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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant but unbearably sad
This is an extremely clever, moving and well acted film, and a good antidote to the type of film in which changing the past is made to appear relatively straightforward. But it packs a major sting in the tail and is not one to watch if you want to be cheered up.

The title "The Butterfly effect" is a reference to the behaviour of sensitive systems under chaos...
Published on 8 Jun 2007 by Marshall Lord

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ditch the beard, find happiness
**CONTAINS ALTERNATIVE ENDING SPOILERS**

Evan, played by Ashton Kutcher, goes through childhood experiencing strange black outs, and is advised to keep a journal. When he is older he realises he can "go back in time" to those occasions just by reading those parts of his journal. He deliberately chooses to go back to pivotal moments so that he can try and adjust...
Published 12 months ago by Four Violets


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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant but unbearably sad, 8 Jun 2007
By 
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is an extremely clever, moving and well acted film, and a good antidote to the type of film in which changing the past is made to appear relatively straightforward. But it packs a major sting in the tail and is not one to watch if you want to be cheered up.

The title "The Butterfly effect" is a reference to the behaviour of sensitive systems under chaos theory, and the film starts with the famous quote about how the flap of a butterfly's wings can cause a tornado on the other side of the world six months later. The film could almost have been subtitled "Or: The Law of Unintended Consequences."

The central character is Evan, a boy whose father and grandfather died in mental hospitals and who appears to have inherited a strange condition from them. Evan is portrayed brilliantly as a young adult by Ashton Kutcher, as a 7-year old by Logan Lerman, and as a teenager by John Patrick Amedori.

As a boy Evan has blackouts at times of extreme stress when he does things which can be very strange and scary, and then has no memory of them. To try to help with this, his mother (Melora Walters) encourages him to keep a daily journal.

Evan grows up to become a brilliant student, and then discovers than by reading his diaries and concentrating he can send his consciousness, including his adult memories, back to the time he was reading about. Then he realises that he can try to change the past.

After the suicide of his childhood friend Kayleigh (played as an adult by Amy Smart) Evan sends his mind back to a traumatic childhood event, which he correctly identifies as the start of the process which put Kayleigh on the path to despair and premature death. At first it appears that he has succeeded in transforming her life for the better - but then a side effect of his actions causes something else to go horribly wrong.

Each time Evan tries to go back to undo either one of the original life-wrecking mistakes which he or someone else had made, or the harmful results of his previous meddling, the butterfly effect - and the law of unintended consequences - means that a fresh disaster occurs. Evan does sometimes succeed in saving someone's life or happiness, but only at the price of devastating repercussions for another person.

All three actors who play Evan bring him to life brilliantly, and the acting of the rest of the cast is also excellent. Direction, action and special events are first rate and the pace works very well. There is inevitably a lot of repetition of certain key events in Evan's life as he goes through them again and again, but it doesn't make the film boring because you're looking out for the changes or the explanation. And this film is much more plausible and grown-up than most time-travel movies. But it really does deliver a kick at the end.

There was a "sequel" made a couple of years later called "The Butterfly effect 2" with a different cast of characters, and in which the central character has a similar condition to Evan. However, everyone I know who has watched them both says that the sequel is not nearly as good.

Some great extras on the disc, particularly to sequences in which academics and film makers are interviewed about Chaos theory and about why we are fascinated by time travel stories.

I can strongly recommend this as long as you're not looking for something sweet and cheerful.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What happened to the ending???, 9 Nov 2004
I have purchased this film and seen the original version in the cinema. Part of the DVD extras is a set of alternative ednings to this film, of which - the original ending isn't one of them!!! In the uk we saw a different cut of the film then our american counterparts... but alas this ending(and i might add the best of all the alternatives offered) is nowhere to be seen. It's a shame, as this is an outstanding film.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, 15 Jan 2012
The Butterfly Effect most certainly caught me off guard,here i was replete with snobbish indifference{it stars Ashton Demi Kutcher} expecting some moronic supernatural bag of air but instead viewed a thematically profound,expertly written close to masterpiece movie.Gosh.
I am not going to pontificate about the meaning of the butterfly effect,i will leave that to the rather more elequoent reviewers.The conceit of this movie of one's place and actions in life is ingenious,exploring different ways in which events can transpire thus almost giving the viewer 3 films in one.Hey....i am always up for a bargain in these times of debt.
This is one of those rarities of a Hollwood movie with admirable motivations,a story that aims for the heart rather then the wallet.Definetly an example of a studio taking a risk,film makers being brave....
There is a real tangible emotional landscape to this movie,the actors are top notch veering physically,emotionally through different realities.Issue wise you have incest,abuse,regret,love,hate...beautifully poignant stuff that we go through as people.Stuff we live,stuff we suffer...you know stuff...baggage.
Butterfly Effect is pardon the cliche a rollercoaster of a movie and if you have not viewed it get in,ponder.
Beautiful,thought provoking mainstream cinema.
How often can you say that?
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Butterfly Effect, 29 July 2004
Despite mixed reviews prior to seeing this, I thought this film was an absolute gem. The cast were well introduced at the start and you were led thru the film with mysterious gaps which were filled later on, shocking the audience at times. Subject matter was occasionally difficult but this made it all the more believeable in our hero's responses. Anything that offers a temporal paradox allows the mind to fulfil the 'whatif' question. It gets you thinking but this movie was difficult to 2nd guess which in my view makes for a great and unpredictable film rather than one where I'm climbing the walls waiting for it to end so I can get on with my life. Enjoy!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film, fascinating concepts but with some violence, 20 Nov 2004
I expected little of this film, only watching it out of a vague interest in its premise and was very pleasantly surprised. There is quite a lot of violence but it is a far from gory film in my eyes and it adds to, rather than detracts from the storyline. The use of violence is necessary to make the dramatic effects these events have on the character's lives plausible. It raises interesting questions about momentary events from our past which ultimely shape us and decide the entire course of our lives.
The many alternate realities 'Evan' (Ashton Kutcher) experiences are fascinating and the viewer is also completely drawn into the series of highly interesting twists. Whilst watching this film I could imagine no other reality than the one presented before me, there was little room for criticism which is why I am so surprised this film received some quite bad reviews elsewhere. Do not believe them, this film is a definite must-see. Other reviewers have commented on the depressing ending but I did not feel let down by it in any way and Evan's 'final solution' is the only one he could have reached. It is a very satisfying finish with none of the cliches of a traditional Hollywood ending.
This film is very Donnie Darko-esque, but although it deals with dark issues such as paedophilia it lacks the very depressing atmosphere of Donnie Darko. Without this heavy atmosphere it takes the transition from the possible horror movie (as some would call Donnie Darko) to a very rare find indeed-a film which does not depress but still evokes powerful emotions and deep thought. An excellent film.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Movie, 19 July 2004
This is a suprisingly great movie. The story is original, and at times shocking, and dark. Set in three different time periods, Evan (Ashton Kutcher) as a 7 year-old, a teenager, and a college student, the movie shows how each often trumatic event can shape a characters life. The movie deals with issues from child abuse to manslaughter, and at times can be quite dark. When Evan finds a way to go back and change some of these events he lerans that the effects are unexpected, and by changing one bad thing he causes another. The DVD comes with an alternative and dramatic ending. usually when a disc comes with an alternative ending it really isn't that special or different, but this one is shockingly different and a lot sadder than the original ending. Although Kutcher's first attempt at serious acting (having only appearing in comedies before) is sometimes shows a little inexperience, especially in such a big role, the movie would not of been the same without him. You really should watch this movie, everybody that I have shown it to (I have the R1 version) has been blown away by it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Butterfly Effect - Directors Cut., 27 Sep 2004
By A Customer
After watching the flim in the cinema, i was unhappy to see such a fantastic film altered: and in my opinion the directors cut is far less impressive than the original. The new ending has far less impact. I'm now looking for the "non-directors cut"
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Movie!, 16 Sep 2004
By 
Adam N. (Norfolk, UK.) - See all my reviews
I loved this film at the cinema, it had me gripped from begining to end. Although this got bad reviews on release I ignored them and glad I did! But be warned, the ending is completely different from the cinema release which I was annoyed about to start with, although it does not ruin the film, I wished they had included both versions that we had a choice. The final scene of the original ending is included as a deleted scene. BUY IT!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and surprising thriller!, 19 May 2006
By 
M. Todd (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have to say I am not an Ashton Kutcher fan and I didn't think this film would be my kind of film. However, this film is a real surprise. It follows Ashton trying to uncover supressed memories from his childhood and is based upon the idea that changing one thing may change everything else for better or worse. It is a fantastic thriller and really keeps you gripped from the beginning. The acting was excellent, much better than expected. This is by no means a tennage thriller, it would definitely appeal to an older audience as well. Everyone I've spoken to said they were really surprised by the film and thought it was great (including men). I highly recommend it!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and disturbing, but well acted, 31 May 2005
By 
Amanda Richards "Hotpurplekoolaid" (ECD, Guyana) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This movie shows that Ashton Kutcher can morph from playful goofball to serious actor when required, breaking the stereotype of previous roles in "That 70's Show", "Dude, Where's My Car?", "Punk'd", and "Just Married".
In this dark and depressing movie, Kutcher plays Evan Treborn, a young man who has been experiencing memory lapses since childhood. After these "black-outs" he has absolutely no recollection of what has happened, and despite many tests, the medical profession has no answer for his problem. His doctor recommends that he keep a journal of the day's events, which he does faithfully until his college days.
After being black-out free for seven years, his memories are triggered when he reads excerpts from an old journal, and he begins to search for the missing pieces. Unfortunately, his old friends are still living with their ghosts, and his untimely visit to his childhood love Kayleigh (Amy Smart) has disastrous results.
By some strange quirk in the scheme of things, he discovers that he can return to his past by concentrating on the journal entries, and with all the best intentions in the world, he decides to put things right.
Of course, no good deed goes unpunished, and his quest soon gets terribly derailed by the repercussions from his well intended interventions.
The movie touches on many disturbing topics, such as pedophilia, violence by children, mental instability, death, animal cruelty, and drug abuse, so it's probably not for everybody, and definitely not for anybody under seventeen.
On the good side, it's an intriguing concept, very well acted, and has a happening soundtrack.
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Butterfly Effect Director's & Theatrical Cut [Blu-ray] [US Import]
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