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The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 28 May 2004 (USA)
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Jack Hall, paleoclimatologist, must make a daring trek from Washington, D.C. to New York City to reach his son, trapped in the cross-hairs of a sudden international storm which plunges the planet into a new Ice Age.

Director:

Roland Emmerich

Writers:

Roland Emmerich (story), Roland Emmerich (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
1,407 ( 54)
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Quaid ... Jack Hall
Jake Gyllenhaal ... Sam Hall
Emmy Rossum ... Laura Chapman
Dash Mihok ... Jason Evans
Jay O. Sanders ... Frank Harris
Sela Ward ... Dr. Lucy Hall
Austin Nichols ... J.D.
Arjay Smith ... Brian Parks
Tamlyn Tomita ... Janet Tokada
Sasha Roiz ... Parker
Ian Holm ... Terry Rapson
Nassim Sharara Nassim Sharara ... Saudi Delegate
Carl Alacchi ... Venezuelan Delegate
Kenneth Welsh ... Vice President Becker
Michel 'Gish' Abou-Samah ... Saudi Translator (as Michael A. Samah)
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Storyline

As Paleoclimatologist Jack Hall is in Antartica, he discovers that a huge ice sheet has sheared off. But what he does not know is that this event will trigger a massive climate shift that will affect the world population. Meanwhile, his son Sam is with friends in New York City to attend an event. There, they discover that it has been raining non-stop for the past three days, and after a series of weather-related disasters begin to occur all over the world, everybody realizes the world is about to enter a new Ice Age and the world population begins trying to evacuate to the warmer climates of the south. Jack makes a daring attempt to rescue his son and his friends who are stuck in New York City and who have managed to survive not only a massive wave but also freezing cold temperatures that could possibly kill them. Written by John Wiggins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Whoever said "Tomorrow is another day"... didn't check the weather. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense situations of peril | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese | French | Arabic

Release Date:

28 May 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tomorrow See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$125,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$85,807,341, 30 May 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$186,740,799

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$544,272,402
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On the two-disc Special Edition, (at twenty-six minutes and forty-nine seconds) the second commentary track says that the helicopter used to create the wind was loaded with as much sand as possible. By making the load heavier, the helicopter would need to use more downward thrust, and hence create more wind. See more »

Goofs

Onboard the ship, the pharmacy is locked from the inside, with a type of key in the door which means it could not have been locked from the outside. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Frank Harris: See how it's done?
Jason Evans: Yeah, I think I got the hang of it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are reflected in the water and ice in the background. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Rotten Tomatoes Show: Surrogates/Pandorum/Fame (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Karma
Written and Performed by Emanuele Arnone (as Fungone)
Courtesy of Compression Records/Magelic Productions Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Clichéd, illogical, unscientific but the first hour really delivers even if the second hour is like the 1970's never happened
31 May 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

After years of warning about global warning, Jack Hall is horrified to find all his predictions coming true much faster than he could have imagined. Hail stones the size of footballs decimate cities, typhoons destroy Los Angeles and New York becomes flooded. As the big freeze crosses the northern hemisphere, a small group of survivors try to fend off the cold as the world prepares for a dramatic change in the world order.

This film may be a modern blockbuster but in almost everyway it is a 1970's disaster movie where an event happens after some build up and we then spend the rest of the film watching the survivors trying to, well, survive. In that regard the film carries all the usual problems that the genre carries but happily benefits from the fact that the effects are much better than 1970's movies could manage. For this reason the first hour is great – it has dramatic pace, is involving and looks fantastic even if we have seen it before in different variations (how many times has New York been destroyed now?). However after the sheer global terror is pretty much finished we suddenly become much more small scale and the film looses much of it's impact and it's pace. After the initial danger has passed the film uses illogical and silly plot devices to put the survivors at risk – a cold eye of a storm, blood infections, creeping ice and wolves are among the problems. While this is OK on a genre level it doesn't compare to the first hour and it gets a little dull and plodding at times.

The clichés are all present and correct: the politicians, the upright scientists, the sacrifice, the daring rescues and so on. It's fair to say that if you are looking for more than a basic script then you will be looking in the wrong place here. All this film does is to provide spectacle and moments of dramatic action – if you want to think about it then you will only hurt your enjoyment of the action. The film tries to deliver an environmental message but in a way this film will not help the environmental movement because it is too exaggerated to be taken seriously (like the idea of Celtic and Man Utd reaching the Champions League final – during this season? Please!), however it does include several surprisingly barbed attacks on the US administration (could the VP look any more like Cheney?). Just a shame that the film message is delivered with all the subtlety that Segal showed when he did something similar in his environmental action film On Deadly Ground.

The script doesn't really create characters either and it means we don't care that much about what happens to them in the final hour (countless millions are dead for goodness sake!). The dialogue in the first hour is nicely gruff and scientific and very genre but the second hour is more human and the lines aren't suited for that – not even in the hands of an impressive number of good actors. I like Quaid and he is a good lead here, he gets the good scientific stuff and only is lumbered with the rather silly notion of walking to New York from Washington. Gyllenhaal must have upset legions of cult fan boys by appearing in a big budget movie but he does OK with the role (despite looking too old to be in school). The rest of the cast are fairly mixed but, as with the genre, they are just filled even if some are good. Welsh is good even if he was cast for his similarity to Dick Cheney, Holm adds a small bit of dignity in his role as well as being supported by the very fine actor Lester in a minor role. Faces like Sanders, Mihok and a few others don't really matter as they are merely victims waiting for their turn to be used for dramatic effect.

Overall the first hour of this film is good on a blockbuster level, but it blows it's wad too early (don't ya hate it when that happens?!) and is left with a second hour that is right out of the 1970's with all the weaknesses that that entails. Generally I enjoyed the film because I was just expecting a big noisy movie to pass a few hours – bad script, no characters and lots of clichés? Why would I be surprised by that? It's par for the course and you should not watch this if you know these aspects will annoy you. As it is, it's an average film but one that is noisy and spectacular enough to pass muster in the summer blockbuster stakes.


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