Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 154 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A genre-busting fable that blasts the American suburban drama into a wildly imaginative realm of time travel, alternative universes and the manipulation of one's fate. (IFC Films)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Jean Oppenheimer
    Jun 16, 2011
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Donnelly
    Jun 16, 2011
    It is funny, sad and beautiful. And it's right on time.
  3. Reviewed by: Desson Thomson
    Jun 16, 2011
    Appealingly, the movie has a certain lightness -- like the aforementioned butterfly -- which makes its foreboding qualities surprisingly user-friendly.
  4. Reviewed by: Paula Nechak
    Jun 16, 2011
    Its only constant is that it's strangely eloquent and quite original.
  5. Reviewed by: J. Hoberman
    Jun 16, 2011
    Has plenty of problems. But most stem from a young filmmaker overswinging on his first time up to the plate and hitting a deep fly out rather than a home run.
  6. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jun 16, 2011
    Donnie Darko is the one that got away. But it was fun trying to land it.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    Jun 16, 2011
    Just another self-absorbed teen chronicle, with the added twist of a little time travel and a surprise ending.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Dec 2, 2012
    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.
  2. Jan 25, 2014
    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. Expand
  3. Sep 20, 2012
    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. Jun 20, 2012
    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. Expand
  5. Jan 2, 2014
    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. Expand
  6. Sep 10, 2013
    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
  7. Feb 28, 2013
    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. Expand

See all 29 User Reviews