A disarmingly pulpy, eye-popping disaster movie during its first half, and an increasingly dull survival melodrama during its second.
The Day After Tomorrow is filled with bad dialogue, stock peril situations, and sketchy character development, but it's a big enough spectacle that those things don't completely derail the film's capacity to be enjoyed.
Steven ReaPhiladelphia Inquirer
Never mind the cool, convincing effects (and they are cool), The Day After Tomorrow teems with illogical action, improbable coincidences. It's pure escapist fare, a popcorn gobbler.
Michael WilmingtonChicago Tribune
This often entertaining movie mixes grand, epic effects and amazing visualizations of catastrophe with a sappy family-in-crisis plot that would look hackneyed in a '60s Disney TV movie.
The really good news is that the disaster money shots are some of the finest ever filmed.
Lisa SchwarzbaumEntertainment Weekly
A decent disaster pic comes down to the handful of colorful individuals who will live (or, depending on the prominence of their billing, die), as it has since the days of chewy disaster meatballs like ''The Towering Inferno'' and ''Earthquake.'' And the heaviest lifting in Emmerich's production falls to Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Connie OgleMiami Herald
What most hurts The Day After Tomorrow is its unfortunate, lecturing tone.