The Day After Tomorrow (2004) Poster

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Clichéd, illogical, unscientific but the first hour really delivers even if the second hour is like the 1970's never happened
bob the moo31 May 2004
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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It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel okay.
Victor Field6 June 2004
"The Day After Tomorrow" is a disaster movie, but it isn't a disastrous one. But if Roland Emmerich really thought he was making a movie with a message, he didn't quite succeed - to be honest, Emmerich is to serious film-making as Naomi Wolf is to recommending "Voluptuous" magazine. The fact that the movie begins with the Twentieth Century Fox logo under stormy skies doesn't make it any more significant.

Well-intentioned it may be, but the movie's plot takes second place to the imagery - the opening credits over an icy landscape, the massive weather systems over the planet, colossal hailstones pelting down on Tokyo, snowstorms over India, tidal waves - and the numerous effects houses make it an eye candy feast, especially for people with a grudge against the Big Apple (kudos to Industrial Light and Magic, Digital Domain and all the less renowned FX companies involved). So on that level, it works; the music by Harald Kloser and Thomas Wanker is also a bonus, being more restrained and serious in its support than is usually the way with Emmerich movies.

And then there's the script - it has a whole load of characters but doesn't do much with any of them. Example: Climatologist Dennis Quaid's relationship with son Jake Gyllenhaal doesn't seem to be as estranged as it's intended to be, and similarly the friendship Quaid has with a longtime colleague gets about as much emphasis as the crush his younger colleague has on fellow scientist Tamlyn Tomita (and the movie pays for it later on in a sequence shamelessly ripped off from "Vertical Limit," which has little of the emotional resonance it should). In fact, all the human elements - Gyllenhaal's repressed feelings for classmate Emmy Rossum, his doctor mother Sela Ward's problems with a young patient, etc - all of them are underdeveloped or just plain undeveloped, and some moments practically scream "Contrived Climax Ahoy!"

Those moments are there because "The Day After Tomorrow" doesn't have an enemy as a natural outgrowth of its story; the elements aren't really villainous as they have no concept of right or wrong, and the closest thing to a villain here is the current administration in the White House, so Emmerich and co-writer Jeffrey Nachmanoff have to impose a tangible enemy (why else are those wolves there?) on the proceedings. This does help things from getting totally boring in the second half, though it's still pretty watchable even then - but if some more thought had been put into the screenplay, like exploring the characters or developing the promising ideas therein (like Americans fleeing to Mexico, or further looks at the Government side), it would have carried more weight and made the movie into more than an improvement on "Godzilla."

As it is, it's a competently done if implausible attention-holder that wants to be more; that it actually had the potential to be more makes it a bit of a disappointment, but at least it's a watchable one.
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8/10
Oh! The Weather Outside Is Frightful...
BaronBl00d24 December 2004
I really enjoyed this film by director Roland Emmerich a great deal. It is a fast-paced, exciting, suspenseful film filled with wonderful images, great CGI effects, plausible acting, and even a coherent script. How realistic is it? I hope not at all, but the director made the film so that it seems very real and like something that MIGHT happen. The story revolves around some major climatic shifts that cause the entire Northern hemisphere to become Artic tundra. New York City is devastated as are other major cities all over Europe. Dennis Quaid gives a good performance as a climatologist that predicted some of these events. We see things through his perspective and that of his son for much of the movie. The acting in general is good in this film. I particularly liked Ian Holm's role as the British meteorologist stuck in the middle of nowhere while these changes advanced. Much of the credit for the film's success must go to Emmerich. This is easily one of his best films. He keeps his viewer on the edge of his/her seat through the entire film. Action is the film's primary objective, but Emmerich also uses a lot of humanity in what his character's motivations are, and I for one, enjoyed seeing that side of humanity rather than what I probably would see under similar circumstances. As a previous viewer noted, this is a great popcorn movie!
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1/10
I could write a better story by "The Day After Tomorrow"
TheSteak0022 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is TYPICAL Hollywood. And by that I mean it's all glitz and glamour without any substance. Don't get me wrong… the special effects are great (although weather effects are easy to pull off at this point). But the movie has no point what so ever!!! Whatever little plot there is, is terrible.

*Spoilers*

OK, basically it goes like this… Big storm comes, and spreads around the world in a matter of days threatening humanity with the 2nd ice age. Storms destroy all the big cities, blah blah blah… Since the movie follows Sam Hall (Jake Gyllenhaal) most of it is set in New York. So NY gets hit with tidal waves, and then it all freezes over and then you have everyone stuck in the NY public library. Not bad so far… but that's it. Jack Hall, Sam's father is some kind of weather expert specializing in Alaska and global warming so he predicts this whole storm. So when he finds out that his son is trapped in NY he WALKS (drives to Philadelphia and then walks the rest of the way) from Washington D.C. to NY in like two days (All during this 2nd ICE AGE!!!!). No trying to stop the storm or anything… he just WALKS. He's not even trying to save his son because he can't… he just walks hundreds of miles to meet his son. That's it.

Oh yeah, and during the middle of the movie the kids trapped in the library in NY must venture out in the 'STORM' for medicine… and as luck would have it (or Hollywood overkill) they're attacked by a pack of wolves that escaped from the zoo. And the wolves look TERRIBLE. The special effects for the weather are easy so that all looks great… but these wolves looked horrible. Like these kids were being attacked by cartoon rejects from 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?'

They just made this movie cause they could make the effects... there was no thought put into anything else other than the effects. I've seen porno's with better story lines.
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8/10
Ridiculous Story, But Fun To Watch
ccthemovieman-15 October 2006
I was leery of a heavy propaganda piece on "global warming," but I still saw this and found that, yeah that's what it was but it was really more of just a straight adventure story than anything else.....and not a bad one, at that. The first 50 minutes of this two-hour film have the "fun parts" where the special-effects dominate. We see all kinds of radical weather disasters that are extremely dramatic and entertaining to watch, even if they don't make a bit of sense.

After the blizzard and sub-zero, unlivable weather conditions arrive the movie settles down to a young romance and survival story with Jake Gyllenhaal, Emily Rossum and other people trapped in a library in New York City and Jake's father, played by Dennis Quaid, walking all the way from Philadelphia to rescue him. Yes, it's very, very far-fetched - the whole thing - but it's a fun adventure story with nice people. It's especially refreshing to see Hollywood portray a father as being so loving and selfless. The romance wasn't overdone and the young people were not profane and/or annoying, as so often is the case.

Except for the over-exaggerated and extremely erroneous scare tactics of this movie, and a ridiculous portrayal of the Vice Preseint of the United States, the movie works strictly as an entertaining fantasy-adventure story.
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3/10
Flash, Glamour, and Faulty Science
Scott Keiser18 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
As an atmospheric scientist I was intrigued to see this movie. The basic premise of this movie is based on the idea of anthropogenically induced (human) global warming resulting in a catastrophic set of weather events that in a matter of a week will plunge the Earth into its next ice age.

This movie above all else is a fictional, over exaggerated drama of well done special effects, poor acting, the most basic and mundane of plots, and a romance between two characters trapped in the New York Public Library. The main theme of the plot is a a classical man v. nature struggle with a father trying to rescue his son and several friends after a climate changing storm that left behind meters of snow and ice, a group of friends who struggle to survive in New York during and after the storm, and the romance that develops in which the girl becomes ill because of an injury.

As an atmospheric scientist I was very disappointed. Their are very few scientific truths in this movie. This movie came out in response to a surge in global warming alarmism and portrays the cause quite well in that it is completely over exaggerated, is primarily a political tool, utilizes faulty science to scare people, and is all flash with no meaningful substance.

While not the worst movie of all time it is very close to the bottom.

Summary: The acting and plot are poor. The science in the movie like that behind global warming alarmism is highly flawed. The only thing that saves this movie is its special effects.
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3/10
Completely predictable, sadly lacking, and fatally flawed.. (some SPOILERS)
darren-1422 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Well for me this film wasn't one I was looking forward to, initially when I saw the adverts I thought I wanted to see it, but after reading some blurb about it I was concerned that it was going to turn into the usual Hollywood 'adventure' drivel...Sadly my thoughts came true.

I thought the movie started well, all the science seemed to be dealt with in a good and sensible fashion, and you do feel a sense of impending doom. The early disaster effects are typically top notch, although I felt a huge chunk of ice falling on someone's head would have made them bleed! And strangely for a Hollywood movie they didn't depict their administration as being infallible, which made me think maybe I was wrong to prejudge the film.

Sadly, things then deteriorate into the typical Hollywood fare. The hero does everything you'd expect, in the way you'd expect. The good old stiff upper lipped Brits perform their background tasks and do the usual (i.e. Die in a research bunker that turns out to have less stocks of the essentials than a New York library (where can I buy a vending machine that provides sustenance for 6 or 7 people and a dog for a week or more?)).

When the 'hero' becomes all heroic the major mistakes become evident. We've all touched something ice cold and had our skin stick to it, so surely someone holding onto to frozen metal with blood oozing out of their hands would suffer a similar fate (especially considering how cold it's alleged to be!). They also seem quick to remove their facial protection, without a care in the World.

The other thing that makes you go uhmmm is that the temperature at one point is supposedly dropping at a rate of -10 degrees every SECOND, yet it clearly takes the hero, and his son and friends for that matter, well over 10 seconds to get to safety. This despite earlier in the film someone in similar circumstances freezing on the spot in less than 3 seconds! (oh and it was also cold enough to freeze aviation fuel, but obviously American film stars have more in their veins than everyone else!? )

The temperature drops so fast that all the windows shatter, uhmm except of course on the building where the stars are! (either that or their room would have literally been snowed under, like the rest of New York!). Added to the fact that their chimney seems to work despite being blocked by snow and ice, surely if they hadn't frozen to death due to having no windows, they'd have choked to death on the smoke flooding their room since it had nowhere to escape to (this can be seen near the end because the hero can't even tell that he's reached his destination, and you certainly can't see any smoke coming from where the chimney should be!).

Oh and to cap it all, once the hero finds his son (bet you never thought he'd do it..YAWN!) the sun miraculously appears, as do hundreds of survivors! (can anyone tell me how they'd survived in skyscrapers that had no windows, and had been ravaged by tsunamis earlier int he film!??!)

All in all I found myself wishing that it had been an English film, for then some reality may have been preserved.

Sadly this film completely loses the plot half way through and all credibility goes out of the window.
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1/10
One of the worst movies of all time.
spmckain20 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The folks who actually like this movie are the reason Hollywood makes very few quality movies any more. If you don't care then why should they? This movie is so bad from the beginning. Numerous tornadoes pummeling a West Coast city and there are actually people flying in helicopters to get a closer look. That's a brainy idea. Buildings freezing and crumbling yet the people outside don't seem to be affected so much. The "walk" from Philadelphia to New York? And in record time no less. I do like the fact that they had the foresight to have Antarctic weather gear handy for just these occasions. What of the tent that was able to withstand the chill but not the Empire State building? Call your local Army Navy store....they really need to stock these tents. I also found it amazing that any lines of communications were not really affected, including the under freezing water pay phone. The only ones who had communications losses were, of course, the main characters.....ah drama!! I know they were in a library but you think they could have possibly tried to burn all the wooden tables and chairs around them? Seems that they would burn warmer and for longer than books. The acting was horrific, the directing was terrible, the script was unbelievably bad and the special effects were anything but special. It certainly rates up there with Godzilla 2000 and Armageddon......it actually makes Independence Day look like one of the all time greats!
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1/10
Make it stop!!!
S. J. Lewis15 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, this wasn't as mind-numbing as "Alexander", and I did see it only on cable...but the whole time I was watching it I felt uncomfortable, as if I was looking at a really bad multiple-vehicle collision with lots of injuries. You know you shouldn't, but some morbid part of you won't let you turn away...

As for the plot...Global Warming can lead to another Ice Age. This is bad enough, like saying that setting fire to your house will help to keep your beer cold, but in this movie the Ice Age takes only fifteen or twenty minutes to get started. You no sooner set a match to the gasoline-soaked drapes than the entire house is encased in ice. Oh yes, and you are being hunted by wolves who escaped from the city zoo. These are the only animals that escaped from the zoo, and as the snow got deeper and the temperatures lower, they didn't have the sense to head South while they could.

I really doubt that there could be such a thing as the snow super-hurricanes as depicted in the movie, but these were the chosen special-effects-ex-machina to jump start the glaciers. A hurricane is a heat engine, driven by the accumulated warmth of the sun on tropical waters. What drives a super-snowcane? The answer to that one is easy: A bad writer's overheated imagination. We get not one, but three of these things, all appearing overnight and sweeping down from the North Pole simultaneously. The one that hits New York also generates a storm surge.

A real hurricane's storm surge is a dome of water under the eye of the storm. It's there because the air pressure in the eye is much lower than anywhere else. A storm surge might go eight to ten feet for a big hurricane. The super-snowcane generates a surge high enough to slap the face of the Statue of Liberty and submerge Manhattan. It comes in from the east (The supercane winds would be pushing all the water the other way) and arrives several minutes...sorry, hours...or maybe days...before the eye of the storm does. The pacing in this movie is astonishing whenever it isn't simply unbelievable. I think the passage of time was sped up in order to cram as many really cool, nay, chillin', special effects into two hours as possible.

The storm surge then does not leave. No, it stays in Manhattan, enjoying Times Square, the Guggenheim and all the other cultural attractions for a while. Gravity cannot pull it away, or perhaps the ecology is so unsettled that water can no longer flow downhill. A Russian supertanker joins in as another sightseer and then it all freezes solid. Sea water can apparently freeze in minutes.

The New York supercane is monitored from space. The other two, ravaging Europe and Siberia, are apparently less interesting. At one point, we are told that the temperatures at the eye of the supercane are dropping by ten degrees per second. Now, it doesn't matter if the degrees are Fahrenheit or Centigrade. In less than a minute, this storm will be freezing the air itself solid, but this doesn't happen. Apparently the CGI budget could only go so far.

This unprecedented disaster forces the evacuation of the entire US. No mention is made of what happened to the Canadians. In fact, I don't think any mention at all is made of the Canadians. Maybe to them it was just a chilly Spring, eh? Mexico, on the other hand, is mentioned a couple of times, since all 300 million Americans seem to be trying to get there. Just how they get there is as unmentioned as the Canadians, since early on we are told that neither planes nor trains can operate in the weather. Could SUVs?

At the end of the movie, we are treated to a sermon about how We Should Respect Nature More, and Not Exploit Our Precious Resources. There's also a humble obesiance to all the Third World countries who so charitably took us all in. Got that? The US has been destroyed by its own arrogance, and maybe now we'll appreciate subsistence farming and outdoor plumbing a lot more.

The special effects were impressive, but they followed each other so quickly and bewilderingly that it was a lot like being punched repeatedly in the head by Mike Tyson. Some of the special effects shots were views from a space station. At the end of the movie, we see that this was an Ice Age to top all Ice Ages. The snow and glaciers reach all the way down to the Rio Grande. They stop there, though. Apparently Mexico wouldn't let them in. But...During the last Ice Age, which only reached as far South as Chicago, the sea level was a couple of hundred feet lower than it is today. In spite of glaciers now occupying Phoenix, San Diego and Orlando, in THIS movie, the sea level hasn't changed at all and the coastlines are exactly the same as they were the day before yesterday.
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1/10
Absolutely Pathetic
tokentaker9 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
--WARNING: Spoilers below-- Terrible writing, terrible acting, terrible plot. One of the worst films I've ever seen. How convenient that right after Jack Hall discovers the plate breaking away in Antarctica and right as he presents this to the "Global Warming Conference," all his predictions begin to come true! Wow, what a coincidence. What an insult to my intelligence. At least have all that take place >75 years prior.

From there the movie gets even more ridiculous, with nothing but plot devices tossed in an attempt to pull emotions of it's viewers. For example, Dr. Lucy Hall decides to stay behind with a dying boy because he can only be removed via ambulance. How touching - he's going to die anyway, lady, and he has absolutely nothing to do with the film. But wait, her morals are rewarded as someone manages to get an ambulance to them despite 13 feet of snow! In a scene involving the President we see the Seal of the President of the United States displayed prominently behind him in a random room -- so the target audience would know who he was just in case the plot got too deep for them.

Then another plot device is delivered as a Russian ship ends up right in front of the library where Sam and his cohorts are hiding out. Usually with a plot device you at least try to disguise the fact that it is nothing more than a plot device. Nope, not in this movie! So someone has an infection and we need medicine. Well what do you know - "THERE HAS TO BE MEDICINE IN THAT SHIP!" clearly. And what do you know, the bottle they need is the only one designated in English. These guys are very lucky. But wait, some wolves that escaped a holding cell earlier happen to find the ship many miles away just as the kids are attempting to retrieve the medicine!! I didn't realize this was a comedy!

I could go on with these examples for hours...don't even get me started on the homeless man and his faithful dog. But I think you get the idea. Do not go see this even for the special effects - you've already seen them in Armageddon.
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2/10
Great FX but big flaws insulting the intelligence!
vocklabruck12 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The music during the opening credits is beautiful and the movie is full of great CGI, but sadly that is all you can enjoy. Unfortunately, there are so many flaws in the film from start to end that make it very implausible.

1) Three scientists appeared working in Antarctica and they had an accident with an ice crack. One of them is stupid enough to jump 2 times crossing the crack just to get some stuff. It is impossible to walk on ice without hooks on your feet, and even more impossible to jump!

2) Dennis Quaid, the main character, predicts a kind of ice age during a global warming conference. It is too much coincidence that this "cooling" happens one day after.

3) The weather changes are all over the north, but all you can see about north is some places in US and a storm in Tokyo, nothing else. What about the rest of Asia, Europe and Canada!

4) Dennis Quaid and his son (Jake Gyllenhaal) have an estranged relationship but this is not plausible. There is no character development. Jake Gyllenhaal is in love with his mate Emmy Rossum, but there is not one bit of emotion in their eyes, nothing.

5) During tornadoes in L.A., and during all the movie, people prefer to stare at the sky than to run and hide. There is a chopper flying over there! Helicopters cannot fly in those conditions!

6) In this movie the vice president is more powerful than the president himself! The president almost does not exist.

7) The young guys go to stay in a penthouse. Suddenly one of them wants to go and pick up his brother. ALL of them leave the penthouse. Why all of them? Then when the girl says "Maybe we should just stay here" Jake Gyllenhall answers "No. We need to get home"... HOME? I thought they were going to pick up the guy's brother!

8) There is a kind of zoo scene. What kind of zoo is that where wolves can destroy the cages and escape?

9) The cop needs a translator to save people who are trapped inside a car? No kidding!

10) Laura was getting a bag for the French woman and the tsunami was going to beat. How brave was Jake Gyllenhall for running and telling Laura "Hurry up!". He saved her life! Give me a break.

11) Cell phones do not work but the pay phones underwater do?

12) Jake Gyllenhall and the girl went to use the pay phone. He stays under water several seconds. The girl just waits for him to come back. If you were there you would probably dive and go for him!

13) The girl finds a big wardrobe with many dry clothes. How can she find that place so quickly and in a library???

14) In the library most people decide to go out and walk. The policeman encourages everybody to go out. It is OBVIOUS everybody will get frozen outside and where do they go walking?

15) The people who stay in the library go to a fireplace to burn books and get warm... This is crazy! OK... Paper is combustible, but not a good one! Paper only works to start the fire but not to keep it! In a library there are many chairs, tables and bookshelves, lots of furniture made in wood, and still they prefer to burn books! These guys are supposed to be intelligent.

16) This enormous library has just a lounge room for employees but not cafeteria? Can you believe that? They only have a couple of vending machines. They have a Gutenberg bible but not a cafeteria?

17) More about intelligent nerds! The girl cut a leg very bad and she does not pay attention to that. She knows how to take care of her mate's body temperature but she just forgets her own hurt leg?

18) They burn books to stay warm in the library. What about the smoke and oxygen? They stay in a place with all windows closed! How can they breath there? Writers forgot that fire consumes oxygen too? The chimney is blocked with tons of snow. Where does the smoke go?

19) Dennis Quaid WALKS from Philadelphia to Manhattan in record time, in the middle of a snowstorm with two co-workers. There is a risk scene about a rope, that is clearly taken from another movie: Vertical Limit. But here the scene is very unrealistic. They are walking on a glass roof, the sled crashed the glass and the 3 people start falling, then Dennis Quaid sticks a pick in the snow and stops the fall, but the pick does not crash the glass!

20) When the guys discovered the girl has a cut and she is in shock, they diagnosed her health status and everything reading a book! Anyone can be a doctor!

21) Why do these guys are so sure that there are medicines in the ship? And how do they find them so quickly?

22) At the end Dennis Quaid character finally made it. But if you think for a while... what was the point of this? Just to keep his promise?

23) Finally, it seems the storm has gone, but what about all the massive floods you are supposed to expect once the sun melt all those tons of snow?

All in all, it was entertaining but writers DO have to learn a little more before writing.
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8/10
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
InterpolStella22 January 2005
The Good; The special effects duh. Min blowing and bigger than Elvis. Whole lot of fun and if it wasn't for them this movie would be crap(er). Characters have a whole lot of potential if you completely ignore Dennis Quaid and there are some humorous moments in there. It's visually engaging and not too taxing on the ole noggin. I enjoyed the ending especially the fact that the so called first world now rely on the third world. So petty much an entertaining film HOWEVER.......

The Bad; Great plot, story lines, sh*t* script. I mean REALLY! With some of the lines in that film I would sit there and just *cringe*. I understand that Emmerich or whoever worked on the script had less money to spend on writers and obviously more to spend on CGI but Oh.My.God!

There also seems to be an obsession with the word 'cataclysmic'in this film again blame humiliating script. I mean why not try OTHER WORDS but I suppose the usage of the word cataclysmic over and over again was to attempt to make the plot 'seem' smarter. Somehow they failed that. But wait there's more crap...the science! Or lack thereof! What the hell are they talking about?! Some serious research should have been done into this and then maybe we wouldn't all be dying in the cinema aisles of shame.Plus the characters aren't given enough of a chance to develop and you get the feeling that Sam Hall doesn't really care for his mother and there is no explanation for why Jack Hall's character doesn't freeze to death. Does he only live through his magical powers as a lacklustre climatologist?

The Ugly; I guess the wolves?.....oh no Dennis Quaid's facial expressions. He has all of three expressions; annoyed, really annoyed and constipated.

All in all it's good to watch if you ignore the stale script and even staler acting. Some characters are interesting but of course since the world of Roland Emmerich revolves around the Hall family we don't find out much about the other folk in the film like the billions that died instead there is more attention paid again to the Hall family and extra girl played by Rossum. God forbid Emmy Rossum should get septicaemia and almost die screw those others out there (literally) freezing to death and let's just focus on her and her weird American accent. *Sigh* Despite this there ARE some memorable moments and it has truly excellent CGI. I would still recommend watching it because, despite it's many failings it *is* an entertaining movie. I gave it a rating of 8 purely because of Jake Gyllenhaal and the CGI. There I've said it. Watch it with suspended disbelief or when drunk. That way you can ignore certain Rhode Island wide plot holes. Enjoy.
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Some impressive special effects and not much else
KrisRennie1 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Spoiler If you've seen the trailer, you've already seen the best this film has to offer.

Los Angeles being ravaged by multiple tornadoes and New York being literally drowned by the Atlantic Ocean...but you already knew that.

As for the rest of the film...

Well, once the world is laid to waste by the forces of nature or "acts of God" as insurance people like to call them, Jake Gyllenhaal and his mates basically sit around in a library burning books to keep warm and exchange some of the most cheesily-written and downright embarrassing dialogue that i have heard since seeing Gigli, which just like this film was an error born out of curiosity to see "what all the fuss was about".

Dennis Quaid also waltzes his way through this turgid tripe trying to pull the most serious face and decides, after telling everyone "NOT TO GO OUTSIDE OR YOU WILL ALL FREEZE TO DEATH", to go outside into the snow and ice covered world to walk to New York to find his son.

Predictably, two of the companions who heroically decide to travel with Dennis Quaid, die predictably dull and meaningless deaths but the weird thing is that their deaths don't make any difference to this film or Dennis Quaid's character either.

They both die and Dennis Quaid forgets about them and continues to walk to New York, despite the fact that we know that his character has worked closely with these two men for a number of years and for such tragic losses they should be to him - he seems to take their rather tragic deaths extremely well, in that they die and Dennis Quaid doesn't really seem to be heartbroken by the events at all.

Basically those two deaths are desperate plot fillers for a story that already ran out of any heat and steam right after New York has been flushed out by a huge tsunami.

Another desperately sad plot filler is when a ship comes floating spookily past the library Gyllenhaal and his mates and they decide to raid the boat for food, for some reason some wolves that escaped from a nearby zoo have managed to escape being drowned and turned into fishfood in order to chase them through the ships many narrow corridors for a minute before going back into the library to wait for Daddy Quaid to save him.

And its a bit obvious what happens at the end of the film, lots of people survive and everyone smiles cos despite the fact that half our planet has been turned into a series of Haagen Dazs metropolises, the underlying message is that in the face of such tragedy - we all find hope in our hearts and minds to keep perpetuating life, despite the fact that i thought the movie was designed to tell us to start thinking carefully about what we are doing to our own planet.

The worst thing about this entire film, apart from the script, dialogue and acting, was the fictionalised parts of the story - "global cooling" where everything is frozen within one second????.

So in a cheap desperate bid to rush the story forward and save on special effects costs, we are to led to assume that when this global cooling nonsense happens, it turns millions of people from the length and breadth of Canada to Europe and also the Middle East and most of Asia into human popsicles within a matter of seconds despite the fact that the many denizens of Washington and New York don't seem to be affected at all by global cooling and go out walking in the snow as if they're dreaming of a white Christmas.

There was so much Roland Emmerich could've done with this film and such great potential has been wasted on an extremely flimsy and weak script, there is little or no character development and you don't really care for any of the characters at all and after Emmerich has had fun destroying the world yet again, the story literally grinds to a halt and limps painfully toward the finish line.

If you need to know anything about this film, just watch the trailer and save both your money and a couple of hours of your life by not watching this entire film.

The only spectacles to behold are two disaster sequences and nothing more.

Its the end of the world as we know it, and i'm feeling sleepy

Easily the worst film of the year so far.....2 out of 10 for the two special effects sequences alone
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7/10
A lot of fun!
mihvel26 January 2005
OK, definitely this is not very smart movie and it has many holes in the storyline, but if you like this kind of movies you will got a lot of fun! I mean, you should know what you can expect of this kind of movies. If you like movie "Independence Day" you will know what I mean (BTW good recommendation from IMDb team!). If you want art or some wisdom message or you are searching for holes and sanity in the storyline, forget it. Go and watch some European authors. But if you are looking for fun, want to relax yourself, to see some amazing and very realistic computer effects go and watch it! You will not regret. For true impression big theater screen is mandatory!
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1/10
Certainly one of worst films I have seen.
TERRY, Samuel30 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Scientifically, global warming/climate change should, by now, be unquestioned by most folk. However, this film will do little to help the environmental cause because of its hysterical stand. Scientifically, this film has the time frame all totally wrong. Melting ice caps, both north and south could not happen in such a short space of time as suggested in the film (DAYS?). And if this premise is wrong, then all that follows based on that, will be wrong as well. The three northern hemisphere storms shown on the computer monitors are rotating anticlockwise, i.e LOW pressure (as in hurricanes, with hot air rising UP) so it is impossible to be sucking cold air DOWN from the stratosphere. High pressure systems in the northern hemisphere rotate clockwise. How do land-line telephones operate under water? Why burn paper books, when there is so much more heat-efficient wooden furniture? The Statue of Liberty must have a pretty strong base to with=stand such a 50 meter surge wave. The list of further improbabilities could be rather long. And the acting/script is predictable/pedestrian.
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1/10
Tinseltowns take on Global Warming
thehellhole30 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The day after tomorrow... I still will be angry to have wasted 2 hours of my life. Plot holes as big as the holes in the ozone layer, bad performances all around that send cold shivers down your spine (in a bad way) and an embarrassing attempt to manipulate emotions by creating forced drama. Roland Emmerich showed us once more that he is not capable of making a good film, although the original idea of this movie is interesting.

Emmy "I'll warm you with my body" Rossum offers two facial expressions: being cute and looking confused, both not very convincing. Jake Gyllenhaal is up there (or should I say down there?) with Miss Rossum,followed by a stiff Dennis Quaid, who tries to walk from Philadelphia to New York in record-breaking time just to fulfill the Happy End a la Hollywood.

There is so much nonsense in this picture I don't know where to start. It tries to be smart but it fails miserably. There were a bunch of hungry CGI wolves that looked so artificial that I nearly wet my pants (laughter not excitement). The only interesting thing in this crap-o-rama is to witness the destruction of NYC, but that's it. Toss everything else into the garbage.

If you are a Homer Simpson-type you might enjoy this movie, otherwise I advise you to avoid this disappointment and read a good book on Global Warming instead.

I'll give one star for the New-York-Destruction-Sequence. I also would have liked to see some Wallstreet-broker horribly drowned by the flood but I think that's too much to ask for.
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1/10
Really bad.
curtiswaldo5 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is probably one of the worst movies I have ever seen. The plot is almost the same as Independence Day and Armagedon (two other pretty bad movies), the dialogue is awful, there are wholes in the plot everywhere (when did a fast food restaurant protect people from a super-freeze?), the characters are miscast (Jake G. was a high schooler maybe ten years ago), and the actors all reach new lows (poor Dennis Quaid). Some parts make no sense (like when Dennis Quaid walks 40 miles through a blizzard in less than a day). On top of all these problems the movie seems like nothing more than a slap in the face of the Bush administration for not dealing with global warming. There is even a Cheney-look-alike vice-president. I would rather light my hair on fire or be pricked in the eyeball with a poison needle than sit through this thing again.
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4/10
Smoke and mirrors, all flash and no substance
Libretio3 January 2005
THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Sound formats: Dolby Digital / DTS

Utterly routine blockbuster, loosely based on scientific predictions of disastrous climate changes due to global warming, in which the Gulf Stream is essentially 'shut off', triggering a series of freak weather conditions (giant hailstones in Japan, tornadoes in Los Angeles, tidal waves in New York, etc.) which culminate in a new Ice Age. Dennis Quaid is the obsessive climatologist who struggles to convince sceptical authorities of the impending catastrophe, and who is forced to rescue his son (Jake Gyllenhaal) after the boy becomes stranded in Manhattan following torrential floods and the subsequent Big Freeze. Industrial Light & Magic unleashes a wealth of attention-grabbing visual effects during the film's impressive opening stretch, effectively sidelining the crudely drawn characters and half-baked melodramatics, but the superficial script (by Jeffrey Nachmanoff and director Roland Emmerich) fails to sustain the initial momentum, and the second half becomes bogged down in Quaid's ho-hum rescue mission.

To be fair, the movie DOES contain a number of awe-inspiring sequences (the massive wave which rises from the ocean to engulf New York; the view from space as three colossal storms circle the entire northern hemisphere of the earth; a trawler floating serenely down a flooded Fifth Avenue), and a couple of satirical jabs are surprisingly potent (most notably, the mass exodus of American citizens INTO Mexico!), but the movie amounts to little more than smoke and mirrors, all flash and no substance.
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1/10
Typical Hollywood
gerbinator200914 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is so typical of Hollywood that it is unbelievable. This movie not only was the most implausible film I have ever had the displeasure of experiencing, but it redefines the phrase "political agenda." Global Warming and climate change are the hot issues of the last few years so, naturally, the movie industry lends itself to spitting out irrelevant garbage about the subject. The main idea of the movie is that man is destroying the planet, neglecting the environment, and abusing nature....... SO MOTHER NATURE RETALIATES!!!!!! New York is flooded, hit by massive tsunamis, and frozen, LA is decimated by tornadoes, and three gigantic freezing land hurricane blizzards obliterate everything north of the equator. All because we have hit a critical desalinization point which is a fancy made-up Hollywood word for not enough salt in the ocean. You may be thinking: wow, this movie sounds pretty implausible, but it gets better.... much better. All of these cataclysms happen in a number of days instead of the rather consistent million year cycles the earth generally operates on. In addition, during the freezing of New York, the buildings freeze from top to bottom which blatantly disregards the fact that heat rises. One may say, you are taking this movie way too seriously, but I think that movies like this are genuine problems for society. The political overtones in this movie are anything but subtle and now we're going to have a bunch of global warming activists running around that think bs like this could actually happen.
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7/10
Excellent catastrophe movie by the great director Roland Emmerich
ma-cortes16 June 2004
The film deals about ice melting of the Arctic created by global weather change of the hole ozone. The movie is impressive , New York's flood is overwhelming .

The plot summary centers in Dennis Quaid a climatologist who predicts disaster and he goes to looking for his son Jake Gyllenheal to New York staying all the way freezing cool fighting against amount dangers because middle United States are frozen. The F.X. of computer generator are first rate , better than the classics 7o and 80 :"earthquake", "Inferno towering" and likeness to "Volcano" or "Armaguedon". Thrilling screenplay dispenses absurd excitement as well as spectacular scenes and lots of action . This is a fast-paced, stylized disaster-spectacle film . Cinematography and musical score by Harald Kloser are breathtaking .

Direction by Roland Emmerich is fitting as in all spectacle film that he makes . Roland Emmerich estimated that at least 1000 digital artists worked on the film . The motion picture was well realized by Roland Emmerich . Roland made his feature length film in 1984 : ¨The Noah's ark principle¨ , he subsequently made ¨Joey¨ . In 1997 wrote, directed, and produced the critically acclaimed "Moon 44" . Filmmaker Roland Emmerich quickly understood the freedom and malleability that direct in USA presents and has gone about creating some incredibly interesting genre fare in ¨Universal Soldier¨, his first American movie in which displayed an acute understanding of the action genre . Roland ulteriorly directed 1994 Stargate , 1996 Independence Day , 1998 Godzilla , 2000 The Patriot , 2004 The day after tomorrow , 2008 : 10.000 , 2011 Anonymous and his last movie 2013 White House Down .

Rating : 7/10 , above average. The picture will appeal to disaster genre fans . Well worth seeing .
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I'm gonna head to the bathroom and take a Day After Tomorrow
TheMovieMark28 May 2004
Do you like a good old-fashioned action-packed Summer movie with a good story and scientific accuracy? Welp, you best keep on looking because you won't find those ingredients in "The Day After Tomorrow."

This is one of those movies where the entertainment value is in how much you can make fun of it. And believe me, Stephanie, Mr. Shade, and I poked fun at the movie for the entire two hours. What else can you do with a movie this ridiculous? I'll admit the special effects are really good. The problem is that they're used up in the first half of the movie. I was expecting a full 2 hours of action and chaos, but they got all that out of the way and the rest of the movie focuses on the characters and their attempts to survive.

How cheesy is this movie? Let me count the ways...

1) Gyllenhaal supposedly fails his math class because on his final exam he only wrote the answers. He did all the work in his head, you see. That's just how much of a genius he is. So he and Quaid determine the teacher just failed him because he's jealous. Um, when I was in school I had to show my work. Sorry to be the bad guy here, but it's easy to see why the teacher might be suspicious. But this is a final exam, so wouldn't this issue have been addressed earlier? Sigh. I thought for sure later in the movie Gyllenhaal was gonna save the world but he was gonna figure it out in his head so the movie wouldn't have to explain to us how he did it. Thankfully, the movie didn't get quite that extreme.

2) This movie leads us to believe that a tornado warning cannot be issued until turning on the news and checking the weather report.

3) You gotta love the overdramatic delivery of dialogue: "Looks like a hurricane." *dramatic pause* "Only hurricanes DON'T FORM OVER LAND!"

4) The temperature supposedly starts to drop 10 degrees per minute. Riiiiiiiight. So within an hour the temperature would be 600 degrees below zero? And as the temperature starts dropping, we see everything freezing. Particularly ridiculous is when Gyllenhaal and his buddies are in a library and we see the floor freezing and chasing after them. They manage to jump in a room and close the door JUST IN TIME! For some reason the door magically shields them from the cold. Whatever.

5) Quaid and his friends are able to survive walking in sub-zero temperatures with little more than parkas and gloves. And they have these tents that apparently have magical warming powers because once in the tents they're able to take off their gloves and hats and not be cold at all!I could go on, but I think you get it. Ohhh, and what was the point of Quaid walking all the way from D.C. to New York just to find his son? He knew his son was holed up in the library, and he didn't show up with a rescue squad or anything to take him home. Oh yeah, he made a promise. Mr. Shade leaned over to me and said, "If I ever promise you that I'll meet you at the movie theater and the whole world freezes over, then don't expect me to be there." Fair enough. It was obviously supposed to add an emotional element to the story, but it did nothing for me. Quaid should've just waited and taken a helicopter to New York after the storm died down. It would've been better than risking his and his partners' lives.

I could write a thesis on the absurdity of the science used in the movie, but I won't bore you. There are plenty of articles by climatologists you can read that state how the events in the movie are impossible, especially a glaciation of this magnitude occurring in three days and catching the ENTIRE WORLD by surprise. Folks, Memphis weathermen interrupt my regularly scheduled programming whenever a drop of rain is registered, so you better believe they'd be on top of this.

Let me just add that this movie is based on the book, "The Coming Global Superstorm" by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber. Strieber wrote another book called "Communion," in which he claims he was told of the Earth's upcoming apocalypse by aliens. If that's who you wanna get your science from then go ahead. I hope you'll excuse me while I point and laugh at you.

I feel sorry for fringe groups who are actually using this movie to tout their political agenda. Saying this is a movie people should watch to prepare for a possible global warming catastrophe is about as legitimate as saying people should watch "Dawn of the Dead" to prepare for what would happen if zombies attacked. I'd say they're on equal ground in regard to scientific accuracy. But I doubt too many moviegoers are gonna take this seriously.

There's so much more to make fun of, but I'm gonna stop myself. I was extremely disappointed in the movie, so there's a good chance you will be also. This is the type of movie that shows a weatherman get hit by a huge billboard during the middle of the storm, and the only emotion it prompts is laughter. You've been warned.

"The Day After Tomorrow" is the kind of movie that might have scared me when I was 6 years old and uneducated. Now I can't help but laugh at the absurdity of it all. But hey, if you like movies with overwrought dialogue, a lame attempt at a love story, a severe lack of tension, no emotional pull (other than laughter), less believability than "Independence Day," and one of the most anticlimactic endings I've ever seen in a Summer blockbuster, then this is the movie for you.

Now if y'all will excuse me, I'm gonna head to the bathroom and take a Day After Tomorrow.
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7/10
Thrilling, eerie, bitter sweet, frightening...a terrific epic that had me enthralled
eneme18 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I suppose I expected a rainy version of ID4, with nature assuming the role vacated by the earlier movie's alien invaders. Now as much as I am a fan of ID4, I would be the first to point out its numerous flaws...notably its "US saves the world" take and a healthy helping of cheese (and also the fact that its satire was a little too close to straight imitation). Instead, with TDAT, I found a much darker, more interesting film with real heart, and a terrific, if frightening message. The cast all excelled, and characters that seemed destined to provide the film's mandatory cardboard cynics actually were given a chance to develop into something with a bit more depth and much more unexpected realisation.

The story had sufficient pace as to keep me interested from the very atmospheric opening credits, through to the dark, if hopeful finale. It dealt with the epic scale of events wonderfully (placing an orbiting space station into the story with helpless astronaut witnesses was a brilliant move) but never lost sight of the characters, and as much as the effects were on par, if not better, than anything I have ever seen, it is some of the more character based moments that have stayed with me.

Yet the effects! The tornado sequence in particular, using a mixture of sweeping camera work, on the ground point of view and news broadcast footage really gave me a sense that something wild and horrifying was happening. The scenes showing the ice-covered aftermath were almost beautiful, if not for the fact of what they meant. I felt an explanation for why the wall of water appeared, and targeted New York went begging (unless I missed something), but aside from that I really lost sight of these images as artificial effects.

I hate to say it, but I wonder if the non-involvement of Emmerich's long time producing partner Dean Devlin may have contributed to the fact that TDAT is a significantly higher quality film than ID4, Godzilla and Stargate.

True, this movie is not going to re-write film lore, or win consistent praise for its originality or artistic freshness, but I really think that it is an extremely well made entry into the disaster/action thriller genre; put together by a team who felt they had a great story to tell, and top quality skills at hand to do it with.

I understand it has not done as well in the US compared to its international success, which I think is unfortunate. Among my friends and family who have seen it here is Australia, all have come out buzzing with excitement. Even a few friends who normally avoid the genre have agreed that TDAT is fantastic.

Mr Emmerich, wherever you may be...you're on to something good here!
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