A Scanner Darkly

Rated 4.0

This animated adaptation of a Philip K. Dick novel is a nice mind-bender that looks good to boot. Keanu Reeves plays a detective who’s become addicted to the drug he’s trying to bust people for, and the film stands as an interesting statement on narcotics and the destruction they can cause. Director Richard Linklater uses rotoscoping, a technique he used in his film Waking Life, where live actors are painted over to trippy effect. Robert Downey Jr., Winona Ryder and Woody Harrelson all provide decent supporting performances. Downey Jr. is especially good, delivering another stellar performance after last year’s career-reinvigorating Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The message of the movie isn’t entirely clear until the finale, where it all hits home. The visuals are constantly appealing, including a “morphing suit” that Reeves’ character must wear to conceal his identity. This is certainly one of the year’s most inventive films.