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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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825 ( 194)
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Kayleigh at 13 (as Irene Gorovaia)
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Sarah Widdows ...
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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:

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

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

23 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El efecto mariposa  »

Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$23,947 (USA) (7 May 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The picture over Evan's bed in his dorm room is "Sleep" by Salvador Dalí. See more »

Goofs

In the final scene of the theatrical cut (not the director's cut), you can see a grown up 28-year-old Evan as a businessman walking out of a building, talking on his cell phone. When he walks by a building, the reflection of a camera is seen moving on a tinted window. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Snoop Dogg/Avril Lavigne (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

My Elastic Eye
Written by Tom Rowlands, Ed Simons and Le Baron (as Bernard Estardy)
Performed by The Chemical Brothers
Courtesy of Virgin Astralwerks Records
Under license from EMI & TV Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Much Better Movie Than You Would Suspect...
21 November 2004 | by (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT- THEATRICAL CUT (4 outta 5 stars)

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT- DIRECTOR'S CUT (3+ outta 5 stars)

Now normally I tend to prefer movies that let the writer/director tell the story that they want to without having to water it down for mass consumption. In this case I have to say that the ending they they were forced to re-shoot for the theatrical release of this movie is a much more emotional, resonant and appropriate ending than the bleak, cold and grotesque finale they had originally planned. On the US DVDs you get the choice of which version to see (foreign editions only have the less compelling director's version)... so North American viewers can make up their own mind about which ending they prefer. I would suggest watching the theatrical cut first... and then check out the director's cut... which would you prefer to think of as the "real" ending?

As for the movie itself... don't be put off by the idea of Ashton Kutcher in the lead role. He does quite a good job in a serious part quite different from his usual TV persona. He plays a college student who, having been plagued by mental blackouts all his life, devotes himself to the study of human memory. Eventually he finds that by re-reading old journal entries he can will himself back in time to experience the events he had blacked out... and even CHANGE THEM using the knowledge that his older self possesses. Unfortunately one small change in the past causes some HUGE ramifications in his present day world. Can't say too much more about the plot without giving away the many fun surprises. Believable performances and a basic seriousness give the film an urgency that is sometimes missing in modern fantasy films of this type.


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The best version dancenog
Director's cut ending VenserQL
Why the Director's Cut Doesn't Work: powermandan
Directors cut ending was so much better than the theatrical ending. Humanity_Youve_Failed
Probably been discussed before, but one thing that always bothered me. chilichilipepper
Lenny? rossana-mlv
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