Evan DePasquale’s review published on Letterboxd:
I honestly can’t write a proper review for this, not because it is such a complex film, but because the film means so much to me. So, let me tell you a story about why I love this film so much.
So, let’s set the scene maybe six or seven years ago. Halloween at one of my best friend’s house. Up until this point in my life I had hardly seen any film that is worth anything in terms of complex themes, heavy topics, or interesting writing. Anyway, my friends are all gathered around, and we put in Donnie Darko and we sit in complete silence just taking it all in. After nearly two hours, the experience is over and most of us do not know what to think. A few of my friends were understandably confused, a few didn’t like it at all, and my friend that introduced us all to it was most likely amused.
However, my reaction was quite different. I was completely entranced by this film. Like I said, I had never seen anything like this before or such a film that made me question everything and delve deeper into its meanings and themes. Of course, it is a bit of a relatable film as well as it is an angsty teen film just paired with complex themes of time travel. Anyway, I immediately fell in love with the film and wanted to watch others like it. I also encouraged others to watch it and even showed it to my family. This has produced the same reactions of confusion and general disdain for this film. But that is another thing I love about it is that it creates such an interesting dialogue and to me that is the point of filmmaking.
All in all, I will always love this film because it really did start my journey into loving film and taking it more seriously and I will always watch this and remember that.