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A Scanner Darkly (2006)

R  |   |  Animation, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  28 July 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 85,626 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 292 user | 227 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

An undercover cop in a not-too-distant future becomes involved with a dangerous new drug and begins to lose his own identity as a result.



(novel), (screenplay)
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3 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brown Bear Lodge Host
Sean Allen ...
Additional Fred Scramble Suit Voice (voice)
Cliff Haby ...
Natasha Valdez ...
Mark Turner ...
Additional Hank Scramble Suit Voice (voice)
Medical Deputy #2
Medical Deputy #1
Arctor's Daughter #1
Sarah Menchaca ...
Arctor's Daughter #2


In a totalitarian society in a near future, the undercover detective Bob Archor is working with a small time group of drug users trying to reach the big distributors of a brain-damaging drug called Substance D. His assignment is promoted by the recovery center New Path Corporation, and when Bob begins to lose his own identity and have schizophrenic behavior, he is submitted to tests to check his mental conditions. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What Does A Scanner See? See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug and sexual content, language and a brief violent image | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 July 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Una mirada a la oscuridad  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$8,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$391,672 (USA) (7 July 2006)


$5,480,996 (USA) (6 October 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Richard Linklater intended to film the Philip K. Dick novel "Ubik," but decided to film Dick's "A Scanner Darkly" instead after Wiley Wiggins, who played the main character in Linklater's film Waking Life (2001), suggested it to him. See more »


When Luckman first brings in the bike, he lifts the front wheel into the air, holding the bike with both hands on the handle bars. As the scene cuts to a different angle while he is talking, one hand is now on the cross bar with the other still on the handle bars. See more »


[first lines]
Freck: [on the phone] I looked them up. They're aphids. They're in my hair, on my skin, in my lungs. And the pain, Barris, it's unreasonable. They're all over the place. Oh, they've completely gotten Millie too.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the start of the ending credits, the following text appears: This has been a story about people who were punished entirely too much for what they did. I loved them all. Here is a list, to whom I dedicate my love: To Gaylene, deceased To Ray, deceased To Francy, permanent psychosis To Kathy, permanent brain damage To Jim, deceased To Val, massive permanent brain damage To Nancy, permanent psychosis To Joanne, permanent brain damage To Maren, deceased To Nick, deceased To Terry, deceased To Dennis, deceased To Phil, permanent pancreatic damage To Sue, permanent vascular damage To Jerri, permanent psychosis and vascular damage ...and so forth In memoriam. These were comrades whom I had; There are no better. They remain in my mind, and the enemy will never be forgiven. The "enemy" was their mistake in playing. Let them play again, in some other way, and let them be happy. Philip K. Dick See more »


Referenced in Sherlock Holmes (2009) See more »


A Farm Near the Mountains
Performed by Graham Reynolds feat. The Golden Arm Trio
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Dick fans and drug film lovers rejoice
26 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I love Philip K. Dick's work and was pleased with this adaptation of "A Scanner Darkly." Keanu Reeves does a really good job in the lead - he's in his element here - but he's really upstaged by Robert Downey Jr. and Woody Harrelson who engage in some surreal and hilarious conversations. It's like you're sitting with a bunch of guys tripping. Needless to say, some of the dialogue is hilarious, and I can see this film becoming another cult classic. (When they talk about two hemispheres being separate, I couldn't help but think about "Repo Man.") As for the animation, I found it a bit distracting. I think I would have preferred the use of CGI when it came to the agent suit that continually blends the faces of about 1 million people so that the agent isn't recognized. If you like drug films, then this is a must see. If that's not your bag, then you might have some problems with the film. It's sometimes obtuse and the story a bit convoluted. It's best to sit back and experience the film. It's a drug trip in itself.

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