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Donnie Darko (2001)

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox Director's Cut)
Movie Connections:
Donnie Darko
> Donnie Darko (2001)
> S. Darko (2009)
Genres:
Comedy Drama, Coming-Of-Age, Fantasy, Psychological Drama, Psychological Thriller
Director:
Richard Kelly Richard Kelly
Starring:
Jake Gyllenhaal Jake Gyllenhaal
Holmes Osborne Holmes Osborne
Maggie Gyllenhaal Maggie Gyllenhaal
Daveigh Chase Daveigh Chase
Mary McDonnell Mary McDonnell

7.5 / 10 - 80 votes

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Review by Chad
Added: June 05, 2004
Donnie Darko is a troubled kid, whose parents have been sending him to a psychologist and doping him up on medication to try to work out his problems. It's not really working out very well, as Donnie is becoming more and more crazy, or so it seems. He starts seeing a giant, evil-looking rabbit that tells him that the world is going to end in twenty-eight days. The next morning, Donnie wakes up in the middle of a golf course, which would lead him to believe that he had been sleepwalking; however, upon returning to his house, he sees that a jet engine has crashed through the roof of his house, and straight through his room... had he been in there, he'd have been killed. The rabbit keeps appearing to him, telling him to do various things, and Donnie obliges to each command, no matter how outrageous or dangerous they may be. As time goes on, Donnie learns that this rabbit is from the future, and has traveled back in time to warn him of things, and try to get him to change the path things are headed down.

This was definitely an interesting film here, and it was also a very original take on the time-travel theme of movies. The whole idea of a rabbit coming from the future sounded a bit odd to me upon previewing this movie, and actually sounded quite a bit lame; however, all is explained in the end, and things actually come out making sense. Don't do as I did and put off watching this for three years due to that blasted rabbit, because it's actually a very good film.

But if you do intend to watch it, make sure you work it into your schedule on an evening where you can kick back and watch it straight through without interruption, as the storyline is quite complex and requires your full attention in order for you to grasp what's going on. The movie deals with time-travel, as I mentioned, and they don't do it in the typical Hollywood fashion of jumping through a portal and landing years in the past or future; no sir, it's quite a bit more complex than that here. The methods of time-travel here are actually very similar to real-life theories on how it could work, and due to that, it comes out much more entertaining and interesting than say, "Back To The Future" or any other similar films.

The ending was also a good one. I won't ruin any of it, as it really has to be seen to be understood; however, it definitely worked out nicely. Things aren't spelled out for you, the viewer, as most movies tend to do; nope, it shows what happens, and leaves it up to you to figure out what exactly happened. Now, this isn't saying that the ending isn't clear on what happens; you do get the gist of what happened, but it's the details that they leave to your imagination. After finishing my viewing of this film, there was at least three possibilities that popped into my head of what exactly happened, and neither was clearly right or wrong... it's all up to your interpretation of how things ended up working out, and for that, I applaud the writer of this script.

The acting was superb throughout, even by Patrick Swayze (as a motivational speaker). Normally, I can't stand the mans work, but he did nicely in his small role. Jake Gyllenhaal, the teen heart-throb that he is, even managed to pull out a surprise out of your faithless reviewer, as he was perfect in his role as Donnie. The rest of the cast had pretty minor parts in the movie, but nobody was really bad or draining in their characters or scenes. The soundtrack, however, is another story. I think whomever put together the score on this movie really screwed things up. I'm not talking about that ungodly-bad Gary Jules song, because no matter how much I hated it, it did fit in with the movie. I'm actually referring to the rest of the music used throughout the movie... most of the musical content seemed very out of place in the scenes that they were used in, as though they clearly didn't belong there. In a couple of scenes in particular, the music would kill any sort of mood that had been built, which definitely wasn't a good thing.

Overall though, one small blemish on my enjoyment of the film. I'd definitely still recommend that you, the reader, check this movie out if you haven't already. I can definitely see how it got its cult following, as it's definitely a stand-out film. 9/10.
Recommended Movies
S. Darko Palindromes Ghost World The United States Of Leland Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
The Girl Next Door Juno Death Sentence Shopgirl Moonlight Mile
In The Land Of Women Fight Club Fat Girl Dark Water Enduring Love
crazyloca5678 #1: crazyloca5678 - added 08/03/2004, 11:41 PM
i fucking love this movie its so dark but beautiful at the same time its one of my favorites.
StandinOnAnOverpass #2: StandinOnAnOverpass - added 08/15/2004, 08:00 PM
You must see it.
compoundwhore #3: compoundwhore - added 08/18/2004, 05:18 AM
Eh. The plot was cool and everything, but I was bored watching it. It's not all that entertaining.
cky2kendall #4: cky2kendall - added 08/30/2004, 10:32 PM
I just saw it, and it is very hard to catch onto. I agree with MMMDI that it's amazingly written, and that you have to watch it constantly to get to know it. Looks like I'll be watching this one again tomorrow to see if I can get the hang of it yet...
Chris Covelli #5: Chris Covelli - added 09/04/2004, 08:23 AM
I think the soundtrack fit in perfectly with the movie, in the sense that it didn't fit. It was the whole oddity of the movie that made it fit. Not only that but Donnie Darko is set back in the 80's or early 90's? can't remember which, but most of the soundtrack was actually music from that time. I walked away after the movie wanting to have that music played in my life.
Crispy #6: Crispy - added 09/26/2004, 02:49 AM
I walked away from the movie going WTF!
worthlesz #7: worthlesz - added 11/04/2004, 10:15 PM
awsome movie, though one thing that isn't stated is that many who have seen this movie think of frank as god. this movie is less of the idea of time travel then to the point of things humans do messing up a greater beings plan
Andy #8: Andy - added 12/29/2004, 01:42 AM
I thought the idea of the dead guy in the disfigured bunny suit talking to Donnie, his gf getting mauled by the dead guy, and Donnie giving his life so that things would be balanced again was really brilliant. Props to the writer.
Placebo13 #9: Placebo13 - added 06/21/2005, 02:27 PM
This is a movie about a psychotic guy visited by a demonic bunny who tells his the world's gonna end, and the guy goes back in time after his girlfriend gets run over by the bunny so he can save her.

I love this movie. I still wonder how they even can up with this.
Deadwired2 #10: Deadwired2 - added 07/03/2005, 06:25 AM
Incredible concept and cast, but could've done with some better cinematics.
Crispy #11: Crispy - added 07/13/2005, 07:06 AM
placebo, i'm willing to bet acid was involved...
chad _isnt_fat #12: chad _isnt_fat - added 07/21/2005, 11:43 AM
i luv this moviebut then again its me. i think it is really a thing that gets ur mind thinkin
Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg #13: Kari Byron's Sex Cyborg - added 08/11/2005, 03:21 PM
Just to let it be known, between the original and director's cut there is obviously a difference in the two movies considering how it all plays out and the soundtrack. I have yet to see the director's cut, but I was more than pleased and entertained with the original. It's such a wonderful film in every aspect.
9.6/10
hail to the thief #14: hail to the thief - added 09/04/2005, 05:47 PM
what a great movie. hands down my favorite movie to just sit and watch on a lonely night, preferably with the company of a few beers.

if you guys really want to know exactly what happened, you need to go to the website and get through it (it's wierd like that). it explains what's actually in that philosophy of time travel and basically explains what happened at the end and what started the whole tangent universe in the first place.

yeah. wow. i wish there was a sequel, or more, or something.
Ginose #15: Ginose - added 09/08/2005, 02:44 PM
I watched and then read the book. They both kicked ass. I watched on a suggestion from a freind. I've become a bit obsessive with it. I just bought the Frank figure from Cult Classics series 2... don't ask me why. I also have one of the posters... once again, don't ask me why. Anyway, if you like mind-fucks, this movie's for you.
Kristofer #16: Kristofer - added 09/17/2005, 03:24 AM
its time to get over it. its not that good. the director focused on messing with your head more then making a good movie in Donnie Darko. 5/10
Crispy #17: Crispy - added 12/16/2005, 05:22 PM
I agree
Ashlee #18: Ashlee - added 04/24/2006, 03:59 PM
I lked this movie, if u liked this, you'll probably like the chumscrubber too
Kai #19: Kai - added 02/16/2007, 04:06 PM
I watched this movie because it was recommended by a great friend of mine in 2003. I am so in love with the story it is still on my top 10 movies of all time. If you have not seen the movie, it is a great rent or buy. Just do not get the Directors cut. Like many movies before it, the directors cut ruins many facets of the movie I loved the most. The music in each scene sets a mood with the viewers, and many songs were moved in the DC. Trust me. Grab some popcorn, some beer, and watch it in the dark!
Griffinheart #20: Griffinheart - added 10/01/2007, 09:19 PM
Also, do not read or listen to any detailed explanation of the plot. If the the title wasn't a clue, being in the dark is half the fun. 8/10
BuryMeAlive #21: BuryMeAlive - added 02/07/2008, 06:41 AM
I didn't like the movie at all, and don't start "that's because you don't understand it" type of shit, it just did nothing for me. It's not thrilling, it's not entertaining, it's just one big bore. Skip this and watch a David Lynch movie instead.
Griffinheart #22: Griffinheart - added 02/07/2008, 02:37 PM
I thought it was pretty interesting, but I don't go so far as to say it was absolutely amazing. It's definitely not for everyone, but I think it's good enough for at least one sit through.
danimigra #23: danimigra - added 03/15/2008, 05:15 PM
BORING ! 9 of 10?.. o noo..
Nirrad #24: Nirrad - added 08/15/2010, 11:31 PM
Totally not what I expected, and I don't know if thats a good thing or a bad thing. I had to read some more on it after I watched the Directors Cut. I'll just say that its very interesting.
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