User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 107 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 83 out of 107
  2. Negative: 12 out of 107
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  1. Printninja
    Dec 1, 2005
    0
    This is one of those movies that has you wondering why... Why would anyone bother to make it? Why would anyone be interested in putting a thoroughly uninteresting story on screen? Why did it receive such positive critical review? It was also one of those movies that you just keep watching, minute after excruciating minute, in the desperate hope that something, anything, remotely This is one of those movies that has you wondering why... Why would anyone bother to make it? Why would anyone be interested in putting a thoroughly uninteresting story on screen? Why did it receive such positive critical review? It was also one of those movies that you just keep watching, minute after excruciating minute, in the desperate hope that something, anything, remotely interesting (or merely comprehensible) will happen. This movie made me feel like I was watching the dramatic version of Revenge of the Nerds. I watched the entire thing without ever once wanting to. Now that's some sweet revenge, but did I deserve it? For the record, I am a technophile, with a pretty good understanding of "geek speak", and I still couldn't get the jist of this train wreck. Another movie made to appeal primarily to the filmakers, and the .00001% of the population who understood whatever the heck it was they were trying to say. In a word, Exasperating. (also, why did they choose to call it Primer? Makes about as little sense as the movie.) Expand
  2. JamesQ.
    Apr 29, 2005
    1
    The most illogical movie I've ever seen in my life.
  3. GordonS.
    Jun 3, 2005
    0
    As a retired engineer with a lifelong interest in physics and metaphysics this so-called movie really was disappointing. This movie made "Blair Witch" look like an Academy Award winner.
  4. CoinneB.
    Mar 13, 2006
    3
    The Blair Witch of science fiction. A celebration of poor professional standards, wrapped in mystifiyng techno-babble and saying very little about anything much. Very disappointing, alhough something about it says it could have been OK-ish. Maybe if the soundtrack wasn't so fuzzy and they had used a tripod now and then? Anyway, I am tired of this "made on a low budget with credit The Blair Witch of science fiction. A celebration of poor professional standards, wrapped in mystifiyng techno-babble and saying very little about anything much. Very disappointing, alhough something about it says it could have been OK-ish. Maybe if the soundtrack wasn't so fuzzy and they had used a tripod now and then? Anyway, I am tired of this "made on a low budget with credit cards" drivel. It was never true. Not in the 1980s, not now. Expand
  5. JacobF.
    Jun 24, 2005
    1
    None of it ever made sense. It was boring. One of the worst movies I have ever seen.
  6. Jan 26, 2013
    1
    I would echo Printninja's review, but I'm so frustrated that I actually paid money to rent this movie I feel the need to put that dissatisfaction into my own words. From the minute this festering turd of a film starts, one is subjected to a scene with uninitiated characters spouting overly-complex dialogue that makes zero sense to the layperson. Or maybe the biggest problem was thatI would echo Printninja's review, but I'm so frustrated that I actually paid money to rent this movie I feel the need to put that dissatisfaction into my own words. From the minute this festering turd of a film starts, one is subjected to a scene with uninitiated characters spouting overly-complex dialogue that makes zero sense to the layperson. Or maybe the biggest problem was that there was nothing remotely interesting about the story, or any of the characters for that matter, that made me CARE to figure out what they were trying to accomplish. They're computer nerds tinkering in the garage, seemingly trying to come up with some new product to make money. And they accomplish this by constantly, without respite, speaking technical jargon that won't make sense to anyone short of Physics PhDs, experienced Engineers, or Computer Science geniuses. Does that sound like an interesting plot? If so, go for it. But don't say you weren't warned. Expand
  7. Jul 29, 2013
    1
    Primer is one of the most overrated Science Fiction films ever made and possibly one of the most overrated indie films. What has impressed crittics and sf fans is the Chinese Puzzlebox plot, which takes advantage of time travel parodoxes and closed causal loops (something in the future causes something to happen in the past). The idea is fine, but the execution is a shambles. Shane CarruthPrimer is one of the most overrated Science Fiction films ever made and possibly one of the most overrated indie films. What has impressed crittics and sf fans is the Chinese Puzzlebox plot, which takes advantage of time travel parodoxes and closed causal loops (something in the future causes something to happen in the past). The idea is fine, but the execution is a shambles. Shane Carruth shows very limmited understanding about things like dialogue, characterization, or even how to keep a shot in focus. No one in this movie can give us more than a wooden performance and the characters are never really engaging or interesting. The music (composed by Carruth) is a kind of generic indipendent film music (minimal piano treble...that's brilliant!) that makes the mediocre compositions of John Carpenter seem like John Williams in comparison. I had no problem with the techno-jargon. But that does not a great science fiction film make. It's just a lame attempt at versimilitude to convince the audience that the hokey time machine could really work. With uncompelling characters and meandering, pointless dialogue, this film fails to be engaging from a dramatic standpoint. People just like the film's idea. Fair enough. But that would have been better served by a 20 minute indie film than this tedious feature. Expand
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
  1. The movie may be too precious for mass consumption, but its filmmakers' willingness to assume the best of their audience, combined with its Everyman origins, suggest a movie that deserves a chance.
  2. 90
    A half-baked conspiracy subplot in the last third makes Carruth's knotty narrative even harder to follow, but this is still scary, puzzling, and different.
  3. 88
    It is maddening, fascinating and completely successful.