Critic Reviews



Based on 35 critic reviews provided by
The ending is weak, and may be the result of the filmmakers writing themselves into a corner and not wanting to conclude things in a burst of nihilistic excess. Yet, even though it's a cheat, it retains a degree of resonance.
Film Threat
A terrific story, years in the making, that clearly stays true to the uncompromising vision of its creators. The results are on the screen.
Dallas Observer
As a thriller, The Butterfly Effect is iffy and uneven, but as a portrait of a people, it's effective and intriguing.
An entertaining piece of supernatural nonsense whose sheer audacity disarms all (well, nearly all) skepticism.
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 span scarcely longer than that of its eponymous insect.
Village Voice
You have to, if not love, at least not mind a movie in which the very act of Ashton Kutcher reading is enough of a cosmic trauma to rip a hole in the fabric of space-time.
The A.V. Club
A bad-movie-lover's heaven, and a good-movie-lover's hell.
L.A. Weekly
An undercooked allusion to chaos theory -- gives every appearance of having been conceived, planned and executed out of a high school locker room.
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 with what seems to be barely suppressed mirth. Given the deeply unpleasant plot machinations and amateurish direction, the actor's amusement is understandable.
Inhabited by a genuine spirit of cruelty, both toward its characters and its audience.

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