Butterfly Effect, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -4

When seven-year-old Evan Treborn experiences blackouts and memory loss in this suspense thriller, his mother and doctors fear that he is beginning to struggle with the same mental illness that permanently institutionalized his father. To curb memory loss, doctors prescribe journaling, a practice that he continues through his life. But Evans memory loss occurs only during the most pivotal and traumatic moments of his and his friends lives. Those moments include a childhood prank gone horribly wrong and an experience of sexual abuse by his friends father. Now, 13 years later, Evan (Ashton Kutcher) discovers that his journals help him remember his past and change it! But as he tries to set things right for himself and, particularly, for his childhood girlfriend Kayleigh (Amy Smart), Evan finds that every change results in a cost. He must decide what price he is willing and able to pay.

The Butterfly Effect is a story written around an idea. The idea, borrowed from chaos mathematics, is that something as small as the flapping of a butterflys wings can set into motion the production of a hurricane. Or, as the film puts it, a very small change to the past can completely alter the present. While the idea is thought-provoking, it is biblically problematic since it assumes that our life experiences are the product of unbridled cause and effect. This is contrary to the Christian belief that God providentially works out all things according to His purposes. Kutchers character basically plays God as he tries to manipulate the causes in his past to produce the desired effects in his present. The film earned its R rating for many reasons pervasive objectionable language, sexual situations, nudity including child pornography, drug use, and severe and sadistic violence including animal abuse and implied child abuse. Dont put yourself through the trauma of seeing this film.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty
New Line Cinema

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (17) times mild (hell 5, damn 2); moderate (tits 1, other 3); strong (ass 5, bitch 1)

Obscene Language: Many (73) times strong (f-word 51, s-word 17, other 5)

Profanity: Many (16) times moderate (OMG 4, OG 1, MG 2, G 2); strong (GD 4, J 1, JC 1, C-sake 1)

Violence: Many times mild (man curses and shoves another man, several men beat another); moderate (man attacks another man, man beats another man to death, man stabs two men in the groin, boy brutally beats another boy, children play with explosives, depiction of a sadistic child, implication of child abuse); strong (boy ties up dog in bag and pours gasoline over it with intent to burn it, and the remains are shown later; boy hits girl in the face with lumber; women and baby killed by explosion; girl killed by explosion; boy maimed by explosion; boy stabs and kills another boy)

Sex: Several mild (man and woman in bed at sorority with previous activity implied, man and women in bed under covers); moderate (man and woman in dormitory bed with motions, implication of sexual abuse to a child); strong (man and woman in bed with woman naked)

Nudity: Once moderate (woman in bed completely naked with breasts exposed and genitals obscured, portrayal of child pornography)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times mild (woman tells her boyfriend she wants to have a quickie before class); moderate (woman portrayed as a prostitute and makes reference to her activities); strong (man refers to a couples sexual relationship graphically, man refers to his roommates recent sexual encounter, woman says that a room smells like sex)

Drugs: Few times mild (tobacco use by children, man drinks alcohol, several people drinking in bar scene); strong (man smoking an illegal drug in a bong)

Other: Portrayal of long-term consequences of actions, portrayal of mental institutions and mental disorders, portrayal of the consequences of changing the past

Running Time: 113 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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