Newmarket Films | Release Date: July 23, 2004
8.5
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 298 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
267
Mixed:
14
Negative:
17
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4
ShannonP.Aug 5, 2007
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 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. Expand
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6
juliankennedy23Jul 22, 2014
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
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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