6.9/10
87,163
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
2,954 ( 358)

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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:

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 »
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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 »

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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 »
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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 Abe and Aaron are in the walk-in freezer at the university laboratory, at the end of the scene, the knee of a crew member holding the microphone is visible when they walk out the door. 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A film for the days when science fiction was about wrestling with ideas . . .
24 August 2004 | by Chris_DockerSee all my reviews

A group of young scientists work at a frantic pace to invent they are not quite sure what, but their efforts start demonstrating interesting side effects. From their work in a small cottage industry of error checking devices they are forced to confront the fact that they have discovered something too valuable to market. As they explore the potential of their machine, they are caught in a frantic loop to second guess themselves.

Science fiction in the cinema has largely been dominated by the visual impact, and so this is a welcome (for some) return to the world of ideas. This is not an easy-rise entertainment film but one where you have to concentrate to keep up, working out the logical implications of what's happening. If made on the scale of Men in Black or the Matrix it would descend to the level of spoof – as it is we follow the two main characters knowing that their actions are having momentous effects on the world around them and on themselves. Instead of flashy graphics, we are left to keep the ramifications of the story in mind as the characters themselves grapple with what they know is happening but can't even let themselves look at directly.


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