Movieline's Hollywood Life - 11/01/2001
"...A remarkably accomplished piece of filmmaking by a 26-year-old Richard Kelly..."
Entertainment Weekly - 11/09/2001
Chicago Sun-Times - 10/26/2001
"...Richard Kelly, the first-time writer-director, is obviously talented....He sees his characters freshly and clearly, and never reduces them to formulas. In Jake Gyllenhaal, he finds an actor able to suggest an intriguing kind of disturbance..."
Sight and Sound - 10/01/2002
"...A fine film, even an astounding one....DONNIE DARKO has a texture and tang all its own....Haunting and altogether exquisite..."
Total Film - 11/01/2002
"...This is startling filmmaking -- end of story..."
USA Today - 03/22/2002
"...This home life/high school satire set in someone's twilight zone grabs you and doesn't let go. It's also one of the best cast films of the last decade..."
Uncut - 11/01/2004
"One of the most original debuts of the past 20 years..."
Premiere - 02/09/2009
"DONNIE DARKO has become one of the most original and thought-provoking movies of the last 10 years..."
Empire - 08/01/2010 5 stars out of 5 -- "[Featuring] Jake Gyllenhaal's as yet unbettered performance and a stunning script."
Writer-director Richard Kelly's bold debut film is a social satire, a dark comedy, a science fiction time-traveling fantasy, and a suburban nightmare about an extremely intelligent, depressive, self-destructive, narcoleptic, gun-toting, sex-crazed, teenaged arsonist: Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal). DONNIE DARKO is not your typical teen comedy. But, like GHOST WORLD and RUSHMORE, it uses the trappings of the teen comedy as the entry point for a subversive and trenchant (and also wonderfully entertaining) look at American life. The difference between those films and DONNIE DARKO is that Donnie is an unlikely hero who just might save the world.
It's October 1988, in the Virginia suburb of Middlesex. When Frank, a grotesque giant bunny (possibly imaginary), leads Donnie out of his house minutes before a plane smashes through his roof, he not only saves Donnie's life but also warns Donnie that the world is about to end. Over the next few weeks, Donnie falls in love with Gretchen (Jena Malone) and tries to figure out what his life means. Kelly's film perfectly captures the unease that is quietly scratching under the surface of suburban late 1980s life. Gyllenhaal leads an exceptional cast, bringing Kelly's twisted but humane vision to life. An exceptional performance is given by Mary McDonnell (PASSION FISH) as Donnie's mother.
Black Comedy |
Essential Cinema |
High School Experiences |
Teenage Fantasy Adventure |