User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 281 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 281
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  1. J.RyanG.
    May 29, 2005
    5
    Leaves one with the feeling of being alienated by all his friends at school, or of being given a mysterious assignment by a teacher who's just left the room and will only reappear in perplexing nightmares. If that's what the director intended, then he gets an "8" for succeeding; but I give him a "2" for wanting to jerk his audience around like a stuffed animal. Overall, Donnie Leaves one with the feeling of being alienated by all his friends at school, or of being given a mysterious assignment by a teacher who's just left the room and will only reappear in perplexing nightmares. If that's what the director intended, then he gets an "8" for succeeding; but I give him a "2" for wanting to jerk his audience around like a stuffed animal. Overall, Donnie gets a "5." Expand
  2. ShannonP.
    Aug 5, 2007
    4
    The good parts of this film are (highly) derivative, while the "original" parts fall flat. There are a few funny lines, and many tiresome scenes. It feels like the writer/director realized he was working on a "Heathers" redux, and added the whole time travel theme to make it "original." Whether that theme makes sense hardly matters--its a crushing, self-indulgent bore.
  3. roberth.
    Apr 3, 2005
    4
    The most amazing thing about donnie darko is how much praise it has received from both critics and viewers alike considering how really average it is. it's hard for me to believe that film viewers are so easily pleased with such artless photography, a thoughless clumsy narrative and a little lame humor. but i'm glad i saw it after hearing it mentioned so many times by friends. The most amazing thing about donnie darko is how much praise it has received from both critics and viewers alike considering how really average it is. it's hard for me to believe that film viewers are so easily pleased with such artless photography, a thoughless clumsy narrative and a little lame humor. but i'm glad i saw it after hearing it mentioned so many times by friends. now i know i walk among the living dead. Expand
  4. TyS
    Feb 17, 2005
    4
    Kiddie sci-fi at it's worst . Never entertaining yet entertainingly dull.
  5. Tim
    Mar 31, 2005
    4
    Hey, I'll admit, I loved the original which I saw in the theater in 2001. But the Director's Cut is terrible. It reveals how uninteresting the plot really is (something hidden by the less explained original). And the new special effects and sound are terrible.
  6. Jul 22, 2014
    6
    Donnie Darko: 6 out of 10: Some movies just pass me right by. I found Amelie by the end more irritating than cute, I didn't laugh once at Rushmore, and only a hostage situation could coerce me to watch The Piano again.

    Donnie Darko has a large legion of fans and I certainly understand its appeal. The acting by both Jake Gyllenhaal and Drew Barrymore is some of their best work. The rest
    Donnie Darko: 6 out of 10: Some movies just pass me right by. I found Amelie by the end more irritating than cute, I didn't laugh once at Rushmore, and only a hostage situation could coerce me to watch The Piano again.

    Donnie Darko has a large legion of fans and I certainly understand its appeal. The acting by both Jake Gyllenhaal and Drew Barrymore is some of their best work. The rest of the cast also shines with a special kudos to Holmes Osborne as the father in what is almost always a throw away role.

    The school and kids remind me of my high school from the eighties (Though this being Hollywood the music is much better than what the radio actually played in those years.) and the filmmakers certainly know how to frame a shot. I was even able to look past the Holden Caulfield and Harvey flashbacks the movie caused me to suffer.

    So what went wrong… the plot. Oh up until the payoff it's fine enough, in fact it is better than fine. One wonders how the filmmakers are going to pull it off. The answer is simple. They don't. If anything the end of the movie reminded me of that atrocious horror film from a few years back Soul Survivors. Like Soul Survivors the movie holds your interest with more and more implausible plot twists and coincidences then cheats at the end like a bad junior high school English essay.

    Now Donnie Darko is otherwise superior to Soul Survivors and other films where the ending is a groaner (cough The Village cough), but after all that goodness the magic is gone and they couldn't pull a rabbit out of their hat. Even a six foot demonic one.
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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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