A Scanner Darkly Image
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 215 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Based on legendary science-fiction author Philip K. Dick’s own experiences, A Scanner Darkly tells the darkly comedic, caustic, but deeply tragic tale of drug use in the modern world. The film plays like a graphic novel come to life with live-action photography overlaid with an advancedBased on legendary science-fiction author Philip K. Dick’s own experiences, A Scanner Darkly tells the darkly comedic, caustic, but deeply tragic tale of drug use in the modern world. The film plays like a graphic novel come to life with live-action photography overlaid with an advanced animation process -- a method known as interpolated rotoscoping, first employed in writer/director Richard Linklater’s 2001 film "Waking Life" -- to create a haunting version of America, seven years from now. (Warner Independent Pictures) Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    100
    The most impressive thing about the film's technical wizardry is, finally, how unimpressive it is. One doesn't leave the movie with a mind blown by visual bedazzlement but with a soul shattered by the profound sense of tragedy Linklater and company so beautifully put across.
  2. 90
    What a breath of fresh air this stifling, claustrophobic, boldly uningratiating vision of an American subculture's last gasp imparts to its contrarian core audience. (Call me a hopeless addict: I've seen it three times.)
  3. 80
    As they (Robert Downey Jr. and Woody Harrelson) bicker and banter, threaten one another with small household objects, and try (unsuccessfully) to determine the number of gears on a bicycle, they display a combination of irritability and incompetence that is the soul of comedy.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    There's conspiracy here, as there is in all of Dick's books, and it wraps the film up with a moving but somewhat neat bowtie.
  5. Rotoscoping makes certain sense for a film about cognitive dissonance and alternative realities, though both the vocal and gestural performances by Mr. Reeves, Mr. Harrelson and, in particular, the wonderful Mr. Downey make me wish that we were watching them in live action.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    Definitely not for everyone. It's a very bleak story with uneven pacing and a narrative whose jumps in time are confusing and occasionally infuriating. But the post-apocalyptic mood blends well with its uniquely stylized look and surreal story.
  7. Audiences will have to seek out their own peculiar diversions in order to last the whole course of this demi-dud.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 67
  2. Negative: 14 out of 67
  1. JavierR.
    Jul 22, 2006
    10
    To start off, C.P.'s review of this movie may be the most arrogant and unbelievably disgusting reviews i have ever seen on this site. HeTo start off, C.P.'s review of this movie may be the most arrogant and unbelievably disgusting reviews i have ever seen on this site. He dares to call the professional reviewers confused, and suggest that they misinterpreted it. With that aside, he is allowed his own opinion about the movie, although it is clear that he is one of few that hated it. It was an astonishingly true-life movie, showing us, through an unharmful apparatus such as a comic book, that the system is building off of itself and becoming all powerful. Truly remarkable filmaking and acting alike. Expand
  2. MannyC.
    Aug 17, 2006
    10
    One of the best movies of 2006. Keanu Reeves best performance. A beautiful and haunting vision on the bleak future of America and how we are One of the best movies of 2006. Keanu Reeves best performance. A beautiful and haunting vision on the bleak future of America and how we are destined to lose the war on drugs. And Linklater isnt done yet, Fast Food Nation comes out in October. Expand
  3. smurfwalker
    Sep 16, 2006
    9
    Awesome. Faithful to the book, this film is dark and paranoid. It is also very funny at times. Great acting and perfectly complimenting Awesome. Faithful to the book, this film is dark and paranoid. It is also very funny at times. Great acting and perfectly complimenting visual style... Check it out Expand
  4. OliverC.
    Jul 16, 2006
    8
    This movie is a little tough to get through, but you gotta stick with it. Parts are boring, parts are sad, and some parts are hilarious (I This movie is a little tough to get through, but you gotta stick with it. Parts are boring, parts are sad, and some parts are hilarious (I see a sheep, what does that mean?) But in the end with the final twists it really comes together. Great portrayal of drug addiction. Expand
  5. DavidB.
    Aug 22, 2006
    7
    Superb effects and acting, with a funny script, but lacks depth and pacing.
  6. Aug 15, 2013
    5
    Mesmerizing visuals aside, Richard Linklater's "A Scanner Darkly" is a mostly unfulfilling crawl through meandering dialogue and someMesmerizing visuals aside, Richard Linklater's "A Scanner Darkly" is a mostly unfulfilling crawl through meandering dialogue and some decidedly vapid events. Expand
  7. PeterL.
    Jul 5, 2006
    0
    i've never wanted a movie to END so soon as this bore.

See all 67 User Reviews

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