The Butterfly Effect

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Released 2004

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Movie Summary

Director:
Eric Bress , J. Mackye Gruber
Released:
2004
Rating:
R

The Butterfly Effect is a 2004 American psychological thriller film written and directed by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber, starring Ashton Kutcher and Amy Stuart. Based on the chaos theory of the butterfly effect, the principle that small initial changes can have signicant impacts over time in any dynamic system, the film follows time-travelling college student Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher) as he tries to change his present by altering his past. Messing with history is not as simple, however, as Evan could hope and with every change, he experiences unexpected consequences. With everything dangling in such a delicate balance, the final outcome that he desires seems unattainable. And, since everything is intricately interconnected, Evan's reality is not the only one at stake. Thousgh The Butterfly Effect opened to poor critical reception, the film was a commercial success and inspired two sequels, as well as several award nominations.

Metacritic Score

  • 30

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    This overwrought and egregiously self-serious thriller about the poisonous fruit borne of child abuse grows more ridiculous by the quarter-hour and is poised for a theatrical life ...

  • 20

    Los Angeles Times Manohla Dargis

    As the requisite love interest, Amy Smart gives the film's only professional performance, while co-star Eric Stoltz, as the story's villain, walks somnolent through the scenery wit...

  • 10

    The New York Times Dave Kehr

    Inhabited by a genuine spirit of cruelty, both toward its characters and its audience.

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Themes

parallel worlds, mysterious forces, history defining moment, extraordinary situations, destiny