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Running Time:
1 hour, 40 minutes

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for drug and sexual content, language and a brief violent image

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
A highly original but only mildly entertaining way to tell this tale of drug-addled addiction.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Commentary by Keanu Reeves, writer/director Ricard Linklater, producer Tommy Pallotta, author Jonathan Lethem and Philip K. Dick's daughter Isa Dick Hackett; One Summer in Austin: The Story of Filming a Scanner Darkly; The Weight of the Line: Animation Tales; Theatrical Trailer; Subtitles: English, Franšais & Espa˝ol (feature film only).

A Scanner Darkly
Director Richard Linklater ("Waking Life") using the same interpolated rotoscoping technique that he employed in that 2001 film, has made this adaptation of Philip K. Dick's classic novel into a challenging, mind-bending experience that cautions about the dangers of excessive drug use as well as the government's capacity to abuse and manipulate power. The film is an animated descent into one man's unraveling mind.

Set in the not-too-distant future where a new drug, substance D, has created an epidemic, it charts the mental unraveling of Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves "The Lake House"), an undercover cop who has been assigned to track a group of individuals. They include the hyper-intense Luckman (Woody Harrelson "A Prarie Home Companion"), the ultra-paranoid Freck (Rory Cochrane "Hart's War"), and the beautiful Donna (Winona Ryder "Mr. Deeds"). As the film unfolds and Arctor finds himself abusing substance D in order to maintain his fašade, his mind begins to spin out of control, to the point where he doesn't know what's real and what isn't. Eventually, the truth comes out, leaving Arctor even more numbed.

Linklater's surprisingly faithful adaptation of Dick's novel blends humor, drama, and the striking animation technique of Bob Sabiston ("Waking Life"). This thought-provoking film will probably leave you as dazed as the film's protagonist, but it's an interesting concept, especially worth seeing if you are a lover of experimental filmmaking.

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