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HD   PG-13 Closed Captioning

Shane Carruth

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About the Movie

Winner of the Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize and Alfred P. Sloan Award, Primer tells the story of two small time engineers that trip upon an invention that far surpasses their aspirations. "An ingenious movie about the perils of ingenuity. Invigorating. Like 'Pi' or 'Memento', 'Primer' is the kind of movie likely to inspire both imitators and cultists. Carruth has invented something fascinating." (A.O Scott, The New York Times)

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 126
  • Fresh: 91
  • Rotten: 35
  • Average Rating: 6.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: It is maddening, fascinating and completely successful. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, Jul 7, 2010

Rotten: It has all the hallmarks of an amateur production: questionable sound and picture quality, crude performances, and dubious editing. – James Berardinelli, ReelViews, Sep 16, 2006

Fresh: Scary, puzzling, and different. – J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, Jun 16, 2017

Fresh: Mind-bending thrillers like Primer are terrific viewing with your teenagers. Maybe if you're nice, they'll explain the ending to you. – Michael Booth, Denver Post, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

watch it twice

If you enjoy clever twisting plots that require 2 or more viewings to really catch all the details - this is your movie. An incredibly low budget tech thriller - this movie has the depth of "Inception", and the reality blending of "13th floor". The budget for the movie required a very common place setting, and that may contribute to the feeling that what is going on in the movie is actually going on in the real world right around you. Dialogue is not scripted and feels unrehearsed - David Mamet lite.

If you have been frustrated by sic-fi movies which require too much "willing suspension of disbelief" this movie creates a set of science rules which jive with actual science theory - and they don't impose mystical/theatrical conventions of "beam me up Scotty".

Great acting, great premise, great plot complexity - watch it. Twice.

Real sci-fi

(1) It's about time iTunes got this movie up on the store. I've been wanting it watch it for a long time.
(2) If you are curious about what this movie is like google "primer xkcd" - if you've never heard of xkcd don't rent the movie.
(3) If you've ever written a recursive algorithm - and enjoyed it - buy the movie.
(4) Best portrayal of "real" science in sic-fi I have seen: love the perf-board switch panel.
(5) Please don't compare this movie to pi. pi is just sorta weird.

One of a kind....

I have to absolutely give this film 5 stars due to its creativity, complexity and mind boggling delivery. I want to watch it another time after researching what others think the plot is about. I will definately be keeping an eye out for Shawn Carruth's future projects!

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Customer Ratings

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