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A Scanner Darkly

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Released 2006

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Movie Summary

Director:
Richard Linklater
Released:
2006
Rating:
R

A Scanner Darkly is a 2006 animated film from director Richard Linklater and based on the novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey, Jr., Winona Ryder, and Woody Harrelson in a story about a possible future in which America is overrun with drug abuse and the government operates constant, high-tech surveillance departments to combat the spread of drug addiction. Reeves plays Bob Arctor, a government agent living deep undercover in the world of drugs. His assignment is to learn about the supply chain of Substance D, the highly addictive drug that has ruined the nation. He lives with his two housemates, James Barris (Downey Jr.) and Ernie Luckman (Harrelson). They're all addicted to Substance D. Arctor's addiction begins to interfere with his ability to carry out the job. Since Arctor's identity is top secret, as are the identities of the other undercover cops, a mystery begins to unravel as to where the line between the cops and the addicts really is--or if there's a line at all. A Scanner Darkly is a gripping science fiction story, executive produced by Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney.

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Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Carina Chocano

    The brilliance of A Scanner Darkly is how it suggests, without bombast or fanfare, the ways in which the real world has come to resemble the dark world of comic books.

  • 70

    The New York Times Manohla Dargis

    Rotoscoping makes certain sense for a film about cognitive dissonance and alternative realities, though both the vocal and gestural performances by Mr. Reeves, Mr. Harrelson and, i...

  • 70

    Variety Justin Chang

    Deeply intriguing but almost too-faithful adaptation of Philip K. Dick's nightmarish 1977 novel.

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