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Showing 1-10 of 69 reviews(containing "rabbit"). See all 480 reviews
on 19 February 2014
Love this film, I've watched it twice now and I still can't quite understand the theory behind the story but that's what makes it so interesting. Also the creepy rabbit guy has me in stitches. Haha.
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on 10 June 2003
As somebody who has seen their fair-share of god-awful films, I found Richard Kelly's directorial debut incredibly refreshing.
Donnie Darko is awkward, weird, a little crazy and - like most teenagers in these kind of dramas - in therapy. After stopping his medication he is visited by Frank, the softly spoken rabbit who has news of the worlds demise (he has a date, hours, minutes, seconds and everything)...
...That I'm afraid is all you will get out me. The story twists and turns and there is no way one can tell it in great detail. All I will say though is this picture is wonderful, thought-provoking, intelligent and in parts painfully funny. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Donnie perfectly (and for anybody who has seen the Good Girl Gyllenhaal IS Donnie)
This film is everything the American Pies and Scary Movies are not - a deep and dark, meaningful journey through a teenage boy's destiny, however painful and confusing. A film you can watch over and over, never really conforming to a specific plotline or genre.
Highly recommended.
5 people found this helpful
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on 19 May 2003
Whilst no doubt confusing to many on a first viewing, 'Donnie Darko' pays bumper dividends for those willing to sit through it a second time.

Donnie is a troubled teenager who is supposed to die when a jet engine crashes into his house. However, he is out sleepwalking on the night in question and, via communication (or hallucination) with a demonic spectral rabbit, is given 28 days to live his life as it would have been had he survived. In this 'temporary timeline' he has to ensure that events conspire to put everything in place for his inescapable death. If he doesn't, the world will end. Donnie therefore grows to accept this role as a 'saviour of humanity'.

The way all these disparate happenings come together, chain-like - Donnie must do this, or that won't happen etc. - is masterly. Even more remarkable when you consider that this is the writer-director Richard Kelly's first film.

Not only that, it features some inspired casting and a carefully chosen 1980s soundtrack where the lyrics actually reflect the moments on screen. The poignant cover of Tears for Fears' "Mad World" is sublime.

This is an immensely rewarding viewing experience - providing you pay attention... None of the plot outlined above is explicitly stated on screen, instead it is laden with subtle clues and symbolism. Whether or not you believe in free will or destiny, in this film EVERYTHING happens for a reason.
11 people found this helpful
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on 29 September 2003
This is never going to be one of the greatest ever talked about films in history, but it is definately worth watching and owning.
The film is all about a troubled teenager 'Donnie'. He is a paranoid schizophrenic, who is currently having hallucinations about a giant rabbit called Frank, who tells him that the world is going to end. There are several incidents of Donnie doing things because Frank has told him to, and he believes everything he says. I won't give away the plot to those who havent seen it yet, but lets just say that when you really understand this film, you may be suprised. Not all is as it seems.....
The cast play this film excellently, and the soundtrack is amazing, very fitting. Listen out for the Tears for Fears remix of Mad World at the end, I always have to wipe away the tears.
All in all, you really have to 'connect' with the film to fully understand it. It is one of those rare treasures where you really can feel that you are not only in the film, but in the situation....
One person found this helpful
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on 3 June 2004
I was ready to award this movie 5 stars, until I read tony mac's review. (Titled "Rabbit in the hat")
Upon review, I think Tony is spot on about several important points. I hadn't noticed these the first time I watched the Movie. The reason, I believe, is that I was blinded by the cinematic beauty and charisma of this enigmatic movie.
However, I'm still awarding the film 4 stars, for precisely the above reason. For me, films are not necessarily about telling serious stories, morally guiding us or challenging us to think about the nature of our daily lives. Donny Darko manages to make you think, but I have now come to the conclusion that the ideas put forward in the film are unclear, unhelpful and unlikely to impact on your moral or philosophical beliefs in any major way.
This feels like a disappointment and a let down, because you feel like the movie should be deep, it should be clever, and you should be taking something away from it. The movie promises all of the above, but actually delivers nothing but "scotch mist".
However, back to my original point, Donny Darko is a wonderful piece of filmmaking. The actors' performance, the direction, the scenery, the score, the lighting and the atmosphere are all darkly beautiful. For me, this is the most important thing when it comes to films. Another reviewer made a comparison between Donny Darko and Usual Suspects. I like that comparison. In my opinion, Usual Suspect's storyline was a load of nonsense. And if you consider it, you could argue that it uses a version of the "I woke up and it was all a dream ending" (I don't think I'm spoiling the film for anyone by saying that. Don't worry, the ending is far more subtle and clever than the "It was a dream" ending of 'Vanilla Sky' with Tom cruise!)
However, Usual Suspects was a cinematic masterpiece, with interesting characters, well acted roles and some really well directed scenes.
So to summarize, for a clever thought provoking movie, I'd look at Fight Club or American Beauty. For a beautiful piece of art, check out Donny Darko.
3 people found this helpful
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on 6 September 2015
An engaging and thought provoking story about a teenage boy who discovers that the world is going to end after meeting a man dressed as a rabbit. Its as strange as it sounds but remains interesting throughout as he seeks answers to what is happening in his life. A must-see film.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 26 May 2018
Donnie Darko is not a film I would take all that seriously - some people seem to regard it as something profound, but it seems to me more to reflect teenage angst, and to appeal at that level - as a disorienting fantasy playing with alienation and anxiety, The state of mind of Donnie is quite authentic, but the science fiction aspects seem more effective if seen as a by-product of this, rather than anything to do with scientific thinking on time. The song used at the end, a cover of Tears For Fears' Mad World, seems to get the tone, giving a feeling of whimsy and slightly wilful distortion of the kind you get in a lot of that kind of post-Strawberry Fair pop. It means that the ending isn't so much moving as strange. However, getting there is quite an interesting experience, the director throwing in a lot of visual ideas to string us along. At the heart of it is Jake Gyllenhaal's performance, which hits the bullseye. He is saturnine, well-intentioned underneath, struggling with visions of a giant talking rabbit telling him to do things, which the film takes fairly seriously. He nevertheless picks up very quickly on phoniness in the adult world. Gyllenhaal holds the film together with his acting and appealing looks. In the end its appeal is more sex-appeal than anything intellectual - Drew Barrymore also adds to this aspect on the other side as a progressive young teacher. Together with Donnie's love interest, Gretchen, and his sister played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, (somewhat underused), and some of the other students, she ensures both bases are effectively covered; and a number of 'adult' roles are well taken, including a phony guru by Patrick Swayze. An indication of the tone missing the mark in terms of being properly convincing is when Gretchen first comes into a new class, and Drew Barrymore tells her to sit next to whoever she thinks is the most attractive boy. It just isn't really truthful. Compared with a new film like Love, Simon, this one seems rather pretentious, but it makes effective use of music and lighting. Many of the ideas are taken from other films, but this doesn't stop them from being intriguing in their new combinations.
2 people found this helpful
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VINE VOICEon 21 March 2018
Donnie Darko is a very troubled teenager, he can't sleep, has difficulty fitting in and is seeing a child Psychiatrist, but he's also extremely intelligent, quick witted and unusually perceptive for one so young. When there is a major accident at his home, one that would surely have killed him had he been in his room, the visions that plague him become more overwhelming and take on a new frightening intensity that eventually leads to death and destruction.

Richard Kelly's first feature film is not only a fabulously assured and beautifully created debut exhibiting complete mastery of the whole film-making process, but is also a hugely compelling and inventive narrative that does rather hook you early on. Odd it is, different is certainly is, but complement that with seriously good acting from all concerned and high production values and you do end up with something unique and of genuine quality. Considering the tiny budget he must have had, Mr Kelly has stretched those Dollars and made a film that is beautifully shot, has some great special affects and uses enough technical and artistic tricks of the trade to give the whole thing a quality feel. However perhaps the greatest trick employed is to make you genuinely care about the characters and the situations they find themselves in. When we do eventually discover the truth (well part of it) behind all the odd goings on and Donnie's brave solution, I was genuinely quite emotional at the unexpected twist in the tale. All the best films and film-makers make you feel something for the characters they present to you and in that respect Mr Kelly scores very highly indeed.

Donnie Darko is not your normal average run of the mill teen based horror flick, it's far more that that. Essentially a coming of age piece covering themes as diverse as time travel, the concept of fate, the role of belief, teenage angst, mental health issues and of course scary big rabbits called Frank who tell you the end of the world is nigh.

This film will inevitably be too esoteric and down right odd for many who may only see a film about a young man who talks to a rabbit and therefore miss the bigger picture. It also doesn't really set out to fully answer any of the big questions it poses and perhaps this ambiguity, this void, suggesting there may be more to life than we CAN know, is part of why certain audiences connected with it so resoundly. A financial and critical failure in America where audiences stayed away in droves, however it was European audiences who fell in love with the films dreamlike though provoking essence and thumping 80's soundtrack.

If you love film you have to see this tremendous debut.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 28 August 2013
Those words kind of sum up `Donnie Darko.' It's definitely not for everyone, being the writing/directing debut of Richard Kelly. It's deep, complex, with overlapping-storylines and constant blurring of genres.

Rumour has it that once it was made, the distributors let it sit on the shelf for a year while they tried to figure out how best to sell it. I can see why. It's hard to name a genre that it doesn't borrow from. It's definitely sci-fi, but only in parts. When the sci-fi elements come, they're very noticeable, but surprisingly fleeting. However, it's also very creepy in places, producing a more sinister atmosphere than most horror films. Then, just when you're scared senseless, it throws in a lot of light-hearted banter, even going as far as to discuss the sexual habits of Smurfs like it was a Kevin Smith comedy. Then you have the touching sadness of it all, plus the high school element, the teen romance subplot, the family drama and the general satire on modern living in suburban America.

If anyone asks you what Donnie Darko is about, even if you've seen it, you may have trouble explaining it. The people that really know what it's about have probably looked up its `true meaning' on the internet somewhere.

If you're familiar with David Lynch's work, then you may know where Donnie Darko lies in the scale of films. Where is Lynch specialises in disturbing horror, Donnie Darko utilises all the genres to produce a mind-bending trip into a disturbed teenager's head as he struggles to balance everyday living with strange visitations from a time travelling bunny rabbit from the future (called Frank).

Those who don't like it will probably say that it didn't make sense. Well, they're right in some ways. It's not a film that wraps itself up easily. A lot is left to your own interpretation of what you've seen. There is definitely a story that you can follow and you should care about all the characters, but it's partly more of a `sensory experience' than an easy narrative to follow.

But then it's worth it just to see Jake Gyllenhal's breakthrough performance. He hadn't done many films prior to this and it's great to see him carry the film on his own. However, there are numerous characters in this film and, just because they're not quite as good as its leading man, doesn't mean to say they don't all put in excellent performances. Drew Barrymore and Patrick Swayze aren't in it for long, but that doesn't mean to say that they aren't both excellent in their small roles.

Donnie Darko is an experience. It may not be for everyone, but you really should see it to decide for yourself. It was listed in the `Top 50 films you need to see before you die.' I think it justifies its place in that list.
8 people found this helpful
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on 29 December 2011
This challenging and though provoking film needs to be seen more than once to really appreciate it. It has many themes and ideas, from teenage angst, to first love, mental illness and theories of time travel. Some of the motifs come straight out of mythology, for example the old witch-like madwoman ho lives as a recluse turning out to be a scientific genius who authors the the book Donnie Darko uses as a guide through the " tangent dimension" he is in. The character of Frank dressed as a giant and mysterious rabbit, is no less than a version of the Pooka reminiscent of a 1940s film " Harvey" starring James Stewart, a mischievious spirit who takes the form of a giant rabbit. I could not begin to describe the science nor would I want to ruin things for a potential viewer by revealing the end. But I will say that the film is atmospheric, and frightening in places. It is also remorselessly sad with a genuinely tragic ending. Extemely well acted by the entire caste with great cameos by Drew Barrymore and Patrick Swayze. I would highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys involving themselves intellectually as well as enjoying the sensation of viewing good film
2 people found this helpful
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