A Scanner Darkly - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Scanner Darkly Reviews

Top Critic
Bob Mondello
NPR.org
October 18, 2008
The coolest thing about the movie version of A Scanner Darkly is how very literally it takes the scanner part of that title.
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Dana Stevens
Slate
September 23, 2006
As A Scanner Darkly proves, Keanu is the Coolness -- passive blankness, leaden line delivery, and all. Let's hear it for the vague blur.
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Ben Walters
Time Out
August 17, 2006
Wondrously attractive, all the more so for the avoidance (with one or two exceptions) of extrovert Waking Life-style set-pieces.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
July 27, 2006
Mr. Linklater emerges once again as the Austin auteur par excellence, even if A Scanner Darkly is set in a ratty precinct of Orange County.
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
July 14, 2006
Linklater's willingness to experiment ... is laudable. But I'm not sure he's reinventing animation here, or even adequately serving that older-than-children animation audience.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
July 14, 2006
The first film to capture the author's transience and his art.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
July 14, 2006
Here's a guy willing to take risks, willing to tackle challenging material, willing to assume his audience has a brain. Unfortunately, his audience's collective brain is going to be hurting mightily for the first hour of this film.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
July 14, 2006
Although the story is greatly enhanced by the mesmerizing visual design, it is also involving because of the duplicity and duality of the characters.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
July 14, 2006
The movie doesn't so much involve you in a story as it invades your mind, creating a world ruled by anxiety and suspicion.
Read More | Original Score: B+
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Michael Booth
Denver Post
July 14, 2006
The artiness gets in the way of thrilling plot twists; we're still trying to sort out images when we should be sorting out facts.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
July 14, 2006
Food for thought that's also a treat for the senses.
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
July 13, 2006
Much like someone who doesn't realize how high he is, A Scanner Darkly talks too much and doesn't say enough.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
July 13, 2006
As Dick's vision matches up with our times, so does director Richard Linklater's animation technique match the story's material. A Scanner Darkly is a joyful wedding of medium and message.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 13, 2006
One of the most disturbing antidrug public service announcements ever produced.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
July 13, 2006
The characters look as though they have been flattened inside a glass slide, a perfect visual reflection of their political and psychological binds.
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David Hiltbrand
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 13, 2006
A very talky and curiously uninvolving film.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 13, 2006
As plentiful as its ideas are, A Scanner Darkly often feels hollow, and more than a little monotonous, because Linklater has not quite succeeded in overcoming the aggressively uncinematic nature of Dick's novel.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 13, 2006
The film as a whole may be lacking in coherence and emotional punch, but there are some marvelous sequences.
Read More | Original Score: C+
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 7, 2006
A Scanner Darkly is a visually riveting mind-bender inspired by drug-induced experiences.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
July 7, 2006
As fascinating and intelligent as the movie is, A Scanner Darkly leaves you wishing it might have actually been less faithful in word, and more in spirit, to Philip K. Dick's universe of bugged-out paranoid weirdness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
July 7, 2006
Like its protagonist, Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly suffers from a schizoid identity crisis.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
July 7, 2006
For science fiction fans who prefer ideas over laser battles, this is the most meticulous and faithful movie adaptation of Dick's work -- and one of the most thoughtful.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
July 7, 2006
Aesthetically interesting as it is, the film leaves you feeling somewhat blank and detached, sort of like the main character.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
July 7, 2006
A Scanner Darkly doesn't quite live up to the promise of its opening sequence, but it's still an audacious offering during a season of brain-dead blockbusters.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
July 7, 2006
Fans of the late sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick may rejoice at the news that Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly is the most faithful adaptation of one of his stories to reach the screen. Unfortunately, the story is one of Dick's least cinematic.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
July 7, 2006
Richard Linklater's squiggly new film, A Scanner Darkly, is an ambitious attempt to find the right visual style to render the experience of drug addiction and the paranoid vision of novelist Philip K. Dick, into a distinctive visual form.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
July 7, 2006
An ambitious animated adaptation of one of the most personal novels by sci-fi visionary Philip K. Dick.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
July 7, 2006
This is a movie about losing one's grip and like any addict's story, it's boring, ugly, sad, and terribly human. And surprisingly funny.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
July 6, 2006
It's the kind of movie that gets under your skin -- and stays there.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
July 6, 2006
Identities shift and melt like shadows in Richard Linklater's animated adaptation of the 1977 novel by the science fiction visionary Philip K. Dick.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
July 6, 2006
The brilliance of A Scanner Darkly is how it suggests, without bombast or fanfare, the ways in which the real world has come to resemble the dark world of comic books.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Gene Seymour
Newsday
July 6, 2006
The risks Scanner Darkly takes both with its subject matter and its method make it difficult to dismiss.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
July 6, 2006
Watching A Scanner Darkly, we can feel [Philip K.] Dick's world close in on us. And we can be glad we're only visitors.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 6, 2006
Embedded in the visionary headtrip of A Scanner Darkly is a hotly political call to arms.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Christopher Orr
L.A. Weekly
July 6, 2006
In a film that's largely about the internal life of Bob/Fred, [Keanu] Reeves is at pains to show that he has one.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 6, 2006
A Scanner Darkly is always interesting, but it's not always involving, and it's even less often entertaining.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
July 6, 2006
A head-trip that never gets beneath the skin.
Read More | Original Score: B-
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
July 5, 2006
This straightforward version of Dick's anguished vision of drug-addled addiction makes Naked Lunch seem positively romantic.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
July 5, 2006
In A Scanner Darkly, we're watching other people freak out, but the film is maddening to sit through because their freak-outs never become ours.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
June 26, 2006
It's a pity it doesn't have more oomph, because the book is arguably Dick's masterpiece, and as brain-rattling today as when it came out in 1977.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
June 26, 2006
There are moments where not only does the lead character not know what's going on, but I'm not sure if we're supposed to know what's going on and you have to go with it.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Ebert & Roeper
June 26, 2006
The movie probably involves more dialogue and less action than some people will expect; it's about the nature of a life where you can never be sure what or who is real.
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Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
May 26, 2006
Scene after scene of verbose fiddle-faddle: Characters orate at each other, while sitting in cars, sitting at dining tables, sitting in living rooms, sitting at office desks. The film might be better titled The Big Sit.
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
May 25, 2006
Plot point by plot point, the film seems more concerned with achieving a lucid retelling of the novel's events, resulting in an almost disappointingly well-behaved sci-fi noir that's mildly provocative rather than visionary.