call him in the garage? sflesch1
See more »


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