The Butterfly Effect | Chicago Reader

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This abysmal thriller about a young man (Ashton Kutcher) who revisits the past to alter the course of his traumatic life is so jammed with psychological gimmicks that I kept picturing writer-directors Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber hunched over the DSM-IV at a Hollywood Starbucks. This team also wrote Final Destination 2, another high-concept item, but this time they're in way over their heads, laboriously building up to their fantasy premise with a phony soap opera about incest, child abuse, sadism, and mental illness. This gets marginally more intriguing once Kutcher begins to rearrange his past, but ultimately the what-ifs degenerate into so-whats. With Amy Smart, Elden Henson, and Eric Stoltz. R, 113 min.

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