7.6/10
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The Butterfly Effect (2004)

Trailer
2:10 | Trailer
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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1,164 ( 247)
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ashton Kutcher ... Evan
Melora Walters ... Andrea
Amy Smart ... Kayleigh
Elden Henson ... Lenny
William Lee Scott ... Tommy
John Patrick Amedori ... Evan at 13
Irina Gorovaia ... Kayleigh at 13 (as Irene Gorovaia)
Kevin G. Schmidt ... Lenny at 13
Jesse James ... Tommy at 13
Logan Lerman ... Evan at 7
Sarah Widdows Sarah Widdows ... Kayleigh at 7
Jake Kaese Jake Kaese ... Lenny at 7
Cameron Bright ... Tommy at 7
Eric Stoltz ... Mr. Miller
Callum Keith Rennie ... Jason
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Storyline

As a child, Evan Treborn was afflicted with blackouts where he would be in one place one minute and then another the next, remembering absolutely nothing in-between. Now all grown up and in college, he decides to read from an old journal he wrote to remember stuff that might have happened in the in-between, and suddenly finds himself back at a certain point in his life. He realizes that those blackouts he had were actually empty spaces of time he had to fill up later in life. Attempting to use this ability to undo unpleasant past events, Evan starts to find that every time he goes back and tries to fix things, he ends up making everything worse. How can he prevent more tragedies from happening and save the one girl he ever loved, Kayleigh (Amy Smart)? Written by Lenny at 13

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Verändere die Zukunft, durch die Vergangenheit (Change the future, through the past.) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Evan's diaries have the same cover layout as the diaries of John Doe in Se7en (1995), also released by New Line Cinema. They are standard composition notebooks that are used by school children across the country every day. See more »

Goofs

When Evan is writing in his journal for the first time he writes his friend's name as Kayley. Her name is credited as Kayleigh. 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.
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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 »

Alternate Versions

The director's cut contains a few new scenes:
  • Evan discovering that his grandfather had the same gift, and also was considered crazy, like his father
  • Evan and Andrea go to a palm reader that tells Evan he has no lifeline
  • Andrea telling Evan she was pregnant twice before he was born.
  • A scene in the prison where the prisoners publicly read Evan's journals.
  • A scene in the prison where the other prisoners come to rape Evan one night.
  • An extended hospital scene where Evan is visiting sick Andrea.
  • An alternate ending.
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Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Evil Children from Movies (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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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User Reviews

 
What if there's an alternate life for you somewhere, out there, where the cumulative sum of your choices leads to a better reality, a happier and more fulfilling existence?
28 July 2007 | by saarvardiSee all my reviews

What if you could go back to major junctions in your life and take the other path? What if there's an alternate life for you somewhere, out there, where the cumulative sum of your choices leads to a better reality, a happier and more fulfilling existence? On the flip-side - what if, at the end of the day, you really can't achieve a solid grip on these things, no matter how hard you try?

A great deal of science fiction works of art have tried to approach these meaningful questions throughout the years, all presenting many philosophical ideas and notions as to how one man can change his own fate, for better or for worse. In this surprisingly good sci-fi adventure from 2004, directors Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber (who are also behind the screenplay of Final Destination 2) raise all these questions once again, but use a different angle this time around. Time travel is not the issue here. Instead, our lead protagonist, Evan Treborn (portrayed by Hollywood prankster Ashton Kutcher – but more on that later) leads his whole life up until his early 20's without knowing he has a rare medical condition that seemingly helps him shut away traumatic incidents that occurred throughout his childhood and adolescence years. All he remembers from these various occasions are bizarre blackouts. But when a blast from his past comes back into his life only to leave it ever so tragically (Kayleigh Miller, portrayed by the lovely Amy Smart who we've since seen in films such as Just Friends and Crank), Evan learns that he can return to those important lost moments in his life and re-inhabit his younger body, thus changing the present and future. However, with every shift in the past comes an alternate present that may seem better at first, but is in fact a far harsher reality than the original one Evan has left.

What truly touched me about this film was the essence in which it captured the troublesome youth of my generation, that was born in the 1980's, grew up in the 1990's, and is ever since trying to adapt to the ever changing reality in which we all live in. Here, one man tries to alter all this, and his own personal journey is parallel in many ways to the journey many young people go through nowadays. Part of capturing this Generation X notion is the pop-culture presented throughout the film. When you see the young actors and actress fall in love, fight, and grow up real fast, it all happens amidst references to films of the period (Se7en, etc.), outfits, 1980's technology and other devices that fill you up with an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia and sentiment, as if you were there yourself, living these events and going through all these horrible/wonderful events.

Above all things, the makers of The Butterfly Effect do the unbelievable and turn Ashton Kutcher into a good actor – a feat I thought was unachievable at best. However, in this sci-fi epic it appears as though anything is possible. Bottom line, it was a fresh breath of air when I saw it, left me pondering for days, and gave me the inspiration and write something myself after a long period of writers block. If a film manages to be this inspirational and keep you on the edge of your seat throughout its 113 minutes duration, all I can do is humbly bow down in front of its makers' talents. I'm eagerly waiting for other outings by these young folks.


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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 January 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Butterfly Effect See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,100,000, 25 January 2004

Gross USA:

$57,938,693

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$96,822,421
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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