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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.
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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 ...
Lenny at 7
Tommy at 7


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


Such minor changes, such huge consequences. 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 USA:

$17,065,227, 25 January 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


When Evan's mother takes him to the psychiatrist to be hypnotized (after the mailbox incident) the blood on his face changes many times between shots. 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.
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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 To Be Continued: Episode #1.11 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

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User Reviews

Keep you on the edge of your seat from the start to the finish
15 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

The film that was underrated. The film that only appeared on US cinemas. The Butterfly Effect.

I think Ashton Kutcher did a good job on this film, along with Andrea Treborn. I recall that Kutcher has never made a film like this, and his first thriller was somewhat peculiar. Not just any old thriller, this one would keep you on the edge of your seat from the start to the finish. A weird title however, but the tag line explains all. Change one thing, change everything. I think this automatically gets you thinking, and as the film proceeds, it gets harder. You like thinking? Get this film, because you will not want to miss it!

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