Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 307 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 307

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User Reviews

  1. FrankS.
    Jan 20, 2007
    10
    My favorite movie of all time. I saw it for the first time when I was 20 and it changed my life. I had never identified with a film character like this before, and doubt that I ever will. I think you owe it to yourself to experience this movie. Uniquely American and flawlessly executed.
  2. JoeS
    Mar 27, 2005
    9
    It's not a freaking sci-fi movie, nerds.
  3. CharleneJ
    Sep 5, 2004
    9
    Donnie Darko is one of my favorite movies of all time, a movie with an interesting story that left me chewing on it for weeks afterwards (and raiding Donnie Darko websites, and chatrooms, the DVD extras, etc.) to figure out its meaning. I still think it is a brilliant movie, and some additions are welcome. For example, for the uninitiated, the "philosophy of time travel" pages are helpful Donnie Darko is one of my favorite movies of all time, a movie with an interesting story that left me chewing on it for weeks afterwards (and raiding Donnie Darko websites, and chatrooms, the DVD extras, etc.) to figure out its meaning. I still think it is a brilliant movie, and some additions are welcome. For example, for the uninitiated, the "philosophy of time travel" pages are helpful in understanding the plot. However, some of the "additions" didn't serve the movie, or even feel appropriate. For example, whenever Donnie has an "episode," they now show an eyeball (which is fine), but also some computer code??? Firstly, a computer doesn't have anything to do with what is happening in the movie, but if you want to be literal, there weren't even any computers in mass usage in the 80s! Also, towards the end of the movie, a new grid "effect" obscures an important part of the movie. Of course, the director could have decided that the original way this scene was presented gave a different meaning to what he intended and he now intends to obscure THAT. I don't know. Regardless, i still urge everyone to see this movie if you want something for your brain to wrap around, instead of the usual fluff. Expand
  4. StevenS.
    Mar 20, 2005
    10
    The Graduate for the 9/11 generation. You will appreciate it more after your second viewing.
  5. JaysonB.
    Apr 8, 2005
    10
    Perspective altering. An instant classic. Richard Kelly is setting a new standard in filmmaking that most modern filmmakers won't be able to compete with. See this movie becuase of the actors, the acting, the plot, the screenplay, the music, the content... Just see this movie!
  6. DavidC.
    Apr 8, 2005
    10
    Fantastic film. One of the most original, best new films in years.
  7. RitaP.
    Jan 30, 2006
    10
    Perfect 10, this film cannot be faulted. The pressure is on Richard Kelly to reproduce the genius thats so evident in Donnie Darko, maybe that's why he hasn't released anything since.
  8. Smally
    Feb 4, 2006
    10
    liked it alot both its inner perspective and outer spective views on reality and life, also the wake up part clearly was reference to the kundalini awakening, donnie suffers trauma then his kundalini wakes up, he also predicts his own death as a result of this sudden out pour of energy within the body.
  9. FelixQ.
    Jul 25, 2006
    10
    Unparalled in every dimension. What Donnie Darko, both the original and the director's cut, has done that has served to make it such a cult phenomenon, is give the viewer a completely different world to live and think in. A world that's so wonderfully sculpted and detailed that one can reason and debate within the confines of a completely different world, with entirely new and Unparalled in every dimension. What Donnie Darko, both the original and the director's cut, has done that has served to make it such a cult phenomenon, is give the viewer a completely different world to live and think in. A world that's so wonderfully sculpted and detailed that one can reason and debate within the confines of a completely different world, with entirely new and different 'laws' and physics, and do so confidently because it is so complete and fleshed out it might have been real. It offers you the chance to be the expert in something else, and somewhere else to inhabit in your mind for however long you choose. I think it's this same element that helped with the success of Harry Potter and Friends- taking escapism a level further, and putting you almost literally into another dimension. It's not an easy movie to watch- repeat viewings are almost always called for, if not desired, and serve to make this more than just a story being told. What the director's cut offers, is a new perspective on certain elements of the story- pretty much giving you more insight into the director's own interpretation of it. Here technology plays a much more vital part, and in the commentary he reveals that there might be someone in the future who is manipulating the events, the tangent universe and even the secondary characters to help Donnie reach the conclusion needed for the world to continue. Granted, even the extra footage doesn't make this explicitly clear, but I think the commentary is actually more useful than just the additional footage on this one. Expand
  10. DougE.
    Apr 9, 2009
    10
    Any film that demands multiple viewings (not just to get at the nooks and crannies of the plot, but also to fully realize its emotional depth) gets a 10 in my book. Initially frightening and disorienting, upon subsequent viewings, Donnie Darko hits a surprising emotional pitch. Watch the director's cut first, and then I suggest taking in the original theatrical version for its Any film that demands multiple viewings (not just to get at the nooks and crannies of the plot, but also to fully realize its emotional depth) gets a 10 in my book. Initially frightening and disorienting, upon subsequent viewings, Donnie Darko hits a surprising emotional pitch. Watch the director's cut first, and then I suggest taking in the original theatrical version for its tightness and pacing. Expand
  11. AmberH
    Feb 9, 2010
    10
    A truly amazing movie, a modern day version of The Last Temptation of Christ, which coincidental the movie references itself. What baffles me though is how the director's cut, honestly the inferior version in my opinion, is rated so much higher on this site. The director's cut goes as far flat out telling "this is EXACTLY WHAT IS HAPPENING" without letting the viewer make sense A truly amazing movie, a modern day version of The Last Temptation of Christ, which coincidental the movie references itself. What baffles me though is how the director's cut, honestly the inferior version in my opinion, is rated so much higher on this site. The director's cut goes as far flat out telling "this is EXACTLY WHAT IS HAPPENING" without letting the viewer make sense of it all, which is part of the appeal. Expand
  12. OptimusPrime
    Oct 15, 2004
    10
    A modern classic by a true auteur. And to think Jake had previously made MTV fodder like Bubble Boy!
  13. DanaD.
    Oct 2, 2004
    10
    The best comic-book movie I have ever seen.
  14. Steve-OA.
    Oct 3, 2004
    9
    By far, this is the best movie I've seen Jake Gyllenhaal in. The acting was especially well done, a great sci-fi flick. This was a comic book?!
  15. Regis
    Sep 27, 2004
    10
    Excellent!
  16. jon
    Oct 12, 2005
    10
    One of the best movies i've ever seen, it actually makes you think.
  17. Brittany
    Apr 20, 2005
    10
    One of few movies that the critics like that is actually great. A must see.
  18. [Anonymous]
    Jun 24, 2008
    10
    Probably one of the best movies I have seen.
  19. Kellie
    Oct 20, 2004
    10
    This is such a twisted, captivating and alaround stimulating film! The acting is amazing and the plot is original! It just never gets old!
  20. SharonZ.
    Oct 4, 2004
    10
    One of the best movies from any genre. Brilliant in every aspect.
  21. JoeB
    Nov 23, 2005
    9
    Donnie Darko is, I think, a rather underrated and often unconsidered science fiction film. With its several interpretations, it really makes one think. The acting is also superb.
  22. j30
    Feb 19, 2012
    9
    Donnie Darko's Directors Cut builds off the theatrical version by a lot with character development and a few loose ends with plot. If you decide to take a dive in the moody, thought-provoking Donnie Darko waters, you might as well dive in the 133 minute director's cut version.
  23. 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.
  24. KyleA.
    Mar 7, 2005
    0
    Smart and entertaining to anyone under the age of sixteen. If you've matured, see Blade Runner or Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys for a good, intelligent sci/fi movie. Bad acting, bad writing - doesn't deserve the cult classic status that it holds.
  25. GrayE.
    Oct 24, 2004
    10
    The greatest movie of all!!
  26. 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
  27. MichaelS.
    Sep 8, 2005
    2
    If you people consider this a "good science fiction movie" then you clearly have never been exposed to good SF before, this movie is crap, I cannot even recommend it for its camp value it is so bad. This is merely the attempt of Richard Kelly to seem profound when he is merely ridiculous and tedious. Please people, go read some good SF like the work of Philip K. Dick or see a good SF If you people consider this a "good science fiction movie" then you clearly have never been exposed to good SF before, this movie is crap, I cannot even recommend it for its camp value it is so bad. This is merely the attempt of Richard Kelly to seem profound when he is merely ridiculous and tedious. Please people, go read some good SF like the work of Philip K. Dick or see a good SF movie like Tarkovsky's 1972 film "Solaris" or Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey." Expand
  28. 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, nurturingtrite, 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** Expand
  29. 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.
  30. nicolew.
    Aug 20, 2007
    3
    The good parts of this movie, black comedy about suburbia, remind me a LOT of Heathers. The "original" parts of the movie, based on some idea of time travel, are tedious. Cutting this theme back in the original film made it at least seem a little mysterious. The directors cut makes that theme more literal , silly, bloated, and self-indulgent. Anyone who assets they found some deep and The good parts of this movie, black comedy about suburbia, remind me a LOT of Heathers. The "original" parts of the movie, based on some idea of time travel, are tedious. Cutting this theme back in the original film made it at least seem a little mysterious. The directors cut makes that theme more literal , silly, bloated, and self-indulgent. Anyone who assets they found some deep and original meaning here is fooling you and/or themselves. Expand
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