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Universal acclaim- based on 262 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 16 out of 262

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  1. Nov 2, 2010
    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.
  2. Feb 27, 2013
    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** Expand
  3. Aug 11, 2010
    Do you ever wonder if the world you are living in is real? Do you wonder if it is nothing more than just a fabrication of your own insane imagination, or if it is happening for real? Donnie Darko is asking himself those very same questions as he travels down a mind breaking, insanity inducing journey that leaves you with a disturbing and haunting answer that will shatter everything you think you know about reality and also leave you with one nagging question, where does fantasy end and reality begin? Richard Kellyâ Expand
  4. Aug 14, 2010
    A unique, puzzling, strange, and gripping story about a boy in existential angst, aided of course by time traveling bunnies. I'm sure the suits were like, WHAT?, but I'm glad it made it to the screen. This is the definition of a cult classic.
  5. Oct 21, 2010
    Just seriously so strange and mystical it has you thinking for days. Not to mention the strange bunny man and the teenage angst. This is a film that fuses both universal consequences and personal problems into one genius cinematic bubble.
  6. Apr 4, 2011

    I know I'm a tad late at watching this cult classic film but in my defense it has been on my wish list for over a year now, but just recently decided to download it and watch it. I must say, wish I watched this earlier as I was completely and totally blown away.

    Never have I before seen a film which when it was over I sat in
    awe for like ten minutes and throughout the whole night I was thinking of all the points the movie brought up. I have never spent that long reflecting on a movie before. If you don't know of this movie I'll give a brief description. Basically it's about a teenager named Donnie Darko who is having essentially hallucinogenic visions. He imagines a 6 ft tall bunny rabbit who tells him when the world is going to end. Then the whole movie seems to revolve around the possibilities and science behind time travel and such.

    Very sci-fi but presented in a way that I feel all people would like and even to a certain degree understand. Although the specifics of the time travel they go into are very confusing at times and even now I can't quite wrap my head around it all. Overall this is a great movie that is a must see for all. It gets you thinking about a complicated subject matter and is one of the most unique movies I have ever had the pleasure to watch.
  7. May 29, 2011
    A film that mixes social issues and moral concepts of quantum physics and that still has a whole intricate screenplay, full of moments that connect key elements arranged separately on the timeline of the script and doing it all quite well without holes carefully distributed equally, it is definitely a milestone. Like Lynch's recent films, these films are not just movies, they are objects of study, meaning, here you also need a second immersion in the world of Donnie to connect all the dots. In my opinion, he wasn't schizophrenic. Frank was just there to guide him in your mission. and impressive as in the end when he was receiving revelation, Frank horn trying to wake Donnie not to die in a panic. Science fiction is very well developed, combining both time travel and parallel universe. and the creepy feeling that all agreed. It's hard to understand seeing the film only once time, and it is very difficult without seeing the Director's Cut. It's totally open to interpretation, which makes the original better, but less enlightening And it is amazing how they made it look like a REALLY late '80s, photography, music, culture, everything. You don't know what had been done in 2001, certainly think it was 90s. Probably the smartest/complex movie I have ever seen, impossible to absorb everything in one view only. Many details and issues are touched gently that you can be talking about it for years. Since the high school portrayed, bullying, politics, Donnie's mental state and his low self esteem, always considering a madman and a burden for parents. His stop with the drugs portray the true situation of patients. His revolt against society/life (with the attitude of young Donnie are common these days) showing the injustice that they are, the error of people only see the surface problems and separate them between two categories: good or bad, or love and fear. relationships, platonic or not being the common fights between brothers, even loving one another. Donnie's criticism to young people have children early, is teenage life portrayed in a movie alone. is so critical that makes you think about all this on an unconscious level, then spring up as an idea of many layers, one whole. In fact, the cult theme just amazed me. The movie has a wonderful story, a story all snug by the 'erased' Richard Kelly. Whatever the issue of quantum physics or the subject matter. The climax of the movie is the great lesson of sacrifice to save a world that does not even deserve to be saved. It is not necessary or at least understand the movie to get a conclusion of what the director wanted to come to us. Donnie's story is sad and shattered. Donnie may well represent each of us. Each love we had, that there was repression in every school and every sacrifice we had to do to fix something in our lives. I know it's a cult film, and hated by many people, I guess. But I still believe I'll live long enough and I never will see a movie so important to me like that. The soundtrack is flawless, from Echo and the Bunnymen to INXS, Joy Division and through the end of the beautiful song â Expand
  8. Mar 13, 2011
    This film is my absolute favorite film ever. I bought the special edition for a very low price, simply because it seemed like an extremely weird sci-fi flick, and I figured it would be funny to see a six-foot-tall bunny rabbit talking to Jake Gyllenhaal. What I didn't expect, however, was the film's utter seriousness, and it's message. The message, I've learned from research, is that the message is different to everyone. Director Richard Kelly may or may not have meant it, but the film's ending is extremely ambiguous; I've had multiple people tell me what they thought it meant, and none of their explanations quite matched my own. This adds to the greatness of the movie, I believe, because it involves the audience, coaxing them to form their own opinions on the film's meaning. In my view, which I will not begin to explain, in the event someone reads this without having seen the film, the film is extremely touching, to the point where I could barely contain my tears. I cry every time I watch it, actually, and I do not cry easily. If all of that isn't enough to get you to watch the film, let me tell you this: the rabbit is terrifying, despite how silly the idea may sound. Expand
  9. May 6, 2011
    When I first saw Donnie Darko (the theatrical cut), I was instantly taken in by its clever mix of sci-fi and teenage drama. I enjoyed the mix of humor and angst, the use of music, the enigma at its core. Which is exactly why I now say, less is more. I didn't much care for this extended cut, and felt it added nothing of value and even detracted from the film's sense of mystery. See the original cut first, and if you're really interested, then check out this one. Expand
  10. Apr 1, 2013
    This used to be my movie, the one I would always think of when anyone asked me what the best movie you ever saw was. It turned me towards philosophy and made me, in some respects, a more thoughtful person. But this was not a favor to me, in fact this movie simply preached to my childish pseudo-intellectual side that wanted to be "deep". The problem is that the movie isn't really all that deep, it just appears deep with lots of cryptic messages and surreal occurrences. Reminds me a lot of Bioshock Infinite to be honest. I still think it's a fun movie to watch, but I'm changing my previous score from a 10 to a 7. Expand
  11. Jun 22, 2011
    This film is fantastic and is probably my favorite movie of all time, unfortunately this is a movie you just have to sit down and watch yourself and is probably impossible to recommend to someone without just spoiling the whole thing or leaving them just as confused as they would be had they watched it.
  12. Aug 14, 2011
    This was one of the best movies I have ever seen. This movie was a fantastic mix of horror, sci-fi, drama, and even a bit of comedy. This movie had me a bit confused at times and scared but that just makes it better. It made you think, and I love that in movies. It had an awesome storyline, a spectacular cast, cool soundtrack, and a great director. It had me on the edge my seat wondering what was next the whole time. Again one of the best movies I have ever seen and if you didn't like it then "wake up." Expand
  13. j30
    Feb 19, 2012
    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.
  14. Jun 27, 2012
    A film that intrigues you start going forward and that surprises you. The creator of this film was truly a genius!
  15. Feb 8, 2012
    In my top 5 movies of all time hands down and always will be. The first time I saw this was at least 7 years ago and I've seen it countless times since, each time enjoying it more and more. Easily my favorite Jake Gyllenhaal movie. Also i would highly recommend the Director's cut over the original. The first time I ever saw the movie I saw the Directors cut and recently I saw the original once and it just paled in comparison. The Directors Cut almost guides you for a better understanding of the movie. Expand
  16. Jun 18, 2012
    Jake Gyllenhaal is phenomenal. He manages a great blend of humor and depth which wonderfully coincide with the direction and screenplay. And the story - a deliciously dark romp of confusing and bizarre images packed together with a great blend of satiric humor and frightening concepts. All in all, Donnie Darko brilliantly utilizes the star power of Jake Gyllenhaal to create a beautiful mystery fusing comedy, horror, and drama to create a cult classic full of dark atmosphere and profound themes. Expand
  17. Aug 16, 2014
    Now a cult classic. I watch this movie every year at least once, sometimes within a few months of each other. Remains current throughout the years.
    Memorable and sticks with me every time I watch it. So many experiences are relatable - the awkwardness in high school, the girlfriends, the bullies, and time travel....well maybe not the last one, but everything else.
    In summary, I would
    rent it or borrow it first to make sure you "get it", after you should buy it because like I said, it's worth a watch every year or more. I bought it a few years ago - buy the Director's Cut if you like the extra features, but not really necessary for the effect. Expand
  18. Mar 15, 2013
    One of the most brilliant movies I have seen, Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut offers an exceptional plot and fully fleshed out characters to further support and intensify the multitude of dark, existential and humanist themes it explores. Combine this with an excellent and wonderfully used soundtrack, a touching romantic subplot and just enough (black) humor to soften the hard-edged reality of Donnie's world and the result is a perfect film that will keep you engaged all the way and finally leave you emotional and overwhelmed with your own thoughts on life, death, love and the human experience. Expand
  19. Oct 5, 2013
    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.
  20. Jul 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 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.
  21. Oct 2, 2014
    Donnie Darko was mind-boggling, and I always had a fascination with time travel. Especially with such a beautiful ending I believe it is a superb movie.

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