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critics consensus

Richard Kelly's debut feature Donnie Darko is a daring, original vision, packed with jarring ideas and intelligence and featuring a remarkable performance from Jake Gyllenhaal as the troubled title character. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In a funny, moving and distinctly mind-bending journey through suburban America, one extraordinary but disenchanted teenager is about to take Time's Arrow for a ride. After surviving a freak accident, Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) begins to explore what it means to be alive, and in short order to be in love, he uncovers secrets of the universe that give him a tempting power to alter time and destiny.

Cast & Crew

Jake Gyllenhaal
Donnie Darko
Jena Malone
Gretchen Ross
Drew Barrymore
Ms. Karen Pomeroy
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Elizabeth Darko
Katharine Ross
Dr. Lilian Thurman
Patrick Swayze
Jim Cunningham
Noah Wyle
Dr. Monnitoff
Richard Kelly
Screenwriter
Hunt Lowry
Executive Producer
Casey La Scala
Executive Producer
Steven B. Poster
Cinematographer
Alexander Hammond
Production Designer
April Ferry
Costume Designer
Eric Strand
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Donnie Darko

Critic Reviews for Donnie Darko

All Critics (118) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (102) | Rotten (16)

  • Donnie Darko rightly made a star of Gyllenhaal.

    January 10, 2017 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Defines itself through sustained mood, otherworldly intrigue and deep, abiding humanism.

    June 20, 2011 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
  • Quote not available.

    August 14, 2007 | Rating: 3/4
  • Kelly is a supple and courageous storyteller, boldly free-associating as he mixes parody and satire with earnest psychodrama and coming up with plot points no one could anticipate.

    June 8, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Donnie Darko 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.

    June 8, 2007
  • A mini-masterpiece that marks the arrival of brave new talents in Gyllenhaal and Kelly. Cult glory beckons.

    March 30, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Donnie Darko

  • Sep 23, 2016
    A great chilling piece of psychologically thrilling cinema
    Kameron W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 11, 2016
    Donnie Darko is an inventive cult classic. It's concept is smart and Jake Gyllenhaal delivers a great performance, however, not all aspects of the story really mesh together. Darko deals with time travel, the apocalypse, and death in a cold and clinical way. There is no doubt that even when I was scratching my head at how the feature wrapped up, I couldn't deny the thought provoking themes delivered with such daring. So while Donnie Darko is a hard movie to embrace, it is also a difficult movie to shake off and has earned its status as a cult classic. Rating: 66
    Bradley J Super Reviewer
  • Mar 11, 2016
    It's hard to review this movie after only one viewing because Donnie Darko seems like the type of film that improves with repeat viewings. That being said, the plot can seem a bit confusing at times, but the acting, especially by Jake Gyllenhaal, carries the load of this cult classic. If you haven't seen this movie, you're doing yourself a disservice!
    Ben B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 17, 2015
    Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer

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