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A Scanner Darkly

R Released Jul 7, 2006 1h 40m Action Drama Sci-Fi Mystery & Thriller Animation List
68% Tomatometer 188 Reviews 74% Audience Score 100,000+ Ratings
In the near future, as America virtually loses the war on drugs, Robert Arctor, a narcotics cop in Orange County, Calif., becomes an addict when he goes under cover. He is wooing Donna, a dealer, to ferret out her supplier. At the same time, he receives orders to spy on his housemates, one of whom is suspected of being Donna's biggest customer. Read More Read Less
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A Scanner Darkly

What to Know

Critics Consensus

A faithful adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel, A Scanner Darkly takes the viewer on a visual and mind-blowing journey into the author's conception of a drug-addled and politically unstable world.

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Critics Reviews

View All (188) Critics Reviews
Bob Mondello NPR.org The coolest thing about the movie version of A Scanner Darkly is how very literally it takes the scanner part of that title. Oct 18, 2008 Full Review Brian Tallerico UGO Linklater never pretends that he has all the answers, but he asks the questions in such an interesting, elegant fashion that you'll be glad you came along for the ride. Mar 24, 2007 Full Review Dana Stevens Slate As A Scanner Darkly proves, Keanu is the Coolness -- passive blankness, leaden line delivery, and all. Let's hear it for the vague blur. Sep 23, 2006 Full Review Brian Eggert Deep Focus Review A Scanner Darkly beautifully, and chillingly, considers Dicks persistent theme that our culture has destroyed its own ability to perceive objective reality. Rated: 4/4 Mar 21, 2022 Full Review Taylor Baker Drink in the Movies Episode 34: Relaxer / A Scanner Darkly / The Beach Bum / Holy Motors Rated: 86/100 Sep 14, 2021 Full Review David Walsh World Socialist Web Site The hostility toward the Bush administration and its police-state ambitions is legitimate and no doubt deeply felt, but it is not particularly well developed. Feb 14, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (1000+) audience reviews
Lucifer M A true to the source material adaptation that’s engaging and entertaining by making you think while also hooking you with its almost animated cinematography. The film just pops like a moving graphic novel and with a great cast telling the story, Dick fans and sci-fi enthusiasts will certainly be pleased by this gem! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 07/10/24 Full Review Doro B A Scanner Darkly holds both a microscope and outstretched hand towards drug addiction. It is also a masterful use of this particular style of rotoscoping --- probably one of the best to this day. It's ability to blend fantasy and reality perfectly fits the film, in both plot and theme. Richard Linklater has proven he is a talent in multiple genres. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/30/24 Full Review John P I mean... this is what a boring version of trainspotting would be. Rather slow, doesn't really seem to go anywhere, and the ending is entirely predictable. The only saving grace is the 'art' overlay. Just wish that could have been used on a better done movie. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/08/24 Full Review Steve D Visually interesting but lacking a story to match. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/01/24 Full Review Jackson87 "A Scanner Darkly" is a visually stunning and thought-provoking film that expertly explores the complexities of addiction, identity, and government surveillance. Directed by Richard Linklater and based on the novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick, the film employs a unique animation technique called rotoscoping, which gives the characters a dreamlike quality and emphasizes the surreal nature of the story. The film's cast, including Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr., and Woody Harrelson, deliver powerful performances that capture the desperation and confusion of their characters. The story follows Reeves' character, an undercover police officer, as he becomes increasingly entangled in a dangerous drug culture while struggling with his own addiction. "A Scanner Darkly" is more than just a cautionary tale about drug use; it's a commentary on the dangers of living in a surveillance state, and the toll it takes on our individuality and freedom. The film's themes are particularly relevant in today's world, where privacy and personal freedom are constantly being threatened. Overall, "A Scanner Darkly" is a remarkable film that challenges its viewers to think deeply about important social issues while also providing a visually stunning and Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review gregor k Did anybody ever wonder why it is called "Orwellian", when it should be "Dickian"? Linklater adapted Dicks narrative (fueled by Dicks drug-culture experiences) with passionate preciseness and visual splendor. I find it odd, that this flick moves below the radar of culture industry. Did nobody out there recognize the ingenious perfomances of the paranoia-triangle Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr. and Woody Harrelson? Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews
A Scanner Darkly

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Cast & Crew

Renaissance 50% 59% Renaissance Timecrimes 90% 79% Timecrimes Death Sentence 20% 60% Death Sentence Replicant 27% 37% Replicant Running Scared 41% 79% Running Scared Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis In the near future, as America virtually loses the war on drugs, Robert Arctor, a narcotics cop in Orange County, Calif., becomes an addict when he goes under cover. He is wooing Donna, a dealer, to ferret out her supplier. At the same time, he receives orders to spy on his housemates, one of whom is suspected of being Donna's biggest customer.
Director
Richard Linklater
Producer
Tommy Pallotta, Jonah Smith, Anne Walker-McBay, Palmer West
Screenwriter
Richard Linklater
Distributor
Warner Independent
Production Co
Detour Filmproduction, Thousand Words, Warner Independent Pictures, Section Eight Ltd., 3 Arts Entertainment
Rating
R (Drug and Sexual Content|A Brief Violent Image|Language)
Genre
Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Mystery & Thriller, Animation
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Jul 7, 2006, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Aug 1, 2009
Box Office (Gross USA)
$5.5M
Runtime
1h 40m
Sound Mix
Dolby SRD, Dolby SR
Aspect Ratio
Flat (1.85:1)
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