6.9/10
88,795
421 user 124 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
Reviews
Popularity
3,480 ( 96)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.

Director: Shane Carruth
Stars: Amy Seimetz, Frank Mosley, Shane Carruth
Coherence (2013)
Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Strange things begin to happen when a group of friends gather for a dinner party on an evening when a comet is passing overhead.

Director: James Ward Byrkit
Stars: Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon
Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man accidentally gets into a time machine and travels back in time nearly an hour. Finding himself will be the first of a series of disasters of unforeseeable consequences.

Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Stars: Karra Elejalde, Candela Fernández, Bárbara Goenaga
Predestination I (2014)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

For his final assignment, a top temporal agent must pursue the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time. The chase turns into a unique, surprising and mind-bending exploration of love, fate, identity and time travel taboos.

Directors: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor
Triangle (2009)
Fantasy | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A group of friends suffer a yachting accident and take refuge on a cruise drifting on the open sea, but quickly realize they were better off on the upturned yacht

Director: Christopher Smith
Stars: Melissa George, Joshua McIvor, Jack Taylor
Time Lapse (2014)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Three friends discover a mysterious machine that takes pictures twenty-four hours into the future, and conspire to use it for personal gain, until disturbing and dangerous images begin to develop.

Director: Bradley King
Stars: Danielle Panabaker, Matt O'Leary, George Finn
Cube (1997)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

6 complete strangers of widely varying personality characteristics are involuntarily placed in an endless maze containing deadly traps.

Director: Vincenzo Natali
Stars: Nicole de Boer, Maurice Dean Wint, David Hewlett
Drama | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An impromptu goodbye party for Professor John Oldman becomes a mysterious interrogation after the retiring scholar reveals to his colleagues he has a longer and stranger past than they can imagine.

Director: Richard Schenkman
Stars: David Lee Smith, Tony Todd, John Billingsley
Pi (1998)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman
Edit

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
Edit

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:

What happens if it actually works? 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 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

27 May 2005 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Inventia See more »

Filming Locations:

Texas, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,162, 10 October 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$424,760, 19 December 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ERBP See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In order to cut costs, Shane Carruth did mostly single takes of shots, and filmed on 16mm stock. This was then transferred to mini-digital video film which he could edit on his PC. This caused some unforeseen problems: the editing software couldn't handle the sound properly, and two months of editing were needed just to synchronize the audio to the video. The biggest problem, however, was the relative lack of footage, which made made it difficult to work around continuity errors and technical problems because there often wasn't an alternate take that could be used. See more »

Goofs

When Abe is first telling Aaron about the box, he starts by explaining that the Weeble was accumulating years worth of protein build-up every few days. He later explains that anything in the box must experience subjective time. That is to say, to go back one minute, you must spend one minute in the box. This means that the absolute most amount of time the Weeble could have experienced is only twice the amount of time the box has existed and been turned on. 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,...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References The Matrix (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Made my head hurt a little
13 September 2014 | by dfranzen70See all my reviews

Primer is alternately fascinating but puzzling, tedious but exciting, intriguing but flawed. It's a shortish film (78 minutes) that manages to plod along until a big reveal is made about halfway through the movie; then, just as it arouses some interest, it becomes a frustrating exercise in nonlinear storytelling. That's a shame, because the left turn that the plot makes at that midway point could have opened up a world of possibilities. It's even possible that the idea introduced in the movie could have been expanded more efficiently to cut down on some incoherence and unnecessary overplotting.

This is one of those movies that's tough to summarize without giving away crucial parts of the plot. So let's try for a gist instead. Four friends, who work for the same corporation during the day, also work together nights and weekends on pet science projects. Two of the friends, Abe and Aaron, decide to work on a project independently of their comrades after the foursome disagrees about which direction the group's interests should follow. The project that Abe and Aaron work on, in Aaron's garage, is to design technology that allows physical objects to lose weight. But as with much scientific studies, the research has some unintended consequences, yielding an invention that's beyond the wildest imagination of Abe and Aaron.

That they make this discovery is pretty awesome, and the subsequent efforts to harness/utilize the discovery, even profit from it are plausible and sincere. But for me, the movie had two major flaws, one for each half of the film. In the first half, much of the necessary exposition comes in the form of dialogue, often between Abe and Aaron. However, a pervasive characteristic of the dialogue is that each character routinely talks over the others. Considering the complexity of the plot, it was a little frustrating to hear a lot of dialogue that simply couldn't be parsed. This made it quite difficult to follow even the genesis of the plot, let alone the complications that follow. In the second half, after the Great Reveal gives the viewer a whole new movie, there are so many strands of logic and off-screen permutations that again, it's easy to get lost. And because the characters weren't sharing everything with each other (or the audience) anyway, there's so much confusion here. So, so much confusion. But that's what the Internet's for.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 421 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching



Recently Viewed