After narrowly escaping a bizarre accident, a troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes.

Director:

Richard Kelly

Writer:

Richard Kelly
Popularity
334 ( 8)
12 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jake Gyllenhaal ... Donnie Darko
Holmes Osborne ... Eddie Darko
Maggie Gyllenhaal ... Elizabeth Darko
Daveigh Chase ... Samantha Darko
Mary McDonnell ... Rose Darko
James Duval ... Frank
Arthur Taxier ... Dr. Fisher
Patrick Swayze ... Jim Cunningham
Mark Hoffman Mark Hoffman ... Police Officer
David St. James ... Bob Garland
Tom Tangen Tom Tangen ... Man in Red Jogging Suit
Jazzie Mahannah ... Joanie James
Jolene Purdy ... Cherita Chen
Stuart Stone ... Ronald Fisher
Gary Lundy ... Sean Smith
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Storyline

Donnie Darko doesn't get along too well with his family, his teachers, and his classmates; but he does manage to find a sympathetic friend in Gretchen, who agrees to date him. He has a compassionate psychiatrist, who discovers hypnosis is the means to unlock hidden secrets. His other companion may not be a true ally. Donnie has a friend named Frank, a large bunny which only Donnie can see. When an engine falls off a plane and destroys his bedroom, Donnie is not there. Both the event, and Donnie's escape, seem to have been caused by supernatural events. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You can never go too far. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some drug use and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer and director Richard Kelly came up with the idea for the future blobs while watching football. John Madden used to use a "telestrator", where he'd diagram a paused video to show where the players were about to go moments before letting the tape roll. Kelly watched this while high, and started to think about what would happen, hypothetically, if "someone upstairs" was doing that to humans. Fittingly enough, Donnie first notices the future blobs while watching football. See more »

Goofs

The movie is set in 1988, but license plates, book editions, news photographs and products from 1989-1999 appear throughout. These anachronisms fit in with the movie's themes of time travel and altered realities. (Chapter 4 even mentions how things from the future, such as Mayans having arrow heads, are symbols of future being brought to the past - these anachronisms are on purpose.) See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Elizabeth: I'm voting for Dukakis.
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Crazy Credits

"Proud to Be Loud" Performed by The Dead Green Mummies -- this song is actually performed by the band Pantera. (The Dead Green Mummies do not exist.) Pantera has all but disowned their first four albums, this song is track 5 on the fourth of those albums, "Power Metal." The band presumably did not want to be credited with the song (as they don't consider any of their pre-1990 material part of their discography) and made up the name The Dead Green Mummies. See more »

Alternate Versions

Also, the line from Frank in the cinema, "I am so sorry", seems to be missing from the director's cut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Brows Held High: Prospero's Books (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Stay
Written by Danny Elfman
Performed by Oingo Boingo
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
[Director's Cut only]
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User Reviews

 
compelling, eerie, intense, haunting, evocative, potent, sad, heroic
22 April 2005 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

Being an angst-ridden teenager has never been easy, especially when you can see what's down the road, and it looks a lot like the end of your world.

Writer and Director Richard Kelly is an artist whose films I will anticipate and Jake Gyllenhaal is truly remarkable among a very rich cast. He plays a troubled young man with a brilliant intellect and a vast imagination, struggling with the boredom of standard education, and a society afraid of its own shadow (e.g. contemporary America). An imaginary friend, Frank - a seven foot tall metal-headed skull-faced demon-rabbit saves his life by removing him from the the scene of a catastrophe just before it occurs, only to lead him down an alternative path to an even more terrible oblivion complete with forecasts of doom, psychiatrists, and self-help charlatans.

This film feels as creepy as any well-made ghost story I have ever seen, yet redefines the genre of supernatural storytelling in a very unique and original way.

Donnie Darko is a film about heroism and sacrifice, decorated with disturbing imagery, the horror of everyday life, and a soundtrack reminiscent of Lynch's best. It is also a film worthy of several viewings and at least as many varied interpretations.

I can not honestly recommend this to anybody who attends films for the pure sake of entertainment. Nor can I recommend it to people who need straight answers or have limited attention spans. It's art, and does not need to provide pat explanations for itself. As entertaining as this film may be, it has an unrelenting and merciless dark side, and might disturb even the most veteran indy film carmudgeon.

This is a great film. See it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 January 2001 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$110,494, 28 October 2001

Gross USA:

$1,478,493

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,981,586
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS (theatrical version)| DTS (5.1)| Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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