He wasn't as bad in this as I feared. He's no Barrymore, but he didn't suck.
This movie incorporates the concepts of two time-travel novels: The Man Who Folded Himself, by David Gerrold, in which a man inherits a means of time travel and keeps changing the past, and then going back and stopping himself from doing it when he doesn't like the results; and Time and Again by Jack Finney, in which a man goes back in time using self-hypnosis and an anchor to the time he means to visit. Evan Treborn changes his past via his journals, which he's kept since the age of seven - reading what happened takes him back. Literally. Then he becomes his past self and changes the events...
...The only thing wrong with it is that all the events are so horrible. Let's see: there's child molestation and pornography, animal torture, prison sodomy, amputation, prostitution, vandalism, murder, lung cancer and, oh yes, gratutious fraternity scenes. None of which are very pleasant to watch. So while the concept and premise are compelling, the actual scenes are very hard to sit through. The different "realities" are interesting to follow, however, and you can see what happens, what has happened, what will happen, each time young Evan has a blackout. And the ending is suprisingly...elegant.
While the "adult" actors will get all the credit here, the actors who play the characters at seven and, especially, at thirteen deserve recognition. They are onscreen as much, if not more, than the adult actors. And they're very good, considering the things they're being asked to enact.
It's captivting...I just wish it was a little less...sordid.