Warner Independent Pictures (WIP) | Release Date: July 7, 2006
7.7
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 219 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
170
Mixed:
26
Negative:
23
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6
SpangleJun 9, 2016
Though incredibly interesting, A Scanner Darkly is never as good as I wished it was. Using really unique animation and an off-beat tone courtesy of director Richard Linklater, A Scanner Darkly is an interestingly put together film that justThough incredibly interesting, A Scanner Darkly is never as good as I wished it was. Using really unique animation and an off-beat tone courtesy of director Richard Linklater, A Scanner Darkly is an interestingly put together film that just feels...off. Aside from the aforementioned tone, it feels somehow unsatisfactory like a meal that tastes pretty good, but is not filling. In addition, its plotting can be a little convoluted at times that creates problems when trying to follow the plot of the film. While far from perfect, A Scanner Darkly is too interestingly put together to ignore thanks to Linklater's typically stellar writing and direction, plus the unique approach to Philip K. Dick's source material. Overall, A Scanner Darkly is pretty good to ok and works well in terms of messages and themes, but is just too off-putting and average to really excel. Expand
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8
RobertBroganSep 26, 2015
My rating for A Scanner Darkly is probably higher than most. I can easily see it being less for other viewers since the film does not really come together in many respects. It would have been greatly improved by a score to go with theMy rating for A Scanner Darkly is probably higher than most. I can easily see it being less for other viewers since the film does not really come together in many respects. It would have been greatly improved by a score to go with the animation. The sound itself is not particularly good (and yet that is one of the more important elements of an animated film). The overall feel to it is very 90s: amusing and silly, then serious. Reeves makes for a somewhat sympathetic main character, a confused and fatigued tragic hero. The main reason why I rate it up is because it is different, the story is oddly compelling, and I am a Robert Downey Jr. fan. Expand
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5
oxanaAug 28, 2014
A strange, even weird movie. Half-way across it I started to wonder: "what's the plot? what's the idea?" By the time the movie ended, I was yet to find out.

The film is entertaining, but confusing - mostly because there doesn't appear to
A strange, even weird movie. Half-way across it I started to wonder: "what's the plot? what's the idea?" By the time the movie ended, I was yet to find out.

The film is entertaining, but confusing - mostly because there doesn't appear to be a strong plot in it. Things and people just pretty aimlessly move about, going on about things that don't really click together. Sure, there is a main thread they follow - paranoia, drug abuse - but it isn't plain or clear enough.

Nice plot twist in the end that explains things a bit, but in my opinion it comes too late.
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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5
Compi24Aug 15, 2013
Mesmerizing visuals aside, Richard Linklater's "A Scanner Darkly" is a mostly unfulfilling crawl through meandering dialogue and some decidedly vapid events.
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
StevenFApr 9, 2013
While maybe not as personally enlightening as Linklater's earlier 'Waking Life', but A Scanner Darkly is certainly an unmissable piece of cinematic magic that will not sit well with everyone, but will really stand out as a marvel in complexWhile maybe not as personally enlightening as Linklater's earlier 'Waking Life', but A Scanner Darkly is certainly an unmissable piece of cinematic magic that will not sit well with everyone, but will really stand out as a marvel in complex story-telling and engrossing noir style, all told in animation.
Keanu Reeves plays detective Bob Artcor, who is an undercover cop deep within the Substance D universe, a powerful drug that has taken over America.
When Bob is back at the station, he is disguised by a 'scramble suit' which constantly changes the appearance of every part of his body, the other cops also wear them to protect their identity from their colleagues.
Bob has problem, which is his addiction to the drug, he spends his day with Ernie Luckman (Woody Harrelson) and James Barris (Robert Downey Jr) getting high and rambling endlessly through the day.
Bob also hasn't realised the drug is slowly deteriorating his brain, which causes him to hallucinate outside of using the drug.
His supplier, Donna (Winona Ryder) is an extremely damaged individual who never seems to be on a level head.
Barris is a very shifty character, perfectly portrayed by Downey Jr, he is constantly suspicious of Bob and Donna's relationship and goes so far as to contact the police, unaware of the fact that it is Bob's alter-ego Fred who he is talking to.
The cast is excellent here, with the standout performance of Downey Jr bringing an erratic and paranoid feel to the film, while the film itself is beautifully crafted to create a realisation of drugs and human behaviour, while also having a fantastic dialogue in typical Linklater style.
What is most striking is the simplicity that the film attempts to create, almost saying that this will indeed become a problem and how we need to deal with it. The actual intelligence and thought-provoking nature of the feature really deems it unmissable for movie fanatics.
The film is simply dazzling on all levels. It tells a clever and damaging story while also flickering in moments of humour which help the plot move forward, it can be quite puzzling at times but does require your full attention, because if you do you will be rewarded with a remarkable and gifted film., one, much like Waking Life, that will be difficult to forget, and certainly a shame to miss.
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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3
NecromusDec 6, 2012
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I went into this movie not really knowing anything about it other than it had Keanu Reeves in it and it was a movie about reality not being what it seems (hmm, where have I seen that idea before, cough, Matrix, cough..). I soon figured out it is a film about the Illuminati and the New World Order (I think) because the whole movie is filled with Illuminati symbolism on T-Shirts, in pictures on the walls, etc., and there is even a scene with Alex Jones shouting through a megaphone protesting the New World Order and getting tasered. Unfortunately, while that is a topic I love to see movies educating the public about, this movie fails to do that. My girlfriend saw this with me and after the scene of Alex Jones just popping up and getting tasered, she was like: "who the hell was that and what was that all about?". Now, I recently learned that this movie is based upon a novel written in 1977 about "monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states" according to Wikipedia. Now if the Alex Jones and Illuminati stuff was just added to the story to update it to today's conspiracy culture then actually that is kind of cool and I'm probably being too hard on it.

But, either way, this movie is just a jumbled mess of a plot that does not make sense to anyone. The movie is about people on drugs, is this movie supposed to be interpreted as if you are viewing it on drugs? Because that is what this movie feels like to watch, a movie that is incomprehensible like you are watching it on a high dosage of morphine (without the nice buzz) after you recently had major surgery at the hospital. The animation overlay idea was cool, but really, the emotion of the actors and actresses was lost in translation, I'd much rather see the real facial expressions of the actors/actresses than just a scribbly sketch of them which makes the movie really boring.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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8
AFountainNov 14, 2011
This film is a jigsaw puzzle. It's certainly not for everyone, and it requires patience and possibly repeat viewings in order to be fully understood and enjoyed. The acting is superb from all the cast, but Robert Downey Jr.'sThis film is a jigsaw puzzle. It's certainly not for everyone, and it requires patience and possibly repeat viewings in order to be fully understood and enjoyed. The acting is superb from all the cast, but Robert Downey Jr.'s performance stands out as the best by far. The animation style adds to the surreal atmosphere and matches the disturbing dystopian setting perfectly. It is done in such a way that it doesn't detract from the story or any actor's performance at all, and merely serves to enhance the audience's image of the characters' paranoid, drug-addled minds. There's perhaps a little too much to take in the first time you watch it, and the plot is sometimes a little less than coherent. However, it stays true to the book, and the message it is trying to convey is clear throughout the film. Collapse
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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9
lauramolAug 7, 2011
An amazing cast, with visionary ideas that scream of paranoia. Great visuals which make the audience feel like they are apart of this drug-centered dystopia. Many hidden meanings and plotlines lead to a more captivating experience and begsAn amazing cast, with visionary ideas that scream of paranoia. Great visuals which make the audience feel like they are apart of this drug-centered dystopia. Many hidden meanings and plotlines lead to a more captivating experience and begs for multiple viewings. Interesting to say the least. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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9
GatsbyDaneJun 7, 2011
It feels like the Matrix before Neo finds out it exists.
A lot of Keanu Reeves going around having a 'splinter in his mind'.
Dark, depressing, sinister yet funny and artistic. I love it
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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7
MrRiggsFeb 19, 2011
Good animation flick. Im not to much of an animation movie fan but this has a good/wicked plot to it with a twist. Its a crazy animation that will leave some thinking wtf did I just watch. Its clearly NOT for everyone but for a person like meGood animation flick. Im not to much of an animation movie fan but this has a good/wicked plot to it with a twist. Its a crazy animation that will leave some thinking wtf did I just watch. Its clearly NOT for everyone but for a person like me I enjoyed this flick very much. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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0
bassthingFeb 10, 2011
Unfortunately so painful that me and my wife gave up after 17 minutes of watching this. This may sound dismissive but it is a rare occasion that I begin to watch a film and then give up (I even sat through Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3.Unfortunately so painful that me and my wife gave up after 17 minutes of watching this. This may sound dismissive but it is a rare occasion that I begin to watch a film and then give up (I even sat through Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3. Now thatâ Expand
2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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6
RoryP.Jun 21, 2008
I'm not usually a fan of Robert Downey Jr, but I thought he was very good in this film. He managed to make something striking out of his typical funny/oddball shtick, creating a presence in his neurotic character that mananged to be I'm not usually a fan of Robert Downey Jr, but I thought he was very good in this film. He managed to make something striking out of his typical funny/oddball shtick, creating a presence in his neurotic character that mananged to be both weak and threatening. In fact, I liked his performance so much that, as i watched it, i began wishing i could see him acting the part without all the rotoscoping sh*t hiding the performance. Rory Cochrane on the other hand, was over the top in a way that perfectly suited the rotoscope format and the tone of the film. I really hope he gets out of CSI and gets into some movies/non-cack tv shows. I'd love to see him in a decent role. Keanu does his sullen thing again. Its alright, just about. The rotoscoping thing is good, and the acting is good enough, and their is some good dialogue. Its just all very slow and protracted though. its all a bit of a whimper. An unfocused one at that. I'd say this film is most suitable for dedicated fans of Mr. Dick and connoisseurs of film production. Other then that, i'd say you'll be relatively bored of the whole thing, interesting themes and all, after a hour or so. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
5
KentC.Jan 14, 2008
Artistic creativity and vision isn't enough to change the confusing plot.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
DonalM.Sep 1, 2007
Absolutely brilliant.Good storyline, class twist at the end. Rotoscope effect just finishes it off.Creeped me out the first time, had to watch it again and again to understand it more.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
8
SergeyMJul 26, 2007
Very cool, stylish psychedelic movie!
0 of 1 users found this helpful
9
BrendanM.Apr 30, 2007
A Scanner Darkly is extremly provocative, and visualy stunning. The story really sends a message to modern day society about the what if situation if the war on drugs is lost, and how a person can be controlled by peopel who he thinks are A Scanner Darkly is extremly provocative, and visualy stunning. The story really sends a message to modern day society about the what if situation if the war on drugs is lost, and how a person can be controlled by peopel who he thinks are his friends. Its a haunting tale, as well as a cauntionary one, and is not to be missed by anyone interested in good film. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
MartinA.Jan 26, 2007
What makes my blood boil about reading these 'public' reviews is that people think that if a film doesn't tick boxes, its "boring, pretentious and no plot character/development." And you will see the same trite comments on What makes my blood boil about reading these 'public' reviews is that people think that if a film doesn't tick boxes, its "boring, pretentious and no plot character/development." And you will see the same trite comments on every film review on this website. Films like this are attempting to redesign cinema. And in many ways this film is very original. This film circulates around the idea and connotations of drugs and Linklater tries to incorporate this into every aspect. The most obvious aspect of this is the aestetics, the constantly shifting and changing shapes indicate the idea of instability. The plot is murky and constantly fluctuating from comedy to existential questioning andthe dialogue ranges from scientic journal extracts to inane alcoholic banter. None of the dialogue is "meaningless" it all serves a purpose. The film is fantastic because it shows the conflicting mentalities of society and drug user, demonstrated prominently by the quote "you're either on substance d, or you havent tried it." Its a great film. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
8
JordanKJan 19, 2007
Those who gave it a red score, and ridiculed the director for the "boring, meaningless dialog, with the 'twist' at the end, which was very predictable" probably haven't read Philip K. Dick. If they had read Dick, they may have Those who gave it a red score, and ridiculed the director for the "boring, meaningless dialog, with the 'twist' at the end, which was very predictable" probably haven't read Philip K. Dick. If they had read Dick, they may have been able to appreciate how sincerely the director tried to transfer Dick's style and story to film. This film was masterful, even with Keanu Reeves. Anyone who hated this film is probably illeterate in film and books. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
8
DavidT.Dec 30, 2006
I think what it lacked in character and plot development/confusion it sold me on the amazing use of the ground breaking artistic technology! And I feel as though the Confusion can easily be cleared up with a second viewing and by watching I think what it lacked in character and plot development/confusion it sold me on the amazing use of the ground breaking artistic technology! And I feel as though the Confusion can easily be cleared up with a second viewing and by watching the Special Features! I think Philip Dick held a lot of Personal Convictions when he wrote this elaborate sci-fi Story! Good Film...8 STARS!!! Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
stephenr.Dec 26, 2006
i love a movie that gets lots of 10s and zeroes. that tells me it disturbs and delights. thanks richard for also pushing us a little further each time. many of us are up to the challenge. we relish meaning with our message, and art with our i love a movie that gets lots of 10s and zeroes. that tells me it disturbs and delights. thanks richard for also pushing us a little further each time. many of us are up to the challenge. we relish meaning with our message, and art with our entertainment. rage on. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
ChesterT.Dec 24, 2006
A Scanner Darkly is a dark, autobiography about drugs and government surveillance and a new, devastating drug called Substance D. It is a witty, amazingly told story that makes you think. It is so incredibly intelligent, and because of its A Scanner Darkly is a dark, autobiography about drugs and government surveillance and a new, devastating drug called Substance D. It is a witty, amazingly told story that makes you think. It is so incredibly intelligent, and because of its unique blend of great dialogue, storytelling, and animation, this movie is one of the best of the year. It contains a lot of smart, clever, and funny dialogue. I must say all the actors where unbelievably good in their roles because they wer e being their crazy selves. You should really go see it.....and then go see it again. If you passively watch it though, you may miss out on some, most, or all of the details of the story. This movie is not for dumb people. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
3
MikeDec 21, 2006
Whats the deal with this director? I have seen all of his movies, and they all have one thing in common. They are extermely BORING! I am giving it a 3 only for the animations, which are ok. But nothing mind blowing. But I imagine it took Whats the deal with this director? I have seen all of his movies, and they all have one thing in common. They are extermely BORING! I am giving it a 3 only for the animations, which are ok. But nothing mind blowing. But I imagine it took them a long time to make. Alot of boring, meaningless dialog, with the "twist" at the end, which was very predictable. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
1
StuartDoolittleOct 4, 2006
People think that because they don't get it, it must be great. Its not, it sucks. And the revolutionary visual effects are revolutionary but nothing else - the overall effect is tacky and cartoonish. No substance, no plot, poor visuals, People think that because they don't get it, it must be great. Its not, it sucks. And the revolutionary visual effects are revolutionary but nothing else - the overall effect is tacky and cartoonish. No substance, no plot, poor visuals, no soundtrack, no drama, no excitement, nothing, nada, squat. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
3
KenGSep 23, 2006
What needed to be sharp and edgy comes off as slow, meandering, shapeless, and too often incoherent. You walked out of this thinking that Linklater was definitely the wrong one for this material, as all he was really interested was the look What needed to be sharp and edgy comes off as slow, meandering, shapeless, and too often incoherent. You walked out of this thinking that Linklater was definitely the wrong one for this material, as all he was really interested was the look of the film, and "dazzleing" us with his dialogue. Except for the "image changing" suit that two of the characters always wore, there was no real reason to place this story in the future. And you got tired of the suit. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
smurfwalkerSep 16, 2006
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
1 of 1 users found this helpful
0
BobSep 15, 2006
Worst movie I have ever seen. First time I have ever walked out on a film. Avoid at all cost.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
JayB.Sep 4, 2006
Having known nothing of this film before I watched it, I couln't have seen it at a better time. I guess it will resonate on many different levels with many different kinds of people. But to me this film's underlying voice was Having known nothing of this film before I watched it, I couln't have seen it at a better time. I guess it will resonate on many different levels with many different kinds of people. But to me this film's underlying voice was obvious throughout. The length this film goes to in order to portray the differing states of the mind whilst using/abusing drugs is truely amaizing. If this film saves one person from the grips of addiction (not just to drugs) it can truely be regarded as a masterpeice of our times. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
7
DavidB.Aug 22, 2006
Superb effects and acting, with a funny script, but lacks depth and pacing.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
1
DickD.Aug 18, 2006
boring movie with cool rotoscope deal. Not worth seeing in theaters.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
MannyC.Aug 17, 2006
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.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
10
JakeB.Aug 9, 2006
[***SPOILERS***] 'A Scanner Darkly' produces one thought as the lights turn on; WOW! It is, put simply, a masterpiece. A masterpiece of writing, directing, acting and ultimately, film. In a world where 2 out of 10 people are [***SPOILERS***] 'A Scanner Darkly' produces one thought as the lights turn on; WOW! It is, put simply, a masterpiece. A masterpiece of writing, directing, acting and ultimately, film. In a world where 2 out of 10 people are recruited to spy on the other 8, Bob Arctor (Codename: Fred) is one of the 2 recruited. His latest job is to infiltrate a drug ring. This isn't just Dope or Coke or H it's a new more addictive drug called Substance D. Arctor manages to get hooked on the D and becomes dependent. This splits the two hemispheres of the brain causing Bob to forget his law man alter ego, Fred. This presents a problem. Eventually, Fred is assigned to spy or scan the house of... Bob Arctor. WHAT? How can they ask him to spy on himself. (Here's a hint, all agents have to wear scramble suits. Suits which take all characteristics, like looks and voice, and alter them. In physical characteristics, the suit rotates between different male and female looks.) This happens regularly, the novel tells us, just try to convince the boss you are not wraped up in too much. The problem, the split brain hemesphires sometimes make Fred forget he's really Bob. Living with Bob are Barris and Luckman, a D dealer and D user. The chain of events also involves Donna a dealer and object of Bob's lust and Charles Freck, a addict feeling more than momentary insanity. 'Scanner' is a marvel to look at. Using the technique of rotoscoping Linklater throws you into the middle of Substance D freak outs and the effect is jarring. The Supporting cast is wonderful with nods going to Downey Jr., Harrelson, Ryder and Cochrane. All present throughly convincing people through the animation. Reeves believe it or not is improving and is solid in this role. Especially when the third act take a darker turn (No bad pun intended.) In the end 'A Scanner Darkly' raises one question: Who should be locked up? The users or the people trying to stop the using? My opinion, take all of 'em away! With 'Waking Life' Linklater experimented with rotoscoping, with 'A Scanner Darkly', he perfects it. Overall: A+ The Year's Best Film! Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
9
JonAug 4, 2006
Always funny to see people give a movie a bad score because they didn't get it, you know the type, they tend to use nouns like diatribe as adjectives. Anyway I thought this movie was pretty good, not the best thing I have ever seen, but Always funny to see people give a movie a bad score because they didn't get it, you know the type, they tend to use nouns like diatribe as adjectives. Anyway I thought this movie was pretty good, not the best thing I have ever seen, but certainly the best thing I've seen this summer. I don't really see where the mass confusion on the plot is coming from, I didn't find it all the hard to grasp (if you can follow fight club or pulp fiction you should get this.) I liked the use of animation (particularly on the scramble suits) and frankly I don't understand the people complaining about it being annoying, you knew it was animated going in to it. Every trailer, T.V. spot, and even the poster show case this fact, it just seems like an easy gripe because the movie didn't turn out to be the matrix four or dazed and confused two. Anyway, a good movie (unless you're looking for live action, action adventure packed with one liners and super heroes) and a great book adaptation (PKD's son and daughter say that their father would be proud of it.) Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
8
SorenA.Aug 4, 2006
Neurotically wild kafka.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
8
DrewF.Aug 3, 2006
Very very very thought-provoking film. Linklater's decision to do it in this animated-style is a stroke of genius. LOVE the animation on the scramblesuits. Definitely not for everyone, but highly recommended for someone looking for a Very very very thought-provoking film. Linklater's decision to do it in this animated-style is a stroke of genius. LOVE the animation on the scramblesuits. Definitely not for everyone, but highly recommended for someone looking for a film that is refreshingly different. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
0
OscarP.Aug 1, 2006
I haven't walked out of a movie since "The sound of music" when I was twelve. What a waste of 8 dollars, luckily I snuck into "My Ex Super Girlfriend" , which, by the way was quite funny. But This movie, THIS movie, was awful, not to I haven't walked out of a movie since "The sound of music" when I was twelve. What a waste of 8 dollars, luckily I snuck into "My Ex Super Girlfriend" , which, by the way was quite funny. But This movie, THIS movie, was awful, not to mention a group of people who couldn't stop laughing at the boring, diatribe, so called witty dialogue. The cartoonish overtone felt annoying, probably done because the special effects might have cost too much. Anyway, don't waste your money, I like most movies and this one was really bad, I'm sure philip Dick would have been dissapointed. After a simple plot developed laced with too much overacting and ostentatious witty dialogue, 45 minutes had already passed, I felt that I couldn't take it anymore! Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
4
JBJul 31, 2006
I love Richard Linklater, but this is his worst film. It's kind of like Waking Life combined with Minority Report. There's about a five minute sequence that's very funny and points more to Dazed and Confused. He should have I love Richard Linklater, but this is his worst film. It's kind of like Waking Life combined with Minority Report. There's about a five minute sequence that's very funny and points more to Dazed and Confused. He should have gone more that way for the other 95 minutes, but I suspect he was being too true to the source material. He should have left it behind and made the vision more his own. What we are left with is not dramatic, it isn't philosopically interesting. It ends up being a far too typical picture of some paranoid future world where everything somehow connects. I guess we're supposed to think that's heavy, but it isn't. The animation is interesting at times and also, I think, irritating. What's the point? Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful
0
LorenC.Jul 30, 2006
This movie was slow and eventless. Perhaps it did have a deep plot, but I was just so bored that I didn't care, I just wanted it to end. And most of the other people who left the cinema seemed bored and confused too, so I was really This movie was slow and eventless. Perhaps it did have a deep plot, but I was just so bored that I didn't care, I just wanted it to end. And most of the other people who left the cinema seemed bored and confused too, so I was really surprised with the ratings others gave it. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
8
RobertI.Jul 30, 2006
A scramble of reality and animation, drama and cartoon, druggie antilogic and metamessage, Scanner picks you up and throws you into the messy world that addiction creates. The visual tour de force abstracts and clarifies the drama, much as A scramble of reality and animation, drama and cartoon, druggie antilogic and metamessage, Scanner picks you up and throws you into the messy world that addiction creates. The visual tour de force abstracts and clarifies the drama, much as black and white used to do, focusing the energy on the essentials. You'll get lost in the action, but you'll get the point. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
9
JustinB.Jul 28, 2006
Dude... this movie is a trip. You have to meta-meta-think about it to get it. Not only do you have to watch the movie, you have to watch yourself watching the movie, and then analyze that. When you leave, you'll feel like you're on Dude... this movie is a trip. You have to meta-meta-think about it to get it. Not only do you have to watch the movie, you have to watch yourself watching the movie, and then analyze that. When you leave, you'll feel like you're on drugs. And then you'll be paranoid as hell. I'd call this more of an experience than a movie. Go see it in theaters. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
0
IvoryE.Jul 28, 2006
One of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life, and I watch alot of movies. There is no emotional connection with any of the characters, partly because the dialogue sounds like it was written by a 12 year old and partly because it is One of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life, and I watch alot of movies. There is no emotional connection with any of the characters, partly because the dialogue sounds like it was written by a 12 year old and partly because it is delivered by such thespian powerhouses like Harrelson, Downey, Ryder and (cough) Reeves. I almost walked out on this one...almost. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
JohnW.Jul 27, 2006
Ironically, it appears the main target audience for this film is already stoned out of their collective gourds and will miss one of the main anti-drug mesaages. As I left the theater, a group of kids were asking, "Diid you understand it?" Ironically, it appears the main target audience for this film is already stoned out of their collective gourds and will miss one of the main anti-drug mesaages. As I left the theater, a group of kids were asking, "Diid you understand it?" and saying "I almost fell asleep". BUT...I was entranced and never bored. And the story was not nearly difficult to follow as I expected. The animation entirely approprate, especially for the use of morphing and the body suits they wear. I give it a personal thumbs up, but find it difficult to recommend to more than 3 or 4 people I have known in my entire life! Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
8
JordanJ.Jul 25, 2006
Being a PKD fan, I felt it was my duty to see this movie. I thought it was a great movie, though not as good as the book, I felt it stayed true to the book. The visuals are amazing. The rotoscoping gave it a very surreal feel. The most Being a PKD fan, I felt it was my duty to see this movie. I thought it was a great movie, though not as good as the book, I felt it stayed true to the book. The visuals are amazing. The rotoscoping gave it a very surreal feel. The most memorable part of this movie for me was Robert Downey Jr.'s perfect performance. My suggestion is read the book. You don't get half the depth in the movie that you do in the book. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
JavierR.Jul 22, 2006
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. He dares to call the professional reviewers confused, and suggest that they misinterpreted it. WithTo 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 of 2 users found this helpful
5
BillW.Jul 21, 2006
I'm a huge fan of Linklater's film and loved Waking Life, where we first saw this animation approach. That being said, the movie just never grabbed me. I thought there was quite a bit of overacting, but the story is prettyI'm a huge fan of Linklater's film and loved Waking Life, where we first saw this animation approach. That being said, the movie just never grabbed me. I thought there was quite a bit of overacting, but the story is pretty convoluted, as it's seen through the eyes of drug addicts. Ultimately, when all is revealed, I found I just didn't really care. The moments of interest were so far spaced that it lost me, and I left the movie without feeling the need to ever devote another second of contemplation as to what I had just seen. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
7
C.henryJul 21, 2006
the entire time i kept thinking "What is this, 'Photoshop Filters: The Movie'?" interesting overall though. Kind of messes with your head.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
0
C.P.Jul 21, 2006
Only movie I've ever walked out on. The critics are bamboozled once again, misinterpreting discord for depth, cynicism for creative genius. Linkletter has made some excellent films, and this isn't one of them. What saved his Only movie I've ever walked out on. The critics are bamboozled once again, misinterpreting discord for depth, cynicism for creative genius. Linkletter has made some excellent films, and this isn't one of them. What saved his previous films, indeed made them inspriing, was that "the man" was the enemy, and optimism and human spirit won the day . Here, "the man" has already won the battle, and we're supposed to reward the filmaker for not even trying to fight the war. Avoid it at all costs. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful
10
ChadT.Jul 18, 2006
The first movie this year I wanted to see a second time. Mind-blowing stuff, especially in light of last week's government-funded Psilocybin clinical trials. This movie raises a range of ethical and philosophical questions about our The first movie this year I wanted to see a second time. Mind-blowing stuff, especially in light of last week's government-funded Psilocybin clinical trials. This movie raises a range of ethical and philosophical questions about our govenment's role in the drug trade, the nature of addiction, and the brain-damaging effects of long-term drug use. Critics who call it a series of prattling conversations are missing the point entirely. Simultaneously hilarious and disturbing, A Scanner Darkly is easily the best movie of the year thus far. Now I just hope Linklater's next movie is in 3D - preferably Disney Digital 3D. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
JonC.Jul 18, 2006
I would've given it a 10 if it wasn't for 20 minute long conversations with no score, or music in the backround. visually, it was stunning, and the movie had a great message. "if you use drungs, you will be addicted."
0 of 1 users found this helpful
8
AlexJul 18, 2006
A little tough to follow at points, but overall a very good film. The animation was great. The story was amazing and the acting was right on. This is one movie I will be seeing again, not just because it is good, but because there is so much A little tough to follow at points, but overall a very good film. The animation was great. The story was amazing and the acting was right on. This is one movie I will be seeing again, not just because it is good, but because there is so much to take in on one showing. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
9
TimM.Jul 17, 2006
Um.... yea this movie kiiiiiiiiiinda makes you wanna kill yourself. i left with a damaged psyche. reminiscent of lynch's "naked lunch". its good, but prepare to be depressed. also looks cool, but the psychological aspects are what stick.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
6
MattP.Jul 16, 2006
What happened? This movie was supposed to be this great artistic breakthrough, but it just turned out to be a muddled mess of of over thought ideas and an animated style that was completely worthless and took away from the story. The What happened? This movie was supposed to be this great artistic breakthrough, but it just turned out to be a muddled mess of of over thought ideas and an animated style that was completely worthless and took away from the story. The promising cast fell into the void of playing cartoon characters, except for Ryder, who's performance is the saving grace. Badly paced, mediocre acting, and what was with the animation??!! Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
8
OliverC.Jul 16, 2006
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. 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
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
MattC.Jul 14, 2006
Mark said: "Unless you are a pretentious film school geek, druggie, or P.K. Dick fan, stay away. " Dude, you just described everyone whose opinion I trust!
0 of 1 users found this helpful
9
SteveB.Jul 12, 2006
Fresh, well acted and ingeniously scripted movie that addresses the "other half" of addition - the communities contribution to a drug crazed world. The animation was an efective tool that moved me easily into the "everyman" view of the Fresh, well acted and ingeniously scripted movie that addresses the "other half" of addition - the communities contribution to a drug crazed world. The animation was an efective tool that moved me easily into the "everyman" view of the character roles. Live acting would have diminshed the incredible and onerous conclusion that the sceen tragedy could happen to anyone! Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
6
DanJul 10, 2006
It could have been so much better. Great cast, the story appeared to be fantastic, but the exectuion was horrible. I mean he really missed the mark on this one. The animation greatly took away from the heart of the story and disconnected the It could have been so much better. Great cast, the story appeared to be fantastic, but the exectuion was horrible. I mean he really missed the mark on this one. The animation greatly took away from the heart of the story and disconnected the audience from the realitites of mental illness due to drug abuse. I really have no idea why he felt he needed to use animation to bring this story to the screen. I think that was the major mistake in the development of this concept, and from that point on it was cursed to be boring and totally out of touch with raw human emotion. If you want to see a great animated feature, check out Watership Down. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
DmcnallyJul 9, 2006
Fantastic, mind-blowing, totally original.....So happy to watch a film that has such rich characters, dialog, layered meanings..This is the best film this year so far!
0 of 1 users found this helpful
10
RonnieJul 9, 2006
Brilliant. Thats all there is to say about it.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
1
TreyS.Jul 9, 2006
Walked out after 30 minutes. Mindless drug ranting with eye-straining animation. Loved Trainspotting and various other drug related movies but couldn't take this one from the first scene.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
0
MichaelK.Jul 9, 2006
No doubt one of the worst experiences of my life. I wish I would have been prepared for this strange and twisted cartoon. It's hidden meanings and plotlines were difficult if not impossible to follow. It would fit in better in a No doubt one of the worst experiences of my life. I wish I would have been prepared for this strange and twisted cartoon. It's hidden meanings and plotlines were difficult if not impossible to follow. It would fit in better in a "twilight zone" episode. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful
9
MarkJul 8, 2006
Great, great, great! The most visually stunning movie I've ever seen. Robert Downey Jr. and Winona Ryder are very impressive here.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
9
TerryG.Jul 8, 2006
A wonderful homage. This is the movie Dick would have wanted. You're left with a despondent vision of the future, and yet a terrible sense of immediacy.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
CarolE.Jul 7, 2006
I saw this movie at the premiere in Austin, Texas on June 28th and loved it. The animation enhances the drug mindset and it is riveting. Funny and serious at the same time. The music creates the perfect background for the eminent feeling of I saw this movie at the premiere in Austin, Texas on June 28th and loved it. The animation enhances the drug mindset and it is riveting. Funny and serious at the same time. The music creates the perfect background for the eminent feeling of doom. Go see it! Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful
8
CablesJul 7, 2006
I find it amazing that Entertainment Weekly can semi-trash this movie yet they gave "poseiden" a pretty damn good review. Linklater rocks.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
9
BrockL.Jul 6, 2006
One of the 3 most awaited films for me,A Scanner Darkly is in every fashion satisfying and worth the wait.I simply put this one of the more Philosophical,metamorphic,and provoking thrillers and not to mention the coolest part-animated films One of the 3 most awaited films for me,A Scanner Darkly is in every fashion satisfying and worth the wait.I simply put this one of the more Philosophical,metamorphic,and provoking thrillers and not to mention the coolest part-animated films put on screen.Everything here was exactly what I expected and more.Knowing that this film is helmed by the ultra ambitious and talented Richard Linklater,with a spellbinding cast. [***SPOILERS***] I had 100% satisfaction.Expecting a Sci-Fi film in the likes of Blade Runner,and Minority Report. It's dealing with the same thing that Blade Runner and other Phillip K.Dick's stories has dealt with.It questions the meaning of life and existence and goes beyond that to ask those questions.Of course,like all those thoughtful films,it doesn't provide any answers but just asks those fascinating questions.By the way,Who's watching us? Writer-Director Linklater yet again gives a striking cerebral experience in A Scanner Darkly ,a film adaptation of one of the most beloved sci/fi short story writers.Reportedly based on his own real life experience,Philip K.Dick is a visionary short story writer where the story's main focus has always been the importance of being human. Like Waking Life,Linklater really pushes the envelope by giving the film its necessary surreal looks with its rotoscope animation.Creating a haunting, highly stylized vision of the future.A technique he successfully incorporated in Waking Life,but only this time that technique has been taken a little further. It is a future where America has lost the war on drugs and that every one ,almost, even cops have started taking drugs.A famous substance D is being popular among citizens of suburbia and it is almost unstoppable.An undercover cop Bob Arctor(Reeves),is assigned a task to take down couple of his friends who are using that drug.Soon, he is in a strange world where he can't tell the difference between the real and the surreal,he doesn't know who to believe and whom not to.This also leads him to his split personality.And then he is lost.His mind is totally lost.Nothing becomes what it seems.Identity becomes an illusion,and for them paranoia becomes salvation ,as someone ,something,somehow,somewhere is always watching somebody. It has a similar Post-apocalyptic feel ,like Blade Runner.It's designed that way.I mean ,honestly,I believe that our society in the future will be grim and dark.We will be and are living in a dystopic future.Everything around us is getting aggressively worse and we can do nothing about it.Everything around us is surrounded by computers with highly advanced technology.Everyone fears someone.No one can be trusted,there's no one to believe.Everyone's addicted ,everyone is two faced.And that's what makes this film so complex.What is the real world? As a writer,Linklater knows how to produce an intriguing element.He manifests the books smart idea and gives you a film with powerful visuals.Although it may have seemed that turning a film like this into an animated film is totally faulty,the animation over live action shots actually helps heighten the surreal impact of the film.Like Waking Life,this film really has strong affect on the audience. The director carefully explores Arctor's mind,who he becomes from who he was.It's a very psychological and complex journey of ones mind,a theme often included in Dick's books.The designs and looks of the film are way beyond impressive.It's as if Keanu Reeves has found himself another visually stunning Matrix movie.The film looks really awesome.The visuals are simply fabulously insane! The main strength of the film is its visuals.The animation over live action shots are impressive,the story is very well detailed and film is perfectly handled.But there are some drawbacks/flaws.The animation sometimes hampers the films dramatic impact.There are scenes which could've looked better if they were shot in live action.But still,its a unique experience altogether.And should be well received and hopefully becomes a cult success. Performances are all solid.Especially one from Downey Jr.He is the man who really makes his roles and characters juicy and fun.And surprises are on his side.Reeves is adequate and hopefully no one would blame him if this film fails to achieve success ,he was perfect for the role.Thanks to his dark,brooding looks and dry expressions.He brings the necessary tension and emotions of his character.While Wionna Ryder is not that impressive.Harrelson goes along with Downey as another standout psycho drug addict.It's actually hard to justify the performances when the characters look so animated and sometimes it's hard to identify their emotions properly. The director deserves a special praise for his effort to bring something this complex into realization.I love the way he crafts his films.It's just fun to watch and it's also thoughtful at the same time.He injects lots of humor,especially in the scenes between, Keanu,Robert and Woody.And dramatic allegory,which never really reaches a very high level due to its animation. This film does join the ranks of Minority report and Blade Runner and other successful Dick adaptations for its impressive handling of the subject.However,it can't meet the perfection of those films.But as a mesmerizing black comedy,it's still very close to perfection and it's worth a look,at least for its visuals.Especially if you want to escape from the Big Budgeted Hollywood crap coming out every two or three times a month.And most especially,if you admire Dick's and Linklaters's works. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
0
PeterL.Jul 5, 2006
i've never wanted a movie to END so soon as this bore.
1 of 2 users found this helpful
10
JoyceS.Jul 5, 2006
I saw this film at the LA Film Fest .... it is truly amazing....a great film, and the actors were excellent....the animation was fantastic. It is a P.K. Dick dark sci-fi story, semi - autobiography about drugs and government surveillance and I saw this film at the LA Film Fest .... it is truly amazing....a great film, and the actors were excellent....the animation was fantastic. It is a P.K. Dick dark sci-fi story, semi - autobiography about drugs and government surveillance and a new, devastating drug called Substance D......for DEATH! It is not a cartoon...it is adult animation and a story that makes you think.... It is not a piece of fluff .... a no brainer. It does have a lot of witty, clever, funny dialogue. I guess you could say it is a wake-up call with laughs. You should really go see it.....and then go see it again!! Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
7
GregD.Jun 30, 2006
Awfully intriguing bit of metatheater with a weak narrative thread. This movie has to be watched more than once, those that have read the novel may only need one viewing. [***SPOILERS***] I haven't read the novel and only hold out hope Awfully intriguing bit of metatheater with a weak narrative thread. This movie has to be watched more than once, those that have read the novel may only need one viewing. [***SPOILERS***] I haven't read the novel and only hold out hope that more will be illuminated between it's covers. Linklater is a bit too cryptic in this outing, he sets up plot points in a flash card manner. Sometimes this works, like the brief introduction to the blue flower in the beginning of the film and the field of them in the end. What was most poor was the presentation of "Substance D". There is nothing in the film that shows the pleasant effects of the drug, why someone would use it, and what it really does. Everyone appeared to be on the drug, but everyone didn't seem to have the same symptoms. The film does best what Linklater does best which is capture paranoid dialogue and wacked out characters, dream noir worlds and active isolation. I love Linklater's films so I have a spin on the film or maybe I'm compensating for a favorite director. This film is metatheater, the look of the film represents the world view from a population under the influence for better or worse. This film is also a test, if you sit there and accept everything that is said without question, then welcome to that world; you've just become a member. Can you think for yourself when the world you live in is telling you you're crazy? Do you trust your own perception or do you need the government to tell you what you're seeing and feeling? Finally, is the enemy of your enemy your friend? "What does a scanner see? Does it see darkly or clearly?" I think this film is genius in ways that make it mediocre entertainment. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful