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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 300 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 165
  1. Feb 24, 2013
    This is one of my favorite movies of all time. It is based on the theory that for every decision we make, an equal and opposite reaction occurs in another dimension. In this film, Ashton Kutcher's/Logan Lerman's character finds a way to enter these dimensions and make the opposite choice. This movie was so good, because the possibilities are endless. There were two sequals which I haven't seen. Normally I'm all for sequals, but this movie was so good, that I don't want to risk tarnishing it by watching the two direct to video sequals, and lets face it, they don't have Ashton in them. In The Butterfly Effect, Kutcher shows that he is versital and can do much more than just romantic comedy. This movie is a Sci-Fi lovers dream and a can't miss film! Expand
  2. Feb 1, 2014
    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.
  3. Mar 20, 2012
    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
  4. Feb 22, 2012
    I just watched this movie for the 2nd time in like 8 years and i have to say now that im not 12 i can say im blown away with this movie. Gets right to the point and the screenplay has things i couldn't even imaging they are so terrible, but they are brilliant events. I want to give it a 10 because poor acting except for some good scenes between Amy Smart and Ashton, so i deduct a point there. Expand
  5. Dec 16, 2013
    There are some titles which Metascore is higher than User Score. And there are some which User Score is higher. On this movie, the user score is 2,5 times higher than Metascore, which means that the experience the movie brings is better than it is while technically critically.
    Experience and technique, as well as theory and pratice are not opposites. The best movie is the one which succeeds on both points. That because, people who are more critic while watching movies will have their experience affected by a lack of technical quality.

    So, the objective to my review is to judge experience and technique together, as they are related, but not the same thing.

    This movie brings an awesome experience. It really moved with my way of seeing things (at least for a moment) and of thinking. Its idea is interesting, and opens various possibilities. The "key idea" of the movie came as a surprise. Untill there, there was such a "mistery" opened, and the answer to it was very satisfying.
    Characters are interesting, however kinda generic. Some of the passages didn't make any sense, while others where perfectly coherent and meaningfull. The end was cliche. But by the end of the day, that didn't mean that much to the experience.

    So, going to where it interests... 8/10. Generic characters, senseless events and a cliche ending coexists with an awesome atmosphere, an awesome idea and awesome acting. The good side,, prevails, however it's sonewhat affected by the theorical flaws.
  6. Oct 10, 2011
    I had a negative expectation with this movie hearing so much about it. I am not a fan of Ashton Kutcher on top of all that. I gave it a shot, I have to say, the movie was quite intriguing. It did keep you entertained following his mess of a life that is influencing his traumatized life to the point of neuroticism. It makes you wonder what some people that are labelled mentally disturbed go through based on life's events that we don't always control or can change if we wanted to. Expand
  7. Mar 29, 2014
    Interesting idea, with a good theme. Unfortunately very badly acted with freakin huge plot holes. Plot caverns. Honestly I don't know why anyone would get Ashton to be in a film if they wanted the film to be good? I reckon they knew they had a weak script here. Anyway somewhere along the line they manage to get an interesting point about human nature across, but its pretty much smothered by the surrounding crap. Shame really. Expand

See all 165 User Reviews

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