IMDb > A Scanner Darkly (2006)
A Scanner Darkly
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A Scanner Darkly (2006) More at IMDbPro »

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A Scanner Darkly -- 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.
A Scanner Darkly -- 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.


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7.1/10   91,963 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 62% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Philip K. Dick (novel)
Richard Linklater (screenplay)
View company contact information for A Scanner Darkly on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 July 2006 (USA) See more »
What Does A Scanner See? See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
8 wins & 13 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
one of the more imaginative, thoughtful, complex possible 'cult' films of the decade See more (293 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Rory Cochrane ... Charles Freck

Robert Downey Jr. ... James Barris

Mitch Baker ... Brown Bear Lodge Host

Keanu Reeves ... Bob Arctor
Sean Allen ... Additional Fred Scramble Suit Voice (voice)
Cliff Haby ... Voice from Headquarters (voice)

Steven Chester Prince ... Cop

Winona Ryder ... Donna Hawthorne
Natasha Valdez ... Waitress
Mark Turner ... Additional Hank Scramble Suit Voice (voice)

Woody Harrelson ... Ernie Luckman

Chamblee Ferguson ... Medical Deputy #2

Angela Rawna ... Medical Deputy #1

Eliza Stevens ... Arctor's Daughter #1
Sarah Menchaca ... Arctor's Daughter #2

Melody Chase ... Arctor's Wife
Leif Anders ... Freck Suicide Narrator (voice)

Turk Pipkin ... Creature

Alex Jones ... Street Prophet
Lisa Marie Newmyer ... Connie

Wilbur Penn ... Medical Officer #1
Ken Webster ... Medical Officer #2

Hugo Perez ... New Path Staff Member #1
Rommel Sulit ... New Path Staff Member #2

Dameon Clarke ... Mike
Christopher Ryan ... New Path Resident #1
Leila Plummer ... New Path Resident #2

Jason Douglas ... New Path Farm Manager

Marco Perella ... Donald
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Joe Basquez ... Undercover Cop (uncredited)
Jonathan Cacy ... Brown Bear Lodge Member (uncredited)

Jack Cruz ... Police Officer (uncredited)

Gary Teague ... Brown Bear Lodge Member (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Linklater 
Writing credits
Philip K. Dick (novel "A Scanner Darkly")

Richard Linklater (screenplay)

Produced by
George Clooney .... executive producer
Ben Cosgrove .... executive producer
Erin Ferguson .... co-producer
Jennifer Fox .... executive producer
Sara Johnson .... associate producer (as Sara Greene)
Tommy Pallotta .... producer
John Sloss .... executive producer
Jonah Smith .... producer
Steven Soderbergh .... executive producer
Erwin Stoff .... producer
Anne Walker-McBay .... producer
Palmer West .... producer
Original Music by
Graham Reynolds 
Cinematography by
Shane F. Kelly (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Sandra Adair 
Casting by
Denise Chamian 
Production Design by
Bruce Curtis 
Set Decoration by
Joaquin A. Morin 
Costume Design by
Kari Perkins 
Makeup Department
Michaela Farrell .... additional makeup artist
Katina Gilkey .... hair stylist
Darylin Nagy .... hair department head
Darylin Nagy .... makeup department head
Production Management
Susan Kirr .... unit production manager
Ravi D. Mehta .... executive in charge of production (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Vincent Palmo Jr. .... first assistant director
Andrew Payer .... second second assistant director
Katie Tull .... second assistant director (as Kathleen Tull)
Art Department
Rodney Becker .... lead
Brad Blei .... set dresser (as Bradley Blei)
Raymond Consing .... storyboard artist
Fred Daniel .... art department coordinator
Melanie Ferguson .... on-set dresser
Erick Garibay .... assistant property master
Ian Sebastian Kasnoff .... construction coordinator
Kara Sutherlin .... lead scenic
Pierre Vial .... set dresser
Stefan Wilcox .... property master
Bart Bryant .... carpenter (uncredited)
Scott Kimbrough .... art department intern (uncredited)
Jarrette Moats .... property assistant (uncredited)
Sound Department
Ethan Andrus .... production sound mixer
Gregg Barbanell .... foley artist
Wayne Bell .... additional sound effects editor
Paul Berolzheimer .... additional sound effects editor
Ajae Clearway .... adr editor
Ajae Clearway .... dialogue editor
Tom Hammond .... re-recording mixer
Tom Hammond .... sound designer
Tom Hammond .... supervising sound editor
Justin Hennard .... sound designer
Justin Hennard .... sound effects editor
Skip Lievsay .... re-recording mixer
Thomas J. O'Connell .... adr mixer (as Tom O'Connell)
Jeremy Peirson .... re-recording mixer (as Jeremy Pierson)
Jason Piatt .... foley mixer
Tom Sturgis .... boom operator (as Tom 'Sturge' Sturgis)
Michael Swanner .... utility sound
Peter Germansen .... sound engineer: ICON (uncredited)
Bob Kellough .... additional sound effects recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Steve Krieger .... special effects coordinator
Randy E. Moore .... special effects coordinator (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Richard Gordoa .... visual effects supervisor
Josh Novak .... lead compositor: main title sequence
Jerome Poynton .... digital post-production manager
Ruedi Schick .... digital film recording supervisor
Randy Cole .... 3D modeler and compositor (uncredited)
Bob Sabiston .... animation software (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Tod Campbell .... loader
Matt Cowan .... best boy grip
Matt Lankes .... still photographer
Mikey Reyes .... grip
Robert B. Reynolds .... chief lighting technician
Peter Simonite .... first assistant camera
Josh Taylor .... assistant chief lighting technician
Aaron Atom Vyvial .... key grip
Ralph Watson .... camera operator
Patrick B. Coate .... camera production assistant (uncredited)
Wes Dixon .... electrical intern (uncredited)
Donald R. Howe Jr. .... additional second assistant camera (uncredited)
Peter Simonite .... camera operator (uncredited)
Ezra Venetos .... grip (uncredited)
Animation Department
Paul Adam .... animator
Paul Ahern .... animator
Sterling Allen .... lead animator
Kevin Ang .... animator
Jason Archer .... head of animation
Joseph R. Barker .... animator
Benjamin Bays .... animator (as Ben Bays)
Paul Beck .... head of animation
Blue Bliss .... assistant lead animator
John Bruch .... animator
John Buckley .... animator
Evan Cagle .... lead animator
Mike Cervantes .... additional animator
Jason Chalker .... animator
Chris Chappell .... additional animator
Randy Cole .... additional animator
Melita Curphy .... animator
Nick Derington .... lead animator
Jennifer Deutrom .... additional animator (as Jennifer Drummond)
Matt Drake .... animator
Peat Duggins .... animator
Pat Duke .... animator
Ben Dunn .... animator
Rahab El Ewely .... animator (as Rahab El Ewaly)
Holly Fisher .... additional animator
Michael P. Garza .... animator
Greg Geisler .... animator
Justin Goldwater .... animator
Zach Hall .... animator
Ryan Hennessee .... animator
Dean Hsieh .... animator
Sherard Jackson .... animator
Kennon James .... animator
Christopher S. Jennings .... lead animator (as C.S. Jennings)
Nathan Jensen .... animator
Mike Layne .... additional animator
Vivian Le .... animator (as Vivian P. Le)
Monique Ligons .... additional animator
Amalia Litsa .... animator
David Marquez .... animator
Jonathan Marshall .... additional animator
Lance Myers .... lead animator
Katy O'Connor .... additional animator
Katy O'Connor .... animation director
Harris O'Malley .... additional animator
Ryan A. Parker .... assistant lead animator (as Ryan Parker)
John Paul .... animator
Kevin Peake .... animator
Glenn Perkins .... animator
Thomas P. Reidy III .... animator
Joseph Riley .... animator
Bob Sabiston .... head of animation
Susan Sabiston .... animator
Aaron Sacco .... animator
F. Joseph Santori .... animator
Leah Sharpe .... animator
Dan Shuta .... animator
Craig Matthew Staggs .... animator
Jason Stout .... animator
J. Michael Stovall .... animator
Patrick Thornton .... additional animator
Patrick Thornton .... animation director
Alicia Traveria .... animator
Mary Varn .... additional animator
Michael Veroni .... animator
Lorin Wood .... animator
Mike Wood .... animator
Kathryn Yingling .... additional animator
Casting Department
Scout Masterson .... casting associate: Los Angeles
Beth Sepko .... local casting
Sheila Steele .... casting associate: Austin
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Melanie Armstrong Fletcher .... costume supervisor
Editorial Department
Christopher Roldan .... first assistant editor
David Gil Jr. .... post-production assistant (uncredited)
Ryan Gronquist .... post-production assistant (uncredited)
Charles Harrison .... editorial intern (uncredited)
Allegra Kolber .... apprentice editor (uncredited)
Kate Ridgway .... editorial intern (uncredited)
Yusef Svacina .... post-production assistant (uncredited)
Jessica Tong .... editorial intern (uncredited)
Location Management
Peter Atherton .... location manager
Dustin Weaver .... assistant location manager
Music Department
Bruce Colson .... musician: violin
Jonathan Dexter .... musician: cello
Jason Elinoff .... musician: viola
The Golden Arm Trio .... featured performer: score
Erik Grostic .... musician: upright bass
Buzz Moran .... score mixer
Buzz Moran .... score recordist
Nic Ratner .... music supervisor
Graham Reynolds .... musician: various instruments
Graham Reynolds .... score mixer
Graham Reynolds .... score recordist
Transportation Department
Ronald D. Chambers .... transportation coordinator
Russell E. Scott .... picture cars
Jesus F. Tellez .... transportation captain
Other crew
Molly Ainsley .... additional staff assistant
Janey Bergam .... assistant: Keanu Reeves
Shannon Blackburn .... production secretary
Dominic Cancilla .... production coordinator
Eric Cepeda .... additional staff assistant
Casey Chapman .... additional staff assistant (as Lauren Casey Chapman)
Erik Davis .... consultant
Gil Dean .... animal wrangler
Lisa Del Dotto .... assistant craft service
Wes Dixon .... additional staff assistant
Colin Edlund .... key craft service
Sonia Farrell .... assistant: Woody Harrelson
Michael P. Garza .... title designer: end titles
David Gil Jr. .... additional staff assistant (as David Gil)
Leigh Green .... additional staff assistant
Erin Hagerty .... assistant: Mr. Smith and Mr. West
Heather Hanna .... additional staff assistant
Charles Harrison .... additional staff assistant
Marshall Hopkins .... additional staff assistant
Katherine Isham .... additional staff assistant
Marike Jainchill .... staff assistant (as Marike Z. Jainchill)
Tatiana Jitkoff .... additional staff assistant
Jesse Johnston .... executive: Thousand Words
Allegra Kolber .... staff assistant (as Allegra McCoy)
Sarah Lankenau .... staff assistant
Jonathan Lethem .... consultant
Stephanie Lewis .... executive: Thousand Words
Stephen Light .... assistant production office coordinator
Melody Lloyd .... set medic
Taylor Lovell .... additional staff assistant
Kirsten McMurray .... staff assistant
Morgan Miles .... production accountant
Jarrette Moats .... additional staff assistant
Kimberly Murphy .... staff assistant (as Kim Murphy)
Jubal Palmer .... assistant: Winona Ryder
Jennifer Ramirez .... additional staff assistant
Mike Reyes .... additional staff assistant (as Mike Reyes)
Jimmy Rich .... assistant: Robert Downey Jr.
Kate Ridgway .... additional staff assistant
Brandon Roberts .... additional staff assistant
Ryan Ross .... additional staff assistant
Brooke Satrazemis .... script supervisor
Steven Schaefer .... additional staff assistant
Tracey Schaefer .... unit publicist (as Tracey Zemitis)
Scott Snyder .... additional staff assistant
Yusef Svacina .... additional staff assistant
Jessica Tong .... additional staff assistant
Sef Tsauousis .... staff assistant
Fernanda Valentina .... additional staff assistant
Tara Weaver .... support staff: Woody Harrelson
Jenni Wieland .... assistant production accountant
David Appelbaum .... office intern (uncredited)
Loreto Caro-Valdes .... intern: production office (uncredited)
Tai-San Choo .... office intern (uncredited)
Jeff Guerrero .... additional set production assistant (uncredited)
Christina Hwang .... title producer (uncredited)
Sandy Lizaola-Hernandez .... physical production coordinator (uncredited)
Jamie Preyer .... location intern (uncredited)
Vernon Smith .... office intern (uncredited)
Louis Mackey .... dedicatee: in eternal memory

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Scanner Darkly" - Japan (English title) (imdb display title)
See more »
Rated R for drug and sexual content, language and a brief violent image
100 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Brazil:16 | Canada:14A (Canadian Home Video rating) | Chile:14 | Finland:K-15 | Germany:16 | Ireland:16 | Italy:T | Japan:R-15 | Malaysia:18PL (DVD) | New Zealand:R13 | Norway:15 (TV rating) | Singapore:M18 (cut) | South Korea:15 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:15 | USA:R (certificate #42344)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

After the movie was shot, it was then edited and picture was locked before it arrived to the animators. Animators were in post-production for roughly a year and a half.See more »
Errors in geography: (at around 35 mins) During the conversation in the tow truck between Barris and Arctor, visible landmarks switch between Irvine, CA (on the Tustin border) when the camera is on Barris, and Orange, CA (on the border of Anaheim) when the camera is on Arctor. In addition, the same exterior shots from Interstate 5 of the Irvine Technology Center business park are passed several times in the same scene.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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Sherlock Holmes (2009)See more »
You'll See the Way You Saw BeforeSee more »


Who is Philip K. Dick?
What's the deal with Barris's $3-for-a-gram-of-cocaine aerosol trick?
What happened to Luckman?
See more »
259 out of 323 people found the following review useful.
one of the more imaginative, thoughtful, complex possible 'cult' films of the decade, 7 July 2006
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

It's not very often that Phillip K. Dick's writings get adapted well on to the screen. Films like Paycheck and Impostor might have there moments, but there is much lacking where high-tech action scenes and dreary direction replaces more of the thought in his work. Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly, however, could be part of that handful of films (the others Scott's Blade Runner and Spielberg's Minority Report) that do justice to his sensibilities as both a science-fiction spinner and social satirist. The technique he uses to add some imagination is, at first assumption, interesting but a little outdated. Rotoscoping the live action with animation has been done since the late 70's, and Linklater himself used it for maybe his most philosophically complex film Waking Life. Here though the same technique he used before is put into a narrative that, compared to Waking Life, is non-linear to the point that it is very faithful to Dick's work. But there's more than meets the eye, literally, to what Linklater is doing with his technique. It really does fit the mood of the film, one where to abscond is almost second nature, but the control over thought and the similarly powerful self-destruction comes at high prices for decent people.

To discuss the story would have to involve much explanation of the characters, who they may (or may not as case is) be, and how drugs make up the integral, damned environment. Keanu Reeves is in one of his best performances, arguably, as Bob Arcter, apart of dealing what is called Substance-D, a very detrimental narcotic that sooner or later starts to play serious tricks on a person's mind (left brain vs. right brain is in many scenes). But Reeves is also Officer Fred, who has been assigned to infiltrate a group of addicts who might lead him and his police force into the higher networks of drug distribution. Those around him in his "undercover" state are James Barris (Robert Downey Jr), Ernie Luckman (Woody Harrelson), Charles Freck (Rory Chochrane), and in one of the most crucial parts to the story Donna (Winona Ryder, quite a good comeback part). The theme of dehumanization around such technologies as a scanner in this film, where Fred/Arctor takes footage from the dingy home he usually hangs out in, are also akin to other pieces of Dick's work. I'm reminded of the tragedy in Minority Report of the cop who gets hooked on an illegal drug, and for what purpose in that story is made quite clear.

In A Scanner Darkly, however, the lines of morality are never totally clear, and the ambiguity goes along as little pieces start to fit together. While I might hold it as being one of the great Philip K. Dick adaptations, it's not to say that it is quite different from the others; this is not too far removed from what Linklater's style of dialog. To be sure to not please all in the sci-fi crowd, it's actually closer to being another of Linklater's 'in-the-now' stories of characters who talk, and talk some more, and it forces one to pay attention as opposed to having the dialog go light for more action. Downey Jr., who delivers one of the best supporting turns of the year, maybe has the most words to speak, as he's a character with few real morals but almost too much on his mind. And him along with Harrelson's character help define some of the pressing facts that go into looking at drugs in a movie. There's real paranoia, real mis-trust, a shifting of cognizance that becomes startling. One scene in particular, when Reeves is in bed with a woman and can't figure on if she is really SHE or not, and then goes over in in video, is an excellent take on the depths to which Substance-D- fictional for the film's sake but related to many real substances- and how the style connects very much so to the substance (no pun intended) in the film.

The style itself, provided by the animation directors, gives some immediate fascinations for the viewer. The whole idea of a character putting on a suit and being able to shift around faces and clothing at a second a clip provides such catching beats each time. The variations in certain scenes work very much as well. And there are more than a few instances where the style of rotoscoping itself, which makes the film seem immediately like a 'take drugs and watch this movie', is called into question. One might then ask before going into A Scanner Darkly, where the control of products that act as controls &/or inhibitors, is anti-drug or pro-drug. That I cannot quite, completely answer, though I might lean more to the former. Linklater, not just Dick, has several potent questions among others that may fizzle that are posed into the film, especially towards the last ten minutes. And what is even more surprising, and closer to being a relief, is that the film isn't even too preachy either. In fact, I was laughing through scenes in the middle bulk of the film, as Downey and Harrelson's characters made for some very sharp, witty lines and odd actions.

In short, it's got a different, 'quirky' artistry that combines some very good cinematography with so much that is tested with colors and shading and tones on the actors and settings that I will have to watch it again to take it all in. And the actors, more often than not, are completely fit in their roles, even when they suddenly reveal that all is not as it seems (I loved some of the twists that pop up). A cool premise and a superb use of abstractions as reality in the midst of the darkest satire of the year.

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