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Overall Rating
3.29

Awesome: 19.32%
Worth A Look37.68%
Average: 15.46%
Pretty Bad: 7.73%
Total Crap: 19.81%

9 reviews, 153 user ratings


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Day After Tomorrow, The
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by EricDSnider

"Tomorrow, we're smoking crack. Day after tomorrow, we're making this movie."
3 stars

Roland Emmerich's films have depicted America being attacked, at various times, by aliens, Godzilla and the British. Now comes a force even more powerful, even more potentially deadly, with even greater possibilities for being really stupid: the weather.

"The Day After Tomorrow" is a movie about what happens when global warming turns out to be real, screws up the North Atlantic current, and brings the Northern Hemisphere into a new ice age, all in a matter of weeks. This isn't possible, of course, and I don't think Emmerich even wants us to buy it. He just wants us to swallow the basic premise, sit back, and enjoy the sights and sounds of all know and love being destroyed.

I did not like Emmerich's "The Patriot" or "Godzilla," though I do find myself in the critical minority for having enjoyed "Independence Day." "The Day After Tomorrow," which Emmerich again wrote and directed, is cut from the same cloth as "Independence Day," but with more plot holes, less excitement, and fewer jokes. In addition, I doubt there is a single disaster-movie cliché that Emmerich does not employ, right down the last noble character who dies so that others may live. Emmerich must have had a list in front of him; there's no way you could make a movie with this much recycled material just from memory.

Dennis Quaid plays Jack Hall, the obsessive scientist whom no one listens to. He was in Antarctica with his two researcher buddies (Dash Mihok and Jay O. Sanders) not long ago when a Rhode Island-size chunk of it broke off and floated away. This means the global temperature is rising, which is not good. The world leaders he tells, however, including the American vice president, are unimpressed. (Maybe if he'd told them the chunk was the size of Delaware. Rhode Island just sounds so small.)

Fellow researcher Terry Rapson (Ian Holm), who works at a Scottish weather station, believes Jack, and is equally fearful of what the future may bring. Neither man thought it would happen so soon, though: Within days, temperatures in the North Atlantic are rising dramatically, and most of the world begins to experience crazy weather. Tokyo is pelted with a rain of huge ice chunks. Los Angeles is wiped out by tornadoes. Other, less important cities are probably destroyed, too, but the movie doesn't have time to show us, because we have to get to New York to see what happens there.

What happens there is, the ocean rises and Manhattan is flooded. (That most-abused symbol of America, the Statue of Liberty, is this time shown neck-deep in Atlantic water.) The flooding is bad news for Jack and his wife, a nurse named Lucy (Sela Ward), who of course tends to children with cancer at the local hospital. Jack and Lucy have a teenage son named Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is currently in the aforementioned Manhattan on a school trip. It's pouring down rain, the streets are flooding, the rain is turning to snow, and soon Fifth Avenue is solid ice about 20 feet deep. And just when tourism in the Big Apple was starting to pick up again! Mother Nature is the worst terrorist of all, no?

Sam, his objet d'amour Laura (Emmy Rossum), and various New York types (homeless man, business man, tourists, etc.) have fled to the safety of the public library. Via telephone, Jack tells Sam not to go outside because of what is to come: It will soon become SO COLD, SO FAST that people will freeze to death INSTANTLY! Meanwhile, Jack tries to get from Washington D.C. to New York to rescue his son, and Lucy stays at the hospital to hug cancer kids.

The general idea of this film presents no problem for me in terms of logic or believability. They say the world's gonna go ice age on us, fine. I'll buy that. It's the little things that are absurd, and that reduce the film from awe-inspiring disaster epic to silly special-effects showcase.

For example, there are the people at the library who realize they must start fires in order to keep warm. So what do they burn? The books. They even debate which books ought to be burned last, and which are worthless enough to go now. What they DON'T burn are any of the library's hundreds and hundreds of wooden chairs and tables. Those, apparently, must be preserved for future generations.

I also like how Sam leads a small team to a Russian freighter that drifted down Fifth Avenue when the city flooded and has now become moored in the ice. (Luckily, Fifth Avenue is EXACTLY WIDE ENOUGH for a freighter to float down it. The ship doesn't even scrape any buildings on the sides.) They go because they figure the ship will have food and first aid supplies. While on board, not only do they have to hurry up before The Cold arrives, but they are also chased by wolves. Yes, wolves. I figure Emmerich sat there with his co-writer (Jeffrey Nachmanoff, giving credit where it's due) and said, "There needs to be danger on the ship. What can we have chase them? Snakes? Zombies? Ghosts? No ... wolves!" Well, sure. Why not wolves?

And then there is the moment when The Cold arrives and everyone dashes for safety, trying to outrun it, trying to move faster than the speed of cold. Of course this is a variation on the action-movie theme of heroes outrunning fireballs. A bit less exciting, really. At least fire is a tangible, physical thing. Fleeing from "cold" is a bit obscure, even if it is represented by walls and ceilings crackling over with frost.

It's summer blockbuster time, which means stuff needs to get blowed up, and blowed up BIG. On that count, Emmerich delivers as reliably as ever. The scenes of New York and L.A. being wiped out are suitably impressive. But there's a mechanical feel to it, like Emmerich doesn't have his heart in it. There is little wit or imagination to the film, and certainly no spark in any of the characters. It's all just a rote recital of the disaster-flick images we've been through so many times before. If the world's going to end, it ought to end more creatively than this.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=9640&reviewer=247
originally posted: 05/28/04 16:37:43
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User Comments

10/30/16 morris campbell boring disaster flick good fx though 1 stars
2/15/14 Talal Al-Khaldi It was an OK movie. Special effects were the only thing going for it. Dialogue was terrible 3 stars
2/26/13 Mario Segale It's just like mama used to make! 5 stars
1/31/13 Bart If this movie is on I ALWAYS want to watch it! It does exactly what it's supposed to do. 5 stars
10/05/12 mike miller see this one mainly for the effects 3 stars
2/20/11 Ark Not bad, but formulaic! 4 stars
8/16/10 teachinla Doesn't do the global-warming warners any favors. Its science was ludicrous. 2 stars
8/01/10 Imogen Jones If this is such an enviromental movie, why make wolves look bad? They're nature too! 3 stars
5/20/09 Jake Shit "review". More of a bashing. And Penicillin is a latin phrase, universal for science 3 stars
4/06/09 Monica Hands down worst movie ever made. Absolutely laughable 1 stars
11/26/08 R.W. Welch Hokey disaster flick fails to grab, but has some good FX. 2 stars
11/26/08 Leo T crummy title, crummy movie 1 stars
10/24/08 action movie fan the best movie of 2004-great original story terrific in every way 5 stars
10/01/08 Shaun Wallner Great Movie!! 5 stars
6/19/08 OddworldPoop I'm giving it five for making me laugh and point at how pathetic and overrated it all was. 5 stars
6/08/08 PAUL SHORTT HINTS AT OUR FRAGILE HUMANITY AND TRIES TO PUT A FAMILIAR FACE TO MISERY 3 stars
5/16/08 James Dean sucked. absolutely sucked 1 stars
5/04/08 mark madsen why do people think that this could not happen is beyond me 5 stars
3/23/08 Rob g This is a terrible film. It makes no logical sense. It makes me want to punch Roland Emmerw 1 stars
3/08/08 Pamela White Shows that weather will happen even if we count our carbon credits 5 stars
11/18/07 Tee Effects - 7 Acting & Script - 0 2 stars
10/24/07 Ivana Mann Schmaltzy,cartoonish poo that makes "Independence Day" look like "Citizen Kane"! 1 stars
7/23/07 SCOTTIE WORST MOVIE EVER...! 1 stars
6/09/07 Danielle Ophelia I've this theory that a Gyllenhaal could make a Plan 9 redux work. 4 stars
4/23/07 David Risser This was a disaster, completely fake and unrealistic, highly overated 1 stars
4/20/07 Stevo UK Global warming isn't going to happen for a million billion years. Good film. 4 stars
2/17/07 Vip Ebriega The day after, you learn to like it. 3 stars
1/11/07 Matt It isn't about to happen so just ENJOY the fun 5 stars
12/28/06 Richard Paquette ho-hum 2 stars
12/05/06 Stanley Thai A promising thriller. Great SP FX and action scenes! Casts' performance are great. 4 stars
11/11/06 David Pollastrini great fx 5 stars
8/15/06 gem awsum as 5 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist Clever,suspenseful,fascinating,Although some dragging, it is ownable!! 4 stars
7/09/06 Anthony Feor Goes from fun to boring 3 stars
6/16/06 Michele clever 3 stars
6/14/06 oola suspenseful... interesting 4 stars
5/17/06 rocky I thought the way the used little side storys was awsome!!! 5 stars
4/14/06 MP Bartley Best bit = where they tried to outrun cold. Looks terrific and great fun. 4 stars
3/18/06 Bobert This movie was soooo awsome 5 stars
3/11/06 the laughing man Everything was great, except for Dennis Quaid. 4 stars
3/09/06 Dk Emmerichs second best movie. Only Godzilla is better 4 stars
2/07/06 Anthony Good weather flick 4 stars
1/03/06 cody a cool visual effects movie with good subplot and good perf. by dennis, that's all 3 stars
11/13/05 Quigley what this film lacks in acting talent, plot and script is made up for with awesome visuals 5 stars
10/27/05 chris a not bad movie have seen better and have seen worse 3 stars
10/20/05 Agent Sands Unlike other Hollywood disaster movies, this one shows America with a bit of humility. Good 3 stars
10/07/05 Bob Smith Not bad, worth the seeing. 4 stars
9/26/05 a. kurlovs the first half is quite well done. second - dumb beyond imaginable. 4 stars
8/23/05 ES seen worse, not as bad as I figured 3 stars
8/12/05 Kelly same old disaster story but very entertaining,good effects and Jake Gyllenahal 4 stars
8/07/05 Ed Campbell Another reviewer ignorant of science fiction or science. 5 stars
8/03/05 Sully a solid, fun flick. sometimes you just need to enjoy a movie and not critique it.... 4 stars
8/02/05 Hockeytown Global Catastrophe on ICE!!! 4 stars
8/01/05 George It was good and all but the acting really let this one down 3 stars
7/05/05 NANCY I LOVE IT! AWESOME EFFECTS!!! 5 stars
6/07/05 Darcy only average 3 stars
5/03/05 dwarzel Makes Jurassic Park look like a hotbed of scientific plausibility 1 stars
5/01/05 ed.williams Formilaic, same as all the other disaster movies just a different disaster. 2 stars
4/29/05 Quigley absolutely sick acting from some lead characters, but the CG make this worth it 5 stars
4/01/05 failingloser i like it. it's got a point to get through, you just need to recognise it 5 stars
2/26/05 Danny This is one of the stupidest, worst, unrealistic films I've ever seen. 1 stars
2/11/05 Jeff Anderson Begins greatly, but absolute stupidity quickly takes over! Outstanding special effects!!!!! 2 stars
2/02/05 G-Man best movie ever 5 stars
1/28/05 Charlie Wolves and tornadoes pretty lame. Okay, I guess. 3 stars
1/22/05 Rob McKeown The worst movie in history... absolute crap. 1 stars
1/17/05 JJ utter shite...lol gman also gave attack of the clones 5/5 lmao 1 stars
1/03/05 2012 Mayan thin plot doesn't matter, it's mainly about mans ignorance, nature always wins in the end 4 stars
1/02/05 MyGreenBed Atrocious. A "year's worst" listee. Laughable often (and not in a good Ed Wood way). 1 stars
12/12/04 john a big wave splashes over NY and after that Dennis walks there through the snow - the end 1 stars
12/10/04 Jason Kaul Special Effects=WOW. Plot=Thin @ best. Overall=Gotta have more than effects to please me. 2 stars
12/05/04 HL Quaid walks from PA to NY in blizzard in 38 minutes..oh, he saves the world. 4 stars
11/24/04 Zenny does cheese freeze? 2 stars
11/07/04 Joe Smaltz The crack smoking thing seems Plausible. good Cinematography 1 stars
11/05/04 Duncan I wanted to leave. 1 stars
10/31/04 G-man best movie ever 5 stars
10/24/04 lotrEEproper owns....but this is an utterwank film almost as bad as the others they made like iday and armagedon etc..but it has great effects 1 stars
10/24/04 Doc Shock Amusing. Nothing great, but worth a look for mindless entertainment. 3 stars
10/19/04 Joe I can't believe I paid two bucks to see this. 1 stars
10/19/04 EUGENE ahh it was ok but id rather watch an anal orgy 3 stars
10/17/04 Dan Good 4 stars
10/14/04 Nickydonpablos I thought it was interesting. Atleast it caught my attention and kept the story going. 5 stars
10/14/04 tatum Great FX, but stunted and obvious all over the place 2 stars
10/13/04 American Slasher Goddess Has a lot of plot holes, but it's decent two hour entertainment. 3 stars
10/06/04 Paul BORING! BORING! Save ur time,and just fast forward for the pretty effects! 2 stars
8/07/04 G-man best movie ever....tornadoes, ice overs....just plain awesome 5 stars
8/02/04 Nikolai I laughed a little, and I cried a little. what more can one ask? 1 stars
8/01/04 valerie hart fanatstic 5 stars
7/23/04 Jurko the Great Total crap! 1 stars
7/19/04 assassin_chick Special effects are pretty fun--Great flick if you love apocolyptic movies like we do! 4 stars
7/17/04 legend Good summer flick. Excellent special effects which seemed to run out at end. Bad story. 4 stars
7/11/04 Vince Completely unrealistic, standard hollywood fare action flick, saved by special effects 3 stars
7/08/04 Denise Duspiva Good movie and it made a point 4 stars
6/30/04 Mike C. This movie is SO funny, don't view with a critical eye, just enjoy the comedy and specialFX 4 stars
6/27/04 Dan Denson It used fake science to sell itself, and was I the only one hoping the charcters WOULD die? 1 stars
6/27/04 Koitus Gotta love the bus ON the Porsche, and the anchorman getting plastered by the billboard! 4 stars
6/26/04 M slick sfx movie with a plot......finally! 4 stars
6/21/04 cobretti Laughably bad with some real howlers for dialogue. All the effects are in the trailer. 1 stars
6/19/04 Emily I loved this movie 5 stars
6/16/04 Hilarium Is Darkofnight nuts? He honestly thinks this couldn't be better? My god. Warn the children. 1 stars
6/16/04 Luke Wow i would like to know what goes through the heads of people who think this is good 1 stars
6/15/04 Jack Bourbon Mr. Vice President, why haven't you stopped the making of shitty movies?!?!?! 1 stars
6/14/04 Lord Jiggy Better than you've heard...only film this summer not to disappoint 4 stars
6/12/04 Melina entertaining, but not memorable 4 stars
6/10/04 maxomai Pleasantly thrilling if stupid. 4 stars
6/08/04 Dion Ignore the sci-fi haters - this movie is excellent 5 stars
6/07/04 The Chronic only showed destruction in US and then only in NY & LA, plot too unbelieveable 3 stars
6/06/04 Captain Highcrime Wouldn't ya know it, just when I finally land a decent LA apartment... 4 stars
6/06/04 Melissa I thought this movie was great. It actually frightened me that this could happen. 5 stars
6/05/04 alien assassin Head and shoulders above most disaster films 4 stars
6/05/04 DdMM I should have stuck to my original plan for the evening and gone to the gym... 2 stars
6/04/04 iami I laughed outloud (Literally) when Mexico closed the border to the Amaricans. 4 stars
6/04/04 M Hated wil smith in ID4, hate fake wolves in this one! still awesome though 5 stars
6/04/04 Doc Hollywood nonsensical plot forced romance wolves dennis quaid got the picture? 2 stars
6/03/04 SIr Spam-a-lot Best comedy of the year - oh wait 2 stars
6/03/04 Agent Sands Unlike ID4 & Godzilla, this shows a practical disaser & gives the US some humility. 4 stars
6/02/04 Coolhand How in the hell is this 4 stars? Did the price of crack just drop? 1 stars
6/02/04 William DuBay A great spoof of all the disaster films ever made. One campy cliche after another. 4 stars
6/02/04 man on fire This movie was a pathetic excuse for a political thriller/environmental desaster film. 2 stars
6/02/04 Nicole There were some cool effects, but overall the story was weak 3 stars
6/02/04 Obi Wan Good summer movie. Held it's own and thank god we did without the Nuke it scene! 4 stars
6/02/04 Worthy Slacker A few "money shots" doesn't make a good movie. Totally idiotic. "We walk from here" huh? 1 stars
6/02/04 Mike V An unbelievablly atrocious piece of crap. Boring. Roland Emmerich needs to be stopped. 1 stars
6/01/04 A F Anyone who takes this seriously, needs to take a few science classes. Way over done. 1 stars
6/01/04 Susan the best disaster film i've ever seen...phenomenal special effects 5 stars
6/01/04 Wolf Fascinating flick, a real gripper in parts. Wolves weren't good tho. 4 stars
6/01/04 Charlene Javier Deep Impact of the Twisters 2 stars
6/01/04 Kev Bogus, loaded with disaster movie clichés, and numerous eye-rolling moments... but still ok 3 stars
6/01/04 Maalstrom I was yawning 3 stars
6/01/04 Mike It insults anyone with a brain. 1 stars
5/31/04 Jim Pretty good weather porn. Ice age reminds me of upstate New York in January. 4 stars
5/31/04 ajay effects were good, acting/script *wasn't* as bad as expected 4 stars
5/31/04 Meryl Fuckin' rocked. people who don't like it are just worried cuz their SUVs will make it true, 5 stars
5/31/04 Emperor's New Clothes? Nope. Just a Fat, Ugly, Naked, Guy. Good effects & if you ignore the Hollywood drama, you'll see the kernel of dangerous truthh 4 stars
5/31/04 Lukie hated it - worst film I've seen for years 1 stars
5/30/04 BrianWilly Awesome disaster flick with surprisingly good backstory and acting. 5 stars
5/30/04 Prime Worth seeing for the amazing effects. 4 stars
5/30/04 qemm greatest apocalyptical effects ever 5 stars
5/30/04 Jack Bourbon I've never seen a worse film. You reviewers should have your internet privelages revoked 1 stars
5/30/04 Joanna For a disaster film, it was great! 4 stars
5/30/04 Dan Great SFX, but illogical script and boring characters 2 stars
5/30/04 ALI HBOUS the visual effects are scary 4 stars
5/29/04 M Very "COOL" 5 stars
5/29/04 Cameron Slick Paper-thin plot vs. great vfx, breaks down to caring about the characters - I didn't 3 stars
5/29/04 othree funny,unbelievable,no emotional attachment,familiar casts,see trailers 4 efx 3 stars
5/29/04 Edler Made no sense at all. The special FX dudes bribed the producers to make this idiotic heap. 1 stars
5/29/04 Gray needed better editing + end buildup+ less specific science explanations=more belivable 4 stars
5/29/04 Christina That homeless guy was annoying as hell 5 stars
5/29/04 Bradley Woods save yourself some money and rent the DVD. its extreme silliness is amusingly entertaining. 3 stars
5/28/04 Help! My Brain Is Still Turned Off! Now I need it to erase all the bullshit that was fed me in this film! 1 stars
5/28/04 Sebastián Freigeiro I liked it a lot, great movie, at least for me... 4 stars
5/27/04 P.Rodriguez made me laugh, made me cry.. oh wait wrong movie. Total leave you brain and enjoy flick 5 stars
5/27/04 Over-hyped BORING! No sustanable plot, bad dialogue, only 2 action scenes = TERRIBLE MOVIE! 1 stars
5/24/04 Blakers A great film 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  28-May-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 24-May-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  27-May-2004 (M)




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