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Donnie Darko (Director's Cut) (2001)

Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, more...
Director: Richard Kelly, Richard Kelly
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Cult, Time Travel, Coming of Age , Fantasy
Languages: English
    see additional details...

Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a bright and charming high school student who also has a dark and willfully eccentric side; he does little to mask his contempt for many of his peers and enjoys challenging the authority of the adults around him. Donnie is also visited on occasion by Frank, a monstrous six-foot rabbit that only Donnie can see who often urges him to perform dangerous and destructive pranks. Late one night Frank leads Donnie out of his home to inform him that the world will come to an end in less than a month; moments later, the engine of a jet aircraft comes crashing through the ceiling of Donnie's room, making him think there might be something to Frank's prophesies after all. The rest of Donnie's world is only marginally less bizarre, as he finds himself dealing with his confused parents (Mary McDonnell and Holmes Osborne), his college-age sister (Maggie Gyllenhaal), his perplexed analyst (Katherine Ross), a rebellious English teacher (Drew Barrymore), a sleazy self-help expert (Patrick Swayze), and the new girl at school who is attracted by Donnie's quirks (Jena Malone). Donnie Darko was the first feature film from writer and director Richard Kelly; Drew Barrymore, who plays teacher Karen Pomeroy, also lent her support to the project as executive producer. A Director's Cut has been announced to hit theaters on a limited basis in Summer of 2004, featuring original music cues and trimmed scenes originally in Kelly's first cut of the film. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

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Though director Richard Kelly is tiring of hearing his film described as the box office flop that went on to become a cult favorite and then quite a hit on DVD, its remarkable history is what made the re-release of Donnie Darko possible. On the occasion of the premiere of the director's cut in Seattle, Sean Axmaker spoke with Kelly and two of the film's stars, Mary McDonnell and Jena Malone. Full article >>

GreenCine Member Ratings

Donnie Darko (Director's Cut) (2001)
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7.51 (481 votes)
Donnie Darko (Director's Cut) (Bonus Disc) (2001)
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6.16 (31 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

Just don't listen to the commentary... by beatricearthur August 9, 2005 - 1:04 PM PDT
5 out of 6 members found this review helpful
When this movie when it came out in theatres, I enjoyed it as a story of adolescence. The acting is generally at a very high level (notable exception is Drew Barrymore's performance) and the characters are generally sympathetic. Upon seeing this director's cut, I appreciated the scifi aspects of the movie. However, the commentary made me cringe; listening to Richard Kelly talk about his work is surreal. I felt as if he didn't really understand what he'd made, like he'd channeled it or something. He used the phrase "dea ex machina" to mean "god in the machine", completely missing the idea of a deus-ex-machina, which actually applies to this film. Notwithstanding the rambling, incoherent commentary, I enjoyed the director's cut as a new perspective on the story.

The best movie you'll never understand. by Moriarty April 6, 2005 - 9:52 AM PDT
5 out of 7 members found this review helpful
It's been nearly a week since I've seen this movie and I still don't think I have it all sorted out. A co-worker of mine has also seen this and we've wasted plenty of company time trying to figure it all out. And thet's the best part of this whole movie.
Donnie Darko is the name of the "hero" of this tale. He is a brilliant but disturbed young man who is currently in therapy. It seems Donnie has been sleepwalking late at night. A 6 foot tall rabbit named Frank has been leading Donnie out of his house at night. Which fortunately saves Donnie's life when one night a jet engine from a plane nobody can locate, falls through the roof into Donnie's bedroom. After that things start to get weird.
I don't want to give too much away, mostly because there's still a lot I don't understand, but this was one of the most original movies I've seen in a while. You'll spend most of the movie trying to figure out what's going on. And when you finally get to the end, there's no nice, simple wrap up. The story leaves you wondering. But not in a bad way. There's no final narrative to explain what you just saw, no cheap, tidy wrap up. It leaves you thinking. Which, for me at least, is a rarity when it comes to most movies.
From our discussions I've been able to figure out that the Director's cut gives you more to help you understand what's happening to Donnie, so I'd recommend that version of the movie. But overall, I recommend giving this one a try.

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