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Donnie Darko Director's Cut (front)

Director Richard Kelly's strange science fiction drama about a teenager named Donnie Darko.

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What would you do if you knew the future?.....

  • Apr 10, 2010

Do you ever wonder if the world you are living in is real? Do you wonder if it is nothing more than just a fabrication of your own insane imagination, or if it is happening for real? Donnie Darko  is asking himself those very same questions  as he travels down a mind breaking, insanity inducing  journey that leaves you with a disturbing and  haunting answer  that will shatter everything you  think you know about reality  and also leave you with one  nagging question, where does fantasy end and reality begin?  Richard Kelly’s disturbing portrait of mental instability and suburban life in 80's America    is a testament to film making, it is a film that relies more on the atmosphere and lead actor's skills to move the picture along, instead of CGI effects and bloody violence, which is almost mandatory in a film of this caliber. Instead, "Donnie Darko" transcends the normal psychological drama and pushes the boundaries of film making turning a conventional thriller into a full-blown decent into madness.




Richard Kelly’s trippy debut "Donnie Darko" is a daring and original vision of suburban America sent into total chaos how a torn mind can fabricate the greatest of fantasies or even bring forth the greatest and most disturbing truths of reality. For young Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal), who is just trying to find his place and work through his emotional issue, it is a tough world. Kelly does not use the typical flashy tricks   you would expect from big budget films of this caliber. Kelly goes for a more subtle and cerebral approach using his actors to there full extent making the film as much a character study as it is a mind trip. Kelly masterfully pulls the strings  of the characters  and the story  to twist and mold it the way he sees fit into a film that  is so absorbing and  yet so  mentally unstable  you  start  wondering what is real and what is fantasy. That is the mark of a true filmmaker, a born filmmaker with such skill and talent for his craft that he transcends the norm of first time directors and becomes a director to watch. Richard Kelly's "Donnie Darko" is the prime example of how sometimes life can take an unexpected turn for the worst and just keep on trucking.



I like the strength of this film I like how it relied on its characters or character to drive this picture to perfection to push the very fabric of this films dark story and take the genre to new heights. "Donnie Darko" is a twisted character study that is beyond comprehension, it is the kind of film you lose yourself too you become immersed  in Donnie Darko's world  the fantasy, the  mind bending twist and turns  and   the  story that seems more like something you would read in the National enquirer or hear from  a local wacko.  It works so well at leaving you unhinged after watching it that you will literally lose sleep after you see it. That is how effective it is at delivering its potent message. 




I never really liked Jake Gyllenhaal he never really seemed like a good actor to me  in fact the only Gyllenhaal movie I   have ever seen was "The Day after Tomorrow"  and now "Donnie Darko"  the film that literally launched his career. Gyllenhaal is  phenomenal  he plays the part  like it was nothing  displaying talent and power that I didn't even think he had;  he's  so honest  and yet so disturbed  to me his performance as Darko is one of the greatest in modern cinema  and should be acknowledged as such. Gyllenhaal  is now a favorite of mine  and I will be watching his career  looking out for a performance that can top his career making turn  in this  film. The rest of the cast including the late Patrick Swazye (he will be greatly missed.), Drew Barrymore, Noah Wyle, Holmes Osborne, David St. James, Arthur Taxier, Daveigh Chase, Jena Malone and James Duvall as Frank all deliver stellar supporting performances in this brainy film.




How you view "Donnie Darko”, all depends on how open your mind is too the impossible if it's closed off then this film will seem like a colossal waste of time and extremely tiresome. However, if you are open minded this will be one of the greatest trips you will ever take without the influence of LSD (The film and Gyllenhaal are already on it so why bother). "Donnie Darko" is a can't miss , pitch perfect  psychological horror drama that is as perplexing as it is intriguing it challenges you every step of the way, making you think, making you wonder and even making you afraid of what lies beyond our normal world. It is an American classic a film for our time   and a film that will undoubtedly stand the test of time as a landmark motion picture.

What would you do if you knew the future?.....

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April 10, 2010
well, alright! good to see that you enjoyed this movie. Your first paragraph was able to grab attention..that was wonderful and you managed to get your feelings about the movie quite well. Alright, much as you loved this one, I hope you avoid S. Darko (its spin off)
May 31, 2010
Thank you. And I was thinking of seeing S. Darko but I changed my mind at the last minute seeing as you did not like it it must have been terrible.
More Donnie Darko reviews
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2011
This bloodless production's period costume design, cars, TV newscasts and popular music do nothing to make it seem like anything other than a product of its torpid decade; you can't sell a counterfeit 1988 to a fledgling of that enormous, tacky era. If I want '80s teen angst or surrealism, I'll consult the genuine article and watch some old David Lynch or John Hughes films (separately), all of which have what this film doesn't: character, substance and zeitgeist without all the …
review by . October 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   Finally, the pseudo-spiritual, pseudo time travel stuff falls short because nothing actually ties it together. Which is unfortunate, because if it had, I would have found it to be a near brilliant movie.      In brief, Donnie Darko is a troubled teen who is possibly schizophrenic, possibly a character quite literally out of time. He gets information and commands from a frightening rabbit character who gives him the date of the end of the world--Halloween 1988. The …
Quick Tip by . February 03, 2011
Fascinatingly odd. One of my sons was very keen to watch this and went out and bought after we rented it together. Definitely odd, but so intriguing I couldn't wait to watch it again.
review by . December 23, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
At the Movies
-This review was written in conjunction with the standard edition of the DVD, not the 2-disc Director's Cut-       2001 was a year full of outstanding films, but one film stood out from all of the others for its sheer inventiveness, its brilliant vision, and its director's ambition. No, I'm not talking about The Lord of the Rings (although, my previous statement could easily be applied to that film as well). Richard Kelly's feature debut film as a director, Donnie Darko, is a …
review by . November 26, 2008
Donnie Darko
In Donnie Darko, I am vaguely reminded of the question put to the test in The Seventh Sign, where Demi Moore is asked, "Would you die for him?" She doesn't understand the question until the ending. In a way, I compare Donnie's dream, or alternate reality, to this question: "Would you die for love?"   It also brings about another question, "Is it better to have loved and lost, then never to have loved at all?" Donnie is odd, Donnie is strange; but Donnie is a likeable kid despite his problems. …
review by . March 11, 2009
Pros: liked the story, on the border about Frank     Cons: none for me     The Bottom Line:     “I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take  When people run in circles its a very very  Mad World, Mad World”  ~Gary Jules     You can beat your head against the wall and try to ‘figure out’ Donnie Darko or you can just take it for what it is, a movie with an intriguing …
review by . February 13, 2009
Pros: Thought-provoking, interesting concept, variety of actors and actresses     Cons: Some people may not get it     The Bottom Line: Donnie Darko made a marko on me.  A man in a bunny suit, an alternative time-line, a variety of quirky characters, and mostly Jake Gyllenhaal make this movie one-of-a-kind.
review by . June 21, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
It is hard to describe the plot of 'Donnie Darko' without making the movie seem repellant. 'Donnie Darko' is purposely ambivalent, and the causality of bizarre events is intriguing from the very start. The journal development is a retro trip in itself. Using footage of the Dukakis and Bush (I) debates before the 1988 election, the movie authenticates its setting of a high school near the end of the eighties. How they manage to mix nostalgia with an eerie tale and dark manifestations is a mystery, …
review by . February 04, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
During the first twenty minutes or so, I found DONNIE DARKO to be fairly interesting and even somewhat entertaining. The reptilian rabbit head was just plain bizarre and kind of creepy and enough to keep me interested for awhile. However, things didn't start to make any sense and crucial pieces and elements of the "plot" started disappearing left and right. By the time the film ended I was wondering to myself, "What in the world was that all about." Now after reading a few reviews here, I can see …
review by . October 06, 2003
As it features Echo & The Bunnymen's single The Killing Moon within its first five minutes, and Joy Division's epochal Love Will Tear Us Apart within its last ten, Donnie Darko is the sort of film I have a natural weakness for. It plays like an 80's version of American Beauty. And while it's nicely ironic, well written and cleverly engineered - too cleverly engineered, really - I think it lets itself down badly in execution. An awful lot of signposts the movie needs to make it understandable are …
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C.R. Lopez ()
Ranked #36
Member Since: Nov 6, 2009
Last Login: Jul 7, 2012 09:53 PM UTC
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About this movie



Director: Richard Kelly
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release Date: June 2, 2004
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Richard Kelly
DVD Release Date: 2004
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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