7.6/10
427,312
1,143 user 183 critic

The Butterfly Effect (2004)

Trailer
2:10 | Trailer
Evan Treborn suffers blackouts during significant events of his life. As he grows up, he finds a way to remember these lost memories and a supernatural way to alter his life by reading his journal.
Popularity
1,547 ( 59)
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Limitless I (2011)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access one hundred percent of his brain abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with lots of dangers.

Director: Neil Burger
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Anna Friel, Abbie Cornish
Source Code (2011)
Action | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A soldier wakes up in someone else's body and discovers he's part of an experimental government program to find the bomber of a commuter train within 8 minutes.

Director: Duncan Jones
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga
The Machinist (2004)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An industrial worker who hasn't slept in a year begins to doubt his own sanity.

Director: Brad Anderson
Stars: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón
Looper (2012)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.

Director: Rian Johnson
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt
Mr. Nobody (2009)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A boy stands on a station platform as a train is about to leave. Should he go with his mother or stay with his father? Infinite possibilities arise from this decision. As long as he doesn't choose, anything is possible.

Director: Jaco Van Dormael
Stars: Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

Nick Larson discovers a supernatural way to alter his life and travel back in time to key moments in his life by looking at photographs.

Director: John R. Leonetti
Stars: Eric Lively, Erica Durance, Dustin Milligan
Donnie Darko (2001)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.

Director: Richard Kelly
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell
Predestination I (2014)
Action | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

For his final assignment, a top temporal agent must pursue the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time. The chase turns into a unique, surprising and mind-bending exploration of love, fate, identity and time travel taboos.

Directors: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Tells the story of Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton
I Am Legend (2007)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure.

Director: Francis Lawrence
Stars: Will Smith, Alice Braga, Charlie Tahan
District 9 (2009)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Violence ensues after an extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth finds a kindred spirit in a government agent exposed to their biotechnology.

Director: Neill Blomkamp
Stars: Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ashton Kutcher ... Evan
Melora Walters ... Andrea
Amy Smart ... Kayleigh
Elden Henson ... Lenny
William Lee Scott ... Tommy
John Patrick Amedori ... Evan at 13
Irina Gorovaia ... Kayleigh at 13 (as Irene Gorovaia)
Kevin G. Schmidt ... Lenny at 13
Jesse James ... Tommy at 13
Logan Lerman ... Evan at 7
Sarah Widdows Sarah Widdows ... Kayleigh at 7
Jake Kaese Jake Kaese ... Lenny at 7
Cameron Bright ... Tommy at 7
Eric Stoltz ... Mr. Miller
Callum Keith Rennie ... Jason
Edit

Storyline

Evan Treborn grows up in a small town with his single, working mother and his friends. He suffers from memory blackouts where he suddenly finds himself somewhere else, confused. Evan's friends and mother hardly believe him, thinking he makes it up just to get out of trouble. As Evan grows up he has fewer of these blackouts until he seems to have recovered. Since the age of seven he has written a diary of his blackout moments so he can remember what happens. One day at college he starts to read one of his old diaries, and suddenly a flashback hits him like a brick! Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Change one thing, Change everything. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexual content, language and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 January 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Butterfly Effect See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,100,000, 25 January 2004

Gross USA:

$57,938,693

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$95,707,652
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Josh Hartnett, Seann William Scott, and Joshua Jackson were each offered the role of Evan. See more »

Goofs

When Evan is writing in his journal for the first time he writes his friend's name as Kayley. Her name is credited as Kayleigh. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[reading aloud as he writes a note]
Evan: If anyone finds this, it means my plan didn't work and I'm already dead. But if I can somehow go back to the beginning of all of this, I might be able to save her.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title, "The Butterfly Effect," is superimposed over a depiction of a butterfly beating its wings, which is itself superimposed upon an X-ray profile of a human brain. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Canadian version of the movie contains scenes of nudity. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Alternate Movie Endings (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

When Animals Attack
Written by Dave Wadsworth, Christopher King, Howard Karp, Keith Kaplan and Ric Roccapriore
Performed by Even Rude
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
What if there's an alternate life for you somewhere, out there, where the cumulative sum of your choices leads to a better reality, a happier and more fulfilling existence?
28 July 2007 | by saarvardiSee all my reviews

What if you could go back to major junctions in your life and take the other path? What if there's an alternate life for you somewhere, out there, where the cumulative sum of your choices leads to a better reality, a happier and more fulfilling existence? On the flip-side - what if, at the end of the day, you really can't achieve a solid grip on these things, no matter how hard you try?

A great deal of science fiction works of art have tried to approach these meaningful questions throughout the years, all presenting many philosophical ideas and notions as to how one man can change his own fate, for better or for worse. In this surprisingly good sci-fi adventure from 2004, directors Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber (who are also behind the screenplay of Final Destination 2) raise all these questions once again, but use a different angle this time around. Time travel is not the issue here. Instead, our lead protagonist, Evan Treborn (portrayed by Hollywood prankster Ashton Kutcher – but more on that later) leads his whole life up until his early 20's without knowing he has a rare medical condition that seemingly helps him shut away traumatic incidents that occurred throughout his childhood and adolescence years. All he remembers from these various occasions are bizarre blackouts. But when a blast from his past comes back into his life only to leave it ever so tragically (Kayleigh Miller, portrayed by the lovely Amy Smart who we've since seen in films such as Just Friends and Crank), Evan learns that he can return to those important lost moments in his life and re-inhabit his younger body, thus changing the present and future. However, with every shift in the past comes an alternate present that may seem better at first, but is in fact a far harsher reality than the original one Evan has left.

What truly touched me about this film was the essence in which it captured the troublesome youth of my generation, that was born in the 1980's, grew up in the 1990's, and is ever since trying to adapt to the ever changing reality in which we all live in. Here, one man tries to alter all this, and his own personal journey is parallel in many ways to the journey many young people go through nowadays. Part of capturing this Generation X notion is the pop-culture presented throughout the film. When you see the young actors and actress fall in love, fight, and grow up real fast, it all happens amidst references to films of the period (Se7en, etc.), outfits, 1980's technology and other devices that fill you up with an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia and sentiment, as if you were there yourself, living these events and going through all these horrible/wonderful events.

Above all things, the makers of The Butterfly Effect do the unbelievable and turn Ashton Kutcher into a good actor – a feat I thought was unachievable at best. However, in this sci-fi epic it appears as though anything is possible. Bottom line, it was a fresh breath of air when I saw it, left me pondering for days, and gave me the inspiration and write something myself after a long period of writers block. If a film manages to be this inspirational and keep you on the edge of your seat throughout its 113 minutes duration, all I can do is humbly bow down in front of its makers' talents. I'm eagerly waiting for other outings by these young folks.


160 of 201 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 1,143 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed