Critic Reviews



Based on 33 critic reviews provided by
Village Voice
Downey, who, having grasped that he's playing a cartoon character, delivers the most animated performance. (Midway through 2006, this supporting turn is the performance to beat in what seems the year's American movie to beat.)
L.A. Weekly
As they (Robert Downey Jr. and Woody Harrelson) bicker and banter, threaten one another with small household objects, and try (unsuccessfully) to determine the number of gears on a bicycle, they display a combination of irritability and incompetence that is the soul of comedy.
There's no other filmmaker, living or dead, who could produce a futuristic sci-fi nightmare, a hipster comedy, a haunting film noir and a cartoon, all in the same movie.
This gifted writer-director isn't out to dull the masses with cinematic opium. Embedded in the visionary headtrip of A Scanner Darkly is a hotly political call to arms.
Deeply intriguing but almost too-faithful adaptation of Philip K. Dick's nightmarish 1977 novel.
The A.V. Club
Which makes it all the more frustrating that the film doesn't quite work, and that it drags from episode to episode--some are brilliant, most merely intriguing--with little momentum.
As a whole, the film has too little character and/or plot development to sustain narrative interest. What A Scanner Darkly excels at is mood and tone.
If ever there was a movie more destined to become a cult phenomenon, I don't know if I can name it.
Entertainment Weekly
In A Scanner Darkly, we're watching other people freak out, but the film is maddening to sit through because their freak-outs never become ours.
Audiences will have to seek out their own peculiar diversions in order to last the whole course of this demi-dud.

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