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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
TBC
Cast
Shane Carruth
David Sullivan.
Directors
Shane Carruth.
Screenwriters
Shane Carruth.
Running Time
77 minutes

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Primer


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Plot
Two science geeks tinkering in their garage discover an unexpected application for a gadget, then dip a toe into the tricky field of time travel.


Review
Shane Carruth, who does almost every job on this ultra-low-budget film, delivers enthralling and infuriating in almost equal doses — but this has its own distinctive pace, look, sound and identity, so that’s the price you pay.

Even though our two leads take extra caution not to create paradoxes, our two heros still get caught up in a tangle of doppelgängers and multiply-erased events. It’s a puzzle as much as a plot, but when it’s in focus (which it isn’t for long stretches) it’s remarkable brain-food.


Verdict
Not recommended for entry-level time-travel theorists, but experienced ‘chrononauts’ will meet themselves scratching their heads in amused puzzlement as they emerge from an earlier screening…


Reviewed by Kim Newman

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Primer
Empire Star Rating

RE: Content and Confused

Saw this yesterday.. great little film. ... More

Posted by UTB at 04:13, 13 June 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Content and Confused

Marvellous film. Bafflingly complex and ambiguous, yet the sci-fi elements are surprisingly down to earth and focus more on the human interaction providing an identifiable reality within the willful obfuscation. The consequential breakdown of Abe and Aaron's friendship is central this construct, meaning there's much more to this than paradoxes, multiple timelines and simple fucking around with causality. ... More

Posted by clownfoot at 14:40, 16 July 2012 | Report This Post


Content and Confused

I had to watch Primer twice before I decided weather or not i enjoyed it. In my first watch I was lost at about the 45 minute mark and the second pretty much on the hour. Primer has been written, acted, directed and scored in a way to almost remove the dramatic effect of what is actually going on in the background, its kind of a documentary but the people involved in that world dont know about the cameras. Sure its a drama but the dramatisation has been taken out and replaced with low key ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Foyble at 00:11, 06 December 2011 | Report This Post


Leaves you baffled and confused.

. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by David G at 18:59, 01 April 2008 | Report This Post


this deserves 5 stars for effort alone. Has anybody any idea how hard it would be to make any feature for 5/6k. "brave" ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bobbyperu at 01:34, 21 October 2007 | Report This Post


RE: WHAT indeed!!

Do rent it! It's great!   Seriously, I loved the real-world approach to sci-fi. Loved the playing out of the premise, not letting it all go at once. If this guy can do this on $7,000, casting his mates and shooting in his Dad's kitchen, I'd love to see what he can achieve with a proper budget, facilities and crew. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Paxton at 18:39, 06 March 2006 | Report This Post


RE: WHAT indeed!!

ahh crap! n i was gonna rent this tonite ... More

Posted by Movie Dude at 12:05, 06 March 2006 | Report This Post


RE: WHAT indeed!!

Some films are just too clever for their own good.  This is a classic example of that. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Funkyrae at 08:09, 06 March 2006 | Report This Post


WHAT indeed!!

Liked this a lot, dont get me wrong its not fantastic, however its play on time travel, and the cool cold light of the camera creates a very mellow and invigerating atmosphere, one to watch again! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by leetheymademedoit at 20:46, 04 March 2006 | Report This Post


WHAT!

this movies is so stupid it gives the impression its an intelligent movie! im a genetisist and they lost me in the first 2 minutes, boring dialogue, shaky camera, horrific lighting and all of this is at the hands of one man: Shane Carruth who took the liberty to direct/star/producer/set design/production design for this atrocity! the only reason i gave it one star was cuz of the relevance of title, and thats being generous!!!! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lolita37 at 16:25, 02 March 2006 | Report This Post


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