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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
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Popularity
2,948 ( 168)

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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:

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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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 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

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Mind-Bending Moments in Sci-Fi (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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.


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