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.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Identities shift and melt like shadows in Richard Linklater's animated adaptation of the 1977 novel by the science fiction visionary Philip K. Dick.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
Not a triumph, but a clever rendering of the subversive spirit of Philip K Dick.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
A Scanner Darkly is a visually riveting mind-bender inspired by drug-induced experiences.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
The characters look as though they have been flattened inside a glass slide, a perfect visual reflection of their political and psychological binds.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
This is a movie about losing one's grip and like any addict's story, it's boring, ugly, sad, and terribly human. And surprisingly funny.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
This straightforward version of Dick's anguished vision of drug-addled addiction makes Naked Lunch seem positively romantic.
J. Hoberman - Village Voice
Fans of the late sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick may rejoice at the news that Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly is the most faithful adaptation of one of his stories to reach the screen. Unfortunately, the story is one of Dick's least cinematic.
Jack Mathews - New York Daily News
The first film to capture the author's transience and his art.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
Much like someone who doesn't realize how high he is, A Scanner Darkly talks too much and doesn't say enough.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
The artiness gets in the way of thrilling plot twists; we're still trying to sort out images when we should be sorting out facts.
Michael Booth - Denver Post
It's a pity it doesn't have more oomph, because the book is arguably Dick's masterpiece, and as brain-rattling today as when it came out in 1977.
David Edelstein - New York Magazine
Watching A Scanner Darkly, we can feel [Philip K.] Dick's world close in on us. And we can be glad we're only visitors.
Michael Wilmington - Chicago Tribune
An ambitious animated adaptation of one of the most personal novels by sci-fi visionary Philip K. Dick.
Andrea Gronvall - Chicago Reader
A very talky and curiously uninvolving film.
David Hiltbrand - Philadelphia Inquirer
One of the most disturbing antidrug public service announcements ever produced.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Here's a guy willing to take risks, willing to tackle challenging material, willing to assume his audience has a brain. Unfortunately, his audience's collective brain is going to be hurting mightily for the first hour of this film.
Tom Long - Detroit News
As Dick's vision matches up with our times, so does director Richard Linklater's animation technique match the story's material. A Scanner Darkly is a joyful wedding of medium and message.
Bill Muller - Arizona Republic
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
Plot point by plot point, the film seems more concerned with achieving a lucid retelling of the novel's events, resulting in an almost disappointingly well-behaved sci-fi noir that's mildly provocative rather than visionary.
Justin Chang - Variety
A Scanner Darkly doesn't quite live up to the promise of its opening sequence, but it's still an audacious offering during a season of brain-dead blockbusters.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
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
As fascinating and intelligent as the movie is, A Scanner Darkly leaves you wishing it might have actually been less faithful in word, and more in spirit, to Philip K. Dick's universe of bugged-out paranoid weirdness.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
Richard Linklater's squiggly new film, A Scanner Darkly, is an ambitious attempt to find the right visual style to render the experience of drug addiction and the paranoid vision of novelist Philip K. Dick, into a distinctive visual form.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
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
A Scanner Darkly is always interesting, but it's not always involving, and it's even less often entertaining.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Scene after scene of verbose fiddle-faddle: Characters orate at each other, while sitting in cars, sitting at dining tables, sitting in living rooms, sitting at office desks. The film might be better titled The Big Sit.
Duane Byrge - Hollywood Reporter
Embedded in the visionary headtrip of A Scanner Darkly is a hotly political call to arms.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
The brilliance of A Scanner Darkly is how it suggests, without bombast or fanfare, the ways in which the real world has come to resemble the dark world of comic books.
Carina Chocano - Los Angeles Times
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
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
...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)
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
Not nearly as coherent, cinematic or fulfilling as it should have been.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
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
Ponders the inherent doom of Slacker transgressors
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
Such a brutally gut wrenching disappointment...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Like many of Dick's parallel-mirror scenarios, this one is air-tight and diabolical. More fresh air in the form of Linklater's humor would be welcome.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
A Scanner Darkly is capable of inducing euphoria if viewers focus on one element of splendor--the acting, concept, dialogue or animation--per viewing.
Brian Marder - Hollywood.com
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
The painted, slightly disorienting look is a good match for the sinister, seriocomic, drug-addled world of the book.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Too talkie to be legitimately entertaining, too dark to be wholly enjoyable and too muddled to be entirely comprehensible, A Scanner Darkly stands as a creative, if unengaging interpretation of its source materia
Brandon Fibbs - BrandonFibbs.com
Jennie Kermode - Eye for Film
Linklater may have admired the novel -- I do, too -- but that doesn't necessarily make him the ideal director for this material.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
Relentlessly interesting to watch if somewhat less than compelling as a film.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
a trippy movie that doesn't make it easy for the audience to follow. The story is complex and confusing and theanimation keeps the viewer from entering the tale emotionally or intellectually.
Ted Murphy - Murphy's Movie Reviews
this dystopian paranoid thriller tracks addiction in all its highs and lows, and offers a dignified elegy for its misguided casualties.
Anton Bitel - Film4
The movie isn't for those seeking a run-of-the-mill Hollywood film and it can't be viewed with a trace of passivity.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
I don't think the movie will appeal to a wide audience, but I could see it becoming a perennial cult classic, right up there with Repo Man.
Jette Kernion - Cinematical
Linklater never pretends that he has all the answers, but he asks the questions in such an interesting, elegant fashion that you'll be glad you came along for the ride.
Brian Tallerico - UGO
Has more to recommend it than arty graphics--as befits a movie made from one of Philip K. Dick's most acclaimed novels.
Rex Roberts - Film Journal International
Acabando por revelar-se bem mais complexa do que poderiamos supor a principio, a trama deste filme nos apresenta a um mundo sombrio e ameacador no qual a maxima "os fins justificam os meios" acaba atingindo dimensoes assustadoras.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
I think this is a film that would have been more effective as live action, rather than animation.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Destined to become one of those movies that college kids love to rent and smoke bongs with.
Scott Weinberg - DVD Clinic
Dean Essner - Irish Times
A futuristic morality tale using rotoscope animation to enhance the trip effect, offering visual stimulation but not enough satisfying engagement.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
A Scanner Darkly is funny, unnerving, astonishing, urgent. It's my kind of summertime special-effects extravaganza.
Stuart Klawans - Nation
Stuart Klawans - The Nation
free-flowing science-fiction drama that moves like a cloud of ink in a swimming pool. ... while the visuals are suitably trippy, 'Scanner' is disappointingly short on drama and compelling characters.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
A thing of unique beauty and free-floating menace, A Scanner Darkly is also about the transmutation of good into evil and back into good, and the willful surrender of freedom in the name of propagandistic safety and betterment.
Brent Simon - Now Playing Magazine
Possibly one of the strangest movies ever made, "A Scanner Darkly" is worth seeing if only for the eye-bending animation.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Linklater's adaptation of Dick's semiautobiographical novel is steadfastly faithful to its source, but the screenplay is more tedious than provocative, as it bogs down in an abundance of talky vignettes.
Todd Jorgenson - Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
More time should have been spent on the script and less on the effects.
Harry Guerin - RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
That Linklater can keep a light tone running through the film in spite of weighty subject matter ensures that A Scanner Darkly is accessible enough for wide audiences without dumbing down for others.
Joe Utichi - FilmFocus
t's fascinating to watch some of the actors who have had real-life addictions (like Dick did himself) dive into their own convoluted rationalizations and philosophies during the film. It's almost like watching one of their 12-step meeting
Michael Szymanski - Zap2it.com
It is not a great film, but an insidious one, the sort that gets under your skin. It leaves you scrabbling at aphids, hoping they really are in your imagination.
Robert Hanks - Independent
Its intelligence makes it near-essential viewing.
Kim Newman - Empire Magazine
You've never seen anything like this before due to some simply astonishing animation.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
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
Engaging, beautifully animated sci-fi thriller with superb performances and a script that manages to be funny, disturbing and thought-provoking all at once.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
It's never less than incredibly beautiful to watch.
Paul Arendt - BBC
Linklater has a determined method in making sense of the madness -- framing Dick's political paranoia as a plea for mankind to reverse the course of its self-destruction.
Jonathan R. Perry - Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)
A wonderfully trippy movie, more about the drugs and paranoia than the plot
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
Linklater somehow makes coherent Dick's incoherent visions.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
About on par with watching Cheech and Chong follow up a screening of their Up in Smoke with a PSA on the evils of marijuana.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
For all of the film's ambitions and technical complexity, and for all the apt reasoning behind its storytelling decisions, the narrative is never particularly engrossing.
Nick Davis - Nick's Flick Picks
Linklater creates an eerie, mysterious, menacing hyperreality that engulfs the mind and senses.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Would be significantly more wearisome...were it not for Linklater's ability to tap into his source material's atmosphere of unsettling paranoia.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
With A Scanner Darkly, Richard Linklater proves that anything worth doing is worth doing right, no matter how painstaking a process doing it right might prove to be.
David N. Butterworth - rec.arts.movies.reviews
A Scanner Darkly is well worth viewing solely because films this unusual are rare in our Hollywood-infused world of pirates and popcorn.
Tyler Hanley - Palo Alto Weekly
A Scanner Darkly finds Linklater in experimental mode, which is a far, far better place for him to be than in a little league dugout.
Randy Shulman - Metro Weekly (Washington, DC)
As a story about Bob/Fred, and his friends, Scanner is a compelling creation.
Steven Snyder - Zertinet Movies
Linklater's low-key, meandering humanism is a bad match for Dick's obsessive, clammy suspicion. We never feel the desperation of these characters. They're merely painted figures on a screen -- shimmering somewhere far away.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
The slipperiness of the animated image has something to do with duplicity, with the idea that things you perceive are not necessarily the same as things that are real, and with the fact that both people and governments betray you.
Bryant Frazer - Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
Bland reality becomes abstract: a visual representation of the way the movie's Substance D addicts observe their surroundings and themselves.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
It seems that the point of this movie is to say, drugs are bad. Why then does the movie that's making this point appear to have been made by people on them?
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Dude, if your idea of fun is watching a group of drug-addled slackers rant and rave in graphic-novel-cum-cartoon, I've got just the movie for you ... To be graphic, A Scanner Darkly is one freaking bad trip.
Thomas Delapa - Boulder Weekly
The [characters'] outlines are unstable, and so is their environment, keeping us caught in a constant state of questioning the film's 'reality,' just as its characters do.
Jeffrey Overstreet - Christianity Today
Linklater's decision to assemble a supporting cast widely known for their own drug connections should reek of stunt casting, but doesn't.
Pete Vonder Haar - Film Threat
The approach is creative, but it still does not overcome the problems of bringing such a contemplative novel to the screen.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
It's an identity crisis wrapped in a mystery and smothered in freakout sauce, and it's relentlessly interesting. The grooviest scenes are the ones where the characters are clearly impaired and riffing on their own inner alpha waves.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
A churning passion inside this eerie dramatic thriller really gets under our skin.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
So preachy in its anti-drug stance that it might as well have had the financial support of D.A.R.E. during its production.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
An interesting idea, with which almost nothing is done.
Jean Lowerison - San Diego Metropolitan
It's a great looking film and the destination is worthy, but the journey leaves you wanting something more.
John Venable - Supercala.com
Though chunks of the novel are missing, the film is, for the most part, a creatively and metaphorically successful synthesis of Dick's dreamlike themes and real-world concerns.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Casting Reeves was a minor stroke of genius: Arctor could be the mundane identity that Neo discovers after his adventures in un-reality -- the hangover after the epic trip of 'The Matrix.'
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
The movie doesn't so much involve you in a story as it invades your mind, creating a world ruled by anxiety and suspicion.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
Linklater and Dick at their best are about as good as it gets. If their fusion didn't, finally, create gold, riches are still to be found in it.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
...a well-crafted and serious film that will challenge viewers and will likely frustrate many.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
The fake cartooning sets up a challenging distance between the viewers and the characters, bringing a degree of nonreality to something that's already hard to believe.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Although the story is greatly enhanced by the mesmerizing visual design, it is also involving because of the duplicity and duality of the characters.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
This effort, while a failure, is an artsy, noble one. Scanning optimistically, an innovator can learn and move forward from that.
Larry Ratliff - San Antonio Express-News
Impressive and daring. Downey channels James Woods, Harrelson freaks out, Reeves holds the center, and Ryder should have stayed home.
Victoria Alexander - Movie Reviews in Croatian
It has a loose, hallucinatory grip on reality and mines the same paranoiac, unmotivated territory that goes hand-in-hand with excessive drug use.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
The story itself becomes schizoid, splitting between a convoluted detective mystery and lazy conversations between paranoid addicts.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Food for thought that's also a treat for the senses.
Scott Von Doviak - Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Scott Von Doviak - Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
Those unfamiliar with the book will probably be confused. And the film's statements about addiction and the drug wars aren't exactly subtle.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
A Scanner Darkly has virtually no action and is so slow to reveal itself that it dissipates whatever dramatic clout the novel may have had.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
As the drugs keep cranking the gears of suspicion, seducing them down syllogistic corridors of absurd reasoning, you can feel them out-thinking their own paranoia to the brink of insanity.
Rubin Safaya - Cinemalogue.com
Dick does not share Linklater's decency and humanism ... and the cynical, hopeless characters in Scanner sit uncomfortably with Linklater's natural sensibility.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
If it leaves you with a facial expression as stunned as that of Keanu, you know Linklater and his crew have done their jobs.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
Here are my thoughts over the course of the trippy A Scanner Darkly: Intriguing. Good. Yes. Huh? Nope. Nope. Oh, OK.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
If you're looking for some sort of alternative to a three-hour sequel to a bad film based on an amusement park ride, Darkly might be the picture for you.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
It often makes your brain hurt, not in a good way -- but by the end, Linklater is redeemed somewhat by the surprising strength of his story.
Phoebe Flowers - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Most of A Scanner Darkly is a wasted opportunity, with B+-list stars paint-boxed onto a third plane where not very much happens at all.
Steve Schneider - Orlando Weekly
There's a deep sadness to A Scanner Darkly that makes it more than your usual paranoid thriller
Ethan Alter - NYC Film Critic
Just because the movie is about people on drugs, I shouldn't feel like I am on drugs while watching it, but it has some amazing acting performances
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Like the best science-fiction, A Scanner Darkly is about you plus me and the time ticking away on the remainder.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
As plentiful as its ideas are, A Scanner Darkly often feels hollow, and more than a little monotonous, because Linklater has not quite succeeded in overcoming the aggressively uncinematic nature of Dick's novel.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
The film as a whole may be lacking in coherence and emotional punch, but there are some marvelous sequences.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
While Dick was a world-class paranoiac, his trenchant writing had bite, wit and energy. Linklater's slacker adaptation ambles where it should creep forward frantically.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
The script does not wear so well, dragging along for stretches. Reeves, in his usual sullen delivery way, does not help take up the slack.
Steve Crum - Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers
There's always something eye-catching on view.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
A handsome and mindwarping movie that has cult hit written all over it.
Jurgen Fauth - About.com
While it's a mundane cautionary cult tale about the perils of drug abuse, a curious visual appeal is what distinguishes this film.
Susan Granger - Modamag.com
The film is quite entertaining in a bent sort of way, and if you like weird, you should definitely see this.
Eric Lurio - Greenwich Village Gazette
Simultaneously strange and familiar, not himself, Bob lives inside an ooky, unsolvable world that mirrors our own ongoing fears, of surveillance, loss, and forgetting.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
The stars [Reeves, Downey Jr., Harrelson, Ryder and Cochrane] are at one with Linklater and his vision of a future, screwed up world (like this one isn't screwed up!).
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Like its protagonist, Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly suffers from a schizoid identity crisis.
Jeff Shannon - Seattle Times
This is a deeply personal work on the ravages of drug abuse, and the moral casualties suffered when governments fight it.
Randy Myers - Contra Costa Times
For science fiction fans who prefer ideas over laser battles, this is the most meticulous and faithful movie adaptation of Dick's work -- and one of the most thoughtful.
Peter Hartlaub - San Francisco Chronicle
Linklater wants A Scanner Darkly to be a thought-provoking, living graphic novel. But he floods the script with multiple meanings and loses himself in the hydra-headed metaphors.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Richard Linklater wraps novelist Philip K. Dick's paranoid, prescient nightmare of addiction and identity lost down the rabbit hole in the same rotoscoped animation that helped produce the blissed-out groove of his Waking Life.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Based on Philip K. Dick's 1977 novel that was informed by the author's own drug experiences, the film, which retains the dark humor often missing from other Dick adaptations is at once dated and eerily prescient.
Annlee Ellingson - Boxoffice Magazine
Very ambitious and only mildly engaging.
Dean Essner - E! Online
An impressive work of art, A Scanner Darkly, but you might need drugs to sit through it.
Bob Strauss - Los Angeles Daily News
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
...like Cubism in human form, woozy and kaleidoscopic.
Chris Barsanti - PopMatters
What a breath of fresh air this stifling, claustrophobic, boldly uningratiating vision of an American subculture's last gasp imparts to its contrarian core audience.
Rob Nelson - City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Hilarious digressions like these are bound to induce chuckles even among viewers who, as Bill Clinton would say, have never inhaled.
Brett Buckalew - FilmStew.com
[O]h, yes, the evil cleverness, the deep and seriously profound wit of casting... Keanu Reeves... with his melancholy insolence that everyone mistakes for lethargy, with his irony so deadpan it goes all the way back around to something like calculated sel
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
It's a grand and elegant portrait of paranoia and malfeasance set amongst society's seedy underbelly.
Pam Grady - Reel.com
It's a trip.
Bruce Kirkland - Jam! Movies
Aesthetically interesting as it is, the film leaves you feeling somewhat blank and detached, sort of like the main character.
Lisa Rose - Newark Star-Ledger
Dave White - Movies.com
[A] real-world movie that's essentially been spray-painted, Scanner has turned its back on one of animation's greatest strengths: the playful elasticity that allows characters to stretch and soar in impossible ways.
Kurt Loder - MTV
A well-realized dystopian sci-fi drama about addiction and paranoia.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
In a film that's largely about the internal life of Bob/Fred, [Keanu] Reeves is at pains to show that he has one.
Christopher Orr - L.A. Weekly
A bummer clearly.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
If the details of the plot wind up fuzzy and nearly irrelevant, Dick and Linklater's paranoiac vision remains in the memory.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
Richard Linklater brings a new novelty to a Dick adaptation: fidelity to the source.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly does proud the tradition of cultish movies adapted from Philip K. Dick stories.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Very much like the drug which inhabits it; splitting its own persona from paranoid druggie comedy to the sharp spiral of the addictive effects and the hopeless, misguided attempts to end it all.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
An ambitious drug movie that's much less mind-blowing than it could've been.
Jeffrey Chen - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Scanner Darkly is highly original, imperfect cinema worth a look for the open-minded.
Jeff Otto - IGN Movies
Linklater has adapted Philip K. Dick's 1977 novel faithfully, and his unusual technique seems a valid choice for the world Dick created in that book.
Andy Klein - Los Angeles CityBeat
As the title implies, there's a certain opacity to A Scanner Darkly, but at times it can be as naked as the lunch on the end of your fork.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
The risks Scanner Darkly takes both with its subject matter and its method make it difficult to dismiss.
Gene Seymour - Newsday
One doesn't leave the movie with a mind blown by visual bedazzlement but with a soul shattered by the profound sense of tragedy Linklater and company so beautifully put across.
Glenn Kenny - Premiere Magazine
The atmosphere of schizophrenia, paranoia and disconnection from reality is the most faithful screen adaptation of Dick's sensibility to date.
Sean Axmaker - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
It's the kind of movie that gets under your skin -- and stays there.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
"A Scanner Darkly" is often times incomprehensible and convoluted. Admittedly, I was bored 30 minutes in.
Angela Baldassarre - Sympatico.ca
A head-trip that never gets beneath the skin.
Keith Phipps - AV Club
beyond the aesthetics and the premise, A Scanner Darkly just stagnates
Anne Gilbert - Filmcritic.com
Dick fans will find more to play with here than the average viewer. But as a rotund demonstration of visual imagination and social insight, the absence of focus just murders the effort.
Brian Orndorf - FilmJerk.com
Never quite blows your mind, man, visually or thematically, but ... it's surely a head-trip worth taking.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
While visually arresting and not devoid of enticing ideas, it's confusing, repetitive and pretty much a bummer.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
It places Dick's nameless terrors as close as the beady-eyed gaze of our next-door neighbor -- a gaze that says, "I see you, buddy, and I know what you did."
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
Even though scene for scene it sticks very close to Philip K. Dick's counterculture classic, A Scanner Darkly feels much more like the earnest theorizing of Richard Linklater in Waking Life mode.
Jeremiah Kipp - Slant Magazine
Richard Linklater sticks to the narrative flow of Philip K. Dick's novel without embellishing it with current sociopolitical realities that the book foreshadowed.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
There are moments where not only does the lead character not know what's going on, but I'm not sure if we're supposed to know what's going on and you have to go with it.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
The movie probably involves more dialogue and less action than some people will expect; it's about the nature of a life where you can never be sure what or who is real.
Roger Ebert - Ebert & Roeper
It's one hell of a trip, but a bit of a comedown.
Wendy Ide - Times [UK]
This is not just scanning darkly, it's close to opaque.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Though not as impressive as Waking Life, and failing to update Dick's concerns, Scanner Darkly is a serviceable rotoscoping of the 1977 work with some striking set pieces and a dazzling hologrammed suit worn by Keanu Reeves with grand style.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Without the rotoscoping, the movie would be completely undistinguished, competent but only mildly entertaining.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com