6.9/10
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484 user 141 critic

Primer (2004)

PG-13 | | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller | 27 May 2005 (Spain)
Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there's something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they've built, wrestle over their new invention.

Director:

Shane Carruth

Writer:

Shane Carruth
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Popularity
3,734 ( 210)
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shane Carruth ... Aaron
David Sullivan ... Abe
Casey Gooden ... Robert
Anand Upadhyaya ... Phillip
Carrie Crawford Carrie Crawford ... Kara
Jay Butler Jay Butler ... Metalshop Worker
John Carruth John Carruth ... Man On Couch #1
Juan Tapia Juan Tapia ... Man On Couch #2
Ashley Warren Ashley Warren ... Hostess
Samantha Thomson ... Rachel Granger
Chip Carruth Chip Carruth ... Thomas Granger
Delaney Price Delaney Price ... Laney
Jack Pyland Jack Pyland ... Aaron's Co-worker
Keith Bradshaw Keith Bradshaw ... Clean Room Technician
Ashok Upadhyaya Ashok Upadhyaya ... Laboratory Technician
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Storyline

Engineers Aaron, Abe, Robert and Phillip are working on an invention, the prototype being built in Aaron's garage. This project is beyond their day jobs. The project truly does belong to Aaron and Abe, as they use all their free time working on it, primarily trying to overcome the many engineering related problems they've encountered. It is during one of his tests with the invention running that Abe discovers that a protein inside the main unit has multiplied much more rapidly than it could in nature. Rather than the invention being a protein super incubator, Abe, using himself as a guinea pig, and a very meticulous one at that, discovers that the invention can be used as a time machine. In his self experiment, Abe was especially careful not to interfere with his own self in that time warp. Abe passes along this discovery to Aaron, who he expects will tell his wife Kara in what is the sanctity of their marriage, but he doesn't want to tell either Robert or Phillip. Much to Abe's ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you always want what you can't have, what do you want when you can have anything? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shane Carruth took up the job of writing, producing, directing, editing and scoring the movie with no prior experience in any of these fields. It took him three years to complete the movie, writing the screenplay over the period of a year and working on an independent movie as a microphone operator to get the hang of filming techniques. Shooting the movie took only a month, but the film spent nearly two years in postproduction due to editing problems. During that period, Carruth claims to have quit the movie 3 or 4 times. See more »

Goofs

When Aaron and Abe are in the kitchen and Aaron is wiping blood from his ear, the camera crew's reflection can be seen in the oven door. Also a microphone is visible from below and between them. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Aaron: [Sound of a phone ringing. Aaron, voiceover:] Here's what's going to happen. I'm gonna read this, and you're gonna listen, and you're gonna stay on the line. And you're not gonna interrupt, and you're not gonna speak for any reason. Some of this you know. I'm gonna start at the top of the page.
[pause]
Aaron: Meticulous, yes. Methodical, educated; they were these things. Nothing extreme. Like anyone, they varied. There were days of mistakes and laziness and in-fighting, and there were days, ...
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Crazy Credits

Thanks to Scott Douglass for having the faith to invest in the final stages of marketing and post production See more »

Connections

Referenced in Brows Held High: What Is It? (2012) See more »

User Reviews

Incredible
13 June 2004 | by ChrisC_ATLSee all my reviews

You remember the first time you saw The Matrix (please, not the awful sequels) and you could barely keep up with what was going on, trying to piece together the pieces of what you were being told into a coherent story?

This movie was exactly like that. The first half or so is fairly linear (despite the frenzied Altman-esque style of everyone talking on top of each other), but then it gets WEIRD and it just absolutely blew me away. This film won a major Sundance award, and normally that means I won't like it (especially the normally pandering audience award winners) but this movie, and first-time filmmaker Shane Carruth, deserves absolutely everything it gets. I am just blown away.

Did you like Pi? If so, go see this one.

By the way, the attention to detail in the beginning is great. Often in thrillers with technical content, if you have a technical education you have consciously ignore all the stupid movie crud that they pull to make it into a good story. But this movie pulls off an incredibly believable technical story, with only a few distracting gaffs. That is, the tech jargon is good enough that you don't get distracted and can focus on the story line.

Final comment: Yes, it is very hard to follow the story line in this movie.

Obviously I'm not going to spoil it, but I think the following fact will help when the movie gets kind of hairy towards the end: Aaron is the dark-haired guy, Abe is the blond-haired guy.

This movie now has distribution and you should keep an eye out for it in the fall.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

27 May 2005 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Primer See more »

Filming Locations:

Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,162, 10 October 2004

Gross USA:

$424,760

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$545,436
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ERBP See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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