Time Travel Movies You Must Watch

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While we stayed at home to curb the spread of COVID-19, books, movies, and virtual travel were the only ways to escape the real world. Among the many genres, including fantasy, anime, action, and comedy, there is one type of movie that most of us are interested in: time travel.

What makes these films a staple are the various nuances of mystery, action, and drama as we shuttle back and forth between the past and the present or show a future world with technological advancements that we cannot. what to imagine as well as an alternate universe where humans would live. Additionally, the versatile genre has a lot to offer for those who opt for lighter romantic comedies as opposed to action-packed movies for thrill seekers.

So grab the bag of popcorn and curl up on your sofa for a mix of some of the time travel movies you have to watch. Of Interstellar and Donnie Darko To Midnight in Paris, here are 10 movies that will take you to the bygone era of jazz music, the future where humans fight aliens on other planets and, of course, you can witness various types of time machines that zoom in time loops.

About the weather (2013)

Image: Courtesy of Murray Close – © 2013 – Universal Pictures / IMDb

About the weather is a feel-good romantic film starring Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson in the lead roles and involves time travel.

At 21, Tim Lake’s father (Gleeson) tells him that the men in his family can go back to their past and also teaches him how to do it. The young man uses this new information to shape his life and find himself a girlfriend, Mary, played by McAdams.

Whether it’s meeting over and over again or repeating his proposal to get it right, Tim often travels the time to perfect everything, but things aren’t as straightforward as he thought they were.

Ultimately, Tim must make decisions about time travel, which will have repercussions in the present.

Watch the trailer here.

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Time travel films
Image: Courtesy of David James – © 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. – United States, Canada, Bahamas and Bermuda (c) 2013 Village Roadshow Films (BVI) Limited – All Oth / IMDb

The star of Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt is one of the classic time travel movies. The action film follows Major William Cage (Cruise), who is sent to fight aliens after the latter attempts to capture Earth.

Lacking combat training, Cage dies within the first few minutes of battle, only to find himself caught in a time loop where he continues to experience death over and over again. However, he also continues to improve on the battlefield, and the only way out of this loop is to defeat the aliens and stay alive.

Watch the trailer here

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Midnight in Paris
Image: Courtesy © 2011 – Sony Pictures Classics / IMDb

The Oscar-winning film has a stellar cast, including Rachel McAdams and Owen Wilson. Directed by Woody Allen, the film will make you fall in love with today’s Paris as well as that of the 1920s.

Gil (Wilson) is a famous Hollywood writer struggling to write his first novel. Traveling with his fiancee Inez (McAdams) and his parents on a trip to the City of Love, he embarks on the late night tour of Paris on his own.

Something strange happens on one of these outings when Gil is transported to the jazz era with a group of revelers. Gradually he begins to spend more time in the past and is fascinated by the art and literature of the time, which leaves him unhappy with the present.

Other actors include Tom Hiddleston, playing the role of Scott F Fitzgerald; Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemingway in the bygone era; and Michael Sheen as Paul and Kurt Fuller as John.

Watch the trailer here

Looper (2012)

Curler
Image: Courtesy of Alan Markfield – © 2011 – Looper, LLC / IMDb

Set in 2044 and 2074 in America, the film shows that time travel is illegal, and only those willing to pay on the black market can enjoy it. The men are sent to the past to be shot by a hitman named Looper as they arrive. Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one of those hitmen and is known to be good at his job.

One day, he learns that the mob wants to come full circle and will send a Looper from 2074, who is the future Joe (Bruce Willis), to 2044 to kill the character of Gordon-Levitt. However, the two join forces and try to find a way to survive.

Directed by Rian Johnson, the cast also includes Emily Blunt as Sara and Paul Dano as Seth.

Watch the trailer here

Interstellar (2014)

Time travel films
Image: Courtesy of Melinda Sue Gordon – © 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. and Paramount Pictures Corporation / IMDb

that of Christophe Nolan Interstellar is one of the most captivating time travel movies that will keep you on the edge of your seats. Mathew McConaughey plays the character of an ex-pilot who leads a team of explorers into space to find out if there is a habitable planet for humans.

The film captures the challenges his team face in space and the different ways that time works in space and on Earth. The film won the Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects in 2015.

The illustrious cast also includes Anne Hathaway, a young Timothée Chalamet, Michael Caine and Jessica Chastain.

Watch the trailer here

Your name (2016)

Time travel films
Image: Courtesy of IMDb

This time travel movie has something for everyone – from romance and time travel to great rock music and body swapping. Directed by Makoto Shinkai, the critically acclaimed anime was hailed as Japan’s Best Film in 2016. Its screenplay follows two teenagers separated by distance but is far from romantic clichés.

A teenage boy named Taki (voiced by Ryûnosuke Kamiki) lives in the big city of Tokyo while Mitsuha, who is in his senior year, resides in the countryside and wants to go to Tokyo. In a change of events, they wake up one morning to find that their bodies have been swapped due to a cosmic connection, and they begin to fall in love with each other. But do the two strangers really meet?

Watch the trailer here

The Terminator (1984)

Terminator
Image: Courtesy © 2001 – MGM Home Entertainment / IMDb

The Terminator is the first film in the franchise with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the protagonist. After director James Cameron’s smash hit, the series saw five more sci-fi films. The sci-fi film has also been adapted into comics and video games.

The film follows a cyborg assassin called “The Terminator” who was dispatched from 2029 – a world oppressed by artificially intelligent machines – and programmed to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). However, Sarah must be protected at all costs as her unborn son would become the savior of the human race. To kill the cyborg and save the future of humanity, a human soldier Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) was also sent from the same year into the future until 1984.

The plot of the film, however, changes in subsequent films in this franchise, which include Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator Salvation (2009), Terminator Genisys (2015) and Terminator: Dark Fate (2019).

Watch the trailer here

Primer (2004)

Time travel films
Image: Courtesy © 2004 ThinkFilm / IMDb

This sci-fi time travel film follows two engineers who accidentally make a time machine while working on other projects. By realizing what they have achieved, the friends try to make money on the stock market using the time machine. However, things start to take a turn for the worse, straining their friendship.

The film uses a lot of technical jargon. You may have to review it to fully understand this time travel movie.

Watch the trailer here

Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko
Image: Courtesy of IMDb

The film follows a troubled teenager, Donald J. “Donnie” Darko, played by Jake Gyllenhall, who is diagnosed with schizophrenia. Donnie suffers from sleepwalking and hallucinates about a character wearing a bunny costume and calls him Frank.

Frank tells Donnie the world will end in 28 days and incites him to commit crimes, including setting a house on fire. As the time travel movie progresses, Donnie notices things that don’t make a lot of sense. As some of her questions are answered with the help of a time travel book donated by her science teacher, Donnie wonders if there is a parallel universe.

On the 28th day, Donnie sees a vortex forming over his house and everything that has happened in the 28 days is reset.

Watch the trailer here

Back to the Future (1985)

Image: Courtesy © Universal Studios / IMDb

Back to the future is a classic time travel science fiction film. The 1985 release was ahead of its time in every way and is one of the best time travel films ever made.

The film follows Californian teenager Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) as he accidentally travels from 1985 to 1955 in a time machine made by his best friend scientist Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd). There, he meets the younger version of his parents and tries to make them fall in love otherwise his existence will end.

That’s not all, Marty must also find a way to get back to the present through the time loops, but the time machine had gone mad after the initial trip.

The success of this film gave rise to two other components, a short film and a television series.

Watch the trailer here

While the ones listed above are some of the best movies featuring time travel, other special mentions include The wife of the time traveler (2009), Star Trek series, Doctor Strange (2016), Peggy Sue got married (1986), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure (1989) and The war of tomorrow (2021).

(Main image credit: IMDb; Main image credit: David James – © 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. – USA, Canada, Bahamas & Bermuda (c) 2013 Village Roadshow Films (BVI) Limited / IMDb)


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