If you see Inception this weekend and walk out thinking Christopher Nolan’s dream invasion story is too twisty and confusing, then might I recommend that you absolutely do not watch Primer.
Made in 2004 on a shoestring budget and barely released in theaters, Primer has since gone on to become something of a cult classic among sci-fi fans. The movie involves four friends who accidentally create a time machine. What results is one of the most confusing, complex, strange, and utterly realistic looks at the rigors of time travel ever put to screen. Even after you see it, and love it, you may not be entirely sure what’s going on.
The brilliant folks at xkcd have managed to put together an infograph which tells you all you need to know about the completely crazy narrative of Primer. They’ve created charts, which compare it against the plots of other well known movies, namely: Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, and the fairly straightforward classic 12 Angry Men. Here’s how Primer stacks up: