The Butterfly Effect

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 353 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 48 out of 353

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User Reviews

  1. 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'sExcuse 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
  2. Scott
    Sep 6, 2004
    10
    The best movie ive ever seen.
  3. KennyT.
    Oct 15, 2006
    10
    I thought this was a pretty good movie. Obviously I must not understand the art of film. . .
  4. AMovieCritic
    Feb 3, 2006
    8
    Whoa...what an underrated movie. Everything about this movie was amazing and well-thought out. The child actors in the flashbacks were amazingly real, especially Tommy, who was completely disturbing. The adult actors, from the excellent Amy Smart to the surprisingly convincing Ashton Kutcher, all deliver great performances. The plot of this movie...yeah, it's completely unbelievable, Whoa...what an underrated movie. Everything about this movie was amazing and well-thought out. The child actors in the flashbacks were amazingly real, especially Tommy, who was completely disturbing. The adult actors, from the excellent Amy Smart to the surprisingly convincing Ashton Kutcher, all deliver great performances. The plot of this movie...yeah, it's completely unbelievable, but I don't think it was meant to be believable. The reason for the time travel occuring is never even explained. But the movie manages to draw you in anyway. This was one hell of a movie. I thought the ending was well done, and even a little sad. The beginning was excellently done, the middle...although the whole wheelchair scenario easily could have been cut with no consequence to the story, the rest of the movie flows perfectly. Overall, this movie was a big surprise, and I'm glad it managed to find success at the box office and on DVD. I highly recommend it. Expand
  5. MaccaMacca
    Jun 10, 2007
    9
    I really enjoyed this film, but I knew it would get bad reviews. Critics hate it when Hollywood does something ambitious and intense like this - they think it should be done by some random cult director instead. And they always hate films with complicated story lines like this one - they're too lazy to actually bother to keep up.
  6. AndrewR.
    Jul 8, 2004
    10
    I am not sure of the differences between the director's cut and the theatrical release. I watched the director's cut and it was an amazing film. The concept was truly unique (few "change the past" concepts have truly looked at the darker, nihilistic side of time travel). I am not an Ashton Kutcher fan but his work was solid and not over the top (like most of his work). The I am not sure of the differences between the director's cut and the theatrical release. I watched the director's cut and it was an amazing film. The concept was truly unique (few "change the past" concepts have truly looked at the darker, nihilistic side of time travel). I am not an Ashton Kutcher fan but his work was solid and not over the top (like most of his work). The concept was complete and well woven into the story. There were no loose ends or unanswered questions, which is an achievement given the complexity of the plot. Again, do not know if the director's cut solved alot of the problems pointed out by the above reviews but I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. NOTE: This is an extremely dark movie (note the nihilisitc term used in alot of the reviews.) Not the happy ending type but well worth the rental. Expand
  7. AlexanderT
    Dec 4, 2009
    10
    I thoroughly enjoyed this film. From acting to plot which I actually found reasonably unique and the fact things change frequently is more realistic to me, than if he changed one event once and the rest of the movie explored what the reprocussions were.
  8. GR
    Feb 27, 2009
    10
    I have no idea why this film has received negative reviews, one of my fav films. Critics know nothing.
  9. AP
    Mar 26, 2010
    8
    I frequently agree with critical opinion, but I was quite surprised to see this score. It's a pretty decent film, don't be thrown off.
  10. 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
  11. Mar 20, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. *Spoilers* Some idiot who reviewed this movie said this has nothing to do with the Butterfly Effect. Um, you obviously didn't watch the movie. The whole premise is....change one thing...change everything. I think this is an very hard film to watch displaying all the terrible things these kids do and how messed up they are. It was a bit over the top, but when it comes down to it, he sacrificed himself to save everyone in the end. That part was just amazing. And I'm talking about the director's cut. If you watch the theater's cut, it is just awful. What a terrible ending. This film basically has 2 different reviews, 1/10 for the theater cut, and 10/10 for director's cut. WATCH THE DIRECTOR'S CUT. Expand
  12. Feb 21, 2014
    10
    This is one of my most favorite movies of all time. I can't fathom what was going through the reviewers heads when they gave those scores. Looking at the user score restored some faith in people, but really? A critic review of 30 is reserved for Twilight-esque movies, not this gem.
  13. BurakF
    Mar 26, 2010
    8
    I'm absolutely blown away by how badly 'professional' critics have reviewed this gem. I first watched this film about 3-4 years ago and recently recalled how good it was so i got a hold of it and watched it for the second time, and i must say i enjoyed it just as much the second time as i did the first time. I'd definitely recommend watching this.
  14. 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: 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
  15. Sep 23, 2011
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I really didn't expect great reviews from critics but 30 out of 100 is a bit messed up; the story never gets too confusing and acting was fine, should have at least got 50 out of 100. I saw the third ending were he kills himself which I found more meaningful but unnecessary, though the others were weaker they just made more sense Expand
  16. AndersH.
    Jul 27, 2004
    9
    It's a great movie about actions and consequenses, and it's based on very intresting theories about 4D (quadro physic). I love it! A must see for intelligent people.
  17. BoyMan
    Nov 2, 2005
    10
    Surely the best film I ever seen, really a great realisation, great scenarii, etc... so good.
  18. 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.
  19. Nov 28, 2012
    7
    It's almost overwhelmingly dark, but "The Butterfly Effect" still remains a solid effort from Kutcher and Bress/Gruber.
  20. May 4, 2013
    10
    This movie is an amazing psychological thriller that takes you into the depths of cause and effect in no way I've ever seen before. This movie is great.
  21. 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!
  22. Jan 13, 2014
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Huge indifference between the user ratings and critics ratings gives an idea how stupid the critics are really when analysing this movie .This one was a really gem of a movie, one in a thousand type, it would actually give the viewers blackouts after finishing this one. The end might not be as convincing as it could be but that don't take away the credit from the director for engaging or rather confusing our mind with such a well built movie. Expand
  23. BurcuA.
    Oct 20, 2004
    9
    This film really helped me. now i don't think too much about my past events anymore. i learned;not to be spiteful of them. 'cuz it could be much bad than now...
  24. Ishii
    Feb 2, 2004
    10
    I thought it was a very well made movie. And I thought the ending was very good, I wasn't expecting that at all. And the refrence to "Se7en" was good. I loved that movie too.
  25. LouisM.
    Apr 3, 2006
    8
    I cannot understand why the critics hated this movie so much. Sometimes I think they are full of it. I have very high standards when it comes to movies and seldomly give high ratings. This was good. The movie pulled me in. It was as if I was living his "nightmare" unfold. Would have been more powerfull if the ending with an "unhappy" ending.
  26. DerekG.
    Oct 11, 2004
    10
    Something different with a twist / my favorite movie.
  27. antonisj.
    Dec 31, 2004
    10
    This is the best movie that i have ever seen i must say it changed the way i think and i just loved the plot keep up the good work.
  28. AndrewJ.
    Jan 24, 2004
    9
    I dont understand all the negative comments about this movie. To be honest this is the first movie in a long time that has actually made me go through so many emotional highs and lows during the movie.......Way go to ashton.
  29. MaxwellS.
    Jan 26, 2004
    9
    This was a great movie. If you don't like it, fine, whatever. But it is a great film running along the lines of Donnie Darko and the theme of divine intervention. Overall, fantastic despite it being one of the hardest movies to watch for the first hour due to such intense content, expecially with one of the kids.
  30. G.M.D.K.
    Dec 9, 2004
    8
    Very entertaining and it will keep you on the edge of your seat!
  31. KentTheIceman
    Jan 31, 2004
    8
    This was a very good movie ! For the life of me I cannot understand why anyone gave this one a bad review. This movie kept your interest from beginning to end. It challenged your mind with the "what if" part of life that we all wonder about....namely, what would happen if I could change "x" in my past, etc. It touched on all of this with more than just a suspense/sci-fi flavor, it also This was a very good movie ! For the life of me I cannot understand why anyone gave this one a bad review. This movie kept your interest from beginning to end. It challenged your mind with the "what if" part of life that we all wonder about....namely, what would happen if I could change "x" in my past, etc. It touched on all of this with more than just a suspense/sci-fi flavor, it also had moments of heart as well. This movie was well made, in my opinion.....and those bad reviews simply do not make sense. I see almost every movie that comes out, so I think I can tell a good one from a bad one. In fact I take extreme pleasure in ripping most movies apart because they are so bad, or illogical. I did not find myself doing that with this movie. I was actually considering not seeing it, based on some of the bad reviews I read on this site. I am glad I did not let those reviews influence me, or I would have deprived myself of the experience of seeing this movie. It rates a definite 8/10. No less. Expand
  32. Len
    Jan 30, 2004
    9
    Sometimes movie critics get so hung up with their own cute phrases (those who can't do, critique?) that they miss the point entirely. This movie was very cleverly written, and managed to merge an interesting premise with a complicated plot, tying together all of the loose threads by the end. It had a disturbing beginning which did a great job of whetting our appetites for what Sometimes movie critics get so hung up with their own cute phrases (those who can't do, critique?) that they miss the point entirely. This movie was very cleverly written, and managed to merge an interesting premise with a complicated plot, tying together all of the loose threads by the end. It had a disturbing beginning which did a great job of whetting our appetites for what followed. And what's all the fuss about Kutcher? I've never seen him on TV, and I don't read gossip columns, so I didn't know anything in advance about his personal love life. Maybe this is a good thing, because I didn't approach his performance with all of the baggage that many of these reviewers did. What was wrong with the performance? He was credible and sympathetic in the lead role. The critics give it a 28 and the users give it a 68. Maybe the critics need to re-connect with the rest of us. Expand
  33. Carrie
    Feb 10, 2004
    9
    This was an entertaining and though-provoking movie. Don't listen to the critics. I bet if Ashton Kutcher wasn't the star of this movie the critics would have given it more of a chance. I happened to like the ending a lot. I think it made complete sense.
  34. Dahmir
    Feb 1, 2004
    7
    This movie is honestly not as bad as the critics have made it out to be.
  35. JoelM.
    Feb 10, 2004
    8
    It was just what I wanted. A fun movie about the effects of time travel. If you go in expecting that, it's a pleasant surprise and not the "pan-magnet" the critics have made it out to be.
  36. Brendan
    May 27, 2004
    9
    I thought this movie was great, a good idea. I liked the ending as it was the only possible thing that could happen.
  37. JasonP
    Jul 7, 2004
    10
    This movie shows how every disicion in life affects your future and those around you. This movies twists are exciting! The story is gripping. Best Ashton movie by far.,
  38. Cj
    Jul 8, 2004
    8
    I dont know what the deal is with the critics. Maybe they just like to bash on Ashton. This was a good movie, and the vast majority of people i know agree with me on that. If you didnt like the ending theres 2 completely different ones on the dvd. If you liked Donny Darko, you'll like this film. "Nobody ever raised a statue of a critic."
  39. CoryW.
    Oct 23, 2005
    9
    Amazing plot. Left me thinking for hours after viewing. I found the acting defently believable. The ending is a tad weak, I hoped for somthing more, I did enjoy the many alternative endings it had to offer. If you like one of those movies that really make you think then you'll love it.
  40. rm
    Jul 15, 2005
    10
    This was a great movie and deserves an academy award both for the acting and the script.
  41. EzeA
    Jul 5, 2005
    8
    This is one movie I waited eagerly to see in the cinemas, but didn't get the chance to. I bought the DVD recently and believe me, I was not disappointed. I can only wonder whether the critics understood the movie before commenting on it. I found it intriguing, well executed, and better thought out than many time travel movies I have seen! Having said that, this is one of those movies This is one movie I waited eagerly to see in the cinemas, but didn't get the chance to. I bought the DVD recently and believe me, I was not disappointed. I can only wonder whether the critics understood the movie before commenting on it. I found it intriguing, well executed, and better thought out than many time travel movies I have seen! Having said that, this is one of those movies you either hate or love. Not much room for a middle ground here. Expand
  42. JM.
    Mar 19, 2007
    9
    Excellent movie. Must watch twice to get all of the twists you missed the first time.
  43. JackB
    Feb 1, 2009
    7
    I saw this on tv the other night and really enjoyed it. Very nice idea, something a bit different. Kutcher excellent and showed new depth i never knew he had, he should stick to proper acting in roles which stretch him because he has a lot of talent. Good film, well worth a watch if its on the tele and you have a free evening.
  44. L.E.
    Jan 22, 2004
    10
    Awesome movie!!! Ashton Kutcher really broke out of his normal That 70s Show character and proves that he can act. The script is rather clever with unexpected twists keeping the audience guessing. It's an enjoyable movie to watch and will keep you engaged throughout the movie. One of the best movies of its genre! Don't listen to the critics, go see it for yourself.
  45. Cy
    Jan 23, 2004
    9
    Very underrated. Kutcher did a pretty decent job.
  46. P.
    Jan 23, 2004
    7
    I thought it was a really good movie all the way up until the end of it... the end was kind of weak i have a huge paragraph of things to say but it will give the movie away for those that haven't seen it.
  47. EricY.
    Jan 24, 2004
    9
    Never a dull moment in this movie. Ashton did a fabulous job in a non-comedic role. It looks like he is a versatile actor. Amy Smart was also great. This movie keeps you on the edge to see what will happen next. The ending wasn't what most people would want, but I'm not most people. I loved it!
  48. NicolasO
    Jan 24, 2004
    8
    Great movie. The story is great, but I don't like the end.
  49. DianeT.
    Jan 25, 2004
    10
    I thought this movie was pretty great overall. There were some things that get you sidetracked, but it keeps you wondering and interested to see what happens at the end. Ashton looks really hot in that towel!
  50. ChrisG.
    Jan 26, 2004
    8
    Damn good. Seriously, damn good.
  51. ThomY.
    Jan 28, 2004
    7
    Movies have it hard, because unlike written word, they seem to be held to especially high standards. Of course, book critics may also be harsh, but in literature, escape fiction is given at least some respect. However, in film, when something comes out with the absensce of abstract symbolism, metaphysical paradoxes or a truly original script, these "film lovers" get anal and forget not Movies have it hard, because unlike written word, they seem to be held to especially high standards. Of course, book critics may also be harsh, but in literature, escape fiction is given at least some respect. However, in film, when something comes out with the absensce of abstract symbolism, metaphysical paradoxes or a truly original script, these "film lovers" get anal and forget not everything has to be so darn multilayered. Look, I love movies, I hate Ashton. He is a terrible actor, but not especially terrible. Just like this film he is mediocre- an okay filler for a Friday night that doesn't need to be so packed full with hidden meaning that it requires a second viewing for decoding. It is plain, but not bad. It's like vanilla ice cream: sure raspberry sorbet is good, but once in a while you just want something a little more simple. It's strange to me that a movie like "Lost in Translation" could receive such praise when it forgets what film is meant to do, entertain the masses. No, I'm not some teenage girl, I'm a 20 year old guy who thinks "Mystic River" was awesome and hate to see a drab, racist flick like "Translation" get so much praise just cause she's the Copolla kid. If you want so much from your films, the local AMC is the wrong place for you. Go over to your local video store and rent something foreign with subtitles and complain about how Hollywood forgot how to make movies decades ago. Emerson is nice, but so is Garfield. People need to lighten up, it's just for entertainment, and sometimes, that's enough. Expand
  52. KylaL.
    Oct 8, 2004
    10
    I love this movie! Ashton is a really good actor...i actually cried at one point. I don't understand how you couldnt love this movie. You must have a weak imagination if you don't. The kid that played Ashton at a teen is pretty hot! This movie should be watched by everyone!!!
  53. LawrenceR.
    Feb 1, 2004
    9
    This movie does not deserve the negative reviews received. Really quite fascinating and original. I know it is like the love child of Sliders and Slaughterhouse Five, still it is an admittedly mass-market film attempting to do something a little different (no a lot) different that the expected teen/20 somrthing, lowest common denominator and ultimately instantly forgetable pablum. See This movie does not deserve the negative reviews received. Really quite fascinating and original. I know it is like the love child of Sliders and Slaughterhouse Five, still it is an admittedly mass-market film attempting to do something a little different (no a lot) different that the expected teen/20 somrthing, lowest common denominator and ultimately instantly forgetable pablum. See this movie for something different and very well done. By the way Kutcher can act now, and will only get better. Give the guy a break. Expand
  54. BrunoS.
    Feb 18, 2004
    10
    The critics are bashing this movie into the ground. The acting is very good and adds to the movie. The story line is very complex and that is what makes this movie what it is. The story is really 4 love stories in one which makes the plot very complex and adds a 3rd deminsion to the emotion of the story. It is well worth the time and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Great story and a The critics are bashing this movie into the ground. The acting is very good and adds to the movie. The story line is very complex and that is what makes this movie what it is. The story is really 4 love stories in one which makes the plot very complex and adds a 3rd deminsion to the emotion of the story. It is well worth the time and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Great story and a great movie. Expand
  55. SethB.
    Feb 28, 2004
    8
    I liked this. As for the critics? They just hate Ashton Kutcher (he was fired from a movie for not being able to act), but I think he does just fine in this movie even though his character does some stupid things...
  56. RussellC.
    Feb 3, 2004
    7
    Ashton Kutcher is suffering from Keanu Reeves disease: a couple of dumb movies and a sit-com doom make the road to respectability real hard. Like Keanu, Ashton is not a "great" actor, but he can get better. The movie was enthralling and some of the "professional" critics have been a little too disparaging of what is meant to be entertainment, not high art.
  57. Scott
    Mar 1, 2004
    9
    A great movie. Lives up to its premise and promise. Makes sense of tricky plot twists. Great acting. The critics are TOTALLY WRONG about this movie. I'm so glad I didn't listen to them. I loved the movie. Don't miss it!
  58. Macca
    Mar 14, 2004
    10
    I loved this movie. It was good to see Ashton in a serious movie role and i think he handled it pretty well, definitely room for improvement though. Only thing i found tough to watch was some of the flashback scenes, which hit hard, which adds to good effect. But none the less a good movie, a different sort of movie then im used to, but it did the job because ill remember it for ages to come.
  59. KelR.
    Mar 27, 2004
    10
    I'll admit that the acting wasn't perfect but the delivery was flawless. I loved this movie, simply because I love the sci-fi thriller types of movies, and this one brings home the bacon. As for the critics I think these people have some other motive behind their scores, or they are just plain blind. Look at the user score of about a 7 because after all it's the least this I'll admit that the acting wasn't perfect but the delivery was flawless. I loved this movie, simply because I love the sci-fi thriller types of movies, and this one brings home the bacon. As for the critics I think these people have some other motive behind their scores, or they are just plain blind. Look at the user score of about a 7 because after all it's the least this movie deserves. Expand
  60. G.S.
    Mar 4, 2004
    9
    I thought this was a very thought provoking movie. It shows how actions have impact on others and their lives.
  61. Thea
    Mar 4, 2004
    10
    i think this movie was awesome. suckish ending, but i loved it. i could watch it a billion of times and never get tired of it. ironic, ain't it?
  62. Robert
    Jun 23, 2004
    8
    I don't quite see what was so bad about this movie. I found the plot gripping, and I thought the ending was a well thought out one. I found the twists and turns that the movie went through to be quite sensible, as it made fairly clear what turns of events led to the different "presents".
  63. UrelioS.
    Jul 14, 2004
    9
    Really one of best sci fi suspense films in a long time, i don't understand critics this film is not as silly as the kind " i know what you did last summer" it has a script, the prove critics are really silly is that users rate it with 7, 4/10 in the imdb web. it's the first time i see such a difference with the 27/100 from critics. this it's going to be a cult film. Really one of best sci fi suspense films in a long time, i don't understand critics this film is not as silly as the kind " i know what you did last summer" it has a script, the prove critics are really silly is that users rate it with 7, 4/10 in the imdb web. it's the first time i see such a difference with the 27/100 from critics. this it's going to be a cult film. critics think that a teen movie has to be silly ? it's some childs acting like bastards that they don't like ? not enough happy ending? this film it's not politically correct? Expand
  64. AmandaH.
    Jul 17, 2004
    10
    Ashton is great in comedies and serious movies. This movie will for sure make his career better. So many twists you can't move away from the TV.
  65. GiuseppeA.
    Jul 18, 2004
    9
    Really good movie I like the twists and turns of it. I saw the Director's cut on DVD and I must admit that I totally like it. For Ashton Kutcher an excellent starting point to act in more serious movies. I don't give a 10 for the cheesy effects of the flashbacks. Really weird why it got a so low metascore.
  66. FinfroskS.
    Jul 24, 2004
    10
    My brother thinks it's really good!
  67. TylerL
    Jul 26, 2004
    10
    One of the best movies i have ever seen.
  68. MichaelC.
    Jul 7, 2004
    9
    For once, I am the positive one! I'm amazed that this movie got a measley 27 metascore; I thought it rocked. True, it was kind of a weird premise, but, in my opinion, its the most original take on a "time travel" movie in a long time. I even thought Kutcher, who is kind of a tool, did an awesome job as the lead character. And what's all this about a sloppy ending? I thought the For once, I am the positive one! I'm amazed that this movie got a measley 27 metascore; I thought it rocked. True, it was kind of a weird premise, but, in my opinion, its the most original take on a "time travel" movie in a long time. I even thought Kutcher, who is kind of a tool, did an awesome job as the lead character. And what's all this about a sloppy ending? I thought the ending was completely justified. The bottom line: this was a damn good movie. Not groundbreaking, but about 50 times better than I thought it would be. Expand
  69. Zybard
    Aug 1, 2004
    7
    Few people understand the genius that is Ahston Kutcher. But seriously, most people will not enjoy this, yet there is a small cult following as there was for Donnie Darko and Showgirls.
  70. JobieG.
    Aug 21, 2004
    10
    It's a terrible life, and a wonderful movie! So many things to see! Ashton Kutcher lives a truly blessed life! He is blessed by the God with great acting! We (heart) him, Ashton!
  71. LeonardoS.
    Aug 4, 2004
    10
    I thought this movie was great!
  72. RichC.
    Sep 21, 2004
    8
    A decent movie that if you allow yourself to suspend your nitpicking about the holes in the plot is an entertaining addition to the 'coming of age' genre, and with both endings (the sugary theatrical one and the much darker director's cut, which I personally prefer) will leave you thinking about the 'what ifs' of your own life. See it and decide for yourself.
  73. MarkA
    Sep 2, 2004
    9
    This movie was excellent. It really makes you think about chaos theory and how the world works. If you are a fan of alternate realities, or are one who constantly searches for meaning in this life this movie will make you question everything you know to be reality. For that reason I truly liked the movie. Ashton Kutcher does a fine job of portraying an extremely tough character who must This movie was excellent. It really makes you think about chaos theory and how the world works. If you are a fan of alternate realities, or are one who constantly searches for meaning in this life this movie will make you question everything you know to be reality. For that reason I truly liked the movie. Ashton Kutcher does a fine job of portraying an extremely tough character who must question his very existence at every turn. A nobel role for him to undertake and he does so successfully in my opinion. Expand
  74. WayneC.
    Oct 1, 2005
    10
    As has been said so many times, film critics that don't understand the film that they are commenting on should shut the hell up or get another job. The actors perfomances were no perfect, but all in all brilliant, but i agree you love it or hate it, normally thgouht 80% of the "hate its" are actually "don't understand it and too proud and well paid to admit it" - if you loved As has been said so many times, film critics that don't understand the film that they are commenting on should shut the hell up or get another job. The actors perfomances were no perfect, but all in all brilliant, but i agree you love it or hate it, normally thgouht 80% of the "hate its" are actually "don't understand it and too proud and well paid to admit it" - if you loved this movie you'll like donnie darko - Vice Versa. Expand
  75. TrikoD.
    Oct 21, 2005
    10
    Clearly one of the best films this year although critics don't like it because it isn't a black & white movie. The movie reminded me of Donnie Darko (one of my favorites aswell) and the unhappy ending really felt like a swift kick to the "Disneyland-everything-works-out-in-the-end" hollywood trend. If you hate Texas Walker Ranger style "Oh he saved the day theme! Lets live Clearly one of the best films this year although critics don't like it because it isn't a black & white movie. The movie reminded me of Donnie Darko (one of my favorites aswell) and the unhappy ending really felt like a swift kick to the "Disneyland-everything-works-out-in-the-end" hollywood trend. If you hate Texas Walker Ranger style "Oh he saved the day theme! Lets live happily ever after" style as much as I do and loved Donnie Darko then this is your kind of a movie. Seriously, where do they find these so-called "critics"? Collapse
  76. DannyS
    Jan 31, 2005
    10
    I cant believe some of the reviews this movie got. This movie is the best film ever made in my mind. The movie keeps you wanting to know more and what's going to happen next. Not one scene in this movie is pointless. And then at the end after all of the incredibly well written story by J. Mackye Gruber and Eric Bress, the ending is nothing less then perfect. It's not one of I cant believe some of the reviews this movie got. This movie is the best film ever made in my mind. The movie keeps you wanting to know more and what's going to happen next. Not one scene in this movie is pointless. And then at the end after all of the incredibly well written story by J. Mackye Gruber and Eric Bress, the ending is nothing less then perfect. It's not one of those happy, perfect endings but a more realistic good sum up of the whole story (talking about the theatrical version). Movies have yet to be better produced than this one. Expand
  77. jcsickz
    Apr 12, 2005
    10
    This movie rocked my socks. I originally dismissed the idea of this movie because its kutcher, mr. punk'd, trying to play a serious role. I rented it last night and ended up loving it. Kutcher does a great job in this role and all actors were believable. Left me thinking for hours after viewing. If you liked fight club or a beautiful mind you'll dig this one. best movie This movie rocked my socks. I originally dismissed the idea of this movie because its kutcher, mr. punk'd, trying to play a serious role. I rented it last night and ended up loving it. Kutcher does a great job in this role and all actors were believable. Left me thinking for hours after viewing. If you liked fight club or a beautiful mind you'll dig this one. best movie I've seen this year (and more than likely one of the most memorable EVER). Expand
  78. M.K.
    Feb 20, 2006
    9
    Wow, I never really paid an attention when this film was released. It seems critics hated this film with their hearts. For Ashton, it was one of his better performances. For Amy, it was decent. People mistake the concept of the film with time travel. Yeah, I think it is part of it, but the film clearly states in the intro that it is about CHAOS theory. I think the Director's Wow, I never really paid an attention when this film was released. It seems critics hated this film with their hearts. For Ashton, it was one of his better performances. For Amy, it was decent. People mistake the concept of the film with time travel. Yeah, I think it is part of it, but the film clearly states in the intro that it is about CHAOS theory. I think the Director's Cut's ending was much superiror than the theatical ending. I blame the studios. Yeah, life changing alteration can be fun to watch, but some of the things were overly done. The film tried too hard to make everything change for each alteration. Although it was funny, Frat-life alteration was overly done. It seems like they foreced it to happen. But I love the depth of psychological aspects of the film. The fact that blackouts in the film only happened in the events of "future" reconstruction. It was left blank in the brain to fill it in later. Could you imagine multiple neural reconstruction of your brain for new memories? No one knows how will it be or how it could be, but this film did a pretty good job. Ashton having the skull cracking pain for his reconstruction seems very reasonable. What will happen to your brain upon a complete input of all new memories with original memories residing in the brain? The beauty of memories will be gone and only co-exist as psuedo-reality. I personally think a person will go insane with co-exiting of memories from exact time and location; thus this explains why everyone in Evan's family line appears insane. Just think about how crazy the director's cut's ending is. This film is deep, but sugar coated with Hollywood's studio power, I'm just disappointed how so many critics didn't see the depth of deeper meanings this film was trying to reach. Yeah, it was little cliche here and there playing under typical Hollywood, but there is something other than the typical. Expand
  79. JimF.
    Jul 8, 2006
    10
    I thought this movie was excellent. Though, some of it was a bit hard to understand, but that is why you don't just watch it once. This is a movie you may have to watch 3-5 times before you see every little thing they tried to accomplish in the change of every kind of life he re-made of himself. There were some parts that really weren't needed within the movie, but they make up I thought this movie was excellent. Though, some of it was a bit hard to understand, but that is why you don't just watch it once. This is a movie you may have to watch 3-5 times before you see every little thing they tried to accomplish in the change of every kind of life he re-made of himself. There were some parts that really weren't needed within the movie, but they make up for it overall. The acting was great, the setting was great, the tale was great, and overall, the movie was great. Expand
  80. Tomo
    Jan 23, 2007
    8
    The cast wasn't the best and the ending and the story itself could have been better but it was a very entertaining movie. I really enjoyed it.
  81. DavidB.
    Mar 8, 2007
    10
    I love time travel movies so this was amazing. Screw all critics, they can't even try to make anything better. To the person who said the ending would have been better if it was sad, the alternate ending was very sad and much better. I haven't watched the theatrical ending ever since I saw the alternate cept when it was on TV this past sunday.
  82. ChrisH.
    Jun 12, 2007
    9
    A very well made movie, regardless of what critics think, this is worth a watch.
  83. RominaS.
    Oct 29, 2008
    8
    Personally, I think The Butterfly Effect was a good movie. I think it
  84. Ghostbuddy
    Jun 9, 2008
    8
    The majority of modern day critics, are unfortunetely traped in a closed minded state while watching movies. Just look at the reviews for this movie, found on this site. And the biggest complaint you see is the plot is silly. That the plot is nonsense. The truth is, the plot isn't grounded in what they accept as reality. And that prevents them from seeing the commentary behind it. The majority of modern day critics, are unfortunetely traped in a closed minded state while watching movies. Just look at the reviews for this movie, found on this site. And the biggest complaint you see is the plot is silly. That the plot is nonsense. The truth is, the plot isn't grounded in what they accept as reality. And that prevents them from seeing the commentary behind it. The basic concept is. We have a group of friends that grow up, with a pretty f-ked up childhood. Evan, the main character begins to suffer from blackouts. He is taken to a child psychologist, who assures Evans mother its nothing to worry about. And that children usually do this to forget about stressful and traumatic experiences. He reccomends that Evan begin to reccord a journal to help him remember. When Evan grows up, and is in college. He realizes he can take control of his past self by reading his journal. Basically his consciousness can take a trip back in time. Allowing him to change his past. This turns out to be a silly and unrealistic but suprizingly effective plot device. It allows the story telling to reveals things about the characters twisted past, in very interesting ways. It allows the movie to talk about consequences and humanity in very intriguing ways. The movie is overall well executed. Effective camera angles. Great use of sound and image filters during the film. There is some less then satisfactory acting. But I never found it to be laughably or unacceptably bad. I think the degree of which this movie was panned highlights a problem with critics. One reviewer basically critized the film for not having a typical hollywood ending. Another reviewer critized it for being "complicated". This movie has a lot of good ideas, and if you approach it open mindedly, you will find an intriguing commentary wraped in twisted imagery, backed by great film making and editing. Don't get me wrong, this movie is not perfect, nor close to it. But I think it would be a shame if the genius in this movie is forgotten. Because the movies plot refuses to be grounded by preconcieved notions, and because of a few minor fumbles by a few actors. Seriously, don't take critics of any kind seriously on anything any more. Trust the adverage user score more. Expand
  85. AndrewW
    Feb 22, 2009
    8
    It was like alot of low buget hollywood movies, not alot to play around with, hence only 4 people being changed by his "blocked memories" but it was VERY well done in my opinion, definitely a must watch, and for me a must keep!! one of ashtons best acting jobs, very very unique plot, all in all VERY entertaining!! going to read up more on the chaos theory now! :D enjoy
  86. Tim
    Nov 22, 2004
    8
    A great movie, though not without faults. Surprisingly intelligent for an Ashton Kutcher film.
  87. zerodevice
    Nov 23, 2004
    10
    All i can say is that this is a good movie. i like stuff like this twisted movies, and i like the storyline of this movie. Just that still couldn't really want the story ends up like it is a kind of "time travelling" story, instead i would like it to be a real sick cancer show that is saying its all a fake creation of the "evan"'s life.
  88. JusticeT.
    Jan 21, 2004
    7
    Much like "Gothika" before it, critics will misunderstand and rate a movie on what it might being sold as. That fate should be blamed on the studio, the audience and possibly the director/writers. But it will be its undoing. This is an interesting concept, not fully realized, but like the review from the Dallas Observer notes, this is more a study of people than a thriller and its use of Much like "Gothika" before it, critics will misunderstand and rate a movie on what it might being sold as. That fate should be blamed on the studio, the audience and possibly the director/writers. But it will be its undoing. This is an interesting concept, not fully realized, but like the review from the Dallas Observer notes, this is more a study of people than a thriller and its use of thriller elements makes the study more interesting. Ashton Kutcher is capable enough to end the rumors about being cast aside by the "Almost Famous" director but it is Amy Smart who shines in this film. She inhabits each of the charachters she ends up changing into because of "The Butterfly Effect", albeit too briefly. This movie won't win any awards. But those inclined to think about what has been presented will be discussing this film and asking that more like it be made. Just better and better each time. Something like "The Butterfly Effect" comes along once a decade it seems. As of late though, we have had "Gothika", "28 Days Later", and "Zero Day" (amongst others). Small films that fail on certain levels but resonate long after the first viewing. One is left to wonder if the direction of independent film is returning to horror, where by all counts, it started. After all, life is a horror and that we seem to accept. Expand
  89. ChamiW.
    Dec 3, 2004
    10
    This film really helped me. now i don't think too much about my past events anymore.
  90. MitchW.
    Jan 24, 2004
    10
    Kicks butt!
  91. MelanieThomas
    Jan 24, 2004
    10
    This movie was truly original and amazingly entertaining.
  92. TaraM.
    Jan 24, 2004
    9
    I thought it was original and i also thought that ashton pulled it off by throwing away his goofy image and acting with passion. I thought it was a great movie.
  93. BobbyO.
    Jan 24, 2004
    10
    Great movie, kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I really thought ashton kutcher did a good job as a serious character. Go see it, i never listened to the critics anyway.
  94. [Anonymous]
    Jan 25, 2004
    10
    Good thriller.
  95. KevinD.
    Jan 25, 2004
    9
    Excellent film. Ashton Kutcher does a great job in his first serious role, a couple more like this and maybe people will take him more seriously. All in all I loved this movie and its further proof that critics don't know jack about good movies.
  96. FrankM.
    Jan 25, 2004
    9
    OK, I just got home from the theatre where i wasn't looking forward to seeing this flik because i stopped at this site earlier and saw it received a cumulative score of only 28. WTF!!!! Where do these people who review movies for newspapers etc. etc. come from? ANYONE who enjoys a good movie that makes you think and saw "What the F!!!" every once in a while will LOVE THIS! Go See it!!!!
  97. Elizabethw
    Jan 25, 2004
    10
    A unique take on a common subject.
  98. StaceyG.
    Jan 25, 2004
    9
    The storyline is home to a few plot holes, but this should be expected considering the movie's genre. While most people will simply toss the Butterfly effect into the Sci-Fi bin, they are just being lazy. The butterfly effect is a Thriller, and one with jolts, suspense and good acting. Kutcher is perfect for the role of Evan, Evan has a dark past full of secrets but withing ten The storyline is home to a few plot holes, but this should be expected considering the movie's genre. While most people will simply toss the Butterfly effect into the Sci-Fi bin, they are just being lazy. The butterfly effect is a Thriller, and one with jolts, suspense and good acting. Kutcher is perfect for the role of Evan, Evan has a dark past full of secrets but withing ten minutes of the film we realize that he is also kind and brave. Evan must travel back through time in order to change his past and save his loved ones, most of all he must save kayleigh (Amy Smart). Kayleigh lives many lives during the film and Amy Smart does a decent job of portraying them. I went into the butterfly effect trying to pick the errors in Kutcher's performance but after twenty minutes i realized that i wouldnt find any, Kutcher stayed serious and ended up with a compelling role. The child acting was also well done, child acting can ruin movies but in this case, it made the movie even better. The scenes in wich Evan reads his personal journals and goes back in time have a chilling feeling in them and the chilling effect was not over used, or under used. I suspose many people and critics will pick a part the Butterfly effect and label it as a terrible film. Others will breal through the barrier that is known as "a bad rep" and will enjoy the Butterfly effect for what it really is, an entertaining movie that never once disappoints it's audience. Expand
  99. IssacS.
    Jan 31, 2004
    9
    This movie was pretty intense, this gobbledygook about the first 30 minutes being difficult to watch is typical from individuals with no concept of setting up the plot. I am not a big Ashton fan but I have to admit that his getting away from his "Kelso" roles was impressive. I for one was convinced. As I watched the movie I wanted to see more and more alternate timelines, but I will This movie was pretty intense, this gobbledygook about the first 30 minutes being difficult to watch is typical from individuals with no concept of setting up the plot. I am not a big Ashton fan but I have to admit that his getting away from his "Kelso" roles was impressive. I for one was convinced. As I watched the movie I wanted to see more and more alternate timelines, but I will gladly settle on the last one. Yea there were a few issues with the film but too few and too minute to make it anything less that a very good movie. Expand
  100. AuroraR.
    Feb 15, 2004
    7
    It was Good. I loved It.
Metascore
30

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 35
  2. Negative: 18 out of 35
  1. A terrific story, years in the making, that clearly stays true to the uncompromising vision of its creators. The results are on the screen.
  2. An entertaining piece of supernatural nonsense whose sheer audacity disarms all (well, nearly all) skepticism.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    30
    This overwrought and egregiously self-serious thriller about the poisonous fruit borne of child abuse grows more ridiculous by the quarter-hour and is poised for a theatrical life span scarcely longer than that of its eponymous insect.