Donnie Darko

Watch Donnie Darko

"28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, 12 seconds... that is when the world will end."
  • R
  • 2001
  • 1 hr 53 min
  • 8.0  (836,581)
  • 88

Donnie Darko is a surreal, mind-bending thriller that subverts expectations at every turn. Set in the late 1980s, the film follows the titular character, Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal), a troubled teenager who starts experiencing strange, hallucinatory visions after narrowly escaping death thanks to a mysterious, disembodied voice. As Donnie struggles to make sense of his visions, he begins to unravel a complex conspiracy involving time travel, alternate dimensions, and the ill-fated inhabitants of his small town. Along the way, he forms relationships with a cast of eccentric characters, including his girlfriend Gretchen (Jena Malone), his conservative mother (Mary McDonnell), and a guru-like figure named Professor Monnitoff (Noah Wyle).

At its core, Donnie Darko is a film about identity, mortality, and the search for meaning in an uncertain world. Director Richard Kelly blends elements of science fiction, horror, and coming-of-age drama to tell a story that is both deeply personal and universally resonant.

One of the film's greatest strengths is its ability to keep viewers on their toes. Just when you think you've got a handle on what's going on, a new twist or revelation throws everything into question. The script is full of clever nods and references to other movies, books, and pop culture touchstones, creating a dense, immersive world that rewards repeat viewings.

The performances are uniformly excellent, with Gyllenhaal delivering a career-best turn as the troubled protagonist. He captures Donnie's mixture of frustration, vulnerability, and humor with understated grace, making the character feel like a real person rather than a Hollywood archetype. Malone is also excellent as Gretchen, bringing a fierce intelligence and emotional depth to the role.

The film's visuals are equally impressive, with Kelly and cinematographer Steven Poster using a muted color palette and warping aspect ratios to create a dreamlike, otherworldly feel. The special effects are surprisingly effective given the film's low budget, and there are several memorable sequences that showcase the filmmakers' ingenuity and creativity.

Despite its many strengths, Donnie Darko is not a film for everyone. It can be deliberately obtuse and opaque at times, and its unconventional narrative structure and ambiguous ending may frustrate viewers looking for a straightforward resolution. But for those willing to engage with its ideas and imagery, it's a deeply rewarding experience that resonates long after the screen fades to black.

Overall, Donnie Darko is a true cult classic that has only grown in stature since its release in 2001. With its mixture of genres, moods, and themes, it defies easy categorization and continues to captivate and challenge audiences today. Whether you're a fan of science fiction, horror, coming-of-age stories, or all three, it's a film that demands to be seen and savored.

Donnie Darko is a 2001 fantasy movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 53 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.0 and a MetaScore of 88.

Donnie Darko
Where to Watch Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, The Roku Channel, Shudder, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Donnie Darko for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 53 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    8.0  (836,581)
  • Metascore