Rafael "Parker!!" Jovine’s review published on Letterboxd:
Boy, the needle drops and soundtrack in this movie is just incredible! You got a Tears for Fears iconic cover AND an underrated song by the band in the form of "Pale Shelter"?
After putting this movie on hold for most of my life (though I tried watching a few times but fell asleep), I finally had the opportunity to see the movie that helped to put Jake Gyllenhaal on the map.
And for a good reason.
In these days of multiverses and black holes, its take on time travelling isn't as confusing nor groundbreaking, but I can also see why some found it difficult to comprehend. From what I can tell, either Darko traveled through time and managed to kill himself, preventing the world from coming to an end OR maybe everything we saw actually happened, but the ending is just another version of the world in which he did die. It could be that his mom and Gretchen were sucked into this vortex so that's why they know each other the way they do, but they don't remember it as an effect of it. That's my interpretation, at least.
As for everything else, while some of the CGI hasn't aged well and there are a lot of meanderings, Richard Kelly did succeed in making an interestig and disturbing film. A Lynchian feel pervades the movie, especially in terms of the behavior of everyone, which gets enhanced by Jake and Jolene Purdy all deliver great performances. Frank's bunny costume is not only iconic, but it does so without too much embellishment and takes such a simple concept and makes it so great. Going back to the CGI, that invisible force wall still looks pretty badass, too.
All in all, there are numerous essays and reviews out there that have discussed this movie to exhaustion so thats why I am keeping it short. While some may find it too cerebral for their own taste, I think this is a clear example of how a filmmaker can build so much from so little.