Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. The director's cut of this 2001 cult fantasy is a deliriously subtle exploration of storytelling possibilities, and a deliciously wry teen-pic to boot. Brilliant.
  2. 100
    Obsessives will be familiar with the "new" material (almost all available on the original DVD), which elaborates on the time-travel metaphysics and tightens the emotional screws. Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) shares one additional tender exchange with each family member
  3. In this bolder, longer new cut, characters are allowed to finish scenes previously left as DVD extras, effects are creepier, and the theories of "the Tangent Universe" are explored in greater depth. Friends and neighbors, this is a Great American Movie.
  4. 100
    “Donnie Darko" was one of the best pictures released in 2001. Now that it has returned in a 20-minute longer--and richer -- director's cut, it seems sure to be ranked as one of the key American films of the decade.
  5. Contains about 10 additional minutes and is as fabulous and enjoyable as ever. To be honest, I didn't even notice the new material, having not seen the original film since its 2001 release. I just saw a film that works beautifully and has held together well.
  6. 90
    If Kelly felt it necessary to add the new material, that's all to the good. It just means there's more to love.
  7. With 20 additional minutes of screen time, the director's cut of Richard Kelly's genre-splicing "Donnie Darko" offers new viewers a second chance to discover his mind-bending masterwork.
  8. Reviewed by: Leighton Klein
    88
    The director's cut has been getting a much warmer critical reception than the original release, but not necessarily because it's significantly better.
  9. The longer film makes Donnie's intentions clearer, explains the time-travel theme better and also leaves us in no doubt as to Frank's identity.
  10. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    80
    If you're returning for more Donnie, you'll still have tears in your eyes come the sublime Mad World conclusion. If it's your first viewing, you should still be wowed by an astounding masterpiece. But this is undoubtedly the lesser of the two cuts, and since you have the choice, you should stick with version one.
  11. 80
    This surreal, subversive teen drama tanked at the box office but has since become a cult favorite, prompting this new release with 20 minutes of additional footage.
  12. 75
    The director's cut adds footage that enriches and extends the material but doesn't alter its tone. It adds footnotes that count down to a deadline, but without explaining the nature of the deadline or the usefulness of the countdown.
  13. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    75
    To members of the Darko cult, this may not be an improvement, but it could help this compelling and extremely moving film find the audience it deserves.
  14. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    75
    Longer cut's slapdash additions make a cool, ambiguous film more literal; original 2001 version is far better.
  15. Immensely moving and strikingly original, Kelly's story of a brilliant, disturbed teen (Jake Gyllenhaal) drowning in the cultural morass of the 1980s now feels bloated.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 233 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 77
  2. Negative: 6 out of 77
  1. Nov 2, 2010
    10
    This movie talked to me, and I know it talks to a lot of people, specially young people. This movie had such an impact on me it impressed me and I still think about it and how it made me feel. I want to watch it constantly but I refrain myself so that every time I do watch it it remains a memorable experience. Full Review »
  2. Feb 27, 2013
    2
    trite, mundane, pretentious, hackneyed, sloppy, arrogant and dull......i never did understand the cult following this film has garnered. if ever the movie said anything to me, it said that writer richard kelly is way too in love with his own material (southland tales and the box being proof of this). there is nothing wrong with wanting to endeavor into your project like a child, nurturing it and loving it just as such. however, once a director reaches the state of "i don't care if it does make sense", you have then left your audience in the ditch and are now lost. there is an obvious disdain and further disconnect with kelly's audience, as the movie is only experienced in stylized sequences, complete with "plot twists" askew. oh, the plot twist. ever was there a more cheap though effective technique in fiction writing. this brings me to my next point. the story is so convoluted, there have been countless websites developed for the simple function of either identifying or deciphering the movies message, plot, theme and "code" like a child who recently discovered the usesfullness of a Marvel styled decoder ring. only whence identifying these modes (or theorizing them, as there really is all you can do with this film), the former just seems so wishy washy in the end, you'd just as soon begin thinking of this film as a classic because if it doesn't make sense, it must be cool, right? Kelly has no business directing, as there is only a subtle hint of character in every one of these one or two layered protagonists. Richard Kelly really is the Omar Rodriguez of film and i see no other reason to praise him, save for the fact that he knows the Gyllenhaals? i assure you, rich.....your farts smell the same way as mine, and as your movie. **1 out of 5 stars** Full Review »
  3. Oct 5, 2013
    9
    Amazingly well done. A bit too subtle (would've been a ten) but still an amazing journey and experience. Actors out-performed it, the actor that played Donnie played him just perfect. Music was pretty good too.
    This is NOT light watching, if you miss anything the movie really gets ruined; watch it in full, enjoy the complications.
    Full Review »