I remember seeing the trailer for "Primer" somewhere, and the strength of the premise ultimately led me to rent the movie this past weekend.
Shot for $7000 (a smaller budget than many porno movies), "Primer" is a good example of how sometimes a storyteller can become too enamored with his or her story. If you can't tell from the trailer, the plot concerns two friends and their construction and use of a miraculous device that effectively allows time travel. The resulting chaos is predictable, but to say any more would spoil the film.
The movie, originally shot on Super-16 and blown up to 35mm, looks great considering the limited money on hand. The acting, while a bit rough, conveys the points across well enough. The real problems here are not technical.
There is something to be said for a mystery that cannot be solved. The confusing last third of "Primer" has our heroes cavorting through time (along with their collapsible time machines), paradoxically influencing past future versions of themselves. There are many elements of the plot never shown on screen, so it's fair to say only a savant who understand this movie the first time through. Ultimately, though, the puzzle itself doesn't reward the attention needed to solve it. Check out the timeline below to see how much of a mess the movie becomes: