6.9/10
87,236
415 user 124 critic

Primer (2004)

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
2,822 ( 132)

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
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
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
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
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
Mr. Nobody (2009)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A boy stands on a station platform as a train is about to leave. Should he go with his mother or stay with his father? Infinite possibilities arise from this decision. As long as he doesn't choose, anything is possible.

Director: Jaco Van Dormael
Stars: Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger
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

Rian Johnson, director of Looper (2012), mentions in the "Directors Commentary" that not only is Primer the best time travel movie ever made but that when he sent the script for Looper to his friend Shane Carruth, Carruth told him all his time travel was wrong. See more »

Goofs

When Aaron and Will are talking on the basketball court, a boom shadow is visible on Will's shoulder. 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

Referenced in The Projectionist Project: Primer (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Insulting drudgery
3 September 2013 | by oecobiusSee all my reviews

"Primer" is often praised for its clever, convoluted plot that you'll have to watch several times to truly figure out. This is a myth, though, since if you pay close attention and ignore the film's many irrelevant details and scenes, the plot is a pretty simple tale of a guy going back in time, making a mistake, then going back in time again and fixing that mistake.

The film is hard to follow NOT because of any clever or deep writing, but instead because the editing is utterly terrible. The characters spout technical jargon for too long without serving the plot or theme, and a couple scenes are incomprehensible because of bad lighting, awkward cutting, poor staging, and lousy sound quality.

All the dialogue is dry and dull, NEVER giving us the slightest reason to care about any of the characters. Primer won't stir any emotions in you, it won't inspire your imagination, it won't make you reflect on life, & it won't even make you uncomfortable. Its storytelling style is woefully incompetent and would be better suited to instructional pamphlets.

For all its long-winded, muffled dialogue, I can't even find a statement or a message in this film. You might enjoy this film if you are a college kid trying too hard to have "different" tastes from others, but if you want an actually compelling or rewarding film experience, ignore all the hype and give Primer a miss.


125 of 194 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 415 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed