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Donnie Darko
Directed by Richard Kelly, Starring Jake and Maggie Gyllenhal, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze

Let me say this right now, "Donnie Darko" may have tied with "Fight Club" as my all time favorite movie. Calling it brilliant and astounding, smart and beautiful would be too obvious. "Donnie Darko" touched me like no movie has in a long time, and when I call it strange, I mean it in the best possible way. The most gifted young actor working right now is Jake Gyllenhal, who plays the lead character, Donnie. Donnie has the unfortunate bad luck of waking up in strange places. He sees things that may or may not be there and is suffering from extreme delusion, or is he? Overdescribing this twisting tale would spoil the freshest and most unique movie watching experience you are likely to have this year. Let's just say a giant, menacing rabbit tells Donnie to do things, making Donnie the most exciting and disturbed anti-hero in recent cinematic history. "Donnie Darko," set in the 1980's, captures the angst of being a teenager in the most genuine way I have seen in a movie. This movie will have you laughing until you hurt before kicking in your teeth and making you cry. It is mysterious, and sad, life affirming and painful, like being a teenager. You will not believe this is Richard Kelly's first movie, but you will feel very sorry for him as it will be difficult to make a movie as inspiring and unique as "Donnie Darko." An all star cast, including a fantastic performance from Patrick Swayze will have you rewatching this movie until you know it by heart. The DVD is jam-packed with extras and the commentary tracks are insightful and funny. Do not miss this movie!

Terry Osterhout
February 2003

Donnie Darko

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