IMDb > The Butterfly Effect (2004) > Parents Guide
The Butterfly Effect
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Parents Guide for
The Butterfly Effect (2004) More at IMDbPro »

The content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
Since the beliefs that parents want to instill in their children can vary greatly, we ask that, instead of adding your personal opinions about what is right or wrong in a film, you use this feature to help parents make informed viewing decisions by describing the facts of relevant scenes in the title for each one of the different categories: Sex and Nudity, Violence and Gore, Profanity, Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking, and Frightening/Intense Scenes.
Visit our Parents Guide Help to learn more


Most sexual content is in references, some being moderately explicit. Anything sexual shown is not overly graphic.

A man walks in on his room mate and his girlfriend having sex under the covers. Breasts are seen. Not long.

A woman steps out of the shower, with full frontal nudity shown. Not long.

Men are seen shirtless on a few occasions.

A man and woman are having sex in a bed. The woman's nipple is shown, everything else is covered as they are under the covers. Not long.

In another scene, a man and women are under the covers with the women's breasts shown briefly. Not sexual.

A man is implied to be a pedophile, and it's implied that he makes a young boy have sex with his daughter on camera, but it's only referenced to and nothing is seen. We see the young boy and the little girl standing semi-naked.

A man agrees to perform oral sex on a man in prison but in the end he doesn't do it. Not very explicit.

In a prison, two inmates say they will come for a man at night and call him their bitch. A guard is seen accepting money of the two inmates at night and he hands them a key implying that they bribed him to set them free. They are then seen grabbing the man they said they would get from his bed. This is extremely brief and isn't in some versions of the film, but it implies that they raped him.

Several scenes of women in their panties, particularly during the scenes at the women's dorm.

Women shown in seductive leather outfit. Another women dressed as a doped prostitute.


None of the violence is excessively graphic, and all is important to the plot.

A 13 year old boy is blown up offscreen; he is later seen as an adult with missing arms.

A dog is trapped in a bag and implied to have been burned to death offscreen, the aftermath is shown for a second or two.

A boy hits another boy with a pole and then hits and kicks him a few times.

A boy accidentally hits his sister with a wooden plank.

A man attacks a boy and tries to strangle him. The man is hit in the back of the head by a guard (we see blood on man's head), ultimately causing his death.

A boy slams his hand down onto wire paper holders offscreen.

A boy threatens a man with an explosive. The explosive rolls towards a girl who picks it up. It explodes and kills her offscreen.

A boy has a nose bleed on more than one occasion.

A young man attacks another young man with a bat, the victim manages to get the bat of the attacker after spraying him with some sort of pepper spray and hits him with the bat which causes his accidental death.

A boy tackles over a woman holding a baby, but this was to protect her, not to hurt her.


About 37 uses of the f-word and 21 uses of the s-word and many uses of mild language like d*ck, a**hole, prick, etc.


Brief drinking.

A man briefly smokes marijuana in a bong in the background.

13 year olds are seen smoking cigarettes.

Some adults are seen smoking.

There is brief HEAVY drug use.


Themes of child abuse, pedophilia, bullying, and people going insane.

Some emotional and intense scenes.

In the Director's Cut Evan makes the ultimate sacrifice and kills himself in his mother's womb in order to prevent Kayleigh's death. Definitely not a conventional kind of ending to any movie, and it might impress some viewers.

All the main characters are messed up in one way or another: one is a sociopathic sadist as well as a victim of child abuse, one is a victim of psychical and sexual child abuse, one is very unstable and overrun with guilt, one doesn't know if he is crazy or has God like powers, one is depressed that she is unable to have a child, one is a pedophile, ect...

This film is EXTREMELY mature, however, it does teach many valuable lessons, and a lot can be learned from it.

Rated R for violence, sexual content, language and brief drug use
Argentina:16 / Australia:MA15+ / Austria:16 / Brazil:14 (re-rating on appeal) / Canada:18A (Alberta/Manitoba) / Canada:14A (British Columbia/Ontario) / Canada:14 (Nova Scotia) / Canada:13+ (Quebec) / Chile:14 / Denmark:15 / Finland:K-15 / France:12 / Germany:16 / Hong Kong:IIB / Iceland:16 / Italy:VM14 / Japan:PG-12 / Malaysia:18SG / Malaysia:U (cut version) / Netherlands:12 / Norway:15 / Peru:14 / Philippines:R-13 / Portugal:M/12 / Singapore:PG (edited for re-rating) / Singapore:NC-16 (original rating) / South Korea:18 / Spain:18 / Sweden:15 / UK:15 / USA:R (No. 39664)

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