Donnie Darko movie review - Aussieboyreviews


Donnie Darko is an excellent psychological thriller, but is very weird, creepy, eerie and deeply compelling. Even to audiences not interested in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, this mastered hidden gem cannot be missed.


After surviving a shocking incident, teenaged Donnie Darko is plagued by troubling visions of a man in a dark rabbit suit that only he can see, who informs Donnie that the world will end in 28 days.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Richard Kelly
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Duval, Drew Barrymore, Mary McDonnell, Katharine Ross, Patrick Swayze
Writer: Richard Kelly
Release Date (Australia): 17 October 2002
Runtime: 113 minutes/1h 53m
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Country: USA
Language: English


Themes (M)

The film contains mature thematic material concerning with mental illness, bullying and verbal references to child sexual abuse.

Violence (M)

The film feature infrequent depictions of moderate bloody wound detail.

Coarse Language (M)

The film contains use of the words “f**king”, “s**t”, “bitch” and “ass”.

Drug Use (M)

There is a brief depiction of a teenager snorting a drug, implicitly cocaine.

Nudity (G)

A painting of a nude woman is briefly viewed.

Sex (M)

The film contains verbal sexual references in the form of discussions of orgies and use of the word “f**k” in a sexual context.

mpaa rating

R (for language, some drug use and violence)

Aussie boy's thoughts

Even for audiences with no interest in a science fiction/fantasy film, Donnie Darko is not only a pleasing psychological thriller; It’s weirdly perfect other than the lack of excitement in the beginning. What the film does best is it takes a casual and even sometimes dull idea of an unstable teen meeting a rabbit-man that only he can see, but manages to twist, turn and shape it into an entertaining psychological tale. Entertaining and keeping the audiences engaged is what Donnie Darko manages to do the best.

The members of the cast each present high-class characters. They seriously nailed it. But other than their unforgettable acting, there’s so many other words that can be used in their highest meaning to describe the film. Donnie Darko is weird, eerie, tense and is always compelling. It’s also strangely exciting and darkly funny.

The emotional side of this psychological suspense is compellingly complicated… if it makes sense to put those two words together like that. Compellingly complicated. That and weird is what the film is, which makes it remarkable. If you can tolerate a dark, disturbing and grim kind-of-science-fiction tale, pick Donnie Darko. Seriously, every single element of the film is perfect other than the first 20 minutes being mildly unhurried.

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