Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 38
  2. Negative: 6 out of 38

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Colin Kennedy
    Everybody is good at one thing, they say; for Emmerich, it's destruction.
  2. 80
    This highly entertaining spin on eco-catastrophe could turn the most meteorologically challenged among us into Weather Channel freaks.
  3. Despite the clunky bits, "Tomorrow" still manages to deliver the blockbuster goods.
  4. 75
    Yes, the movie is profoundly silly. What surprised me is that it's also very scary. The special effects are on such an awesome scale that the movie works despite its cornball plotting.
  5. The spectacle, which is colossal and at times staggering to behold, begins within two minutes of the fade-in and keeps coming until the finish. I thought I'd seen it all. I hadn't.
  6. Better than his previous films, The Day After Tomorrow plays to Emmerich's strengths, making for a thrill ride that rarely disappoints when it matters.
  7. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    A disarmingly pulpy, eye-popping disaster movie during its first half, and an increasingly dull survival melodrama during its second.
  8. Several of the special-effects sequences -- a Tokyo hailstorm, a system of tornadoes ripping through L.A. (and tearing up the Hollywood sign), a tidal wave breaking on the East Side and washing through the canyons of Manhattan -- are just dandy.
  9. 67
    Emmerich’s sense of irony has rarely been so pointed, and The Day After Tomorrow, for all its obvious cataclysmic set-pieces and stock characterizations, is nothing if not timely.
  10. 67
    Delivers the expected thrills and groans.
  11. 63
    The Day After Tomorrow is filled with bad dialogue, stock peril situations, and sketchy character development, but it's a big enough spectacle that those things don't completely derail the film's capacity to be enjoyed.
  12. Never mind the cool, convincing effects (and they are cool), The Day After Tomorrow teems with illogical action, improbable coincidences. It's pure escapist fare, a popcorn gobbler.
  13. This often entertaining movie mixes grand, epic effects and amazing visualizations of catastrophe with a sappy family-in-crisis plot that would look hackneyed in a '60s Disney TV movie.
  14. 63
    Disaster movies, from "The Poseidon Adventure" to "Towering Inferno," are impossible to take seriously and "Day" is no exception - it's simply a fast-moving pageant of end-of-the-world eye candy.
  15. I'm not saying that a date with this picture is all pleasure; but it's not all guilt either.
  16. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    The real top billing, what audience-goers are obviously shelling out to see, is the computer-generated chaos, and as they should: Digital technology has caught up with our collective imaginations Now More Than Ever.
  17. 60
    The really good news is that the disaster money shots are some of the finest ever filmed.
  18. It's the Weather Channel on steroids.
  19. A decent disaster pic comes down to the handful of colorful individuals who will live (or, depending on the prominence of their billing, die), as it has since the days of chewy disaster meatballs like ''The Towering Inferno'' and ''Earthquake.'' And the heaviest lifting in Emmerich's production falls to Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal.
  20. 50
    What most hurts The Day After Tomorrow is its unfortunate, lecturing tone.
  21. All this amounts to a badly wasted opportunity, since global warming is a serious issue that deserves thoughtful treatment. So stay home and read a scientific journal instead. This is a disaster movie that lives up to its label.
  22. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Packed with digs at Bush-Cheney that even Democrats could find heavy-handed, the movie's lumbering approach reminds us that, OK, Emmerich did "Independence Day" -- but also 1998's "Godzilla," which began sinking back into the sea in week two.
  23. The glacierization of half of the world's inhabited land is contemplated with barely a hint of horror. In fact, it looks kind of cool.
  24. Really bad movies can be fun, and the dialogue here often attains a level of joyful inanity.
  25. 50
    Emmerich does know his way around an action scene -- there's an exciting sequence in which Sam and his buddies run from wolves while looking for meds inside the huge ship that pulls up alongside the library. But he's a master of disaster with no people skills. The characters in The Day After Tomorrow are fantastically stupid.
  26. 50
    Needless to say, the movie fails as a cautionary tale. But it fulfills its summer air-conditioning duties with flippant ease, and its enjoyably cloddish attempts at political relevance add a fascinating layer of incongruity.
  27. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Seldom has grandeur struggled so mightily, and fruitlessly, with rampant goofiness.
  28. The story is too silly, too woefully underwritten, to stake a claim on seriousness.
  29. The generally competent B-list actors are hobbled by cliché-ridden dialogue but do their best to react in remotely plausible ways each time the script nails them with some new melodramatic contrivance.
  30. 40
    Despite the fact that The Day After Tomorrow is harnessed to the very real threat of global warming, it's still just a big, dumb movie, another Hollywood entertainment that, instead of tweaking and teasing our brains for fun, leaves us feeling thick and stupid.
  31. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Even by the standards of disaster movies, The Day After Tomorrow is irretrievably poor: a shambles of dud writing and dramatic inconsequence which left me determined to double my consumption of fossil fuels. [7 June 2004, p. 102]
  32. While it's marvelously refreshing to observe Mother Nature obliterating L.A. and New York along with caricatures of ghastly world leaders, almost everything good is in the trailer, save perhaps brief run-ins with malevolent wolves and Ian Holm.
  33. An exceptionally stupid movie.
  34. Utterly shatters the illusion with a trite plot, banal dialogue, clunky sentimentality and, worst of all, a sort of narrative arbitrariness.
  35. 30
    Emmerich now directs entirely in watered-down Spielbergisms, and his storytelling skills, never strong, have gone slack. His talent for stretching a concept that can be described in 10 seconds into a feature-length movie, on the other hand, remains impressive.
  36. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    When it comes to weaving personal stories in and out of the special-effects set pieces, the director has the most colossal antitalent since Ed Wood Jr.
  37. The catastrophe is so pulped and exaggerated that uninformed audiences will safely assume that global warming is just a Democratic scare tactic.
  38. 25
    Don't ask whether or not you should take The Day After Tomorrow seriously. Don't take it at all.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 302 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 165
  2. Negative: 47 out of 165
  1. Oct 6, 2011
    "The Day after Tomorrow" starts in a broad scale with impressive visuals, but lacks the lasting appeal as well as the character depth. I can"The Day after Tomorrow" starts in a broad scale with impressive visuals, but lacks the lasting appeal as well as the character depth. I can suspect where the movie wants itself headed to, but fails to execute in action. Full Review »
  2. Nei
    May 3, 2010
    I don't care what the others say, but this movie is good.
  3. May 20, 2014
    I really enjoyed this movie- it's like 2012, but if it had better characters and more tragedy. And I like that the disaster was due to climateI really enjoyed this movie- it's like 2012, but if it had better characters and more tragedy. And I like that the disaster was due to climate change rather than natural disaster, at least to convey the message of,"STOP F***ING UP THE EARTH!"

    And the theme song and effects were really awesome
    Full Review »