Primer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Primer Reviews

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February 7, 2018
interesting concept and was able to have my attention for almost the entire length of the film. i think the last quarter it lost a little of the focus.

i thought the performances are good, but perhaps a bit too muted. Given its surprisingly fresh and inspiring material/start, it gradually went downhill and i am a bit disappointed.
½ February 1, 2018
The problem with Primer isn't so much that it breaks its own time-travel rules like so many of its big-budget brethren but rather that it fails to effectively communicate what they are in the first place.
January 14, 2018
A rare movie that thrives on its complexity, Primer may have its issues, but it is undoubtedly fascinating.
December 28, 2017
Compelling but incredibly difficult to follow.
November 16, 2017
Shane Carruth is a true master of storytelling, especially on such a limited budget. In my opinion on e of the most under appreciated talents working today. This a movie you can watch repeatedly and still gain something from it every time.
September 16, 2017
Intellectually interesting but boring to watch.. ??
September 16, 2017
Intellectually stimulating but boring to watch.. ??
September 5, 2017
Very clever movie. Yep I had to watch it a few times to get my head around it, and it did hurt my brain. Unreal that a movie so great can be made for such tiny dollars.
August 25, 2017
Great, cerebral time travel flick. If they forced all film makers to only spend $7000 on their movies, would they all be this good?
August 20, 2017
I like sci-fi movies but this is the kind of film i dont like. there is no beautiful scenery, no interesting sequences, its just people talking and a box. it might be a good story but there is nothing for my eyes to look at. I Hated it.
July 12, 2017
This is without a doubt the most complex and intricate sci-fi story ever told.
½ July 11, 2017
Didn't really understand it
June 26, 2017
interesting premise, but poorly done. the story is taken in strange directions, and it seems to be overly convoluted for convoluted's sake. i'm the kind of movie fan that loves when a movie is complex and requires you to think, i love when they don't explain everything and there is a lot unseen that you need to deduce. but this movie just overdoes it. this is my second time watching it, and i feel the same way as the first time. it doesn't make sense. and i don't just mean one aspect, i mean all of it. i watched an illustrated explanation on youtube that did a great job of showing you what happened, and it follows a logical path as long as you allow some weird assumptions, but there is no way i would have ever been able to get that without watching this movie a bunch of times and studying it. that's a problem, and even with all that i don't think i would be able to figure it out.

let's look at interstellar as an example. that movie is extremely complex and can be discussed and studied extensively. with regards to the overall story, not just what was shown in the movie, i would estimate that i grasped about 70% of everything the first time. it wasn't until about the 5th time that i reached about 95%. the difference is, even if you didn't fully grasp everything that happened inside and outside of the movie, it was still enjoyable on so many other levels. this movie is driven solely by the story which is nearly impossible to understand. and even if we somehow understand everything, the story still isn't very good. i know it's an indy film, but it has to be said that the acting was pretty bad (2 viewings)
June 25, 2017
An amazingly complex and original ultra-low-budget sci-fi film that plays tricks with the mind as well as hints at a dramatic drive underneath all the engineering banter.
½ May 27, 2017
Appealing to the technicality and physics behind the possibility of time travel; Primer appeals to the intelligent film-goer, someone who cares more for story, characters, and believability, and doesn't mind complex science jargon and plot structure. This film is surprisingly well put together considering its budget restraints, and makes Shane Carruth look like some sort of film making genius. The concept and story is perfectly executed as a low budget film, making it seem like a lo-fi noir flick in the same realm as films like Memento or Pi. Carruth also does well as an actor, with a look and layered personality that could be put to use in future films. Although its budget issues hold it back from being an excellent film, it is still highly worth the watch.
½ May 26, 2017
Clearly made very economically, this felt a bit too 'over-intellectualised' to be truly enjoyable entertainment. That's not to say that the cerebral cannot be entertaining but come on, a bunch of science students dressed like Mormons espousing the merits of their science project with endless gobbledygook can lose a not overly attentive viewer. Sedate the pleasure principle and leave your brawn at the door...
Super Reviewer
½ April 26, 2017
With a 7,000 dollar budget and completely unknown actors all-around, Primer is the mere definition of a small-budgeted indie feature. It's also incredibly complicated and technically brilliant considering Shane Carruth's (director, producer, writer, editor, composer, and actor) comprehensive knowledge in mathematics and engineering. Which is one of the things that makes Primer so special, it's originality. It's a nice mix of a Christopher Nolan non-liner structured script, a David Lynch style tone, and the science & imagination of a James Cameron film. For a first feature, I'm not sure I can give a higher praise. Unfortunately, it's not always the easiest film to follow as Carruth rarely ever takes the time for exposition. At the same time a film like this, which already has a slower pace, probably would do worse with several exposition scenes. What the film does, however, is provide fascinating propositions for what time travel could look and feel like. It's not as simple as Back to the Future nor as expansive as Interstellar, but it is very personal. And with a film that mostly focuses on two best friends, the personal approach is obviously beneficial. With all that said, I think the limitations prevent this from being an instant classic. I'd like to see Carruth revisit the ideas and themes and make a bigger budgeted feature. That way, he could make the film longer and more in-depth. Just as a pure sci-fi fan, there's a lot to like about a film that reinvents how to tell a cerebral story in new and interesting ways. Overall though, Primer is an unforgettable film.

April 23, 2017

real talk; if you looking for some kind of pretentious indie flick to justify your existence as movie buff and impress your plebeian friends, then Primer is for you.
March 25, 2017
I'm on a time-travel kick. This movie did not disappoint. What a mindfuck. I had to read articles on it afterwards to wrap my mind around it. It seems like the type of movie you will need to see more than once.
March 18, 2017
Another time travel movie, has lots of originality and as always some confusion, paradoxes and flawed concepts, it comes with the genre and is understandable, still some really cool scientific concepts which I only understood after some explanation videos on you tube. What is commendable is the film was written, directed, produced, edited and scored by Shane Carruth, who also stars in the main role. Amazing effort for a very low budget movie which looks really good.
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