The Day After Tomorrow

May 28, 2004 0 By Fans
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A climatologist tries to figure out a way to save the world from abrupt global warming. He must get to his young son in New York, which is being taken over by a new ice age.

Release Year: 2004

Rating: 6.3/10 (138,684 voted)

Critic's Score: 47/100

Roland Emmerich

Stars: Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum

As Paleoclimatologist named Jack Hall was in Antartica, he discovers that a huge ice sheet has been sheared off. But what he did not know is that this event would trigger a massive climate shift that would effect the world population. Meanwhile, his son, Sam was with friends in New York to attend an event. There they discover that it has been raining non-stop for the past 3 weeks, and after a series of weather related disasters that occurred over the world. Everybody soon realizes that the world is going to enter a new ice age, as the rest of the world population tries to evacuate to the warm climates of the south. Jack makes a daring attempt to rescue his son and his friends who are stuck in New York, who have to survive not only a massive wave, but freezing cold temperatures that could possibly kill them.

Writers: Roland Emmerich, Roland Emmerich


Dennis Quaid

Jack Hall

Jake Gyllenhaal

Sam Hall

Emmy Rossum

Laura Chapman

Dash Mihok

Jason Evans

Jay O. Sanders

Frank Harris

Sela Ward

Dr. Lucy Hall

Austin Nichols


Arjay Smith

Brian Parks

Tamlyn Tomita

Janet Tokada

Sasha Roiz


Ian Holm

Terry Rapson

Nassim Sharara

Saudi Delegate

Carl Alacchi

Venezuelan Delegate

Kenneth Welsh

Vice President Becker

Michel 'Gish' Abou-Samah

Saudi Translator

(as Michael A. Samah)

Where will you be?


Official Website:
20th Century Fox [Japan] |
Fox Film [Denmark] |

Release Date: 28 May 2004

Filming Locations: Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $125,000,000


Opening Weekend: $85,807,341
(30 May 2004)
(3425 Screens)

Gross: $542,771,772
(17 November 2004)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Roland Emmerich estimated that at least 1000 digital artists worked on the film.


Factual errors:
The Union Flag shown on the RAF helicopter crews flightsuits is incorrect. The Union Flag is not symmetrical. The Red cross of Northern Ireland is offset on the flag compared to the white cross of St. Andrew.


[first lines]

Frank Harris:
See how it's done?

Jason Evans:
Yeah, I think I got the hang of it.

User Review

Clichéd, illogical, unscientific but the first hour really delivers even if the second hour is like the 1970's never happened


After years of warning about global warning, Jack Hall is horrified to
find all his predictions coming true much faster than he could have
imagined. Hail stones the size of footballs decimate cities, typhoons
destroy Los Angeles and New York becomes flooded. As the big freeze
crosses the northern hemisphere, a small group of survivors try to fend
off the cold as the world prepares for a dramatic change in the world

This film may be a modern blockbuster but in almost everyway it is a
1970's disaster movie where an event happens after some build up and we
then spend the rest of the film watching the survivors trying to, well,
survive. In that regard the film carries all the usual problems that
the genre carries but happily benefits from the fact that the effects
are much better than 1970's movies could manage. For this reason the
first hour is great – it has dramatic pace, is involving and looks
fantastic even if we have seen it before in different variations (how
many times has New York been destroyed now?). However after the sheer
global terror is pretty much finished we suddenly become much more
small scale and the film looses much of it's impact and it's pace.
After the initial danger has passed the film uses illogical and silly
plot devices to put the survivors at risk – a cold eye of a storm,
blood infections, creeping ice and wolves are among the problems. While
this is OK on a genre level it doesn't compare to the first hour and it
gets a little dull and plodding at times.

The clichés are all present and correct: the politicians, the upright
scientists, the sacrifice, the daring rescues and so on. It's fair to
say that if you are looking for more than a basic script then you will
be looking in the wrong place here. All this film does is to provide
spectacle and moments of dramatic action – if you want to think about
it then you will only hurt your enjoyment of the action. The film tries
to deliver an environmental message but in a way this film will not
help the environmental movement because it is too exaggerated to be
taken seriously (like the idea of Celtic and Man Utd reaching the
Champions League final – during this season? Please!), however it does
include several surprisingly barbed attacks on the US administration
(could the VP look any more like Cheney?). Just a shame that the film
message is delivered with all the subtlety that Segal showed when he
did something similar in his environmental action film On Deadly

The script doesn't really create characters either and it means we
don't care that much about what happens to them in the final hour
(countless millions are dead for goodness sake!). The dialogue in the
first hour is nicely gruff and scientific and very genre but the second
hour is more human and the lines aren't suited for that – not even in
the hands of an impressive number of good actors. I like Quaid and he
is a good lead here, he gets the good scientific stuff and only is
lumbered with the rather silly notion of walking to New York from
Washington. Gyllenhaal must have upset legions of cult fan boys by
appearing in a big budget movie but he does OK with the role (despite
looking too old to be in school). The rest of the cast are fairly mixed
but, as with the genre, they are just filled even if some are good.
Welsh is good even if he was cast for his similarity to Dick Cheney,
Holm adds a small bit of dignity in his role as well as being supported
by the very fine actor Lester in a minor role. Faces like Sanders,
Mihok and a few others don't really matter as they are merely victims
waiting for their turn to be used for dramatic effect.

Overall the first hour of this film is good on a blockbuster level, but
it blows it's wad too early (don't ya hate it when that happens?!) and
is left with a second hour that is right out of the 1970's with all the
weaknesses that that entails. Generally I enjoyed the film because I
was just expecting a big noisy movie to pass a few hours – bad script,
no characters and lots of clichés? Why would I be surprised by that?
It's par for the course and you should not watch this if you know these
aspects will annoy you. As it is, it's an average film but one that is
noisy and spectacular enough to pass muster in the summer blockbuster