Donnie Darko (Movie)

Movie Info
Donnie Darko
DVD Release Date: February 4, 2003
20th Century Fox
Rated [R]
113 minutes
ASIN: B00005V3Z4

Plot Summary
The world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds. Or so Donnie Darko is told by a human-sized, evil looking bunny named Frank as he sleepwalked one night. Donnie returned home the following morning to find that a jet engine had fallen on his house, right where his bedroom was, beginning the strangest month of his life. Donnie, who already struggled with mental and emotional issues now must come to terms with why he survived the freak accident, wondering if he didn’t somehow cheat death. With the help of his psychiatrist, his girlfriend, Gretchen, a couple of empathetic teachers and continuing appearances of Frank, he tries to sort out the pieces and understand his role in the grand scheme of things.

Reader’s Annotation
Donnie Darko is a troubled teen, but things get even weirder when he seems to manage to cheat death. A humanoid bunny also tells him that the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds; what will happen with time runs out?

Critical Evaluation
Donnie Darko is a smart and truly intense psychological thriller surrounding concepts of time travel and worm holes. After the first watch, the audience is often left wondering what just happened, but it provokes discussion and the tossing around of everyone’s own different theories. This gives the movie an interactive element, since so much is left unsaid and it is up to the audience to decipher on their own. Along with the complex story and plot elements, the movie has a meaningfully chosen soundtrack to artfully accompany the plot.

Science Fiction
Psychological Thriller

Curriculum Ties

Booktalking Ideas
If Donnie was supposed to die all along, why did the movie even take place? Were the events of the movie necessary?

Reading Level/ Interest Age

Challenge Issues

  • Foul Language
  • Sexuality

Defense options

  • Be aware of your library’s collection development policy.
  • Be familiar with the material in question, and the context of the questionable content.
  • Assert the principles of the ALA Library Bill of Rights, and standards of intellectual freedom.
  • Consult online reviews, and others who are familiar with the material.

Why Included?
This is one of my personal favorite movies. It is so thought provoking and complex and I think anything that gets people using their brains is a great thing.


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