Jenifan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Donnie Darko is by no means a terrible film, but it is severely overrated. I mean, it had a really captivating atmosphere; sort of this eerie and mysterious vibe that I could totally get behind. The needle-drops were awesome and really captured the aesthetic Richard Kelly was going for. The performances were great, especially Jake Gyllenhall who knocked it out of the park as Donnie.
But, ultimately, the movie didn't really connect with me. The plot was so muddled and incoherent, with certain scenes that made no sense whatsoever, that by the end it didn't really feel satisfying. Richard Kelly tries to balance the high-concept sci-fi elements, small-town drama elements, and the psychological thriller aspects with one another, that it ends up not following through on any of them. You gotta commend Kelly for the ambition and originality he put in his feature film debut, but this could've been so much more.
Maybe it's just because I'm watching it for the first time, and that it requires more rewatches. I don't know. But as it stands now, Donnie Darko could've done so much more given its potential and is a bit of a letdown.