The Butterfly Effect (2004)



Critic Consensus: The premise is intriguing, but it's placed in the service of an overwrought and tasteless thriller.

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Movie Info

Final Destination 2 screenwriters Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber make their directorial debut with the sci-fi thriller The Butterfly Effect. Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher with facial hair) wants to free himself from his disturbing childhood memories. As a kid, he often blacked out for long periods of time and tried to detail his life in a journal. As a young adult, he revisits the journal entries to figure out the truth about his troubled childhood friends Kayleigh (Amy Smart), Lenny (Elden Henson), and Tommy (William Lee Scott). When he discovers he can travel back in time in order to set things right, he tries to save his beloved friends. However, he finds out that relatively minor changes can make major problems for the future. The Butterfly Effect also stars Eric Stoltz, Ethan Suplee, and Melora Walters. The title was inspired by the story A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi
R (for violence, sexual content, language and brief drug use)
Drama , Mystery & Suspense , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Ashton Kutcher
as Evan Treborn
Amy Smart
as Kayleigh Miller
Melora Walters
as Andrea Treborn
Ethan Suplee
as Thumper
William Lee Scott
as Tommy Miller
Eric Stoltz
as Mr. Miller
John Patrick Amedori
as Evan (age 13)
Kevin Schmidt
as Lenny Kagan at 13
Irene Gorovaia
as Kayleigh (age 13)
Kevin G. Schmidt
as Lenny (age 13)
Jesse James
as Tommy (age 13)
Cameron Crigger
as Tommy Miller at 8
Logan Lerman
as Evan (age 7)
Sarah Widdows
as Kayleigh (age 7)
Jake Kaese
as Lenny at 7
Cameron Bright
as Tommy at 7
Lorena Gale
as Mrs. Boswell
Nathaniel DeVeaux
as Dr. Redfield
John Tierney
as Priest
Kendall Cross
as Mrs. Kagan
John B. Lowe
as Professor Carter
Tara Wilson
as Heidi
Jesse Hutch
as Spencer
Andrew Olcott
as Andrea's New Husband
Sadie Lawrence
as Mrs. Halpern
Bill Croft
as Boss
Glenn Richards
as Pinching Customer
Sam Easton
as Theta Chi Pledge
Daniel Spink
as Senior Brother
Kevin Durand
as Carlos
June B. Wilde
as Waitress
Trevor Jones
as Sunnyvale Guard
Colby Chartrand
as Teen Punk
Shelly Schiavoni
as Mrs. Miller
Chapelle Jaffe
as Madame Helga
Scott Swanson
as Obstetrician
Kevan Ohtsji
as Anesthesiologist
Melanie Hall
as Gesela
Amy Esterle
as Gothic Coed
David Cook (XXII)
as Moviegoer
Magda Apanowicz
as Teen Punk Girl
Gary Little
as Wedding Priest
J. Jackson Kocela
as Evan at 3
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Critic Reviews for The Butterfly Effect

All Critics (169) | Top Critics (37)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | July 20, 2005
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Nothing can save this repetitive bore. Dude, where's your memory?

January 29, 2004
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Not one second of this bilge makes a lick of sense.

Full Review… | January 29, 2004
New York Observer
Top Critic

Kutcher is the wrong actor to anchor a psychological freak-out.

Full Review… | January 29, 2004
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

It's as if [Kutcher] decided that he would prove himself as a dramatic actor by trying out every clichéd serious role in the history of cinema.

Full Review… | January 27, 2004
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Butterfly Effect


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Built on one laughable implausibility after another this is a dark work that begs the recycle container ... but go along with what's unbelievable for a minute and after a minute you get a serviceable visit to the twilight zone, one where Kutcher's not a bad actor. And this is a serviceable sci-fi.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


A college student discovers he can go back in time and alter past events, but every change he makes brings about tragic unintended consequences in the new present. Pretty much "DONNIE DARKO for Dummies."

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

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