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A Scanner Darkly

HD   R Closed Captioning

Richard Linklater

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About the Movie

Set in a not-too-distant future where America has lost its "war" on drugs, Fred, an undercover cop, is one of many people hooked on the popular drug, Substance D, which causes its users to develop split personalities. Fred is obsessed with taking down Bob, a notorious drug dealer, but due to his Substance D addiction, he does not know that he is also Bob. Based on a classic novel by Philip K. Dick. Starring Keanu Reeves ("Constantine," "The Matrix" trilogy), Academy Award-nominee and Golden Globe-winner Winona Ryder ("Girl, Interupted," "Mr. Deeds"), Academy Award and Emmy-nominee and Golden Globe-winner Robert Downey Jr. ("Good Night, And Good Luck" "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang"), and Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominee and Emmy-winner Woody Harrelson ("North Country," "The People vs. Larry Flynt"). Directed by Academy Award-nominee Richard Linklater ("Before Sunset," "Dazed and Confused"). Filmed in live-action, and then animated using the same critically acclaimed process that Linklater used in his previous film, "Waking Life."

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 182
  • Fresh: 124
  • Rotten: 58
  • Average Rating: 6.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Mr. Linklater emerges once again as the Austin auteur par excellence, even if A Scanner Darkly is set in a ratty precinct of Orange County. – Andrew Sarris, New York Observer, Apr 25, 2007

Fresh: The first film to capture the author's transience and his art. – Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: The movie doesn't so much involve you in a story as it invades your mind, creating a world ruled by anxiety and suspicion. – Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News, Jun 24, 2010

Rotten: The artiness gets in the way of thrilling plot twists; we're still trying to sort out images when we should be sorting out facts. – Michael Booth, Denver Post, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

an excellent tale of drug abuse and identity

"A Scanner Darkly" is a very underrated film. It's a twisted comedy about a group of friends who are losing their minds due to consumption of a new drug known as 'Substance D', Keanu Reeves gives a great performance as an undercover cop who has become addicted the the drug, and as a result his personalities have begun to split. It's definitely not for everyone, but I think "A Scanner Darkly" will appeal to people who like films a little different to, and perhaps more intelligent than, the norm; it'll definitely develop more of a cult following in coming years. If you enjoyed this film, I would also recommend the 1977 Philip K Dick novel upon which it is based.

Philip Dick meets the Rotoscope Effect

This film is one of the best adaptions of Phillip K. Dick's work. Richard Linklater's treatment of the material by applying the rotoscope animation (a technique in which animators trace over live-action film movement, frame by frame) only enhances the dramatic tension in this alternate drug-induced dystopian future. In fact very little of the novel was changed for the screenplay, mostly dialogue changes to "modernize" the 70s euphimisms. This is one of the few films that I have enjoyed Keanu Reeves performances and the rest of the cast puts in a fantastic job as well. Look for the inspired cameos from Alex Jones (radio show host) and Jason Douglas (Anime voice actor). I rated this 3 stars for general audience as the topic, film style and pacing will leave the average viewer confused and wanting more. For animation enthusiasts, science fiction fans and those who devour the works of Philip K. Dick I give 6 stars.

good flick, but .... mas Linklater! ¡por favor!

Sorry, I've never found a 'request' button in the iTunes store, this is just a request for the powers that be to get a hold of "Waking Life" so I can buy a copy from y'alll. Pretty please, with some lucid dreaming on top?

A Scanner Darkly
View in iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
  • Released: 2006

Customer Ratings