Metascore
30

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 313 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Evan Treborn (Kutcher) has lost track of time. From an early age, crucial moments of his life have disappeared into a black hole of forgetting, his boyhood marred by a series of terrifying events he can't remember. Determined to do something now that he was incapable of doing then, Evan purposely travels back in time, his present-day mind occupying his childhood body, in an attempt to re-write history and spare his friends and loved ones these traumatic experiences. By altering the events of the past, Evan hopes to transform the present. (New Line Cinema) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 35
  2. Negative: 18 out of 35
  1. 75
    The ending is weak, and may be the result of the filmmakers writing themselves into a corner and not wanting to conclude things in a burst of nihilistic excess. Yet, even though it's a cheat, it retains a degree of resonance.
  2. As a thriller, The Butterfly Effect is iffy and uneven, but as a portrait of a people, it's effective and intriguing.
  3. In its own ridiculous way, The Butterfly Effect is an entertaining movie, despite mediocre acting, lackluster direction and a story that's sometimes frustrating. It has the integrity of camp, maintaining an odd earnestness in the face of its own absurdity.
  4. 38
    So consistently silly and overwrought that it flirts with the elusive so-bad-it's-entertaining category.
  5. 30
    You have to, if not love, at least not mind a movie in which the very act of Ashton Kutcher reading is enough of a cosmic trauma to rip a hole in the fabric of space-time.
  6. 25
    Nothing can save this repetitive bore. Dude, where's your memory?
  7. It's a terrible life, and a terrible movie.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 28 out of 166
  1. DM
    Mar 5, 2010
    10
    I think the critics were paid to give these bad scores. Because seriously, this isn't the best movie but it's a damn fine one. I loved it. Kutcher acted really well, the story was interesting and intrguing and for me the only downer is the ending. It's not that typical "happy ending" you'd want in this kind of movie but it did it's job. Great acting, great story: great movie. Expand
  2. FredR.
    Nov 16, 2005
    10
    Implausible, downright ridiculous, and one of the best rides you will ever take watching a movie. By the end you will completely believe in it, then you just go... naaah. What stays with me, and I've seen it 3 times already, are the performances. The child actors, the teen actors, and the adults all deliver stellar performances. Who are these kids? Teenage Tommy is out-of-control good. 7 year-old Evan is intense! All the teens and children were fabulous and I hope they get a lot of attention from this movie. Now, onto the adults. Let me just say that I cannot stand Ashton Kutcher, he pretty much creeps me out, but here he uses that to his advantage. He's at least likeable enough to root for him and care about what happens to him. It's not funny at all, but is he ever? He should stick to drama. Amy Smart should have been nominated for an academy award. Yes, I saw Million Dollar Baby, and this performance was as good if not better. If that discredits me, oh well. Eric Stoltz, wow, I mean, wow, that's horror right there. From Thumper to Evans mom to Frat Boy and anyone whose name I can't remember (problem with names, sorry), that was pure entertainment. Thank you! For anyone who hasn't seen this movie, save it for a special occasion. It pushes all the right buttons. Expand
  3. Feb 1, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I can't help but think that if the ending was more something consisting of a "big reveal" that'd show the audience who Evan really is, and everything he thought he knew about his life after killing Kailey with dynamite was a lie all along desperately created in his imagination, then the movie could've been more plausible with a severe delusional belief being the "clinical explanation" of his "time-travelling skills".

    An ending like this could even be hinted at near the ending, considering that, when he had his severe "memory reconstruction" and eventual nosebleed in the bed of the clinical institution, the doctor dude at the end apparently already knew about Evan's adventures in campus, prison, and a wheelchair when the latter came to ask for the journals.

    But then he travelled back to his pre-birth state and the movie ended up being metaphysical. But damn, it could've been a cool "mental movie" if something along the lines of my proposal would've been the case. Shutter Island does it, and I love that movie.
    Expand
  4. jessscott
    Jan 14, 2009
    8
    I enjoyed this film thoroughly the critics may of voted low because they're easily confused but i found it had depth, good acting and generally a good film don't be put of by the 30 if u like thrillers this is for you. Expand
  5. Aug 31, 2013
    8
    Excuse me? Why is the critic score 30?! This was an amazing movie and I know many people that love this movie, I'm absolutely baffled as to why the critics rated it so low. It's an interesting story, with many mind-bending aspects to it and it keep you entertained and thinking. I love movies like this and this one in particular is very good! Completely ignore the critics on this one, it's a crime that they rated this so low and every one of them should never be taken seriously after rating a movie like The Butterfly Effect this low. Expand
  6. Jan 4, 2014
    7
    Consumers and critics alike watch an Ashton Kutcher -movie with certain expectations, find themselves in over their heads.

    This one had
    it's flaws, and at some points it seemed like it was little more than an excuse to portray grim imaginary on the screen. But hey, it worked for me! Expand
  7. ChrisM
    Jul 2, 2009
    0
    I'm so frustrated by teenagers who are not just looking for movies to pass their time but also try to proove how misguided the critics are.Stop saying this movie is a matserpiece just because of the clever idea behind it.What ever happened to the noble art of movie making?Is this the new virtues of films?Horrible acting and some so called personal torture tales?American Bullshit!No motive behind the movie but cheap amusement! Expand

See all 166 User Reviews

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