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The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 28 May 2004 (USA)
1:44 | Trailer

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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.


Roland Emmerich


Roland Emmerich (story), Roland Emmerich (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1,326 ( 456)
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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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)


As Paleoclimatologist named 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 to attend an event. There they discover that it has been raining non-stop for the past 3 days, and after a series of weather-related disasters begin to occur over the world, everybody realizes the world is entering 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 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


Now it's fiction... Tomorrow it's real See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

20th Century Fox [Japan]




English | Japanese | French | Arabic

Release Date:

28 May 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tomorrow See more »


Box Office


$125,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Towards the end of the movie, when the President is giving his "thanking the third-world countries" speech, the channel he is giving the speech on is The Weather Channel. See more »


When we see the last scene with the helicopters flying over we cannot see the ship that had drifted into the city. Even though we can see the snow has gotten deeper the ship's superstructure would still be tall enough to extend above the snow See more »


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

Crazy Credits

Greenhouse gases neutralized by future forests. See more »


Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Godzilla (2008) See more »


Do You Really Want to Hurt Me
Written by Boy George (as George O'Dowd), Jon Moss, Mikey Craig (as Michael Craig) and Roy Hay
Performed by Culture Club
Courtesy of Virgin Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Left-wing nonsense
1 June 2004 | by RoboSlaterSee all my reviews

All summer movies want to create buzz, but rarely is the intended buzz "Support the McCain-Lieberman bill." The movie is "The Day After Tomorrow," the global-warming flick that aims to gin up support for the sort of greenhouse-emissions regulation sponsored by John McCain and Joe Lieberman. The premise of "The Day After Tomorrow" is as laughable as its dialogue. "I think we've hit a critical desalination point" passes for snappy repartee in the film, as global warming melts the polar ice caps. This disrupts the Gulf Stream, plunging North America into a new ice age. Tidal waves devastate New York City, which is then buried under ice and snow (ensuring the defeat, by the way, of whoever is running City Hall, since New Yorkers would never tolerate a mayor who couldn't clear the streets after a snowstorm).

Al Gore has given the movie two green thumbs up, and the left-wing group MoveOn.org is promoting it. Never mind that the movie's scenario is absurd. There is no such thing as a flash freeze that makes helicopters fall out of the air. Nor can an ice age descend in a matter of days. More sober environmentalists worry that the very ridiculousness of the film will discredit their cause.

The innocent moviegoer will be confused that a movie about global warming features so much snow. But this is keeping with the trend of global-warming advocates laying claim to any unusual weather. When winters are bitterly cold, it is a sign of "climate change." When winters are unseasonably warm, it too is a sign of climate change. It is an all-purpose phrase, since the climate is always "changing" and therefore by definition vindicating environmentalists.

That said, global warming is a fact. The surface temperature has gone up roughly 1 degree Celsius since the mid-19th century. The warming during the past 30 years might even be partly a result of manmade emissions. But we're talking very small and gradual changes that aren't causing the disruptions environmentalists sometimes hype, like extreme weather or dangerously rising sea levels.

Any regulatory fix will have only the slightest effect. Climatologist Patrick Michaels estimates that the Kyoto Treaty -- McCain-Lieberman is a watered-down version of the treaty -- would prevent only 0.07 degrees Celsius of warming over the next 50 years. The best solution to greenhouse emissions is the kind of technological innovation that Bush has put forth that has made America's economy steadily cleaner. Economic growth is the environment's best friend, creating both new, cleaner technologies and giving people the luxury to worry more about the environment and less about their own sustenance. But anti-growth environmentalists don't want to hear that, which brings us back to "The Day After Tomorrow."

Why is New York the setting for the film's most graphic mayhem? It is the iconic American city, so it's always a tempting backdrop for disaster movies. But something else might be at work. As environmental writer Iain Murray has argued, New York is the emblematic expression of America's capitalist civilization, and is therefore something of an affront to critics of that civilization, foreign and domestic.

The makers of "The Day After Tomorrow" revel in the prospect of our civilization being brought low, humiliated for its sins. In the film, desperate Americans flee illegally across the Mexican border to escape the weather cataclysm. Get the irony? After the disaster, the Dick Cheney-look-alike vice president apologizes, essentially for the fact that his country has been running a modern economy lo these many years: "We were wrong. I was wrong." Even with America's economy destroyed, even with millions dead, there is a bright spot. At the end, an astronaut comments from far above our frozen continent: "The air has never been so clear." All the SUVs are buried under the tundra!

"The Day After Tomorrow" might not be much of a movie, but it is useful for providing a glimpse into the soul of left-wing environmentalism. Pretty chilling.

  • Rich Lowry

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