Primer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Primer Reviews

June 16, 2017
Primer gains its seductive power by leaving the solution tantalizingly out of reach.
February 8, 2008
Mind-bending thrillers like Primer are terrific viewing with your teenagers. Maybe if you're nice, they'll explain the ending to you.
June 4, 2007
Scary, puzzling, and different.
February 9, 2006
This film imagines its viewers to be smart, possessed of a decent attention span and game for a challenge. It doesn't happen all that often.
December 3, 2004
An unapologetically cerebral movie of ideas.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 3, 2004
It's one thing to admire what writer/director/composer/actor Shane Carruth wrought on his $1.98 digicam budget; it's quite another to have to sit through the mind-numbing results.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
December 3, 2004
The ingenious debut of writer-director Shane Carruth, who assembled the film on his home computer and also plays one of the two leads, is purposely designed to be a little bewildering.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
November 12, 2004
It takes a lot for a movie to surprise today's jaded, seen-it, bought-the- PlayStation-version sci-fi fan. Primer can. Let it.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
November 12, 2004
A jigsaw puzzle made of pieces that may or may not fit together, it assumes the intelligence and interest of its audience, a brave move that pays off big.
Read More | Original Score: B+
November 12, 2004
Carruth challenges us to imagine the impossible, then asks us to consider the moral, ethical and spiritual implications of what we have witnessed, and put those considerations on equal footing with man's desire to go where no man has gone before.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 12, 2004
Like watching something that's always on the verge of being a movie.
Read More | Original Score: C+
October 29, 2004
It is maddening, fascinating and completely successful.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 28, 2004
Has such an engaging, offbeat first half that it's all the more frustrating when it gets lost inside its own convolutions and delayed revelations.
Read More | Original Score: C+
October 27, 2004
It has all the hallmarks of an amateur production: questionable sound and picture quality, crude performances, and dubious editing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 22, 2004
Incredibly confusing but oddly compelling.
October 21, 2004
A dense and dazzling science-fiction mind-bender unassumingly dressed up in a tech geek's short-sleeved oxford shirt, pocket protector and safety goggles.
October 19, 2004
The first thing Shane Carruth should have done as a director was fire himself as an actor, because I think he gives a terrible performance.
October 15, 2004
It's dense, and in a way that doesn't begin to reward the effort required to untie it.
October 15, 2004
Intriguing but flawed.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 15, 2004
By turns inventive, confounding and obtuse, it doesn't always work, but it challenges, nonetheless.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
October 15, 2004
What's impressive -- aside from the fact that Carruth got the thing made in the first place -- is that the movie's tone skates right between coherence and an appreciation for endless, even infinite possibilities.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
October 14, 2004
Writer-director Shane Carruth makes a low-tech, low-budget entry into a staple of science fiction and manages to make it feel like a genre you've never been to before.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
October 14, 2004
A brilliant little indie thriller.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 14, 2004
Carruth has made a fascinating first film and a solid foundation for things to come.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 12, 2004
Alluringly knotty.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
October 8, 2004
An impressive, if muddled, first effort from writer-director-actor Shane Carruth.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 8, 2004
The humorless, self-important narrative is so impenetrable, you'd have to consult a synopsis to know they're traveling back and forth in time in increments of a few hours, with unforeseen consequences.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
October 7, 2004
This no-budget brainteaser from Dallas native Shane Carruth offers ample intellectual rewards.
Full Review | Original Score: B +
October 7, 2004
An ingenious first film made on a budget of about $7,000 by a former engineer and self-taught filmmaker about the perils of ingenuity.
October 6, 2004
Its analog-egghead approach may be the freshest thing the genre has seen since 2001.
September 29, 2004
Despite its shortcomings, Primer remains watchable thanks to Carruth's dense and intriguing filmmaking.
January 27, 2004
Essentially, it's the story of weekend scientists who build a time machine in a suburban garage. But this nearly gets lost in a miasma of technical jargon and scientific conjecture.