A Scanner Darkly
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The war on drugs has been lost, and when a reluctant undercover cop is ordered to spy on those he is closest to, the toll that the mission takes on his sanity is too great to comprehend in director Richard Linklater's rotoscoped take on Philip K. Dick's classic novel. With stratospheric concern over national security prompting paranoid government officials to begin spying on citizens, trust is a luxury and everyone is a suspected criminal until proven otherwise. Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves) is a narcotics officer who is issued an order to spy on his friends and report back to… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The coolest thing about the movie version of A Scanner Darkly is how very literally it takes the scanner part of that title."
‑ Bob Mondello, NPR.org
"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
"It is exhausting in its yammering, yes, but the very fact of its putting forth a vision of a future that's scented with bongwater, revolving around the axis of a sloppy living room, is enough to recommend it."
‑ Nick Pinkerton, Stop Smiling
"...not for everyone. It's a complicated film that requires patience and, most likely, subsequent viewings to appreciate the jigsaw view of control and paranoia."
‑ Jeff Meyers, Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
"Not nearly as coherent, cinematic or fulfilling as it should have been."
‑ Thomas Caldwell, Cinema Autopsy
"As A Scanner Darkly proves, Keanu is the Coolness -- passive blankness, leaden line delivery, and all. Let's hear it for the vague blur."
‑ Dana Stevens, Slate
"Linklater's willingness to experiment ... is laudable. But I'm not sure he's reinventing animation here, or even adequately serving that older-than-children animation audience."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"I got bored with the random diversions into the long-winded conversations of the drug culture."
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"In the end, it offers only the slightest of answers and the slimmest of hopes, because that is often all life offers as well. Whether anyone grasps that hope it leaves open for the audience to determine."
‑ Joshua Starnes, ComingSoon.net
"The message is clear and the animation creates a world unlike any other in film, making A Scanner Darkly an easy addition to the must-see list of 2006."
‑ Neil Miller, Film School Rejects
"Wondrously attractive, all the more so for the avoidance (with one or two exceptions) of extrovert Waking Life-style set-pieces."
‑ Ben Walters, Time Out New York
"The first film to capture the author's transience and his art."
‑ Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle
"A Scanner Darkly is the most faithful Dick adaptation to date. Like Dick's writing, Richard Linklater's movie doesn't sweat at immersing itself in the trappings of sci-fi; it's concerned with ideas."
‑ Luke Goodsell, Empire Magazine Australasia
"Trippy rotoscoping is the perfect aqueous aesthetic. Unlike many Philip K. Dick adapters exchanging existentialism for explosions, Richard Linklater focuses on Dick's apprehensions about the trust, joy and freedoms at risk for the sake of progress."
‑ Nick Rogers, Suite101.com
"Ponders the inherent doom of Slacker transgressors"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
More reviews for A Scanner Darkly on Rotten Tomatoes

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