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Chaos Theory

6.61 h 27 min2008PG-13
An efficiency expert's (Ryan Reynolds) life unravels when his wife sets his clock back 10 minutes.
Marcos Siega
Ryan ReynoldsEmily MortimerStuart Townsend
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Sarah ChalkeMike ErwinConstance ZimmerMatreya FedorElisabeth HarnoisChris William MartinJovanna HuguetChristopher JacotAlessandro JulianiLisa CalderTy OlssonChristine Chatelain
Frederic GolchanErica Westheimer
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
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4.2 out of 5 stars

400 global ratings

  1. 60% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 18% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 12% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 4% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

NamrezyReviewed in the United States on April 8, 2013
2.0 out of 5 stars
Not worth the rental.
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I wanted to like this movie. This type of character is perfect for Ryan Reynolds and the movie had the makings (according to the other reviews I read) of being one of those low budget dark-comedy gems that turns out to be unexpectedly good.

It wasn't.


We are all different people with differing opinions, but I cannot see where anyone would give this movie 5 out of 5 stars; even 4 is a stretch. The acting in this movie is average AT BEST, the flow of the plot lines are jagged, the situations depicted were almost always unrealistic, and the movie had no idea what it wanted to be. A comedy? A dark comedy? A drama? A dram-edy?

Listen: Not Ryan Reynolds' best movie and this is one of those movies that if you have very few other options in place for your viewing pleasure, you can watch this movie and not think it an absolute waste of your life if you do. Wanted to give it 2.5 out of 5, but since I can't, had to round down once I started thinking about it again.


Okay, this movie essentially kicks off by their group of friends talking about what they've named their penises, but more painstakingly unfortunate, every one of them, in fact, has a name for theirs. What? The main female character then goes on to exclaim she wants a husband for a New Year's resolution and she will pick from her friends (using sound reasoning only existing in the movies, mind you). About a minute or so later you get the impression Ryan Reynolds was her choice all along, but that doesn't stop this from feeling gimmicky from the start or written by a 10 year old.

Fast-forward a bit and Ryan Reynolds' life starts falling apart as soon as he's late for the ferry. Now, I'm no expert on the ways and means of aquatic-transportation, but the worker not letting him on the ferry is absolute crap. There is no one else waiting, they haven't pulled up the ramps yet, and the next ferry doesn't leave for another HOUR, there is NO REASON they couldn't let this ONE GUY aboard the ferry. A minor discrepancy, yes, but to base the start of the premise on this is, again, written by a 10 year old.

This movie is 1hr 27m 48s long (roughly) and there are two distinct parts where they spend way too much time on something that has nothing to do with the overall arch of the story. 1) When he's driving the pregnant woman to the hospital, we get the pleasure of spending almost 3+ minutes inside the car while he tells her to breath? Wow. 2) Then, when he finds out he's sterile, we get another 3+ minutes of him sitting by the river half crying/vomiting/gagging. In a 90-minute movie, you can't have 6'ish minutes of nothing.

Also, he's angry at his wife because she accidentally set the clock ahead 10 minutes, making him late, and this eventually causes him to have drinks and flirt with a hot blonde, ultimately winding up in his room with her almost naked? Again...what? Where on earth would a HAPPILY married man with a young daughter wind up in bed with another female, with his friend present at the bar (a friend who openly flirts with his wife, mind you). It doesn't matter nothing ultimately happens, and he ultimately rejects her, doesn't matter he had been drinking, IT DOES NOT MATTER, this is so cliche and undermining I took an entire star off of my review for that.

Some other points: The nurse's phone call and how professional it was, their fight when he first gets home after delivering the pregnant woman to the hospital (no chance of explaining himself, we just go right into the cliche "you're the devil, get out forever!"), Buddy's speech when he tries to convince the wife he loves her and he wants to raise "his" daughter...was some of the worst dialogue in the movie (Buddy's character development up to this point...he might as well be wallpaper). And how did the pregnant woman find out where he lived anyway if she left the hospital? Magic?

Also, the wife sleeps with Buddy (the best friend of the guy she chooses) less than a week before choosing her husband? What? And her defense of this is "But it was only you after, promise!" And another thing, at the beginning of the movie, the groom has cold feet because his fiance, during a momentary break-up, sleeps with another guy for 2 weeks? And his friend is convincing him this is normal and he's lucky? That dude needs new friends and definitely a new bride.

I'll stop there before my head explodes.
6 people found this helpful
Castor833Reviewed in the United States on May 13, 2011
5.0 out of 5 stars
Well Worth Watching!
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Until I watched this film it seemed to me that Ryan Reynolds played himself in all of the films of his that I have seen. There were variations of course. The Proposal was different than Blade 3 but the underlying ... portrayal was the same at it's core. I really enjoy that portrayal because he makes me laugh. He has made me laugh in Two guys, a girl and a pizza place; Foolproof; Just Friends; The In-Laws; Definitely, Maybe and Van Wilder. An outstanding comedic actor.

This film, as well as his others, Buried and Smokin Aces (A film that I don't recommend for anything other than Reynold's and Jeremy Piven's performances), shows just what kind of range this man can show us. When he gets the news that his life is built on a lie and he takes that hit emotionally... I never doubted his reaction. Totally believable how he responds to what he perceives, rightfully so, as the destruction of his world and his attempts to find any kind of meaningful path to get through that chaos are such that you could not help but feel his pain even though he didn't say a word on the drive back from the revelation.

Not to say that there is no humor, there is, or that the other people in this movie aren't excellent, they are. Watch it for yourself and make your own decisions.
4 people found this helpful
Don From IndianaReviewed in the United States on April 5, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Better, and more serious than I expected it to be.
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It's better, and more serious than I expected it to be. They actually tried to tell a good story, which means something, about real characters, with stakes and drama, and some laughs.

It's not the best movie I've ever seen, but I don't think you'll regret watching it.
RBockReviewed in the United States on June 12, 2013
3.0 out of 5 stars
Creative, Well Written...but at the same time, annoying
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This movie is well-written, and the title fits the story. Ryan Reynolds is fun to watch, as he is beautiful and extremely talented--I hope he goes beyond those quirky, funny guy roles and finds opportunities that showcase his chops. The little girl in this movie is also very talented, and is gorgeous. But the casting fell short. I hated Emily Mortimer as the wife. She is awkward to watch, especially in this movie. I also get annoyed at actors whose accents come out frequently (Catherine Zeta Jones, Minnie Driver--when they play Americans), as hers does. Not only is Mortimer uncomfortable as RyRen's wife, her character is despicable and completely unlikeable. You'd think they could have cast an actress who could capture a sensitive situation as hers was, but still be able to touch the audience. Overall, worth a watch.
RAD!Reviewed in the United States on January 24, 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars
What would YOU do?
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Chaos Theory was an interesting movie. A drama the likes of which is out of character for Ryan Reynolds, yet he's able to pull the role off quite convincingly. The film really elaborates on the hypocrisies of life and relationships with a comical solution on Reynolds' part. A shallow movie with only decent acting by the supporting cast that allows it to maintain a roughly true to life quality. While I enjoyed watching it, I definitely do not believe seven years after it's release that it's worth $20 dollars. I purchased it for $11.73 and still feel the price was high even with the inclusion of a double sided disk (Side A Widescreen/Side B Fullscreen). Wait for it to go on sale, then enjoy one mans irreverent answer to the question... What would you do if?...
2 people found this helpful
Rather be at the BeachReviewed in the United States on August 9, 2012
4.0 out of 5 stars
"Chaos Theory" Rocks!
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I love finding a movie that my friends and I feel has some of the best all-time movie lines! This movie actually has some awesome one-liners in it that you will find yourself repeating! This would have been a 5 star review except for a number of scenes which dragged on slowly. The other scenes had so much action and so many surprises that Chaos Theory definitely rates 4 stars! Ryan Reynolds' acting is superior as his character, a time-control freak, discovers that control really is an illusion. As he carefully makes lists for each day so as not to waste precious time, being late for a ferry begins a ripple in time that exposes life-changing secrets and movie twists! (sorry, I can't give away any secrets here!) It's a fun ride, DEFINITELY WORTH WATCHING. I highly recommend this movie!
3 people found this helpful
R. JeffersReviewed in the United States on June 29, 2011
5.0 out of 5 stars
A surprising Netflix find
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In two words, this film can be described as suprising and compelling.

I ran across this film while browsing Netflix through my PS3. The plot sounded pretty funny, so I took a shot.

First impression - whoa, this is not a comedy - but even though it didn't meet my immediate expectations, Reynold's character was very compelling (me being the same sort of straight-laced OCD personality, I almost immediately developed a strong sympathy for Reynolds).

I've never been a big fan of Reynolds - I always envisioned him the "Van Wilder" type, and never really cared to give any of his films an honest break. But between the likeable character design and Reynold's fantastic portrayal, my heart actually broke for the poor guy during the progression of the plot. I should make a correction - I WASN'T a fan, but his performances was strong enough to convince me to give some of his other projects a go.

The supporting cast is also very solid - no A-listers, but all genuine in their roles. The plot is the most unexpected part of the whole experience. Despite the dark-edginess of the story and the contemporary amorality of the film industry, Chaos Theory is surprisingly moral and grounded in traditional values. There is no edgy perversion, no cynical mockery of straight-laced Frank Allen his normal family, there's no sex on camera, profanity is realistic, and all of the characters, for all of their failings, are just good people who want to do the right thing. All in all, it's a lesson in the sometimes catastrophic consequences to seemingly minor events (the chaos theory), but in the end, you choose how you live with it.

On the technical side, I appreciated the use slow pans and long cuts, it really forces a performance from the actors, and forces the audience to maintain that connection. When compared the modern immature rapid-cut preference in film editing, it made it much more personal. The location, which looks like up near Vancouver, fits the plot well: beautiful, cold, and somber. It's not Avatar, nor is it Casablanca, but still well executed.

I enjoyed this film so much, I watched it again the very next night, and I'm now buying it. Highly recommended.
3 people found this helpful
TheatremanReviewed in the United States on March 14, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
Dull for me
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It just never got off the ground. Big fan of Ryan Reynolds and of Melissa McCarthy, both have done excellent work.
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