Donnie Darko

20th Century Fox Released 2001


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Movie Summary

Richard Kelly
Donnie Darko is the 2001 indie slipstream cult-sensation starring Jake Gyllenhaal alongside real life sister Maggie Gyllenhaal, and is now available on Amazon. This mind-bending thriller is Richard Kelly's debut film, of which he has director and writer credit, and had surprising success despite a limited box office release. It's popularity is mostly attributed to DVD sales. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the film's title role, a high school student troubled with apocalyptic visions brought on by a giant talking bunny named Frank. Frank convinces Donnie the world in going to end in 28 days if he does not stop it. Donnie's visions leads him on a quest to find the truth about time travel. His condition, and general lack of belonging in his white collar suburban town, often makes him the speaker of uncomfortable truth. This quality attracts new student Gretchen (Jena Malone) who's own dark past makes her an outcast. Frank guides Donnie on a series of crimes, including burning down the house of local celebrity Jim Cunningham (Patrick Swayze) who proves to be child pornographer when his porn dungeon is discovered in the rubble. Donnie must learn how to travel back through time in order to stop a series of horrible events from happening. Drew Barrymore produces and stars as well.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Jan Stuart

    If you let it be what it is, Donnie Darko will knock you flat.

  • 70

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Has plenty of problems. But most stem from a young filmmaker overswinging on his first time up to the plate and hitting a deep fly out rather than a home run.

  • 40

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    It's this compulsion to solder melancholy to weightlessness that constantly trips up the movie; Mr. Kelly doesn't have the assurance to pull off such a difficult feat.

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