Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut

Rated R 2004

Welcome back to one of the most uniquely visionary and justifiably adored features of this millennium. It's an '80s period piece that transcends trendy retro-hipsterism, a suburban American satire par excellence, and a gloomy horror-romance wrapped in sci-fi trappings so ticklishly warped that they might please Kurt Vonnegut. Writer-director Richard Kelly does a terrific job of amalgamating, under the peculiar name of Donnie Darko (perfectly moody Jake Gyllenhaal), the plights of millions of hapless tragic dreamers trapped in the boring-ass 'burbs -- albeit with a terrifying anthropomorphized rabbit as confidant. It's wonderful to see the ever-brilliant Katharine Ross given more screen time as Donnie's shrink, and executive producer Drew Barrymore revealing more of her sensitive, literate heart -- brava, Drew! Plus, Patrick Swayze's self-help guru is destined for cinematic immortality. In this bolder, longer new cut, characters are allowed to finish scenes previously left as DVD extras, effects are creepier, and the theories of "the Tangent Universe" are explored in greater depth. Friends and neighbors, this is a Great American Movie.

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