Become a Premium Member | Only $2 a month

► You're making sure we survive
► Exclusive previews
► No more ads


The Butterfly Effect [2004] [R]



Although our site is very popular, the current economic climate has reduced our revenues just when we need extra security to prevent attacks from hackers who don't like what we do. If you think what we do is worthwhile, please donate or become a member.


Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

 [more »]

Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


» - ★★˝
» Official Site
» IMDb Listing

After moments of great stress a young man (Ashton Kutcher) is unable to remember what he was doing. Because his father was institutionalized for a similar problem, he feared for his own fate. But he discovers how to transport himself to the past, and uses the knowledge to change his future. What he doesn't count on is that each time he changes something in his past, everything else changes in the present, and many results are unwelcome. Also with Amy Smart, Eldon Henson, Eric Stoltz and Ethan Suplee. Directed by Eric Bress & J. Mackye Gruber. [1:53]

SEX/NUDITY 8 - A young woman lies on top of a young man in bed, she thrusts rhythmically, we hear thumping, and they kiss. A young man and a young woman are in bed together under covers, she lies on top of him and we see her moving rhythmically briefly; the young man is bare-chested. We see a young woman in a skimpy leather outfit and a young man in bed (it is implied that they have had a sexual encounter), she pulls up her stockings, the young man masturbates under the covers (we see rhythmic movement) and he throws a soiled (with semen) T-shirt at another young man. A man sets up a video camera and tells a boy and a girl to take off their clothes and that they are going to "act like they are in love like grown-ups do" (we see the boy and girl with bare shoulders). Two men unfasten their pants, and a young man gets on his knees in front of them preparing to perform oral sex on them (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A young man lies on top of a young woman in bed (it is suggested that they have just had sex), she talks about having had "multiple orgasms" and asks him where he learned those "tricks." A young man wakes up in bed with a young woman (he's bare-chested), he falls out of bed, wraps a towel around his waist, the young woman tells him to hurry back because she wants a "quickie." He proceeds to walk through the halls of a sorority house passing scantily clad young women, he goes into a shower room, we see a fully nude (bare breasts and pubic region) young woman stepping out of the shower and wrapping herself in a towel. A young man and a young woman kiss in several scenes, a boy and a girl kiss, and a girl kisses a boy on the cheek. A man is threatened with sodomy. A young man and a young woman talk about her being a prostitute. A young woman working as a waitress drops dishes on the floor, and when she bends down a man touches her buttocks. We see a poster of a topless young woman (sweater sleeves hang over her nipples). A woman wears a low-cut top that reveals cleavage. A boy looks at a Hustler magazine (we don't see anything but part of the cover which shows the title and a woman's head and shoulders), and a man looks at a Hustler magazine. There are several references to the fact that a young man has had many sexual encounters.

VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - A boy puts an explosive in a mailbox and we see different outcomes: One is that a woman and her baby go to the mailbox, open it, and it explodes killing them both (we hear the explosion, do not see the people but hear a news report referring to it as a "gruesome scene"); the other is that a boy rushes the mailbox and he is blow back (we hear the explosion and see him later, missing his arms and requiring a wheelchair). A boy puts a dog in a bag, sprays the bag with lighter fluid, lights a stick on fire, and then there are different outcomes: One shows the boy hitting a girl hard with a board, she falls unconscious, then he hits another boy in the stomach with the board, we see this boy with a very bloody face later and a smoldering bag on a fire nearby (it is implied that the dog was still in the bag and is now dead); an alternate outcome of this scene shows a boy being hit in the head with a board, then kicked in the stomach, we see the other boy igniting the bag with the whimpering, growling dog inside it and the boy threatens another boy who has a stick in his hand by saying "drop it or I'll slit your mother's throat in her sleep"; yet another alternate outcome has the boy hitting a girl with a board in the face (we see her with a huge bloody gash on her cheek), another boy stabs a boy in the back with a metal shard, and the boy lies dead. A young man with a stick threatens another young man, he begins hitting him repeatedly on the legs and back, then kicks him while he is on the ground. The young man on the ground sprays the other young man in the face with mace, punches him repeatedly then hits him hard in the head with the stick killing him (he is sprayed with blood). Two men unfasten their pants, a young man gets on his knees in front of them preparing to perform oral sex on them, he then pulls a knife and stabs them (we see blood on their crotches and abdomens, we hear them screaming and see blood spray). A boy trips a boy who in turn hits him in the face with a metal pole then kicks and punches him repeatedly. A man attacks a boy and tries to strangle him, the man is hit in the back of the head by a guard and we see the man on the floor with a pool of blood collecting around his head, and then we see the man's funeral (we see the attack portion of the scene several times, but the man's death only once). A boy slams his hands down hard onto pointed wire paper holders (we do not see the after effect). A man grabs a young man by the crotch and threatens him with sodomy or death, and a boy threatens a man with castration. A man punches a young man and grabs him by the hair. We hear that a young woman has committed suicide, and a young man tries to drown himself in a tub of water. A boy threatens a man with an explosive, the explosive rolls toward a girl who picks it up and it explodes killing her (we hear the blast). A young man has what look like seizures in several scenes, causing him to thrash, he holds his head (we sometimes hear ripping and crunching noises) and his nose bleeds. A man hits his son on the head and threatens him. A young man shoves another young man against a bookshelf and threatens him, a young man threatens to kill another young man over the telephone, and a young man yells at another young man. A young man bounces a pool ball off a pool table, it lands on a nearby table breaking a pitcher of beer and disrupting the people sitting at the table, they rise in a threatening manner, the young man who hit the ball then hits the pool table with the cue and they sit back down. A young man shoves another young man against a wall. Men yell at a young man as he comes into a prison. A boy is hypnotized to recall memories, he begins to convulse, his eyes roll back into his head and his nose begins to bleed. A boy lies motionless on the ground and appears to be in shock. A girl has bruises shaped like a handprint on her arm (it is suggested that her father abuses her). A young man wakes up in a panic when he realizes that he has no arms and that he must use a wheelchair. A young man is shown strapped into a bed in a psychiatric hospital. A boy stands motionless with a kitchen knife in his hand, his mother enters the room and is alarmed. A boy has drawn a picture that shows a boy with a bloody knife standing over two bloody bodies. A young man breaks down an office door, appears in a panic and hides under a desk while people pound on the door from the outside. A young woman has a large scar across her cheek, and a young man has a burn scar on his stomach where he was burned by a cigarette. A boy twists a doll's head and appears very angry. A boy is rude and mean to a girl causing her to cry. People make fun of a young man because of his appearance. A car has been vandalized and we see it with a broken windshield and dented body. A young woman working as a waitress drops dishes on the floor, when she bends down a man touches her buttocks, and a man yells at her. A boy and a girl climb on a roof. A young man vomits on himself in his sleep, which wakes him up. A young man throws a soiled (with semen) T-shirt at another young man.

PROFANITY 10 - 51 F-words and derivatives, 7 sexual references, 22 scatological terms, 16 anatomical terms, 16 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for Hispanic-Americans, 1 derogatory term for African-Americans, 2 derogatory terms for homosexuals, 4 religious profanities, 5 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - The Chaos Theory, mental illness, missing father complex, pedophilia, child abuse, changing the past, psychology, memory assimilation, repressed memories, prison rape, prostitution.

MESSAGE - Trying to change one's past can change the present for the worse. There are always unintended consequences to any action.

(Note: People are shown drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco and marijuana.)

Special Keywords: S8 - V8 - P10 - MPAAR

Our Ratings Explained

Tell Friends About Our Site

Become a Member

A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

INAPPROPRIATE ADS? We have little control over ads since we belong to ad agencies that serve ads automatically; a standing order should prevent provocative ads, but inappropriate ads do sneak in.
What you can do



Become a member: You can subscribe for as little as a couple of dollars a month and gain access to our premium site, which contains no ads whatsoever. Think about it: You'll be helping support our site and guarantee that we will continue to publish, and you will be able to browse without any commercial interruptions.


Tell all your friends: Please recommend to your friends and acquaintances; you'll be helping them by letting them know how useful our site is, while helping us by increasing our readership. Since we do not advertise, the best and most reliable way to spread the word is by word-of-mouth.


Alert local & national media: Let major media know why you trust our ratings. Call or e-mail a local newspaper, radio station or TV channel and encourage them to do a story about our site. Since we do not have a PR firm working for us, you can be our media ambassadors.

Copyright © 1992- Critics. All rights reserved. "Kids-In-Mind™" and "Movie Ratings That Actually Work™" are Service Marks of Critics. For legal queries please see our Terms of Use; for comments or questions see our contact page.