7.1/10
98,257
296 user 234 critic

A Scanner Darkly (2006)

Trailer
1:59 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
An undercover cop in a not-too-distant future becomes involved with a dangerous new drug and begins to lose his own identity as a result.

Director:

Richard Linklater

Writers:

Philip K. Dick (novel), Richard Linklater (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
3,701 ( 299)
4 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rory Cochrane ... Charles Freck
Robert Downey Jr. ... James Barris
Mitch Baker ... Brown Bear Lodge Host
Keanu Reeves ... Bob Arctor
Sean Allen Sean Allen ... Additional Fred Scramble Suit Voice (voice)
Cliff Haby Cliff Haby ... Voice from Headquarters (voice)
Steven Chester Prince ... Cop
Winona Ryder ... Donna Hawthorne
Natasha Janina Valdez Natasha Janina Valdez ... Waitress (as Natasha Valdez)
Mark Turner Mark Turner ... Additional Hank Scramble Suit Voice (voice)
Woody Harrelson ... Ernie Luckman
Chamblee Ferguson ... Medical Deputy #2
Angela Rawna ... Medical Deputy #1
Eliza Stevens ... Arctor's Daughter #1
Sarah Menchaca Sarah Menchaca ... Arctor's Daughter #2
Edit

Storyline

In a totalitarian society in a near future, the undercover detective Bob Arctor is working with a small time group of drug users trying to reach the big distributors of a brain-damaging drug called Substance D. His assignment is promoted by the recovery center New Path Corporation, and when Bob begins to lose his own identity and have schizophrenic behavior, he is submitted to tests to check his mental conditions. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What Does A Scanner See? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug and sexual content, language and a brief violent image | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 July 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Una mirada a la oscuridad See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$8,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$391,672, 9 July 2006

Gross USA:

$5,501,616, 12 October 2006

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,659,918, 17 May 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The title is an appropriation of 1 Corinthians 13:12, which reads, in part: "For now we see through a glass darkly; but then, face to face: now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known." See more »

Goofs

(at around 35 mins) After the car breaks down on the freeway, they cut to a scene where the car is facing backwards on a flatbed tow truck. If the car was picked up on the freeway, it would be facing forward unless the tow truck picked up the car from the rear which on the freeway would be highly unlikely. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Freck: [on the phone] I looked them up. They're aphids. They're in my hair, on my skin, in my lungs. And the pain, Barris, it's unreasonable. They're all over the place. Oh, they've completely gotten Millie too.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The "Phil" mentioned in the "in memoriam" list as having permanent pancreatic damage is Philip K. Dick himself. See more »


Soundtracks

Strawberry Pie
(uncredited)
Performed by Graham Reynolds feat. The Golden Arm Trio
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Absolute best adaptation of book to screen.
7 January 2007 | by XweAponXSee all my reviews

1 Corinthians 13:12

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known".

In 1977 I was digging through a pile of books that had their front covers pulled off and thrown in the garbage. In this pile I found a book by Phillip K Dick.

That book happened to be A Scanner Darkly.

This made me pick up the book and take it home and read it. And what I read was one of the most depressing stories I have ever read in my life: I can honestly say that at the time I read it, I really did not have any idea what Dick was trying to say. But for some reason, I was attracted to the story and I read the whole book in about 2 days. 30 Years Later, I believe I understand now. Which validates the bible verse on which this whole work is based: What we do not understand will eventually be revealed to us.

Part of this film has to do with how we perceive reality, another part touches on what we do to lessen our daily pain. I really was not surprised by how the story ended. The book is not an exciting (and boring) tale of space opera, but it is one of the best works of speculative fiction ever written. And as such, it had become one of the most important books I have ever read.

And so I was surprised to find that this book was being filmed. I was interested in it when I saw that it was following the styles of such films as Sin City, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and Linklatter's "Waking Life" - However, I did not know how deep the animation well was.

As I watched this story unfold, I saw that this film used more of Phillip K Dick's actual dialog than any other film based on his works. As I kept watching, I understood that the story that was filmed was almost exactly the same story I read 30 years ago. No gunfights, explosions, or chase scenes were inserted. There is only one large liberty Linklatter took with the story: It is at the end of the film, I do not think Phillip K Dick fans would mind this small liberty taken. I can't say what it is, due to it being a spoiler.

If anyone is scratching their head after seeing this film, they ought to avoid films with substance and go back to the Phillip K Dick books that have been destroyed: Bladerunner, Total Recall, and Impostor, which bear little or no resemblance to the original books and short stories they were taken from.

I always judge movies on their Honesty. This one is an Honest movie. The story it tells is a hard one to swallow: Do you believe in what you see, or do you see what you believe? Where does reality divert from hallucination? Although this film deals with drug use and abuse, it also challenges our perception of what is going on around us.

The animation is something else: It is a marvel. I was surprised to see how it was done, each frame animated by hand. If any other story was being told, this would not have worked.

Coming back to this comment after a couple of years, there is really nothing else I can add to this comment. This film is visually well done, which allows the viewer to absorb the story that is being told.


154 of 193 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 296 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed