Primer

Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 108 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: While tweaking their current project, two young engineers accidentally discover that it has some highly unexpected capabilities--ones that could enable them to do and to have seemingly anything they want. Taking advantage of this unique opportunity is the first challenge they face. DealingWhile tweaking their current project, two young engineers accidentally discover that it has some highly unexpected capabilities--ones that could enable them to do and to have seemingly anything they want. Taking advantage of this unique opportunity is the first challenge they face. Dealing with the consequences is the next. (ThinkFilm) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
  1. 100
    Primer unites physics and metaphysics in an ingenious guerrilla reinvention of cinematic science fiction.
  2. 88
    It is maddening, fascinating and completely successful.
  3. 80
    A brainteaser of the first order, Primer ranks among the best of recent thrillers such as "Memento" or "The Matrix," which rupture the fabric of reality and radically destabilize the narrative in kind.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    Shane Carruth's extraordinary work of shoestring speculation throws you into a deep ocean of techno-jargon and lets you dog-paddle or sink like a stone.
  5. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    60
    It's a puzzle as much as a plot, but when it's in focus (which it isn't for long stretches) it's remarkable brain-food.
  6. Love it or hate it, you won't be able to leave it alone.
  7. 25
    A real head-scratcher that somehow won the grand jury prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 44
  2. Negative: 7 out of 44
  1. DavidK.
    Oct 10, 2006
    10
    Primer is a brilliant cinematic science fiction thriller! Unfortunately for the non-science enthusiast, the screenplay dialogue is absolutely Primer is a brilliant cinematic science fiction thriller! Unfortunately for the non-science enthusiast, the screenplay dialogue is absolutely overrun with swift moving unexplained techno-jargon that may unintentionally frustrate those viewers to the point of disappointment as they find themselves getting more and more lost between plot lines. But for everyone else, this spellbinding sci-fi mystery thriller is a terrific must see film! It is a complete success, and an incredible achievement by both Shane Carruth and David Sullivan. Expand
  2. Jul 22, 2013
    10
    I think it was "Esquire" that called this the best sci-fi film since "2001." High praise, but right on the mark. This is a brilliant film thatI think it was "Esquire" that called this the best sci-fi film since "2001." High praise, but right on the mark. This is a brilliant film that accomplishes what no time travel movie has ever done, focusing on the people rather than on the gimmick. Expand
  3. Aug 27, 2010
    10
    A minor miracle of a film, this movie manages to pull off everything a major motion picture should have (great scripting, amazing acting,A minor miracle of a film, this movie manages to pull off everything a major motion picture should have (great scripting, amazing acting, drama, etc.) with a mere budget of ~$7,000. It's simultaneously captivating, confusing, frustrating, and in the end, completely gratifying - even if you can't put all the pieces together on the first viewing. I already can't wait to watch it again. Expand
  4. Xen
    Mar 19, 2012
    9
    interesting, at some points confusing, time-travel film. The acting wasn't great but they did the job and the premise of the film really didinteresting, at some points confusing, time-travel film. The acting wasn't great but they did the job and the premise of the film really did give it some sci-fi charm. Expand
  5. Jan 20, 2013
    8
    It's for the few. If you're not the type, it's only interesting as an experiment. If you can follow the film's logic and most of the plot,It's for the few. If you're not the type, it's only interesting as an experiment. If you can follow the film's logic and most of the plot, it's a succesful experiment. Gets special points for making something so intricate and special out of such simple props. Expand
  6. May 18, 2013
    7
    An independent film full of nice ideas but maybe without the budget to fully realise some of their potential. Nicely scripted, although I didAn independent film full of nice ideas but maybe without the budget to fully realise some of their potential. Nicely scripted, although I did find it a little too ‘wordy’ in places. Performance wise; both Shane Carruth and David Sullivan did an excellent job. The film hangs on these two characters and I thought they both pulled it off to an excellent standard! I found the film quite absorbing at first; there’s enough mystery there and I know enough about engineering for it to keep my interest. It did, however, become a little wearing towards the end, I think because the film relies so much on the dialogue between Aaron and Abe to tell the story and there is so much to take in that I found I was in ‘dialogue overload’ by the end. I think I’ll probably have to watch it again sometime to fully appreciate it, but well worth a look; it’s an interesting take on the time travel theme.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

    My score: 7.1/10
    Expand
  7. 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 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

See all 44 User Reviews

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