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The 100 Best Movies Of The Complex Decade

47. Primer (2004)

Director: Shane Carruth
Stars: Shane Carruth, David Sullivan, Casey Gooden, Anand Upadhyaya, Carrie Crawford

This might sound like a diss, but here goes: Primer should be watched with two fresh aspirin pills nearby. Brainy and structurally irregular, independent filmmaker Shane Carruth's dense feature debut requires a great deal of attention and thought from its viewers; in that sense, it's evidence that Carruth is someone who believes that his audience is predominantly intelligent; though we're sure a few dimwits have seen Primer with their more astute friends, it's still admirable of Carruth to not have dumb things down.

Greed and scientific possibilities are the major themes in Primer, a short but cerebral movie about four yuppie entrepreneurs who discover a way to use time travel to fatten their wallets. Pretty much all of the dialogue consists of scientific jargon, and the non-sequential order of scenes moves like a wilder version of Christopher Nolan's Memento at times. If you're willing to give the old noodle some intricate massaging, Primer will reward you with an inimitable mind-fucking.

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