Netflix Movie of the Week #1: Primer

While Netflix has a wide variety of fantastic films, sadly many films on the site are often hidden from users who are not actively searching for that film.  The point of this new weekly posting is to suggest interesting and great movies that are available for streaming on Netflix that many readers would not ordinarily be exposed to.  With that in mind, the first Netflix movie of the week is the sci-fi thriller Primer.

Winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize in 2004, Primer is the debut film from writer/actor/director Shane Carruth.  Primer is a mind bending film about two engineers who inadvertently create a machine that allows them to travel back in time. Aaron (Carruth) and Abe (David Sullivan) use their new machine in order to make money on stock trades from the previous day. However, as they go deeper into experimenting with the mechanics of time travel, their relationship becomes strained as the two have different ideas on how to use the technology.

There are essentially two aspects of this film that make it so incredible.  First, it succeeds as a solid sci-fi film even though it was made for a virtually non-existent budget. In addition, the level of detail that went into the script and plot of this movie is astounding, as all the time travel makes sense without pandering to the audience in any way. The film is very heady and sometimes a difficult movie to keep up with as it is often hard to keep up with just how smart the film is.  Anyone who says they completely understand Primer after just one viewing is simply lying.

Even though the film can be challenging to keep up with, this should not be a deterrent.  It is a nice change of pace from many films that spoon feed you the plot twists to ensure that no one will ever be confused at the end of the movie. While the film is not incomprehensible, it is something that will take a little googling afterwards if you hope to fully appreciate the intellectual depth of the movie.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

15 thoughts on “Netflix Movie of the Week #1: Primer

  1. dbmoviesblog March 1, 2013 / 6:52 pm

    Great write-up. I have heard so much about this film (over the years), but never got to see it. Someone said to me that it is the most thought-provoking film I’d ever see, well, I guess I have to wait and see…

    • Andrew King March 1, 2013 / 7:07 pm

      It is a very cerebral thriller, and well worth your time, I really did love this movie.

    • Andrew King March 1, 2013 / 9:19 pm

      It is a great film that deserves more of an audience.

  2. GaryLee828 March 1, 2013 / 10:26 pm

    Yes, please continue to make posts about hidden gems on netflix as I am always looking for new ones! My recommendation for you and others is: “The Hidden Face”! It’s on netflix. Give it a watch! 🙂 Oh, but don’t watch the trailer in advance b/c it gives the twist away!

    • Andrew King March 1, 2013 / 10:58 pm

      I’ll check it out. We will make sure to keep this up every week, thought it would be something people would like.

  3. dlemert March 2, 2013 / 12:21 am

    Just watched this for the first time about a week ago and really enjoyed it. I had difficulty following it, but it’s obvious a lot of love and detail went into making the film, which just about redeems the confusing plot.

    • Andrew King March 3, 2013 / 11:54 am

      If you do enough research the plot actually makes a good bit of sense. It’s a great movie for sure.

  4. ztburian March 3, 2013 / 6:01 pm

    I love stumbling across hidden gems on Netflix, like Primer. Looking forward to future Netflix movies of the week.

    • Andrew King March 3, 2013 / 10:27 pm

      Looking forward to writing some, there are a bunch of great movies that don’t get enough attention.

  5. Steve March 5, 2013 / 10:16 pm

    I love this idea – I have long wanted to do a Netflix themed blog and may end up doing just that. It is true there are so many hidden treasures there. Thanks for the tip on Primer – will watch it tonight!

  6. Gregoryno6 March 6, 2013 / 3:12 pm

    I’ve watched this a couple of times and I have to confess I got lost in all the temporal convolutions. In spite of that I enjoyed it. The scientific principle of their time travel machine was plausible enough that I didn’t roll my eyes in contempt.
    The story also suggested that time travel can happen without changes to the past that have consequences in the future. They tried to change the incident at the party but didn’t fully succeed. On the other hand, in Stephen King’s 11/22/63, time travel has all sorts of unforeseen results.

  7. mistylayne March 12, 2013 / 10:26 pm

    Love this new feature! I’m not huge into sci-fi but this sounds intriguing.

    • Andrew King March 13, 2013 / 12:17 am

      It’s a really great movie, I would recommend it to anyone.

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