2003 Certificate: 15


Dark, time-travelling sci-fi thriller with Ashton Kutcher as a college student whose blackouts give him the ability to revisit his past and change his life for the better. Unfortunately his good intentions backfire, with terrible consequences for those around him... and for himself. Amy Smart is the girlfriend whose destiny is inextricably wrapped up in this intriguing and unpredictable tale from the team behind Final Destination 2.


  • Eric Bress

  • J Mackye Gruber


  • Ashton Kutcher

  • Amy Smart

  • Eric Stoltz

  • Melora Walters

  • Elden Henson

  • William Lee Scott


In this supernatural/sci-fi thriller, college kid Evan (Twitter king Kutcher) discovers that the blackouts that have plagued him for life allow him to revisit and change terrible events from his past.

Unfortunately, every time he tries to change things for the better, there is a knock-on effect on the lives of those around him... for the worse.

With events spiralling out of control he must try to find the single incident in his past that will change the current timeline and save his childhood sweetheart Kayleigh (Smart).

The film opens with an explanation of the title, which is taken from Chaos Theory - the idea that a butterfly can flap its wings and, through a chain of events, this can cause a tidal wave on the other side of the world.

It takes a while to get going, but the final hour is breathtaking as the plot whizzes through alternate timelines and Evan tries to right wrongs but makes things continually worse due to the unforeseen consequences of his actions.

The Butterfly Effect boasts good performances (Stoltz makes an effectively creepy dad - always beware of a man who calls kids "Sport"), clever use of make-up and costumes in the alternate timelines.

Plus there are some genuine jump-out-of-your-seat moments.

Comparisons are inevitable but this is far darker than Donnie Darko. A film that demands repeat viewings and a cult in the making.