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Overall Rating
3.31

Awesome: 19.82%
Worth A Look35.24%
Average: 18.94%
Pretty Bad: 8.37%
Total Crap: 17.62%

9 reviews, 173 user ratings


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Day After Tomorrow, The
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by Rob Gonsalves

"An Inconvenient Truth" for morons."
1 stars

The problem with large-scale disaster movies (as opposed to smaller-scale ones like "The Poseidon Adventure") is that we're given a few people to care about, out of presumably millions of lives. If tornadoes are tearing L.A. apart and a gigantic wave is turning New York City into an aquarium, who cares whether some guy rescues his teenage son?

We might care if the characters were written with some panache and skill, but The Day After Tomorrow, political posturing notwithstanding, is all about the spectacle. In the long-shot views of destruction (most of which you've seen in the trailer), you watch thousands of people die, but you know most of the people you've been watching for a few scenes are going to live. A truly chilling apocalyptic film like this would dispense with a heroic narrative altogether and just wreak havoc for two hours, for mass death would be the meaning of the event for most people.

Director Roland Emmerich follows exactly the same recipe that paid off lucratively in Independence Day and less so in Godzilla: one heaping cup of destruction, a teaspoon of character development, half a pound of scenes involving our heroes narrowly avoiding death -- sprinkle CGI effects liberally, let cool, serves millions of gullible moviegoers (the studio hopes). We have here, too, a Message: Instead of aliens or Godzilla, this time it's Mother Nature herself testing our American resolve (we see glimpses of chaos in other nations, but this film's view is so narrow you'd think America was composed solely of L.A., N.Y.C., and Washington). The British at a remote weather station can only get drunk and await death by freezing; it takes a red-blooded American, in the person of Dennis Quaid, to fight the odds and make it to an iced-over Big Apple in search of his son (Jake Gyllenhaal, a long, sad way from Donnie Darko).

As usual, Emmerich's direction is sloppy. A perky brainy girl (Emmy Rossum) falls ill due to an infected gash on her leg, and Gyllenhaal (who's nursing a crush on her) and some friends head out to a Russian ship that has floated into the middle of the city and frozen there. They're in search of penicillin, which they assume will be available on a Russian ship in a bottle marked "penicillin" in English (and, wonder of wonders, it is!). En route, they run into a pack of nasty timber wolves that have gotten loose from the city zoo; they also got loose from the film's CGI artists before they could be made remotely realistic-looking (for a second I thought I was watching Van Helsing again). Then we cut away to Quaid or some other business, and when we next see the sick girl, she's feeling much better. Emmerich doesn't give us the moment when Gyllenhaal makes it back and the girl gets the penicillin -- the very point of this entire outlandish sequence. And don't even get me started on the hilarity of the scene where a bunch of people outrun a blast of freezing air and close the doors on it. What, does the air see the closed doors and shuffle away, sniffling dejectedly? We've just seen that same air stop three helicopters in flight by turning chopper fuel to ice, for Christ's sake.

One moment in the bloated spectacle pleased me greatly: at the New York Public Library, where Gyllenhaal and some other survivors hole up, two librarians -- a fussy dusty stereotyped one and a funky earthy-crunchy type more typical of who librarians are these days -- debate whether to toss the works of Nietzsche onto the fire that's going to be warding off the impending freeze. A literary discussion in a big-budget summer apocaflick? I couldn't believe my ears; Emmerich must've been off taking a piss when that was written and filmed.

Elsewhere, the movie's respect for the written word -- and for credible science (yes, we're ruining the planet, but an overkill movie like this doesn't help the credibility of actual environmentalists one whit) -- is typified by dialogue like "Unpack the snowshoes -- we're walking from here" or the film's final line, the most unintentionally funny punchline since "Somewhere in heaven there's an angel with big ears" in "The Tall Guy." The librarians should've tossed the script onto the fire first.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=9640&reviewer=416
originally posted: 12/28/06 10:23:33
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User Comments

7/23/14 lshjyjkndz USA 3 stars
4/18/14 ipcjwcsne USA 4 stars
4/11/14 Udygovfe USA 5 stars
4/08/14 tfalkh USA 3 stars
3/30/14 Algcbtln USA 2 stars
3/24/14 Zmihwieb USA 3 stars
3/24/14 Ehdmjvzf USA 5 stars
3/23/14 Xajvnpoz USA 3 stars
3/23/14 Gmmbkvxa USA 3 stars
3/22/14 Pzftejnd USA 3 stars
3/22/14 Wbyavybb USA 4 stars
3/22/14 Wnwynyvn USA 5 stars
3/21/14 Txzpbowv USA 3 stars
3/21/14 Qjailtnt USA 2 stars
2/22/14 vmhxmmes USA 3 stars
2/16/14 Vknmjifc USA 3 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
2/06/14 Baehkeop USA 5 stars
2/02/14 pyhzvcdam USA 3 stars
2/02/14 Lwyccasf USA 2 stars
1/26/14 Mdedjkpk USA 5 stars
1/23/14 Ohdbdagm USA 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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