HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Breaking In
Breaking In
Please Stand By
Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County, The
Deadpool 2
Smart Money
Lupin the Third vs. Detective Conan: The Movie
Gangsta
3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt
Magic Serpent, The
That's Not Me
There Goes the Bride
Billy the Kid versus Dracula
Liquid Sword
I, Tonya
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Bad Match
Güeros
Anchor and Hope
One, The
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Lucky
Still of the Night
Home Sweet Homicide
Mannaja - A Man Called Blade
Spitfire
Killers from Space
Castle of the Creeping Flesh
Ghost Stories
Wild Boys, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
   
 
  Donnie Darko Out Of TimeBuy this film here.
Year: 2001
Director: Richard Kelly
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne, Katharine Ross, Patrick Swayze, Noah Wyle, Beth Grant, James Duval, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction, Weirdo
Rating:  8 (from 12 votes)
Review: It's October 1988 and Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a troubled teen on medication who sleepwalks right out of his house on some nights. He also suffers from visions of a man in a grotesque rabbit costume, a harbinger of doom who tells him that the world will end in twenty-eight days...

This weird, jigsaw-with-pieces-missing science fiction was the debut of writer/director Richard Kelly. It contorts the template of the typical teen movie into an unsettling enigma; the usual characters are there: the outsider (the well-cast Gyllenhaal), the new girl who he connects with (Jena Malone), the juvenile delinquents, the bullied fat girl, the understanding teacher, the sympathetic but distant parents.

Yet teen alienation is taken so far that we feel no empathy with any of them, only Donnie seems to be on the road to discovery, despite the efforts of the school and their banal self-motivation classes (inspired by the local inspirational speaker played by Patrick Swayze). There is something not right with the world of Donnie Darko, it appears to be a typical American small town but it feels off kilter, and there's tragedy hanging over the place.

Teachers are afraid to hold challenging discussions with their pupils for fear of being sacked, an aeroplane engine falls out of the sky into the absent Donnie's bedroom, and a session of hypnosis with a psychiatrist (Katharine Ross) abruptly ends with Donnie's sexual fantasies taking over. And that's before we consider what is happening with time itself.

Are we predestined to take a set route through life? Is that route dictated by a God? How is it possible to travel through time, anyway? Can we even change time itself? The film offers no obvious answers, and moves slowly to its mysterious conclusion. It's haunting, intriguing and carefully made, but there's a nagging doubt that to work it all out may require more effort than it actually deserves. Moody music by Michael Andrews, along with an amusing use of eighties hits on the soundtrack.

In 2004, Kelly released a Special Director's Cut of the film with scenes and various effects added to make the storyline more obvious, apparently not realising that the very enigma of the film was one of its strengths. While he didn't spell everything out (not quite, anyway), by making Donnie a more overt superhero character (a passing comment in the original cut) he makes the ending even more like the finale of the first Christopher Reeve Superman film, and the overall effect was oddly diminished. Most unforgivably, he changed the music for the opening: INXS just wasn't the same somehow, which could similarly be said of the Director's Cut. The first cut is the deepest.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 12934 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Richard Kelly  (1975 - )

American writer/director whose first film, skewed end-of-the-world sci-fi thriller Donnie Darko, was a big cult hit. He followed it up with the script for Domino, then a disastrous science fiction epic Southland Tales which chased away his blossoming acclaim. The Box saw him continue to be enigmatic, but without much of the approval Donnie Darko had won him.

 
Review Comments (1)
Posted by:
Date:
16 Feb 2004
  This has to be the greatest film of my generation, without a doubt. People tend to shy away from making statements like that since it seems 'great' films were only allowed pre-nineties. The mass of thought-provocation this film caused completely blew me away. I have had many long discussions on this film with many of my friends, none ending with any conclusion. The only agreement we come to is on the sheer brilliance of the film.
       


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
  Dan Malone
   

 

Last Updated: