Skip to content

Donnie Darko (2001 – R)

February 23, 2009

Originally posted on October 2, 2003

I didn’t want to review Donnie Darko, but we just finished watching it, and the movie starts and essentially ends on the second of October. Today is the second of October. Coincidence?

I don’t want to spoil the intrigue of this movie by discussing the plot elements, but I will comment on other facets of the movie. First, the acting. Jake Gyllenhall is fast becoming one of my favorite actors. I have seen about five of his movies so far, six if you count City Slickers, and I am pleased to see that the characters are all portrayed differently. That is one of the signs of a good actor in my opinion, the ability to be dynamic and versatile. There are other notable performances, but none of the other roles are as vital as Jake’s. The important thing is that none of the other actors or actresses detract from the movie in any way. Noah Wyle, Drew Barrymore, Mary McDonnell, and Patrick Swayze also make appearances in the film. Quite the supporting cast really. (EDIT from 2009 – I left out Seth Rogen for some reason, and I believe it was his first movie role.  I also left out some others, but I don’t care as much about them.)

Now on to the soundtrack. I can’t think of too many movies that have a more fitting soundtrack or a soundtrack that enhances the movie more than the soundtrack of Donnie Darko. The most moving track is the remake of the Tears for Fears song “Mad World.” That song is now irrevocably linked to Donnie Darko now. As I mentioned in the post of Midnight Madness, the eighties rock, and Donnie Darko utilizes some of the great music that the eighties have to offer. To be honest, I would have liked to have heard more of the classic eighties gems, but they may not have melded as well with the theme of the movie.

Finally, the catch phrase. All of the greatest films have a good catch phrase, and Donnie Darko is no different. “Chut up!” Doesn’t get much better than that. That’s a line that can be used everyday in general conversation.

Final Score 91%

(EDIT from 2009 – Later, I introduced the new scoring, and the following is what I said for Donnie Darko.)

Plot = 10
Acting = 10
Score/Soundtrack = 9
Catch phrase = 10
Mystique = 7 (it will be a cult classic, but not everyone will watch it)
Total = 46/50 — I was only 1% off, that aint bad

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2011 5:44 pm

    An unnerving, electrifying debut film from 26-year-old writer/director Kelly, one that elucidates the universal traumas of growing up, but does so with a startling uncommonness. Near-perfect film for me. Good review, please check out mine when you can!


  1. Donnie Darko (2001 - R) « Lister’s Lame Letters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: