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2,165 user 353 critic

Donnie Darko (2001)

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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.

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552 ( 18)
Top Rated Movies #224 | 11 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Donnie Darko
... Eddie Darko
... Elizabeth Darko
... Samantha Darko
... Rose Darko
... Frank
... Dr. Fisher
... Jim Cunningham
Mark Hoffman ... Police Officer
... Bob Garland
Tom Tangen ... Man in Red Jogging Suit
... Joanie James
... Cherita Chen
... Ronald Fisher
... 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. 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:

Be Afraid of the Dark 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:

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Details

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Release Date:

26 October 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During conversations about sex with his therapist, the script had Donnie's fantasies be about Alyssa Milano. This had to be changed to Christina Applegate, due to legal reasons. See more »

Goofs

When Donnie and his dad are talking in the car - just before they almost run grandma death over - a clapperboard is reflected in the window behind Donnie's dad's head. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Bro's Before Ho's (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Show Me
Written by Quito Colayco and Tony Hertz
Courtesy of Associated Production Music LLC
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
compelling, eerie, intense, haunting, evocative, potent, sad, heroic
22 April 2005 | by See 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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