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Donovan's Echo
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Donovan's Echo More at IMDbPro »

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28 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

A retired nuclear physicist involved in the Manhattan project searches for meaning surrounding a personal tragedy that altered the direction of his life.

Author: David Carlson from Canada
2 October 2011

Outstanding performances by Danny Glover and Bruce Greenwood ground this interesting introspective investigation into déjà vu., time, and personal loss.

Well directed by Jim Cliffe, we see Glover's character Donovan slowly emerge from the fog of alcoholism, fighting to solve a mystery surrounding haunting déjà vu experiences. The viewer is drawn through this well constructed story at a very comfortable pace, with a sprinkle of humour that makes this drama extremely entertaining.

Donovan's Echo is multi-layered yet suitable for family viewing. It is bound to stimulate some interesting discussion afterwards.

Special mention must also be made of the very strong performance by Natasha Calis who plays Maggie.

With elements of an art-house film, Donovan's Echo will be remembered as THE sleeper indie success of 2011.

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14 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Impressive Canadian feature for such a low budget. Danny Glover is excellent.

Author: callanvass from victoria b.c canada
24 September 2013

(Plot) Donovan (Danny Glover) is a man with a haunted past, who lost his wife and child in a tragic accident. He moves back into his old neighborhood with the help of his old friend. (Bruce Greenwood) He keeps getting visions that might mean something in the long run

I saw this one a few months ago. I didn't expect a whole lot, but I gladly picked it up for a rental because I love Danny Glover. It turns out I made a wise choice, because I found an underrated gem. Donovan's Echo has an eerie atmosphere throughout the film. I was fully involved in Donovan's plight, and what was going to happen to him. I give a lot of credit to the writers for making Donovan such a sympathetic character, and of course Danny Glover himself for such a fantastic performance. Danny has been one of Hollywood's most underrated actors for some time if you ask me. The mystery is also very well developed. I was fully engrossed in it, and was eagerly anticipating for what was to come next. I also dug some of the characters Donovan encounters along the way. Maggie (Natasha Calis) was absolutely adorable as the curious child, which Donovan ends up befriending. Their chemistry was great. The only carp I have with this movie is this. I felt the finale could have been done a bit better.

Final Thoughts: This is quite a suspenseful gem for a low budget Canadian feature. You don't have to be Canadian like I am to enjoy this movie. If you can find it, please seek it out. You might be pleasantly surprised like I was


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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Mad or Clairvoyant

Author: jrschulz-1 from Canada
23 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film made its world premiere today as the Opening Gala presentation at the Calgary International Film Festival. Starring Danny Glover as Donovan Matheson, a dyslexic nuclear physicist who gave up his career upon the death of his family thirty years prior, and Canadian Bruce Greenwood as an RCMP Staff Sergeant and friend of Donovan's it is essentially a character study into deja vu as Donovan flashes in and out the present and past.

It draw parallels between the tragic death of his wife and daughter and current catastrophes that are too closely similar for comfort, almost as if Donovan was predicting them. Everyone Donovan interacts with throughout the entire film appears to have a connection, what we never quite know until the last five minutes, to the loss of his family.

This suspense film never reveals even a hint of the possibilities of its conclusion until the last ten minutes. The viewer is left with many unanswered questions but with enough closure to be comfortable with the outcome. A good production worth viewing but I would not call it a great production. The problem being it was disjointed for too long a period at the beginning even though it picks up rapidly mid film. Regardless, this atypical role for Glover should bring him honourable mention as he held the viewers' attention throughout and essentially was the only true star of the film, all others being supporting only. This was a great performance by Glover.

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23 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

On the edge of my seat until the end

Author: mkooistra from Canada
24 October 2011

This movie definitely has something for everyone; a brilliant story containing lots of very fascinating "what-if" scenarios, built around some unique and complex concepts. The main character's struggle with his personal demons keeps you sympathizing with his desire to right his perceived wrongs from his past.

While the character portrayals by the two veteran actors (Danny Glover and Bruce Greenwood) were as exceptional as you would expect, it is the sharp-witted character of Maggie (Natasha Calis) who instantly captured my heart.

Wonderfully written and beautifully shot, the twists and turns within the movie keep you on the edge of your seat until the end.

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22 out of 34 people found the following review useful:


Author: sherif ahmed from Egypt
13 October 2012

Donovan's Echo (2011) is one of those movies that will have you sitting in the theater after the lights come up so you can talk to everyone else about what they thought of the movie.

The story kept me at the edge of my seat It was original.

After few thousand movies i saw just wonder why this movie has rating 5.5/10 This is really good film . deserve at least 6/10 probably due to its mediocre production budget.

(Danny Glover is a legend)

It was a little fun piecing the story together.

This is a smart movie for smart people who like smart movies.

Donovan's Echo (2011) is Underrated beauty

I would suggest everyone who likes movies to watch it you will not be disappointed.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Fairly Intriguing Indie

Author: Larry Silverstein from United States
27 February 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I had never heard of this movie before, but when I saw it in redbox with the screen notables Danny Glover and Bruce Greenwood, I decided to give it a try.I wasn't expecting it to be a great film, which it wasn't, but I found it rather intriguing as it kept my interest throughout.

Set in 1994, Danny Glover stars as Donovan Matheson, who's returning to his family home after a 30 year absence, Thirty years ago, he had lost his wife and young daughter in a tragic auto accident, when an underage driver, who had stolen a truck, crossed the median and instantly killed his family. Donovan is still racked with guilt, as instead of joining them that day on an outing to celebrate his birthday, he chose to stay home and work on his low energy (cold fusion) theory. Having worked on the Manhattan Project (A-Bomb), at Los Alamos during WW2, the cold fusion theory was his way of trying to make amends to the world he thought.

Bruce Greenwood co-stars as Sargeant Finnley Boyd, the local police officer and, I believe, Donovan's brother-in-law (although this is not made totally clear in the film). He has kept Donovan's home rented at times and maintained it while he was gone.

When an 11 year-old girl named Maggie (the same name as Donovan's daughter), ably portrayed by Natasha Calis, comes to his home asking if he wants any help with the lawn, Donovan senses a connection to the girl, and even tells Finn that he believes he's there to somehow save her.

Donovan finds an old journal from 30 years before where he made entries about predictions and premonitions that he had at the time that never happened. However, he slowly begins to realize, since he's always had trouble interposing 6's and 9's that these premonitions may in fact be coming true now. When he tries to alert Finn to this, Finn thinks he's becoming more and more mentally unbalanced, with not resolving his grief issues over the loss of his family. However, when he sees for himself what's happening, he has to re-assess this.

OK, so when we actually get the payoff here, it's rather ridiculous and far-fetched, in my opinion, but, as noted, there was enough intrigue throughout that I was quite interested in how the pieces of the puzzle would all come together. I wasn't expecting much, and felt overall it certainly was worth the $1.27 I paid to see it.

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Worth watching...maybe more than once!

Author: mndfirestone from New York
3 January 2015

Although this movie is a little slow moving toward the beginning, the plot is pretty deep so moving too fast would mean you would miss more of the important bits like the other reviewer did, causing him to use the word "disjointed". This movie is not at all disjointed! It has so many well placed, easily missed "bits/clues" that if you blink you just may miss something...If you don't "get it", you were not paying attention! The pieces connect from the beginning right through to the end. There are some flashback scenes throughout the movie to fill in the blanks which, like I said, if you are not giving this movie your full attention you might lose your place! All in all a good watch...It is the type of movie that makes you think (in a good way)! NOT the dopey mush brain time waster that fills so much of the screens today!

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Unexpected Keeper

Author: anniebwrites
11 December 2014

Of course, Danny Glover does an amazing job. Kudos to Bruce Greenwood for producing the film and for his understated but essential performance. He often plays the villain but here he is the best friend a man--especially one experimenting with alcohol and deja vu--could have. The location ambiance (Canada, I assume) brings a brooding northern chill to the watcher while at the same time the sensitivity of Terry Frewer's music score wraps the whole film together with its achingly ethereal, warm, beautiful themes.

It's not a big high-concept car-chase adventure--it's an unexpected gem.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Complex Premise Hampered by Low Budget and Contrived Coincidences

Author: LeonLouisRicci from United States
6 October 2014

A Movie About Clairvoyance and One's Ability or Inability to Make Sense of it All and Connect the Dots for Some Kind of Understanding and Closure to Things that have Happened or Might Happen is the Complicated Plot of this Small Film from Canada.

It is Difficult to Process (things that go on in the mind and in dreams or precognition) and making it Intriguing and Mysterious to an Audience is not the Easiest Way to Make a Thriller. But when it is done Well it can Make for a Unique and Unusual Movie that is Welcomed in the Paranormal and Sci-Fi Genre.

The Premise can be Creepy and as the Viewer is Most Likely at Some Point in Their Lives through Dreams of Deja Vu can Latch On to it with an Uneasy Feeling Taken from the Uneasy Feeling that such Real Life Experiences can Bring On.

This isn't a Fully Rendered Film about Danny Glover's Frustrating Predicament and there are Coincidences a Plenty and a bit too many Contrivances to Accept, but the Movie does Manage to Draw You into its World of Wondering What's Up just Enough to Pass as a Low-Key, Well Acted, but Ultimately Boxed In Entertainment and So Restrained by its Budget and Running Time that it Seems Rushed, Confusing, and Shackled.

Overall, it is Definitely Worth a Watch for some Good Performances and an Interesting Story, but Fully Involved Fans of this Type of Thing will Most Likely End Up Wanting More than this can Deliver.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: xzcgb from United Kingdom
5 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was hoping there'd emerge a darker side to this film, but alas not; it had a slushy feel throughout, and terrible anodyne music. The main character was potentially a lot more complex that the script allowed, I mean he could have been a bit insane, or even a pervert, and yet still be a good guy. BUT Oh Nooo! in the world of the righteous quasi-Christian genre things must seem to be black and white. Yes I said 'christian'...weird thing to say perhaps...but it seems to be that there is almost a sub genre of horror film, at least they start out as horror - that come from a supernatural or beyond the grave inspired subject matter (see Frequency or The Forgotten), - that quickly develop into a mishmash of worthy, feel-good crap, with to top it all off confirmation that there is life after death! No really, come on, this film would be much more powerful if at least one of the daft people who didn't initially believe in Danny's mad ramblings did actually die as a result of their scepticism.

In fact the little girl seemed to deliberately place herself in dangerous life threatening situations - how irritating - yet still she survived, while Danny gets it in the heart...bleak as hell. Yeah Danny Glover gets it, no wonder they needed a heavenly epilogue. Even though the protagonist in The Dead Zone also died in the end I found that film a far more satisfying 'premonition' thriller than this Canadian production, I think because it had more balls. Unbreakable is also a superior movie.

The main character, Donovan, comes across as very eccentric, and, in real life I don't believe he'd be allowed around kids at all. Also the girl's mother seems a bit thick; meanwhile her brother is apparently guilty of killing two lots of people in two car accidents thirty years apart, but the thing is his character (or the actor playing him) is obviously not much older than thirty, anyone can tell that just from his young face, ridiculous right?, and yet no one in the film says anything.

There are some imaginative attempts at Donnie Darko style symbolism, but I don't think the film treats them seriously enough, or takes them to their conclusion, and they end up confused, too busy.

The film doesn't seem to have a definite direction, or feel, at least for the first third; and thinking about it, Danny Glover's character is just not very likable.

There were elements of Richard Matheson in here - and that great writer is sorely missed - but powerful ideas were thwarted by boring soap opera.

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