Donnie Darko - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Donnie Darko Reviews

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Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 26, 2001
This set-up and development is fascinating, the payoff less so.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Todd Gilchrist
July 26, 2004
The original was a movie for all those castaways who believe in unexplained phenomenon; the new version reads like a handbook on how to pick up women.
Eric D. Snider
February 13, 2001
A mish-mash of disparate, non-cohesive ideas, the sort of film that thinks it's brilliant just because no one understands it.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
June 8, 2007
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.
Staci Layne Wilson
Fantastica Daily
October 26, 2001
Although it claims to be very original, much of Donnie Darko is derivative.
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
October 25, 2001
Just another self-absorbed teen chronicle, with the added twist of a little time travel and a surprise ending.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
October 25, 2001
Kelly is unable to give the movie the kind of pacing that would make us laugh and shock us simultaneously, because he's too infatuated with an aura of hand-me-down gloom.
| Original Score: 2/5
Derek Smith
Apollo Guide
June 15, 2002
Donnie Darko promises a feast, but when the film ends, you are left only with the scraps.
| Original Score: 68/100
Jaime N. Christley
Apollo Guide
November 29, 2001
A made-to-order cult item.
Full Review | Original Score: 60/100
Rod Armstrong
October 26, 2001
There is just too much going on in Donnie Darko.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bob Graham
San Francisco Chronicle
October 26, 2001
If this movie ever figured out what it wanted to be when it grows up, it would be a terrific one.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Melanie McFarland
Seattle Times
October 26, 2001
First-time director-writer Richard Kelly draws on a number of intriguing elements ... without including a single, crucial gem that pulls everything together.
Joe Leydon
San Francisco Examiner
October 29, 2001
The movie remains a discombobulating muddle, largely because Kelly is unable or unwilling to resolve the myriad contradictions and confusions that muddy the waters.
Top Critic
Loren King
Boston Globe
January 25, 2002
Shows plenty of promise, but it's somewhat self-involved and won't appeal to audiences who like a straightforward -- even if fantastical -- narrative.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Chris Gore
Film Threat
December 6, 2005
You either love it or hate it. For those who loved it, I have only one word: overrated.c
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5

E! Online
October 26, 2001
After nearly two hours of the titular troubled teen asking borderline supernatural questions that are never quite answered, all we get is a head-scratching ending that's more frustrating than intriguing.
Annlee Ellingson
Boxoffice Magazine
October 24, 2001
It's ultimately Kelly's inventive storytelling and the myriad of complex themes he explores that capture one's imagination and, in this reviewer's case, re-ignite one's passion for the medium.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
October 23, 2001
Despite its flaws, this is a compelling motion picture, and offers the kind of 'fresh' experience extended by the likes of Pi and The Sticky Fingers of Time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Larry Carroll
April 16, 2002
It's like nothing you've ever seen before, and it sets a great tone that takes you places you've never been before.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Moira Sullivan
Movie Magazine International
July 22, 2007
The directors cut of Donnie Darko by Richard Kelly was screened at the Venice Film Festivals a couple of years ago, a film I missed for sure when it was released in 2001 and one of those pearls like Blade Runner that just is haunting screening after scree
Full Review | Original Score: A
Jennie Kermode
Movie Gurus
November 9, 2011

Sight and Sound
June 18, 2012
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