7.6/10
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1,201 user 180 critic

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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850 ( 646)
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:

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

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

Goofs

In the credits at the end, there is a name next to a character for "Evan at 3". Nowhere in either of the two cuts is an actor portraying Evan at three yrs. old. 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 Canadian version of the movie contains scenes of nudity. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Movies with Forced Sequels (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

My Elastic Eye
Written by Tom Rowlands, Ed Simons and Bernard Estardy
Performed by The Chemical Brothers
Courtesy of Virgin Astralwerks Records
Under license from EMI & TV Music
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User Reviews

 
A Much Better Movie Than You Would Suspect...
21 November 2004 | by hokeybuttSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

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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