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The Butterfly Effect (2004)

R  |   |  Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  23 January 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 327,743 users   Metascore: 30/100
Reviews: 1,085 user | 182 critic | 35 from

A young man blocks out harmful memories of 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.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kayleigh at 13 (as Irene Gorovaia)
Sarah Widdows ...
Jake Kaese ...


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


Change one thing, Change everything. See more »


Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

23 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El efecto mariposa  »

Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$17,065,227 (USA) (23 January 2004)


$143,748 (Japan) (13 May 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


They only had three of the postboxes to blow up and they only got it right on the third try. See more »


When Evan's mom is having a miscarriage, the doctor removes the pillow from under her head, the next shot it's there again and then disappears in the next. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in Justified: Measures (2012) See more »


Something Static
Written by Brian Ginsberg
Performed by Brian Ginsberg
Courtesy of June St. Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One good turn....
7 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie received WAY too many bad reviews. The only reason was to PUNK Ashton Kutcher. Say what you will, Kutcher did a fair to midland acting job here. There have been a lot worse performances on film in much better reviewed movies. I tell you, you will NOT be disappointed watching the Director's cut Alternate ending. It is a story of how one action causes a series of matter the intentions, be careful what you wish for. This film's biggest mistake was promoting it in the horror genre. It is NOT! It is a nice dark fantasy film, nothing more, nothing less. There are 2 different endings, with 2 different meanings for me. I preferred the Alternate ending in lieu of the Theatrical ending. A great "popcorn" movie. Don't believe the (bad)Hype!

158 of 232 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Bluray boxset .... ORIGINAL ENDING RESTORED BalboasBoy
Why was he in a wheelchair? CountCagliostro
Directors cut ending was so much better than the theatrical ending. Humanity_Youve_Failed
The other miscarriages lovorlie
Weird question natashiaquinn
The Butterfly Effect Temporal Analysis recovered and restored mjyoung-2
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