Paul Robinson’s review published on Letterboxd:
I hold this film in very high regard. Every time I re-watch this film I bring into question my favourite films of all time. It has definitely earned its place among them. Donnie Darko compares to nothing else. I always sit stunned by its brilliance as the post credits roll, always hitting the web to read all the wonderful takes and perceptions people have of this troubling tale. It always lingers long after its close. It's amazing to think that such a masterpiece was a flop on release.
It is quite hard to categorise. It's a dark and brooding tale of a teenager, it's packed full of interesting relationships. With elements of fantasy, Horror and Time travel this film is hugely complex, this mix makes it almost stand-alone. A one of a kind. It's a film for thinkers.
It works on so many levels, the cast is superb and all performances are deep and extremely believable. One of its many reasons for success is down to the superb cast, rich interesting characters and their wonderful interactions. It's soundtrack is stand out brilliant, full of great tracks. Perfectly complimentary to the films style and companions to some excellent visual montages.
The story follows Jake Gyllenhaal's "Donnie Darko" - a teenager suffering from sleepwalking and delusions. He narrowly misses certain death and with the help of a curious and scary man in a bunny suit, who also tells him the world will end in a month, he moves towards a bizarre and complicated conclusion. Confused? Well - you will be.
Donnie Darko lends itself to multiple watches and is a film that inspires real thinking as the credits roll. This was Richard Kelly's Directorial debut and put him firmly on the map as a Director to watch. He will no doubt struggle to match the cult success of Donnie Darko, and in more recent offerings such as The Box, his ideas and ambition didn't really transfer successfully, but regardless - his debut is a superb creation. It will withstand the test of time as a true cult classic.