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4.4 out of 5 stars624
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on March 6, 2014
Donnie Darko is an interesting movie. Certain scenes have a certain type of 'art' behind them that make this movie very good to watch. And is the type of movie that if you don't pay attention to everything in the movie, you will be left confused, and have to re-watch it to understand what the hell just happened. I recommend this movie to those who are into movies that make you think and try to understand what just happened.
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on May 8, 2010
I love Donnie Darko. It's my favorite movie of all time. Every time you watch it you get a different perspective on what the movie is about. If you like unique movies which give you many perspectives similar to the butterfly effect you'll like this movie.
The Quality on blu-ray isn't enhanced by much but thats because of the way it was filmed. Great audio. Lovely soundtrack.Donnie Darko [Blu-ray]
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on November 27, 2011
I love this movie and was so happy to hear that a 10th Anniversary blu ray dvd combo was coming out. The combo has both the theatrical and the director's cut, and has loads of extra features. This is a must have for any Donnie Darko enthusiast.
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on March 3, 2003
Donnie Darko is a very difficult movie to characterise and assign to one or even two genres, which is also part of its appeal and fascination. It opens with the title character (Jake Gyllenhall) waking in his pyjamas, with his bike lying next to him, on a highway overlooking his hometown of Middlesex, set in an idyllic tree covered valley. Straightening up he looks out toward the rising sun on the horizon and with a knowing smile he re-mounts his bicycle and makes his way back home to the tune of Echo and The Bunnymen�s �The Killing Moon� in what is an excellent opening sequence. Right from these first few frames it was obvious that I was about to witness something very original and it had me hooked.
Donnie Darko is inspired (I would guess) by the weird combination of Philip K Dick, Wes Anderson, JD Salinger and the classic James Stewart movie �Harvey�. It announces the arrival of two great new talents in Writer/Director Richard Kelly and the young actor Jake Gyllenhall, in what is a hugely original, ingenious and entertaining movie. Set in 1988, around Halloween time, this movie has the conventional leafy-suburbia-plus-high-school setting, which alludes to the horror genre of Carrie and Halloween but it is no horror movie. It also has specific elements that suggest that it�s a psychodrama about a young man with schizophrenia but this is not �A Beautiful Mind�. It also ponders the possibility of time travel but this is not science fiction. Stranger still, Donnie Darko is unusual in that (unlike most retro 1980�s pictures such as The Wedding Singer) it actually has a very cool soundtrack drawn from the period of my youth, which includes contributions from the likes of Echo and The Bunnymen, Tears For Fears and Joy Division.
So, what is Donnie Darko about? Well, without giving up too much of the plot, Donnie is continuously visited by a 6 foot tall rabbit named Frank, which unlike the Pooka in the classic �Harvey� is both visible to the audience and strangely satanic. Frank tells Donnie that the world is going to end in 28 days six hours and forty two minutes but not to worry as everything is going to be all right. Guided by Frank he narrowly misses being killed when an engine from a 747 crashes through his house whilst he is lying sleeping on a local golf course and the plot thickens when it becomes apparent that the aviation authority has no record of any aircraft losing an engine. Donnie is of course undergoing therapy with a local shrink and hypnotherapist played by Katherine Ross (The Graduate, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid) and the suggestion is of course that Donnie is hallucinating, for as his sister says �he hasn�t been taking his pills�. One of Donnie�s recurring visions suggests that he can see the future before it happens and so he becomes obsessed with the possibility of time travel and a book written by a retired teacher, who is now a scary old recluse, �The Philosophy of Time Travel�. There are also many other sub-plots including Donnie being inspired by his English teacher (Drew Barrymore) and Graham Greene�s short story �The Destructors� into some playful vandalism. In addition to this Donnie�s subversive thoughts and actions begin to undermine the stability of the local community that is strangely gripped by a slimy fundamentalist guru played by Patrick Swayze.
Much of this movie is darkly comic and there are some great scenes including a conversation between Donnie and his therapist, where she asks him what he thinks about at school. Like most teenage boys he inevitably replies �having s*x� before proceeding to unbutton his trousers about to m*sturbate. There is also a scene where at a PTA meeting Donnie�s mother challenges the local bigot by asking "Do you even know who Graham Greene is?" she confidently and proudly replies "Oh please! I think we've all seen Bonanza".
Personally I loved this movie but whether or not you enjoy this movie probably depends upon how far left of centre you like your movies. If you are not a fan of independent cinema or movies by the likes of Wes Anderson and David Lynch then you probably wont like this. However there is much to recommend in Donnie Darko, not least the cast, which includes, Noah Wyle (ER), Mary McDonnell (Dances With Wolves), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Confessions of A Dangerous Mind) and the previously mentioned Patrick Swayze, Drew Barrymore and Katherine Ross. Jake Gyllenhaal�s exquisite comic timing and laidback personality endows Donnie's existence with a dreamlike quality at odds with his teen angst and the suburban paranoia of his surroundings. Meanwhile writer/director Richard Kelly creates a wonderful sense of tension and keeps you guessing throughout the movie that even after the final titles have rolled you are still left to mull over what you have just witnessed.
Whilst critics may argue that Donnie Darko fails as a psychological study and/or horror movie, you cant help but feel they are missing the point, as it deliberately avoids easy classification to a specific genre and instead concentrates on being intelligent, ingenious and highly original. Closing appropriately to a cover version of the old Tears For Fears song �Mad World� and the lyrics �the dreams on which I�m dying are the best I�ve ever had�, neatly ties up the previous two hours and what was for me a very satisfactory cinematic experience. Destined for cult status this undoubtedly deserves five stars!
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Due to my burgeoning interest in supernatural/celestial movies, I purchased this dvd of Donnie Darko; The Director’s Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition) on February 12, 2015. As many people know, this movie is about a Virginia teenager named Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) who appears to be the only one who is able to see a spirit who has already died and crossed over to another world named Frank (James Duval). Donnie Darko is naturally at first leery of communicating with Frank but starts to trust him a little more after his life is saved from an aircraft crashing in his room. Both his parents Rose and Eddie Darko (played by Mary Mcdonnell and Holmes Osborne) and his siblings Elizabeth and Samantha Darko (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal and Daveigh Chase) care about Donnie Darko in their own way. However, even they are unsure on how to deal with what appears to be insane mind even though Donnie Darko’s unconventional communications with Frank allow him to glimpse into the future. Donnie Darko’s world brightens a bit when he falls in love with a teenage female named Gretchen Ross (played by Jena Malone) who is a newcomer to the Middlesex Virginia area. There are a number of other multiple famous people featured on this dvd; such as the late Patrick Swayze, Drew Barrymore, Seth Rogen, Ashley Tisdale etc.). However, the ending made me understand why my husband politely told me that it was a good thing that I had my Shania Twain concert dvd and a Strawberry Shortcake movie to watch for cheering me up afterwards. Even then, I would still watch Donnie Darko again (especially since I own the dvd), but I would definitely still have something uplifting to watch afterwards. The following are some of the extras associated with this Donnie Darko movie: dvd is divided up into two dvd discs and would also be of interest to aspiring writers/scriptwriters as well as movie buffs; disc one has audio commentary with writer/director Richard Kelly and Director Kevin Smith, disc two has Donnie Darko production diary (with optional commentary by director of photography Steven Poster), They Made Me Do It Too-The Cult of Donnie Darko, Storyboard to Screen Featurette, and Director’s Cut Theatrical Trailer. Last, but not least, there is the feature of The #1 Fan; A Darkomentary; Darryl Donaldson, a Donnie Darko movie fanatic, is shown meeting James Duval (actor who voiced Frank) and meeting various people affiliated with the movie at a San Diego California Comic Con. One more thing; there are various pop culture references in the Donnie Darko film such as; snippets to the song Head Over Heels by Tears For Fears, a homage to Tears For Fears with the feature of The Mad World song and a scene where Donnie Darko’s younger sister is part of dance troupe called Sparkle Motion (dancing to the song Notorious by Duran Duran) plus more pop culture references which would probably take up the length of another review.
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on June 11, 2007
Obviously a billion film and pop culture references in this flick - great, rich stuff that's launched a thousand arguments.

One thing occurs to me - I know there's been much made of both the writer/director's "tangent universe" stuff as well as the Christ allusions. All that's going on and more.

Clearly Donnie's isolated as all get out at the beginning but increasingly connects with a few people - Gretchen, his Smurf-pondering friends, and eventually even his mom. This move from isolation appears to be one of the key character developments in the film - that he goes from being terrified of dieing alone (because he is alone) to dieing because he's no longer alone and can do something meaningful for those he's connected with. A form of sacrifice.

So I couldn't help thinking about the movie "The Sacrifice" by Tarkovsky with it's own odd sci-fi/religious plot about the end of the world. And the long coda featuring those who survive.

Certainly there's much, much more going on. But for me this was a way to see through all the tangent universe mumbo-jumbo into something a little more familiar and comprehensible without reading the freakin' manual to the film.

A complex, ambitious and ultimately successful movie. With a kickin' soundtrack.
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on October 31, 2006
A RESPONSE AND A SLIGHT SPOILER

"(Yes, Donny Darko is constantly on anti-depression drugs throughout this movie)"

If you had bothered to go and see the directors cut, you would see the scene where Donnie's psychologist explains that the medication he has been on are placebos.

Also, it's a shame you seem to have spelt "Donnie" wrong, when it's right above the text box as you write a review.

END OF SPOILER.

...and on with the review.

Overall, I cannot think of a thing I would change about this film were I ever given free reign (and be afraid if that should ever happen)

Donnie, the central character, is a troubled individual with various mental problems, which he is on medication for. One night he receives a harrowing message - "the world will end in less than a month's time"

However, in receiving this message, Donnie avoids his own death and plunges into a new universe, where he is the one destined to save the world.

"Donnie Darko... what kind of a name is that... sounds like a superhero..."

"What makes you think I'm not?"

I've rated this film as 4 out of 5, not because it was a bad film, or only 4/5ths as good as it could be, but because the directors cut goes into much more detail, and I would recommend it over the original version.
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on March 11, 2004
My best friend introduced me to this movie about 2 years ago, and since that time I have watched the movie at least 12 times. Some may say that this is a bit obsessive, but I say, wait to judge me until you have seen the movie.
The first time you see this movie, you will come away, as one of my friends put it, with a giant gaping whole in your chest because you have absollutly no clue as to what just happened. Strangely enough, you will want to watch the movie a second time and then a third Before you know it you will have watched this movie a dozen times, still enjoying it as much or even more than the first time.
This movie has an amazing all-star cast (Jake Gyllenhaal, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze) and even a more amazing soundtrack (echo and the bunnymen, tears for fear, duran duran).
This movie is like a drug, maybe even better, and everytime I watch it I figure out something in the movie I didnt see before.
Have a blast watching this.
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on October 14, 2003
I was out of the country for the last half of 2001, and out of the loop as far as movies went, so upon my return I had to catch up. I have been interested in comic books for as long as I can remember. I read, I collect, I write. My good friend does the artwork and inking for most of my stories, and he is the one who recommended this DVD to me.
It truly is a comic book story. Donnie Darko, a sixteen year old boy with emotional problems, is a superhero who must save the world, or so he is told by Frank, the 6-foot tall bunny rabbit. Donnie, his family, his girlfriend Gretchen, and everyone around him can feel the subtle aura of something not quite right. What only Donnie realizes is that the countdown has begun.
The film has a great cast, including Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Noah Wyle, Mary McDonnell, Jena Malone, and, of course, Jake Gyllenhaal and his sister Maggie Gyllenhaal (who plays his sister in the film). Each actor fit their part perfectly, and portrayed their character very well.
It is a bit confusing the first time through, the second time it gets better, and the third time I recommend turning on the director's commentary. The director, Richard Kelly, along with Jake Gyllenhaal, offer an amusing and clarifying commentary that allows for better understanding of the film.
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on November 16, 2014
A movie that turns your brain inside out and proceeds to cram more confusing content inside of it until it explodes from sheer awesomeness! Jake Gyllenhaal is great in the movie, the directing and the visuals are all fantastic. There's even Seth Rogen playing a bully. It definitely requires multiple viewings to try to understand the meaning and metaphors that this film contains, which is excellent for promoting discussion among the local film nerds, that's always fun. It's different, it's unique, it's mindbendingly complex, there's even a creepy mansized bunny. It will make you think and stick with you for days, if you are a film lover, then please watch this movie, and like my FB page: Reime Time Reviews, where I review the latest releases and old movies as well without spoiling anything. Ttyl :)
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