User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 177 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 177

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  1. Jul 16, 2014
    10
    Donnie Darko can't really really be summarised, it's too unique. However, it is possible to list all of the things it achieves in it's 2 hour run time. It's funny without losing it's grim tone, it's a physiological thriller that blends themes of time travel and isolation into a coherent plot, and it is an drama so well portrayed that even the most illogical components of this tale are believable in its world.
    The main character, Donnie, is a teenager with schizophrenia who is met by a human wearing a demonic-rabbit Halloween costume. This rabbit tells him that the world is too end in 28 days, due to a part of the world that Donnie was closest to collapsing. Donnie is the only one that can save the universe, as he was the primary receiver to the event that is threatening to destroy the universe. I won't say what the event is as it would partially ruin its unravelling throughout the film. This sets up what is to be a fascinatingly complex thriller.
    Donnie's character is an mysterious oddity for much of the film, yet he still manages to be sympathetic enough for you to side with him in this mind bending story. 'Darko' deals with very advanced subject matter without being up its own arse, as well as dealing with ideas of remoteness and even young love without becoming preachy.
    It will leave you saddened yet satisfied, as the ending is so well wrapped up. Everything about this film is wonderful. This may sound cliché, but it remains a must see, even 13 years on from its release.
    Expand
  2. Jul 5, 2014
    10
    Maybe not the greatest mind **** ive ever seen but the film truly is unique and stands out from all over blockbuster titles, with a very original premise to time-travel that feels so real and different compared to other sc-fi flicks. I absolutely enjoyed every moment of Donnie Darko every performance was spot on, absolutely stunning film.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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+
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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!
  18. 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.
  19. 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! Expand
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.