User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 154 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 154

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  1. Feb 14, 2012
    6
    It's full of inspiration and ideas, but "Donnie Darko" doesn't quite get the order right.
  2. Dec 2, 2012
    10
    A mixture of horror, drama, psychological thriller, comedy,and brief action make this a must see movie especially with movie stars that are randomly famous appearing here and there.
    A+
  3. Sep 20, 2012
    10
    I thought this movie was a masterpiece. I loved every minute of it. I'm definitely going to have to rewatch it. I was slightly disappointed about the ending because I didn't quite "get" it but it didn't negatively impact it for me. I know some endings can ruin entire movies/video games. I loved Frank. I don't have much to complain about so I think a 10 is in order here. Why this movie isn't a financial success is beyond me. I think this movie needs a rerelease to theaters with some advertising. Expand
  4. Nov 26, 2012
    10
    All I can say is: I was mindf***ed. Great acting, creepy atmosphere, and incredible twists. It all culminates in such a terrific climax that my mind reeled. If you appreciate movies, see Donnie Darko.
  5. Dec 28, 2011
    10
    Donnie Darko is one of the most surreal, complex and mind bending films I've ever seen, it has so many layers that it deserves repeat viewings. It is full of symbolism and smart dialogue.The soundtrack is fantastic and adheres perfectly with the tone and mood of the film. Definitely one of my favorite films of all time because it really makes you think about what is going on and where the movie is headed. I wish more movies like this were made. I still dont fully understand some parts of the film so you can probably have a good discussion of the film if you watch it with a friend. Stop reading this and go see it now! Collapse
  6. Aug 29, 2012
    10
    Few films have demanded such attention from an audiences as Richard Kelly's stunningly troubled debut which follows a young man attempt to deal with his life and oddities in the midst of falling in love and the debt of a mysterious Bunny known only as Frank. A film which demands so much from its audience, but provides with such captivating weirdness and a beautiful premise involving a hauntingly spellbinding use of mad world is well worth the watch. Expand
  7. Nov 12, 2012
    10
    It requires and demands multiple viewings. That; however, is not a problem, considering it's compulsively watchable, and you'll catch on to new ideas every time you watch.
  8. Sep 25, 2013
    8
    This is a very intriguing movie. There's a lot of mystery to it; the kind of movie the viewer really needs to think about which I really like. If you want a different and interesting movie this is worth a watch.
  9. Jan 5, 2012
    8
    A well done twisted thriller that does unit it's story in the end but that is not saying it entirely suceeds. The end did not cheat nor did it ruin the great experience to that point.
  10. j30
    Feb 19, 2012
    8
    Even though Donnie Darko is a messy movie, you don't walk away disappointed. You think about what you just watched and what it meant. The Directors Cut kind of ties some loose ends and makes it even more thought-provoking.
  11. Jun 27, 2012
    10
    A film that intrigues you start going forward and that surprises you. The creator of this film was truly a genius!
  12. Jun 20, 2012
    9
    Donnie Darko Is not a straight forward film, it is very complex, which makes it hard to stay focused as it may get boring. It is a smart and interesting and not to mention trippy.
  13. Dec 27, 2012
    10
    'Donnie Darko' is an indisputable masterpiece, a film that manages to victoriously establish an intricate mythological universe in less than two and a half hours. It expounds an eerie, mystical atmosphere that inculcate fear and evoke philosophical contemplation in audiences, proving its incredible intellectual nature. Jake Gyllenhaal delivers one of his best performances, driving the emotional depth, reinforcing the grim and morose tone to the film. Deep concepts that are quite often, incomprehensible (without repeat viewings) coupled with astonishing plot twists and an incredulously jaw-dropping climax result in the most commemorated indie cult film, and one of the finest films of our time. Expand
  14. Oct 29, 2013
    9
    A little mix of everything, but really, at the end of the day, this is a stone cold psychological thriller that enjoys messing with your mind. It's engrossing, terrifying, and will leave you wondering what the heck you judge watched; everything a psychological thriller should be. Jake Gyllenhaal shines in the lead role and all of the other actors also do marvelous jobs.
  15. Sep 10, 2013
    8
    Pretty weird movie if you ask me, but catchy. It is a mix of teenager-school-everyday_life-movie and psychological science fiction about time travel. Worth watching of course, the actors are nice, especially Jake Gyllenhaal as Donny Darko. The story is really interesting and pretty mysterious in the beginning and you get to know what is really happening only in the end (if you want to find the real meaning watch the director's version, it contains some necessary scenes). Some people are disappointed with the lack of action and slow story progression, but I was consumed by the atmosphere for the very beginning to end. Expand
  16. Nov 14, 2012
    10
    Really crazy, deep, moving movie. I've only seen it once, but I really want to see it again. I know there's more to it that I probably missed the first time around.
  17. Nov 28, 2012
    8
    An excellent story, rich with (forgive me) dark and provocative themes and a great performance from Jake Gyllenhaal.
  18. Jan 5, 2013
    8
    That the film includes elements of science fiction, horror, and dry, dark comedy makes it not only eminently fun, but also somewhat disturbing to watch, for this is much the way high school tends to loom in individual memory, no matter the collective obfuscations. Cleverly metaphorical and sometimes frighteningly literal, Donnie Darko connects memory with the local and broader cultures that shape it, and never lets you forget that recollection is a process of questions and permutations, not a fixed and absolute answer. Expand
  19. Mar 11, 2013
    10
    Donnie Darko will play with your head, which just makes this amazingly written movie even better. Gyllenhaal provides a stunning performance and Kelly gives an extremely interesting direction in this thriller-horror-drama-and even teen film.
  20. Mar 9, 2014
    8
    An intoxicating, engrossing, creepy, and ultimately tragic film. I felt close to the characters and cared about their dilemmas, especially Donnie's. Jake Gyllenhaal's performance is Oscar worthy, and it is the rock in which this disturbing mind bender is built upon. The movie enthralled me, gripped my attention, and spat me out into a mangled but hypnotized mess. I did have a few problems with it though. The time travel elements aren't explained very well, which leads to some occasional headache inducing confusion. I also found that the ending, like Roger Ebert said, lacked closure. For the most part though, this is a chilling and emotionally affecting debut that you won't be able to get out of your head for a very long time. Going to have to see the director's cut at some point. Expand
  21. Feb 28, 2013
    5
    I can't really understand what all the fuzz is about regarding this movie. There's no denying that it's a good idea, but the movie is, all in all, very boring. Nothing really happens and the plot doesn't develop. Luckily, the ending is satisfying (although a bit sad), as long as you can understand what's going on.
  22. Sep 15, 2013
    9
    Great psychological thriller movie with an intelligent blend of sci-fi and drama elements. This movie is full of complex and inspirational quotes that will may influence you into thinking the meaning behind this world.
  23. Jun 25, 2013
    10
    One of my favorite movies ever, if nothing else for the fact that it gets better each time you watch it. Its a little more mindblowing each time. It's also very funny in a very smart way. The cast is INCREDIBLE, as is the soundtrack. My one warning would be to expect to come out of watching this being afraid of rabbits, motivational speakers, and airplanes.
  24. Jul 11, 2013
    7
    (skip to the last paragraph for a concise one-sentence summary and a number)
    Don’t get me wrong. Donnie Darko is a wonderful film, full of suspense, motion, and a constantly intriguing, if not unsettling mood. However, it’s plagued with two problems: it’s too ambitious, and it never stops to give the audience time to collect its thoughts.
    Firstly, the ambition. It appears that director
    Richard Kelly had a lot on his mind for this story. Filmmaking is an art that cthat cthat cannot be done without vast imagination and a spinning mind. Unfortunately, Kelly’s ambition got the best of him. The result is an overly-thrilling roller coaster ride that simultaneously intrigues and disorients its riders. Even the “resolution” at the end with Frank the rabbit (a character I personally like) and the storm of the tangent universe couldn’t clean up the mess that was Donnie Darko’s plotline.
    A bigger problem with the film was its rushing speed. There was never one moment where Donnie stopped to explain to the audience what exactly was going on (one of his therapy sessions could have done this seamlessly). Instead, we are given sporadic (and untimely) ten-second excerpts from a woman’s philosophical discoveries in time travel. Again, this results in a disorienting roller coaster ride that would be a lot more fun if Kelly had taken a moment to decelerate and catch the audience up on the twisting plotline.
    In conclusion, this is what I have to say: the film had a very interesting premise, a fascinatingly somber ambiance, and some wildly good moments of suspense and filmmaking genius (most of which involved Frank and/or sleepwalking). Sadly, its ultimate potential was not met, and what could have been one of the best films of the year turned out instead to be a flurry of ambitious ideas riddled with sci-fi fancies and schizophrenic attacks.

    FINAL SCORE: 65 (a neat watch ----------o---------- pretty good)
    Expand
  25. Sep 13, 2013
    7
    A movie in which I would say I respect more than enjoy. The underlying themes and plot devices will give you a joyous moment of realization once discovered. All the performances are very strong, especially from Jake Gyllenhaal. Blends genres masterfully, and boasts some brilliant cinematography. Overall, this film is proof that movies are capable of being art.
  26. Jan 25, 2014
    10
    Possibly one of the greatest movies ever made, so deep, so significant, so meaningful and profound... I will not say anything more except that if you love movies with a meaning and depth that at the same time are convoluted twisted and need interpretation to comprehend you'll love this one. Especially as a teenager or a young adult.
  27. Oct 19, 2013
    10
    One of my favorite movies ever, if nothing else for the fact that it gets better each time you watch it. Its a little more mindblowing each time. It's also very funny in a very smart way. The soundtrack is incredible and in my opinion this movie is a masterpiece.
  28. Jan 2, 2014
    9
    A great movie, but not as good as the Directors Cut which helps explain the plot more, aside that, if you can understand, it's one of the best movies to date.
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Chris Gore
    Jun 16, 2011
    40
    This is really one of those Rorschach test films. You either love it or hate it. For those who loved it, I have only one word: overrated.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael Atkinson
    Jun 16, 2011
    80
    The nerviest, oddest, most outlandish and idiosyncratic American indie debut since "Buffalo 66," Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko defies description.
  3. Reviewed by: Jean Oppenheimer
    Jun 16, 2011
    100
    Like gathering storm clouds, Donnie Darko creates an atmosphere of eerie calm and mounting menace -- stands as one of the most exceptional movies of 2001.