The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect
The Butterfly Effect
  • R
  • 1h 53m
  • 2004
Common Sense Media Iconage 18+
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Ashton Kutcher stars as a man who has lost track of time. From an early age, crucial memories have disappeared into a black hole of forgetting, his childhood marred by terrifying events he can't remember. What remains are the ghost of a memory and the terrifying broken lives of his childhood friends ... and an awareness that, somehow, he's responsible in The Butterfly Effect. Throughout his childhood Evan Treborn (Kutcher) was under the care of a psychologist, who encouraged him to keep a journal. Now in college, Evan reads his journal and finds himself thrust suddenly, inexplicably back in time. Determined to correct the tragic events of his youth, Evan alters the past in hopes of transforming the present. But every time Evan makes a change, he returns to a present transformed by unexpected and disastrous consequences of his actions.

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

Critics Consensus: The premise is intriguing, but it's placed in the service of an overwrought and tasteless thriller.
Rolling Stone
Peter Travers

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

June 17, 2017
Rex Reed

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

June 17, 2017
Michael Agger

It's as if [Kutcher] decided that he would prove himself as a dramatic actor by trying out every c...

June 17, 2017
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Robert Denerstein

June 17, 2017
More on Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 18+
Common Sense Says
Dark sci-fi thriller has lots of violence, sex, language.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Butterfly Effect is a 2004 sci-fi thriller in which Ashton Kutcher plays a college student who can relive the past and attempt to change it for the better. The movie doesn't shy away from traumatic events and dark subject matter. There are scenes involving child molestation, prison rape, animal cruelty (a dog tied up inside a sack and set on fire and killed), accidental murder, suicide, drug addiction, mental illness, and prostitution. One the characters is beaten to death with a baseball bat. In another scene, one tween kills another tween by stabbing him with a large piece of scrap metal. While serving time in prison, the lead character, on the verge of performing oral sex on two inmates, stabs them both in the groin. It has male and female nudity, talk of sex, and sex acts; a college student tends to walk into his dorm room while his roommate is having sex with his girlfriend. Adults, tweens, and children frequently curse, including "f--k." Homophobic and racial slurs are used. This fearlessness in terms of not shying away from subject matter that is difficult and troubling sometimes overshadows the deeper points the movie is trying to make about "the butterfly effect," "chaos theory," and how events and decisions large and small can play huge roles in determining the kind of people individuals turn out to be.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Sci-Fi, Drama, Thriller
  • Release Date:January 23, 2004
  • Highest Available for Purchase:HD

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