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73

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

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 165 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
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. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    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. Reviewed by: Christopher Orr
    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. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    40
    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: 46 out of 65
  2. Negative: 14 out of 65
  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. JordanJ.
    Jul 25, 2006
    8
    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 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. Collapse
  5. DavidB.
    Aug 22, 2006
    7
    Superb effects and acting, with a funny script, but lacks depth and pacing.
  6. KentC.
    Jan 14, 2008
    5
    Artistic creativity and vision isn't enough to change the confusing plot.
  7. PeterL.
    Jul 5, 2006
    0
    i've never wanted a movie to END so soon as this bore.

See all 65 User Reviews

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    "The Adjustment Bureau," in theaters Friday, is just one of many movies based on stories by writer Philip K. Dick. We examine Hollywood's fascination with the sci-fi author, from "Blade Runner" to "Impostor."