Primer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Primer Reviews

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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.
March 16, 2017
That movie just gave me some anxiety. The story is presented in a non traditional matter which works well for a time travel movie. The coloring and lighting also work to the movies advantage. This movie is on netflix, you should find it. However, pay attention or prepare to be completely lost.
March 12, 2017
Of all the mindfuck movies I've watched, this one tried the hardest to confuse its audience.
March 1, 2017
I will leave other reviewers to go over the plot holes, shallow characters, bad costumes, jerky and unexpressive soundtrack, extremely implausible characters, and hokey science. The acting was terrible. I don't know the context of this movie or who made it, but the acting quality of the main characters in this movie is well below what you would expect of even a side character in a low budget Netflix show. I don't know if it is the writers playing the characters themselves, close friends, or just the cheapest actors on craigs list; but it was just very shitty acting, I wish I could be more descriptive of how awful I thought it was. If I want a good sci-fi story I read a book or a short story; if I want to see a story brought to life, I see a movie. Whatever the merits of the plot, the reason this movie has been forgotten is because of the acting, costumes, soundtrack, and the vapidity of its contribution to speculative fiction in general;.
February 28, 2017
Very confusing and mind twisting. I don't say that it lacks originality but it could have been rendered in a more accessible form. It requires multiple viewings not because of its deep themes, but simply because it's very hard to fathom the details in the first viewing.
½ February 18, 2017
Clearly made very economically, this felt a bit too 'over-intellectualized' 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 and 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...
February 18, 2017
I both liked and disliked this movie. Liked -- interesting ideas, the low budget, the acting. Disliked -- how complicated the story is! I had to go online afterwards to try to piece together what just happened! (Warning -- if you go online first, you'll see spoilers. I think best to just watch it, be confused, then search later).
February 17, 2017
no, this movie wasn't confusing at all. /s

now to look up the official time line to make sense of this movie.
½ December 24, 2016
I'm a dumb monkey and I didn't understand this movie since it lacks basic exposition and explaining. It still has awesome ideas though
½ December 22, 2016
I like the fact that the film is very technical and doesn't try to dumb any of the science down. It has a really interesting take on time travel but it somehow comes across as kinda boring. Progression seems to take a long time. But still, recommended if you really like time travel.
½ December 16, 2016
Utterly amazing! This is only for thinking people! You have to watch it, then read about it online, and then watch it again...and possibly for a 3rd and 4th time to fully appreciate the genius! A movie made by an engineer, it is a success!
November 14, 2016
Trying to look smart by telling and showing less? Really?
October 27, 2016
Probably the most logistical time travel movie ever made but that doesn't make it great. It's an amazing idea that's just not executed that well. The budget is one limit but it feels it's missing a lot of pieces given the amount of ideas it throws at you. I admire it for not giving a fuck what its audience will think and just making the movie the director wanted to make regardless of budget constrictions and science but this kind of feels like half the story it is.
October 23, 2016
Too smart for the audience
½ September 10, 2016
I totally understand everything that happened, I'm just not gonna tell you...
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2016
Boyfriend thinks it's the best low-budget film ever made. I found the acting and dialogue great and believable, but the story never raised the stakes enough for me to care. Still under the limitations, fantastic movie and rewatchable.
½ August 23, 2016
I'm a time travel story junkie. I have been into time travel stories for as long as I can remember. The problem with this film isn't that it concerns time travel. The problem is that the story is not well-fleshed. The audio is hard to follow, and the story points are clearly added in later as an afterthought.

Even on rewatching it really doesn't make sense. Not because it is time travel, but because the story is not fleshed out enough to leave breadcrumbs for the uninitiated (people who have not read the script) to be able to follow it. In the end you have to take the narrator's word for it that the film makes sense.

There is a story here. I personally hope someone else takes the time to tell it well.
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