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The Butterfly Effect (2004)

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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.
933 ( 156)
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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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


Das Ende ist erst der Anfang (The end is only the beginning.) 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)


$23,947 (USA) (7 May 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The teenage versions of Evan, Kayleigh, and Tommy go see Se7en (1995) at a movie theater that's also showing Dumb & Dumber (1994). Both of those movies, as well as this one, were released by New Line Cinema. And Elden Henson who plays the grown-up Lenny can also be seen in Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003). See more »


When Evan is in his dorm and the room is backwards, we see Evan's profile, but for a second, Evan turns around showing that the left side of his nose is about twice as big as it should be because of the prosthetic tube used to achieve the affect of a dripping nosebleed. 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 The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made (2005) See more »


Heroin Hate
Written by Level and Buka
Performed by AP2
Courtesy of Tooth and Nail Records
By arrangement with Position Soundtrack Services
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Real Tripped Out Roller Coaster
7 January 2005 | by (California) – See all my reviews

Man... Whew... Wow! I'm at a loss of words to describe this high octane, tantalizing, brain-stimulating movie. The acting: excellent. The plot: superb. The story: great. The drama/suspense: mind numbing.

How the writers were able to put this story together so flawlessly, I don't know, and how the director was able to actualize it, even more amazing. There was plenty of visual stimuli as well as mental stimuli as you waited to see the outcome of each alteration made by the main character, Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher).

The movie kept me guessing and kept me at the edge of my seat, and the writers outdid themselves by making sure the movie didn't peter out with some lame ending. The ending was icing on the cake and it capped what should be a classic.

432 of 568 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The best version dancenog
Director's cut ending VenserQL
Why the Director's Cut Doesn't Work: powermandan
The sequels should never have been made Tessburton43
Probably been discussed before, but one thing that always bothered me. chilichilipepper
Directors cut ending was so much better than the theatrical ending. Humanity_Youve_Failed
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