The Day After Tomorrow

The Day After Tomorrow

Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Release: 2004
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Rating: PG-13

Plot Summary: a massive climate shift is causing natural disasters around the world.  Sam and his fellow decathlon teammates are stranded in New York due to the storms and they take refuge in the New York Public Library.  In the meantime, his father Jack, a paleoclimatologist who predicted that this climate shift would come one day, sets out from Washington D.C. to rescue his son.  Life will never be the same as the northern half of the United States are ordered to evacuate and much of the US takes refuge in Mexico.

Critical Evaluation

I do not know how solid the scientific basis of the story is but it is a fascinating story that will appeal to those who enjoy the post-apocalyptic/dystopian type of stories.  Jack is a brilliant yet scatterbrained father who has let his son down one time after another.  Sam takes after his father intellectually as well as being a little socially awkward and sweet.  He’s not your typical hero with bulging muscles and endless self-confidence.  Still he takes the lead when it comes to protecting his friends as well as several other people who take shelter in the library with them in order to survive the increasingly violent storms.  I fell in love with him, the way he handles the situation and was rooting for him to win over his fellow decathlete team member, Sara, who was the main reason he joined the team.  Laura is also a great role model for teenage girls.  Yes, she is pretty but the focus on her strength, willingness to help those around her and her intellectual brilliance.

The action in the movie will also keep its viewers hooked as we wait to see just how bad things will get and who will survive.  Sam’s group as well as his father’s team that sets out to rescue Sam both show amazing bravery and be warned there are moments that will make you want to cry.

It also contains an interesting change of order in which the adults in Sam’s group follow Sam’s guidance in surviving the storms.  He and his group of friends show that teens can have the knowledge and maturity at times that the adults need to take seriously.



Curriculum Ties

Natural disasters/Relationships

Challenge Issues


Why did I include this movie?

Dystopian and post-apocalyptic stories are all the rage nowadays and it only seemed right to include a movie that fell along these lines.  It has a strong group of teenage main characters, action and tale of survival that would appeal to many teenagers.


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