8.0/10
703,762
2,199 user 361 critic

Donnie Darko (2001)

Trailer
1:37 | Trailer

Watch for Free

on IMDb TV

ON DISC
A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.

Director:

Richard Kelly

Writer:

Richard Kelly
Popularity
573 ( 125)
11 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Nightcrawler (2014)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When Louis Bloom, a con man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.

Director: Dan Gilroy
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Prisoners (2013)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When Keller Dover's daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts.

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis
Zodiac (2007)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo
Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An insurance salesman discovers his whole life is actually a reality TV show.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A boy who communicates with spirits seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In a future British tyranny, a shadowy freedom fighter, known only by the alias of "V", plots to overthrow it with the help of a young woman.

Director: James McTeigue
Stars: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Rupert Graves
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A wealthy art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband's novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a symbolic revenge tale.

Director: Tom Ford
Stars: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon
Source Code (2011)
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A soldier wakes up in someone else's body and discovers he's part of an experimental government program to find the bomber of a commuter train. A mission he has only 8 minutes to complete.

Director: Duncan Jones
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.

Director: Michel Gondry
Stars: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Tom Wilkinson
Enemy (2013)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie.

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon
Memento (2000)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A man with short-term memory loss attempts to track down his wife's murderer.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island people are shattered when their addictions run deep.

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly
Edit

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
Edit

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. Donnie's mental illness, if such it is, may never allow him to find out for sure. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What would you do if you knew the future? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 October 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$110,494, 28 October 2001

Gross USA:

$1,478,493

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,269,636
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Voted number nine in Film4's "50 Films To See Before You Die". 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the closing credits, on the director's cut, there is the title of the movie followed by a drawing of Frank. 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 Degrassi: The Next Generation: Bark at the Moon (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Show Me
Written by Quito Colayco and Tony Hertz
Courtesy of Associated Production Music LLC
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

the dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
23 May 2002 | by lwjoslinSee all my reviews

"Harvey" meets "The Mothman Prophecies," as a troubled teen starts hallucinating a horrific 6-foot-tall bunny rabbit that brings him dark forebodings about death and disaster in the very near future. A streak of "Heathers" is mixed in as well, with trenchant satirical observations of high-school life in the late '80s (story set in Oct. 1988), involving a priggish teacher, a self-help guru (Patrick Swayze!), and a put-upon fat girl at the fringes of the herd. Finally, a whiff of "Back to the Future," in the form of a local eccentric who just may have discovered the secret of time travel, but a secret that has more to do with spirituality than technology.

A lot goes on here. There's a meditation on the possible overlap between madness and the ability to perceive the divine. There's a demonstration of why, in the Bible, angelic messengers (if that's what "Frank" can be taken to be) are often so terrifying that they have to start by saying "Fear not." There's an enlistment of what martial artists refer to as the "ki" (or personal energy, emanating from a person's midsection) in the type of time travel depicted here (the term "ki" is never used in the flick, but the term "path," another word for Tao or "Way," is). Quantum physics theory about wormholes is tied to the Fortean phenomenon of things falling unexplained from the sky, in a way that's more pivotal, and therefore more interesting, than the gratuitous rain of frogs in "Magnolia."

Time travel paradoxes and ironies enter the picture as well. One character (no spoiler!), whose life is saved by Donnie's ultimate trip back in time, wouldn't have died in the first place if he hadn't dragged her along to the opening of the wormhole. Another character (again, no spoiler!), whose truly terrible secret comes to light in the wake of an arson investigation, must go unexposed as a result of that same time reversal, since the arson now won't happen. Surely that's no oversight on the part of the screenwriter; it must be an acknowledgment of the choices and trade-offs in life, as well as of a confidence that no such terrible secret can remain hidden forever.

Somehow this pastiche works, largely on the strength of good performances. Jake Gyllenhaal is appropriately moody and, also appropriately, not always likeable in the title role. Drew Barrymore, who executive produced, appears as a frustrated first-year teacher. The movie's often dreamlike atmosphere is enhanced by the cinematography, the subdued but effective special effects, and the choice of the music on the soundtrack, which includes '80's pop tunes, of course, and a haunting original song (over the end credits) titled "Mad World."

Not for all tastes, but better, stranger, and more complex than I expected.


361 of 504 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2,199 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed