Donnie Darko by brett66. Donnie Darko is a 2001 American science fiction drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena Malone, and Mary McDonnell. The film depicts the adventures of the title character as he seeks the meaning and significance behind his troubling Doomsday-related visions. Budgeted with $4.5 million and filmed over the course of 28 days, it grossed just over $7.6 million worldwide. Since then, the film has received favorable reviews from critics and has developed a large cult following, resulting in the release of a director’s cut on a two-disc special edition in 2004.