The 35 Best Time Travel Movies

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These are the 35 best sci-fi films that explore the fluidity of time.

🤯 You love mind-bending science. So do we. Let’s nerd out over it together.

35. Timecop

jean claude van damme in timecop

Jean-Claude Van Damme is a cop who polices time. Don’t need to say more, but I guess I will. In 1994, time travel becomes a favorite pastime of criminals, and timecops like Van Damme must catch any chronal abusers and bring them to justice. As is often the case, Van Damme’s own time-muckery with the past creates different and divergent timelines that not even Doc Brown’s chalkboard could work out. But Timecop isn’t exactly a film that’s going for narrative clarity here.

34. The Final Countdown / The Philadelphia Experiment

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Although most people would file this film under “flop,” The Final Countdown contains such an amazing premise it has to be recognized. The crew of the U.S.S. Nimitz enters a storm vortex and is transported to Pearl Harbor in 1941, turning a favorite imaginary war-game scenario into real life. Although the actual film elements aren’t necessarily memorable, it does give us an incredibly good look at the Nimitz (the film was shot on the actual carrier).

We tossed in The Philadelphia Experiment at the same spot, since it’s essentially the reverse of The Final Countdown .

33. Men in Black 3

By the time director Barry Sonnenfeld directed Men in Black 3 in 2012, the franchise was 15 years removed from its fun and campy original, and Men in Black 2 had sucked out much of the charm. That’s why MiB 3 , despite its faults, is still a surprising underdog of a film.

Agent J (Will Smith) goes back in time to stop an alien from mucking up the past and killing Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones/Josh Brolin). The film recaptures much of the original’s fun, and Josh Brolin’s portrayal of a young Tommy Lee Jones playing Agent K is simply awe-inspiring. Honestly, that acting work alone earns this spot for MiB 3.

32. Flight of the Navigator

Sort of like E.T. , but with time travel. What Flight of the Navigator lacks in a substantial plot, it more than makes up for in charm.

David Scott Freeman falls into a ravine and is knocked unconscious—for eight years. Although he doesn’t age, everyone he knows does, and he soon finds he’s part of something much larger. It’s a fun film that will never outshine any Spielberg classics, but its campiness is too genuine to ignore.

31. Time After Time

H.G. Wells, Jack the Ripper, and time travel ... that’s it . Just click the arrow.

30. Timecrimes

A film with perhaps the lowest budget on this list, Timecrimes is a Spanish-language movie that follows a typical time travel trope (many copies of one person causing major problems) but creates 92 minutes of truly enjoyable cinema. The fun moments of Timecrimes are the reveal after reveal after reveal, which snowballs into a fascinating plot.

29. Source Code

Source Code is like Groundhog Day and Edge of Tomorrow with a twist. Instead of going back in time as himself, Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) enters the body of someone else as he tries to stop a mass murder attempt. What the film lacks in depth, it more than makes up for in pulse-pumping action, and the premise itself is a refreshing take on the usual time travel idea.

It will likely never be considered an example of high science fiction, but as far as time travel goes, it gets good grades.

28. Donnie Darko

Perfect amounts creepy and perplexing, Donnie Darko is another strange example of time travel, which is why it belongs on this list all the more. Darko (Gyllenhaal again) is a high school kid with a less-than-sunny disposition. But when he begins seeing frightening hallucinations of a deranged and grotesque rabbit, things slowly begin to unravel, going from bad to weird pretty quickly.

For such a small-budget film (that was almost released straight to home video!) it’s made an outsized impact on science fiction and indie filmmaking. It’s a great movie, but also a polarizing one.

27. Safety Not Guaranteed

Director Colin Trevorrow’s debut film Safety Not Guaranteed follows three journalists—well, one journalist and two interns—on a road trip to meet the eccentric Kenneth (Mark Duplass), who placed an ad in a local newspaper looking for a time-travel companion. Although at its heart a romantic comedy, the film explores human perception of time and the indelible regrets, traumas, and even fantasies that fill our memories. Although the idea of actual time travel plays a significant role in the film, it’s used mostly as a symbol to analyze the importance of being present and always looking with hope toward the future.

26. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Smashing together the old X-Men guard with the new is what makes X-Men: Days of Future Past one of the more successful cinematic outings for the mutant team.

In the film, Kitty Pryde sends Wolverine back through time to stop apocalyptic events from unfolding. Maybe that’s not the most original plot, but it’s one that’s too fun to resist (if only for the Quicksilver scene alone ).

25. Predestination

Based on Robert Heinlein’s sci-fi short story “All You Zombies,” Predestination is a head trip, like any proper time travel film should be. With a strong performance from Ethan Hawke and a script that will keep you guessing, the film is one of the more solid time travel entries in recent years and is a film that garners a rewatch so you can catch every detail.

24. Star Trek: First Contact

The Next Generation ’s big screen outings are a mixed bag, to put it nicely, but the best film by far is the time-bending Star Trek: First Contact . Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the USS Enterprise-E travel to the past to prevent the cybernetic Borg from mucking with Earth’s history. It’s a good film all by itself, but even more excellent if you’re an invested Star Trek fan. We get to see huge, never-before-seen moments in the Star Trek universe, like humanity’s first encounter with the Vulcans, and the Borg are just an excellent adversary.

23. Army of Darkness

“Shop Smart. Shop, S-Mart.”

Depending on who you ask, Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness is either the best sequel to any film ever, or the worst—there isn’t much room in between. The chainsaw-toting Ashley “Ash” Williams is tossed back to medieval times where he must fight off a horde of undead monstrosities with only his ingenuity and his “boom stick.”

Even though it’s slapstick comedy with wonderfully B-movie action sequences, it remains an absolute joy to watch.

22. Doctor Strange

In this Marvel sleeper hit , Stephen Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) becomes the Sorcerer Supreme, and in typical Marvel fashion, is tasked with saving the world. Although the visuals alone are worthing giving this movie a shot, its manipulation of time as a superpower rather than a world-altering plot device is what sets it apart from the rest.

21. Sleeper

Although not technically time travel (long stretches of cryo-sleep instead), Sleeper is Woody Allen’s sci-fi comedy that’s absurd, hilarious, and strangely poignant. Miles Monroe is a jazz musician and health-food-store owner who wakes up in the 22nd century after a botched gall bladder operation. The world is, as you’d expect, quite different, and Monroe is a hilarious character to explore it with.

Tenet is an “A for effort” addition to this list. The film has all the trappings of a Christopher Nolan flick—stunning cinematography, a star-studded cast, head-scratching plot points, etc., etc. And Tenet does take time travel movies one step further with the introduction of time inversion, the idea that objects and people can travel into the past at the same temporal pace that they can travel into the future. Although a fascinating concept, it’s also a confusing one, which is why Nolan spends much of the film’s 150-minute runtime explaining what’s going on. Tenet is a fascinating time travel story though ultimately one a bit lost in its own exposition.

19. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

This 2006 award-winning anime is a coming-of-age time travel story that even rivals Back to the Future . After schoolgirl Mokoto Konno discovers a time travel device that gives her the power to leap through time, she uses her new gifts for mundane high school stuff, passing tests, avoiding awkward conversations, and to address her chronic lateness.

When she learns what her time traveling does to others around her, and as the seriousness of her time jumping becomes more apparent, the film blossoms into an important story about loss and friendship.

Crime noir meets science fiction in Rian Johnson’s Looper , and the match is magical. In a future where time travel is invented and immediately made illegal, crime syndicates use the technology for time-hopping assassinations. But to tie off some temporal inconsistencies, the assassin must eventually become the target—and that’s where things get interesting. This isn’t flawless sci-fi, but it’s certainly inventive.

17. Run Lola Run

On its surface, the German film Run Lola Run is about a blazingly red-headed woman running through the streets of Berlin in an attempt to save her boyfriend’s life. However, the twist is that once Lola reaches a dead-end (sometimes literally) in one of her runs, the film starts over from the beginning and Lola runs through Berlin once again, only this time small changes in her path create largely divergent outcomes by the film’s end. Although time is more of a thematic device than a strictly plot-driven one in Run Lola Run, its ruminations on time and the exploration of the Butterfly Effect , the idea that small incidents can have lasting repercussions, makes Run Lola Run one of the most unique films on this list.

16. Avengers: Endgame

What happens when the big purple monster man annihilates half the population? Time travel, baby. Tony Stark and gang concoct a convoluted plan that’ll save the universe from being cleaved in two, including some very inventive scenes that play with time travel. Like most time travel plots, Endgame creates more questions than it answers, but it’s best to just sit back and enjoy.

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Darren lives in Portland, has a cat, and writes/edits about sci-fi and how our world works. You can find his previous stuff at Gizmodo and Paste if you look hard enough. 

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55 Best Time Travel Movies Of All Time Ranked

Arnold Schwarzenegger staring

One of the fun things about time travel movies (apart from, you know, the time travel part) is that they're not married to one particular genre. Hopping from one year to the next is a narrative device that benefits everything from romantic comedies to slasher films. If you have a preferred genre, there is a very good chance that there's a time travel film within it just waiting to blow your mind. On the other hand, if you're not picky about your watch habits and are just as keen to watch a Western as a psychological thriller, time travel films are a great way to experience a generous swath of genres while keeping one thematic element consistent: messing with the sanctity of the space-time continuum. 

Below you'll find 55 of the best time travel films that the sub-genre has at its disposal. Along the way, you'll notice a couple of recurring narrative trends. More than one pair of lovers find themselves separated by a decade (or a century). Time-traveling protagonists are forced to accept the messiness of the past after attempting to right the wrongs of history. There are also fish out of water comedies galore, from helicopter-piloting samurai to modern-day teenagers stranded in the Wild West. So with all that said, feel free to take notes, synchronize your watches, and settle in for a look at the best time travel films cinema has to offer ... at least in this timeline.

55. A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court

You may be familiar with that holiest of fish-out-of-water scenarios: "man from the present gets transported back to medieval times." The third installment in the "Evil Dead" franchise, which may or may not feature later on this list, is one example. The 2001 Martin Lawrence vehicle "Black Knight" is another. But there's something especially charming about Tay Garnett's 1949 film, "A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court," which adapts Mark Twain's 1889 novel of the same name. 

Inspired by Twain's text, the film follows a crooning mechanic (Bing Crosby) who is launched back to 6th-century England after receiving a blow to the head. There, he finds allies, lovers, and rivals as his modern ways inevitably clash with the antiquated traditions of a medieval court. "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" is an easy-breezy Saturday matinee flick that highlights Crosby's undeniable charm.

54. G.I. Samurai

Criminally underseen outside of Japan, Kōsei Saitō's 1979 film "G.I. Samurai" follows an elite squad of soldiers who accidentally slip through the cracks of time to an era when roving samurai clans warred in hopes of securing dominance over the country. Starring comedic legend Sonny Chiba (who, as ever, does most of his own stunts), the film is undoubtedly one of the strangest entries on this list. That said, don't let that stop you from checking out this violent genre mish-mash. "G.I. Samurai" (which also goes by the equally accurate name "Time Slip" and the utterly baffling "I Want To") is a charming if eccentric adventure through time.

53. The Visitors

Directed by Jean-Marie Poiré (who also helmed the 2001 English-language remake "Just Visiting"), "The Visitors" follows two poor medieval souls who accidentally stumble into modern times, landing in the early 1990s thanks to a bumbling, not-all-there magician. With his loyal servant (Christian Clavier) in tow, brazen knight Godefroy de Malfête (Jean Reno) must navigate such futuristic horrors as concrete roads, dentistry, and bowl cuts no longer being a fashion-forward haircut choice. Wacky to its core and endlessly over the top, "The Visitors" is a fish out of water time travel romp that's just about as goofy as they come.

52. The Butterfly Effect

While "The Butterfly Effect" wasn't particularly well-regarded when it first premiered in 2004 (as its low score on Rotten Tomatoes testifies), Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber's high-concept time travel film has since enjoyed a modern reevaluation, emerging as one of the more interesting sci-fi horror offerings of the early naughties. The film follows Evan (Ashton Kutcher, playing against type), a young man who struggles to remember his past, thanks to a history of harrowing abuse. By chance, Evan discovers that reading from his old journals allows him to literally embody his younger self, changing the most traumatic parts of his past by making different decisions. Unfortunately, as the film's title suggests, Evan's meddling in the past, however seemingly insignificant, produces a domino effect of tragic consequences for not just his own life, but the lives of those around him.

51. The Final Countdown

Plenty of films on this list have time machines. Heck, one of those time machines is even a DeLorean. But only one film has a time-traveling nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Released in 1980, "The Final Countdown" tells the story of a US military vessel that has the misfortune of traveling back in time to December 6th, 1941, the day before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Once the crew (which includes the talents of Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen) comes to terms with the moral implications of their situation, a "Twilight Zone"-like dilemma breaks out as to whether they ought to intervene and change the course of history, or allow a national tragedy to unfold. Part B-movie science fiction romp, part recruitment tool for the US Navy, "The Final Countdown" is utterly unlike any other time travel film on this list.

50. Somewhere in Time

Released in 1980 and starring three of the hottest people to ever exist (Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, and Christopher Plummer, respectively), "Somewhere in Time" follows a young playwright named Richard (Reeve) who has an uncanny experience on the opening night of his first stage play: An old woman, who he has never met before, begs Richard to come back to her. Obsessed by the mystery-laden encounter, Richard does what any self-respecting romantic would do and travels back in time to find her via self-hypnosis. Directed by French filmmaker Jeannot Szwarc (whose 1975 creature feature "Bug" gives William Castle a run for his B-movie money), "Somewhere in Time" is both charming and emotionally devastating. You've been warned!

49. 13 Going on 30

One of the more straightforward romantic comedies on this list, "13 Going on 30" follows a young dorky teen named Jenna who makes a wish on her thirteenth birthday to grow up faster (specifically, she wants to be, "30, flirty, and thriving"). And just like that, Jenna is catapulted into the future, waking up as a 30-year-old woman with 30-year-old problems (first and foremost, the naked man she finds in her new apartment, to her considerable disgust). While the thrills of independence and adulthood are exhilarating at first (what 13-year-old doesn't dream of disposable income?) Jenna soon finds that being older comes with its own set of challenges. A contagiously charming document of all the fashion crimes the early naughties had to offer, "13 Going on 30" is notable for highlighting the considerable talents of its main cast, especially Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, and the ever-delightful Judy Greer.

48. Déjà Vu

Marking the reunion of director Tony Scott and actor Denzel Washington after 2004's "Man on Fire," "Déjà Vu" is a bombastic (pun intended) time-traveling romance that also dares to be a straight-laced crime thriller. The film follows Doug Carlin (Washington), a federal agent who is summoned to investigate a horrific bombing on the Mississippi River. When Carlin proves himself to be a competent ally, an experimental FBI team invites him to participate in a new, super-secret form of investigation: A device, dubbed "Snow White," that allows users to take brief glimpses back into the past. But as the investigation persists, Doug grows less interested in catching the perpetrator in the present day, instead looking to alter history to prevent the accident from ever happening. With Denzel Washington's engaging presence, "Déjà Vu" is thrilling and heart-wrenching in equal measure.

47. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

While there's certainly a debate to be had about whether or not being cryogenically frozen counts as time travel, around these parts we're liable to vote yes. As far as we're concerned, superspy Austin Powers (Mike Myers) going to sleep in the swinging '60s and thawing out in the 1990s absolutely makes the cut. And with his bald-headed nemesis Dr. Evil (also Mike Myers) equally de-thawed and back with a vengeance, it's up to the shagadelic international man of mystery to acclimatize to these modern times in order to save the day. The first (and best) entry in the "Austin Powers" series, Jay Roach's 1997 film is brimming with sly nods and genuinely insightful critiques of its source material (namely, the "James Bond" films). A hoot from start to finish, "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" stands tall in the genre of spy parodies.

46. Army of Darkness

The third entry in the flawless "Evil Dead" trilogy, "Army of Darkness" was director Sam Raimi's vision of a horror film set in the past. This tale of the medieval dead reunites us with the series' incredibly groovy hero Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell), who was sucked through a wormhole (book of the dead-hole?) at the end of "Evil Dead II" that transported him to the year 1300 A.D. Somehow goofier than its predecessor, "Army of Darkness" follows Ash as he wins over the hearts, minds, and women of a walled city besieged by nefarious deadites. As he attempts to woo his crush and banish evil from the land, our strong-jawed hero is preoccupied with figuring out how to return back to his own time. Bonkers to its core and unabashedly full of both Raimi and Campbell's love of physical comedy, "Army of Darkness" is a blast from the past in more ways than one.

45. Happy Death Day 2U

Yeah, we hear you: Everything was tied up in one neat little bow at the end of the original 2017 film, "Happy Death Day." How could there be a sequel? What could possibly be worse than getting trapped in a time loop where you are killed over and over again by a killer wearing a creepy baby-faced mask? Well, all of you who answered "getting stuck in a parallel dimension where you're stuck in a time loop again " deserve a pat on the back. Yes, Tree Glebman (Jessica Rothe) may have escaped the maddening time loop in  her dimension, but thanks to the science experiment of some neighboring dorks, she's lost all that hard-won narrative closure and must fight for her life (well, lives ) once again. Matching its predecessor in charm and creativity, "Happy Death Day 2U" is an arguably unnecessary yet still delightful sequel.

44. Slaughterhouse-Five

Based on Kurt Vonnegut's novel of the same name, "Slaughterhouse-Five" follows the time-tripping exploits of Billy Pilgrim (Michael Sacks), an aptly named man who is "unstuck in time" after becoming a prisoner of war in 1940s Germany. Slipping in and out of his past, present, and future, Billy trips in and out of decades and major life events (including being abducted by aliens). Directed with a dreamy, atmospheric competence by George Roy Hill (the man behind "The Sting" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"), even Vonnegut himself praised the movie as "a flawless translation ... I drool and cackle every time I watch that film." And if praise from the horse's mouth doesn't do it for you, the film just so happens to enjoy critical acclaim across the board.

If you know one thing about 2004's "Primer," it's that it's famously difficult to explain without sounding like you spent a lot of time in a glue factory. That said, let's have a go at it: "Primer" follows four tech bros who build a machine in their garage that does ... something. They're not sure what, exactly. But it's something . One of the bizarre effects of their creation is that time appears to work differently inside the machine, making it a kind of "time machine," if you will. After much discussion, the foursome decide to experiment with it, only to discover a strange side effect: Whatever passes through the machine creates a double. A puzzle of a film full of paradoxes, loopholes, and sequences of events that overlap, dovetail, and intersect, "Primer" is a feisty, wildly ambitious indie movie that holds its own amidst the bigger blockbusters of the genre.

42. Triangle

Packaged as a typical slasher movie, Christopher Smith's 2009 psychological horror film follows a group of shipwrecked survivors who seek refuge on a mysteriously deserted ocean liner. At first, they think they are alone. Then a shotgun-wielding masked killer emerges out of the woodwork to make an already terrifying situation even worse as they pick everyone off one by one. To say much more than that (or how any of this has to do with time travel) would give away the film's secrets. So we will say no more! Featuring an innovative mid-film plot twist, "Triangle" is an unexpected delight with a captivating lead performance from Melissa George as the mentally fragile Jess. An expectation-subverting watch, "Triangle" will unquestionably win over adventurous fans of the slasher genre.

41. Happy Death Day

Grounded by a charming and sardonic performance by Jessica Rothe, Christopher Landon's 2017 horror-comedy sticks the slasher and time-travel genres in a blender with hilarious results. "Happy Death Day" follows Tree (Rothe), a mean-spirited sorority girl with a tragic past who finds herself reliving the day of her murder over and over again. Some psycho wearing the very creepy mask of their college's mascot has it out for her. And somewhere between being stabbed and electrocuted, Tree starts to suspect that uncovering the identity (and motive) of her die-hard killer is the only way to get out of this cursed time loop. But when the effects of being murdered in a variety of brutal ways start catching up with her, Tree realizes that she doesn't have much time (ironically enough) to solve the mystery. "Happy Death Day" makes dying repeatedly look super fun, and if that isn't a stamp of approval, we don't know what is.

40. Trancers

We have a fair number of time travel methods on this list: cars, hypnosis, telephone booths, you name it. But "Trancers," in all of its 1980s wisdom, takes a different approach: time travel via drugs. Set in the far-flung future of 2247, our hero is the improbably named Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson), a bounty hunter hot on the heels of a psychic villain (Michael Stefani) capable of entrancing his victims with his mind. When Deth finally learns that his foe has traveled back to the 1980s to assassinate the ancestors of future City Council members, it's up to Deth to follow him to the past and stop the nefarious mesmerist from executing his violent scheme. With more laser special effects than you can shake a stick at, "Trancers" comes courtesy of the ingenious low-budget mastermind Charles Band. Ripoffs of "The Terminator" are a dime a dozen, but they're rarely this entertaining.

39. About Time

While you could certainly say that all of the films on this list are about time, only one film is really "About Time." The 2013 sci-fi rom-com follows a young man named Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) who learns that he's inherited the ability to travel in time and change the course of his life. Written and directed by Richard Curtis — a New Zealand-born filmmaker who readers may know from the likes of "Love Actually" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral" — "About Time" has charm to spare, with one of the most lovely onscreen father-son dynamics of the 2010s. A film that is the cinematic equivalent of a warm bowl of soup, "About Time" is a high watermark for one of the more persistent themes in time travel cinema: learning to accept things just as they are.

38. Back to the Future Part II

While admittedly falling short of the lighting in a bottle effect of its predecessor, "Back to the Future Part II" succeeds in being better than most sequels and most time-travel films. Directed once again by Robert Zemeckis, the 1989 film sees scrappy teen Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and his geriatric pal Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) journeying forward in time to the unthinkably futuristic landscape of 2015. The objective is to stop Marty's future son from making a mistake that will land him in the slammer. As you'd imagine, things don't go exactly according to plan, leaving the future (and the past) a little shaken in the wake of Doc and Marty's meddling. A solid if decidedly more chaotic sequel, "Back to the Future Part II" is full of charms of its own.

37. Frequency

Released in the year 2000 and directed by Gregory Hoblit (the man behind the Richard Gere vehicle "Primal Fear"), "Frequency" follows John Sullivan (Jim Caviezel), a New York City detective who accidentally stumbles on a way to communicate across time with his now-deceased father (Dennis Quaid) using a HAM radio. Overcome with joy at the possibility of saving his father's life, Gregory warns his father of his cause of death, triggering a series of events arguably more tragic than his dad's fiery demise. "Frequency" is a suspense-riddled character study that also makes for a solid (and probably weepy) Father's Day watch.

36. The Muppet Christmas Carol

Are all movie adaptations of Charles Dickens' cautionary ghost story time travel stories? In our estimation: yes. The story spends Christmas with Ebenezer Scrooge, a real jerk who begins his journey to becoming a better person after he is visited by three ghosts that show the miserly curmudgeon his past, present, and future to gain some much-needed perspective. While everyone has their own favorite "Christmas Carol" adaptation, we're going to make an executive decision here: The best "Christmas Carol" movie is 1992's "The Muppet Christmas Carol," the directorial debut of Brian Henson. Roll your eyes all you want at the presence of the titular Muppets, but this film features one of Michael Caine's finest performances as the cold-hearted Scrooge. Also, it's a musical. What more could you want?

35. The Time Machine

Based on H.G. Wells's novella of the same name, which was literally the work that popularized the concept of a "time machine" , George Pal's 1960 film follows a fancy and adventurous Victorian Englishman (Rod Taylor) who travels into the far-flung future only to find humanity divided into two warring factions: the child-like Eloi and the brutish Morlocks. While the inventor had hopes that the future would be a paradise of new, utopic developments, it would seem that the warring tendency in our species is bound to persist throughout the centuries unless we change our ways. Warmly received by critics , the 1960 adaptation of "The Time Machine" is campy in all the right places with plenty of charm to spare.

If you ask us, "Tenet" is less about the convoluted ins and outs of using time travel to prevent World War III than it is about the vibes (and the friendship between John David Washington and Robert Pattinson). Look, it's totally possible to enjoy a movie without having the faintest idea what it's about. Then again, director Christopher Nolan has always been interested in non-linear filmmaking, from the memory-loss of "Memento" to the languid dream logic of "Inception." "Tenet" is Nolan leaning fully into his love of temporal logistics and while it's disorienting, there can be no denying that it's a hell of a good time. Despite any flaws it may have, "Tenet" is what you get when you put James Bond and time travel in a blender (in the best possible way).

33. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Directed by Leonard Nimoy (yes, the same Leonard Nimoy who plays the pointy-eared Spock), the fourth feature film in the "Star Trek" franchise begins in a far-flung future on the edge of disaster. An alien probe is wreaking havoc on Earth's environment, drying up our oceans and polluting our atmosphere. (Are we sure it's an extraterrestrial threat? Sounds like plain old climate change to us.) In order to save humanity from the impending apocalypse, the swashbuckling Captain Kirk (WIlliam Shatner) and his intrepid crew voyage back in time to the year 1986, where they hope to locate a soon-to-be-extinct animal that can respond to the mysterious probe. Pivoting the series' sci-fi into more comedic waters, "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" leans hard on the chemistry of its cast to buoy the severity of its environmentalist message. If you're going to watch one of the older "Star Trek" films, this is the one to seek out.

32. Peggy Sue Got Married

There is no time machine, per se, in "Peggy Sue Got Married." Instead, the titular character (played by Kathleen Turner) travels back in her own memories. Or maybe it's an especially vivid daydream. Who's to say? When you faint at your high school reunion, anything can happen! In any case, middle-aged Peggy Sue unintentionally travels back to her teenage days in the early 1960s, where she plays with the idea of breaking off her marriage to her high school sweetheart before it even has the chance to start. With a stellar ensemble cast, including Nicolas Cage, Helen Hunt, and Jim Carrey, Francis Ford Coppola's 1986 film is a bittersweet gem.

31. Back to the Future Part III

Very few films as excellent as "Back to the Future" are succeeded by a sequel that doesn't disappoint. And it's even rarer for such a film to produce two excellent sequels. Enter: "Back to the Future Part III," which catapults spunky skateboarder Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and the white-haired Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) back to the 19th century. The pair find themselves stranded in the Wild West, contending with saloon brawls, rowdy dames, and deadly gunfights. As always, the time-hopping duo must lay low while attempting to find a way back to their own time. There are adorable frontier romances, villains with the faces of modern-day bullies, and plenty of adoring references to old cowboy films. Although it doesn't always get the credit it deserves , "Back to the Future Part III" is a sweet-natured love letter to the Western genre.

30. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

In the first of three films charting the time-traveling/dimension-hopping adventures of Bill S. Preston (Alex Winter) and Ted "Theodore" Logan (Keanu Reeves), our titular doofuses are tasked with a harrowing objective: passing history class. Unbeknownst to these two Southern Californian himbos, the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, because at some point in the future, Bill and Ted write a rock song so great it actually achieves world peace. But in order for the dynamic duo to rock out, they first need a passing grade. Armed with a time machine helpfully supplied by an ally from the future (George Carlin), the pair journey through the past to amass a gang of history's most prolific figures. Lighthearted and energetic, "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" is a profoundly silly journey through history with two of cinema's most radical dudes who have charm (and air guitar riffs) to spare.

29. The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey

A wildly strange film on a list full of kooky adventures, Vincent Ward's 1988 fish-out-of-water time travel jaunt is truly an under-discussed, one-of-a-kind experience. The surreal and atmospheric Australia/New Zealand co-production was selected in competition for  the highest prize at the Cannes film festival and received eleven awards from the Australian Film Institute . With a dream-like approach to storytelling, "The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey" follows a psychic nine-year-old named Griffin (Hamish McFarlane) who has trippy visions of an alternate reality that looks completely different from his 14th-century mining village. With the Black Plague at their door, the villagers heed Griffin's warnings and follow his directions to dig deep below the earth. On the other side, the medieval peasants emerge into a bold and bizarre new land: 20th century New Zealand. Full of fantasy and imagination that flies in the face of the film's modest budget , "The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey" is an underrated classic.

28. Jubilee

"Jubilee" boasts one of the wackiest concepts as far as time travel films are concerned. Get this: Queen Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen herself, travels forward in time with the help of occult magic to visit 1970s Britain. Instead of a futuristic new world full of utopian progress, Elizabeth (Jenny Runacre) finds a crumbling country riddled with anarchy, social unrest, and debauchery. Directed by Derek Jarman (who also helmed the evocative 1986 biopic "Caravaggio"), "Jubilee" vibrates with undeniable punk rock energy, both critical and celebratory. So, the next time you're living your best nihilistic teenage dream, think to yourself: what  would  Queen Elizabeth I think?

27. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Released in 2006, Mamoru Hosoda's animated feature film follows the teenage Makoto (voiced by Riisa Naka), a high school girl who acquires the ability to literally jump into the past after stumbling upon a mysterious device in the science lab. Being a teen, Makoto uses her new gift for trivial, self-serving adjustments, acing pop quizzes and side-stepping embarrassing situations with ease. But when Makoto begins to realize that her adjustments have consequences for others, she resolves to only use her powers for good, and begins uncovering the mystery behind these strange abilities in the process. A decidedly personal (and relatable) approach to sci-fi fantasy, "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" captures audiences' hearts.

26. Time After Time

This 1979 film may share a name with a melodramatic ballad, but don't be fooled! "Time After Time" is way kookier than anything Cyndi Lauper could dream up. Behold, the plot: "War of the Worlds" author H.G. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) hunts down infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper (David Warner), who has traveled to the 20th century after stealing the writer's time machine. With little interest in its pseudo-science and a romantic subplot that often gets in the way of the suspenseful thrills, "Time After Time" is an odd duck that manages to charm in spite of its idiosyncrasies. Then again, when your lead actors are having this much fun with a premise this bananas, you're bound to conjure up a good degree of movie magic.

25. Timecrimes

Easily scampering away with the best title on this list, "Timecrimes" follows Héctor (Karra Elejalde), a middle-aged nobody whose lazy day is ruined when a blood-soaked madman chases him into a secret lab in the woods. Inside, he meets a suspiciously unfazed scientist (played by writer-director Nacho Vigalondo) who casually instructs Héctor to hide in a big vat of sci-fi liquid. Sure enough, Héctor is launched back in time by one hour, forced to navigate (and solve) a string of disasters perpetrated by different iterations of himself. Few films on this list have a protagonist this stupid. But that is, in effect, part of the charm of "Timecrimes:" Héctor is just some dude who winds up at the center of an increasingly complicated web of cause and effect. Inventive, moody, and effective for its smaller scope and scale, "Timecrimes" is a pure delight.

24. Je t'aime, je t'aime

One of the older films on this list, Alain Resnais' 1968 film blends time travel with romantic obsession. From the director of "Last Year at Marienbad," the film sees a depressed young man named Claude (Claude Rich) reeling after the end of his relationship with Catrine (Olga Georges-Picot). Claude agrees to participate in a human experiment with a time travel device that promises to send its user back in the past by one year, for one minute. But when the machine malfunctions, Claude finds himself stuck reliving his nightmarish past out of sequence. Navigating fluidly through time, memory, and trauma, "Je t'aime, je t'aime" is arguably the most heartbreaking film on this list, an emotionally draining experience that must be seen (and wept over) to be believed.

23. Time Bandits

From the demented, hyper-imaginative mind of director Terry Gilliam, 1981's "Time Bandits" follows a young history nerd named Kevin (Craig Warnock) who is whisked away by six time-hopping criminals on an adventure to steal treasures from different historical eras, thanks to some convenient holes in the fabric of space and time. With whimsy to spare and an approach towards fantasy that charms both kids and adults alike, "Time Bandits" is simultaneously silly as hell and bursting with technical prowess, it contains the absurdism and production design that distinguishes Gilliam's cinematic output.

22. Safety Not Guaranteed

A bizarre ad shows up in the classifieds section of a local Washington newspaper. Someone is looking for a partner to travel back in time with them. They stress that it isn't a joke, and that they have only traveled in time once before. Tasked with covering the ad as an amusing fluff piece, a group of reporters, including the listless college grad Darius (Aubrey Plaza), set off to find and meet this clearly unhinged individual (Mark Duplass).There's no way that this lunatic actually invented a time machine, right? Unapologetically quirky, this indie rom-com could not be more twee if it tried. But sometimes adorable awkward dorks finding happiness and love while trying to journey through the ages together is exactly what the doctor ordered.

21. Il Mare

This 2000 South Korean romantic comedy follows a love story that transcends time itself ... literally. When Eun-joo (Jun Ji-hyun) in "Il Mare" abandons her seaside home for the city, she leaves a card in the mailbox for the next owner so that they can forward her any mail. Two years earlier , a young man named Sung-hyun (Lee Jung-jae) receives Eun-joo's letter. The pair soon realize that the beach house's mailbox can traverse time and space, and begin a really long-distance relationship. Remade stateside six years later as the Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock romance "The Lake House," Lee Hyun-seung's original is a captivating love story that is worth seeking out.

20. Predestination

Based on Robert A. Heinlein's short story, "Predestination" follows a time-hopping government agent (Ethan Hawke) who is hot on the heels of a serial terrorist equally unstuck in time. In his quest to catch the notorious Fizzle Bomber, the agent allies with a mysterious individual (Sarah Snook) who writes under the pseudonym "The Unmarried Mother." It is difficult, if not impossible, to dig into the "chicken or egg" delights of "Predestination" without giving away key plot details, so you'll just have to seek this one out to see for yourself. It's ambitious, imaginative, and a must-watch for anyone who enjoys a head-scratcher (you may have to whip out a corkboard and some red string once the credits roll).

Did  you  know that Wong Kar-Wai, the acclaimed Hong Kong director behind "Chungking Express" and "Fallen Angels," made a time travel pseudo-sequel to "In the Mood For Love"? If not, you do now. Spanning multiple timelines, real and imagined, "2046" follows a sci-fi author named Chow Mo Wan (Tony Leung) as he writes about, and lives within, a hotel filled with memories. Like much of Wong Kar-Wai's work, "2046" is deeply interested in missed connections, the painful "what-ifs?" that haunt you long after they've come and gone. With aching melancholy, Chow Mo Wan recounts his experiences with the mysterious titular room and all the lost souls who pass through it. Many films can be summarized by the mournful thesis that "love is all a matter of timing," but few are able to tease out the visual poetry of such a statement quite like Wong Kar-Wai.

18. Source Code

Directed by Duncan Jones, who more than proved himself in the sci-fi genre with 2009's "Moon," "Source Code" tells of Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal), a soldier dropped into the body of an unknown man aboard a commuter train en route to Chicago. Soon enough, he realizes his mission: There's a bomb on board, and he's the only one who can prevent the catastrophe from taking place. Reliving the last eight minutes of his host's life again and again, Colter must piece the clues together to thwart further bombings. More action-heavy than many of the films on this list, "Source Code" is a kinetic take on the time loop format grounded by a brilliant and demanding lead performance by Gyllenhaal.

The third feature film from "Knives Out" director Rian Johnson, 2012's "Looper" takes place in a future where mob bosses use time travel to dispose of bodies. Joe Simmons (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one such time-traveling hitman, raking in the big bucks with dreams of retiring to a quiet life in France. Then, one day during a hit, Joe is shocked to come face-to-face with his future self (Bruce WIllis). A game of cat and mouse ensues, with mob intrigue, paradoxes, and determinism galore. A thinking man's sci-fi time travel thriller, "Looper" will satisfy viewers who enjoy world-building, masterful plotting, and inventive takes on the noir genre.

16. 16. Midnight in Paris

One of the many entries in the "Rachel McAdams is romantically involved with a time traveler" cinematic universe, "Midnight in Paris" follows Gil Pender (Owen Wilson), an aspiring novelist with his head in the clouds who accidentally stumbles through time while vacationing in Paris with his fiancé (McAdams). Brushing shoulders with literary idols, infamous artists, and starry-eyed creatives, Gil soon finds that the draw of the past easily outweighs his obligations to the present. Featuring an all-star ensemble cast and an undeniably charming romantic attitude, "Midnight in Paris" is an enjoyable viewing experience (especially if you cover your eyes and ears when the director/writer credits flash on screen).

15. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

What's a "Harry Potter" film doing on a list of time travel movies? Well, if you'll recall, the third film in the franchise features a third-act plot device called a Time-Turner that allows our wizarding heroes to rewrite history, saving the father figure of hero Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) from a fate worse than death. Sure, the Time-Turner primarily features in the story as a way for bookworm Hermione (Emma Watson) to attend multiple overlapping classes. But, as we'll quickly learn, rules (and the space-time continuum) are meant to be broken. Directed by Mexican New Wave wunderkind Alfonso Cuarón, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" follows Harry, Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione as they contend with yet another life-threatening development: the escape of notorious convict Sirius Black (Gary Oldman).

14. Donnie Darko

A moody teen named Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) narrowly avoids being incinerated by a plane crashing into his bedroom when he is lured outside by a giant, demonic-looking bunny rabbit. You know. Typical teen stuff. The rabbit, Frank (James Duval), informs Donnie that the whole world is going to end in less than a month. As Frank continues to pull the strings of Donnie's life, the teen is nudged to commit mischief, arson, and yes, time travel. Famously confusing, with tangential universes and deterministic quandaries galore, "Donnie Darko" is the kind of film that will make your brain hurt ... hopefully in a good way. Featuring one of the greatest soundtracks of the 1990s (INXS and Tears for Fears? In this economy ?), Richard Kelly's "Donnie Darko" is one of the defining films of the early 2000s.

13. Arrival

While Ted Chiang's 1998 short story was long thought to be unfilmable, director Denis Villeneuve has a talent for bringing high concept stories to the screen (there's a reason he was drawn to "Dune"). In Villeneuve's 2016 film "Arrival," a renowned linguist named Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is summoned to assist with a bizarre development: Twelve mysterious, smooth-edged alien crafts have touched down across the world. It's up to Dr. Banks to devise a way to communicate with the beings inside the craft and determine if the extraterrestrial visitors are friends or foes. As Dr. Banks discovers, the key to cracking the code may lie in the aliens' nonlinear experience of time. A quiet masterpiece that benefits from repeated viewings, "Arrival" is an intelligent and hopeful slice of science fiction.

12. Palm Springs

Some time travel films see folks hurtling forward (or backward) in time. Others, like 2020's "Palm Springs," have time travelers moving in circles over and over again. One of the most inventive spins on the time loop sub-genre, Max Barbakow's feature film debut follows Nyles (Andy Samberg), a man who has been attending the same wedding over and over again in sunny Palm Springs. After Nyles is shot with an arrow during an impulsive hook-up with Sarah (Cristin Milioti), the depressed maid-of-honor joins the nihilistic Nyles in perpetually sun-drenched purgatory. Released during the beginning of the pandemic when every day really did feel the same, "Palm Springs" embraces the Sisyphean metaphor inherent in the time loop structure.

11. Planet of the Apes

Now, look. If this film's inclusion on this list has you scratching your head, that can only mean one of two things: You haven't seen the original "Planet of the Apes" film,  or you've been living under a pop-culture rock and have somehow avoided stumbling across the iconic twist ending of the 1968 sci-fi classic. Indeed, as we learn at the film's end, our resilient hero George Taylor (Charlton Heston) hasn't actually traveled through space at all ... just time. Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, "Planet of the Apes" couches some genuine existential horror in the seemingly campy premise promised by its title. It's an oldie but a goodie that will reward the patient viewer with one of the greatest rug-pulls sci-fi filmmaking has to offer.

10. Interstellar

Are all movies set in space time travel movies? It's certainly a question worth asking. Aging in a relativistic biological space-time is one hell of a drug, after all. Without getting too deep into Albert Einstein's twin paradox , long story short: We age slower when we're zipping about in space. Christopher Nolan's 2014 sci-fi film "Interstellar" not only features some heartbreaking moments of time dilation, but a third act reveal that the power of love can bend the fabric of space and time itself. The film begins with an apocalyptic scenario: A global blight is turning Earth into a pile of ash and dust. A plan forms to find humanity a new home planet and a team, including former NASA test pilot Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), is sent out into the galaxy to scout the three potential candidates. Operatic, inventive, and brimming with intergalactic spectacle, "Interstellar" is an epic space saga of the highest quality.

9. 12 Monkeys

In the alarmingly not-too-distant future of 2035, mankind has been driven underground by a deadly viral pandemic. James Cole (Bruce Willis), a mild-mannered, soft-spoken convict, "volunteers" to act as a time-traveling guinea pig. His mission is to voyage back to 1996, the year of the outbreak, and discover its cause. However, when Cole is accidentally transported back too far into the past, his sweaty warnings about the impending disaster come across as the ravings of a lunatic, and he is promptly incarcerated in a mental health facility. There, he meets two individuals who will profoundly impact not only his life, but the future of the human race: a compassionate psychiatrist and a fellow mental patient who just so happens to be the son of a prominent virologist. Directed by the imaginative former Monty Python member Terry Gilliam, "12 Monkeys" balances its gritty surreal gait with an uncomfortable degree of plausibility.

8. Edge of Tomorrow

Arguably the greatest video game movie ever made (despite not being directly based on any one particular video game), "Edge of Tomorrow" (also known by its more plot-accurate title "Live, Die, Repeat") tells of a future in which mankind is engaged in an apocalyptic battle with an alien force that is giving humanity a real run for its money. Major Bill Cage (Tom Cruise), a smooth-talking PR man who's never held a gun (or piloted a mech-suit), finds himself on the frontlines of a naval landing meant to turn the tide. The catastrophic invasion quickly claims the life of the inexperienced Cage, who dies slathered in the corrosive blood of an especially large alien foe. Then Cage wakes up, startled to find that he is very much alive and apparently stuck in a time loop reliving the disastrous day of the invasion over and over again. With creative action set pieces and an inventive approach to the time-loop sub-genre, "Edge of Tomorrow" is a tremendous amount of fun.

7. Run Lola Run

On the face of it, "Run Lola Run" doesn't seem to be an obvious entry in science fiction cinema. The 1998 German film follows a young woman (the titular Lola, played by Franka Potente), whose forgetful boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreau) accidentally leaves a big chunk of change on a subway car that belongs to a dangerous criminal. It's up to Lola to rustle up the funds and rendezvous with Manni in 20 minutes to avoid disaster. Over the course of the film, we witness three different timelines of Lola's sprint, each deviating significantly thanks to the butterfly effect. Experimental, kinetic, and brimming with undeniable 1990s energy, "Run Lola Run" is a breezy, fast-paced meditation on chaos theory, determinism, and all the mind-breaking side effects time travel entails. "Run Lola Run" might not have a time machine, but its detailed, hyper-specific concern with the fallout of how small decisions shape our lives more than justifies its presence on this list.

6. La Jetée

Directed by the prolific experimental filmmaker Chris Marker, this 1962 French-language film may be short, clocking in at just under 30 minutes, but its influence on science fiction cinema is vast. "La Jetée" follows an unnamed man (Davos Hanich), a prisoner of a future war that has driven all survivors below the surface to survive the post-apocalypse. Tapped as a reluctant test subject to be launched back in time (presumably to learn more about and ultimately prevent World War III), the man is hurtled backward and forward through the decades in search of a solution to humanity's "present" predicament. If this brief plot synopsis sounds familiar, that's because "La Jetée" served as the source material for the aforementioned "12 Monkeys." Still, the 1962 film stands on its own and is absolutely worth checking out, even if you're only familiar with Terry Gilliam's quasi-remake.

5. Groundhog Day

One of the best "time loop" films and one of the best romantic comedies of all time, 1993's "Groundhog Day" follows a grumpy, self-centered weatherman named Phil (Bill Murray) who is dispatched to a small town to cover the titular rodent-related holiday. To Phil's horror (and our amusement), the cranky newsman finds that he can't leave the humble borders of Punxsutawney even if there weren't a snowstorm. Trapped reliving the same day over and over again, Phil's anger and despair eventually transform into something far more endearing and productive. A comedy classic that makes full use of Murray's dual mastery of crankiness and charm, "Groundhog Day" is a cinematic gem worth revisiting again (and again and again).

4. The Terminator

The original 1984 "Terminator" film is the real deal. Straddling genres with mercurial ease (Is it a slasher? Science fiction tech-noir? All of the above?), "The Terminator" follows Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), who finds herself the target of a nightmarish foe: a machine wearing the flesh of a man, tasked to kill her. Unbeknownst to her, Sarah is going to give birth to the leader of the human resistance in an impending machine-led apocalypse. And while the titular muscle-bound hunk of junk (Arnold Schwarzenegger) aims to kill her son before he can be conceived, an agent of the resistance (Michael Biehn) has been tasked to protect her. Textured, brutal, and methodical, "The Terminator" is the slow-stalking progenitor of its much more bombastic follow-ups. Respect where respect is due, we say.

3. Your Name

Do you know what all of these films about time travel were missing? If you answered "romantic comedy body-swapping" you are correct . Directed by Makoto Shinkai (who readers may know from his 2019 film "Weathering with You"), "Your Name" follows the story of two 17-year-old high schoolers, Taki (Ryunosuke Kamiki) and Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi) who repeatedly switch bodies at random. To say much more, or how the story relates to time travel, would give too much away. Suffice to say, "Your Name" was a runaway commercial success , surpassing the international box office of "Spirited Away" and garnering critical praise to match. If you like to cry, "Your Name" is the film for you — a heartbreaking and visually stunning story that features some of the most strikingly well-realized teenage characters in cinema, animated or otherwise.

2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day

"Terminator 2: Judgment Day" holds a number of high-octane superlatives: it's one of the best time travel films of all time, one of the best sci-fi action films ever made, and one of the best sequels. Taking a decidedly punchier approach than its moodier horror-adjacent predecessor, "Terminator 2" sees John Connor, leader of the human resistance against the AI apocalypse, sending Arnold Schwarzenegger's unstoppable machine back in time to protect his younger self (Edward Furlong). After breaking John's survivalist mom Sarah (Linda Hamilton) out of a psychiatric institution, the trio set off to prevent doomsday before it can happen. Hot on their heels is the T-1000 (Robert Patrick), an advanced AI assassin capable of morphing its liquid-metal body to imitate anyone it pleases. Packing a genuinely emotional center into its back-to-back action sequences and time-defying special effects, "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" deserves all the praise it receives.

1. Back to the Future

Spunky teen Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) joins his senior citizen pal, Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) for a nighttime science experiment: a test drive of a time machine that also happens to be a DeLorean. But an unexpected run-in with a gang of terrorists sends Marty fleeing to the year 1955. Through no fault of his own, Marty accidentally threatens his own existence by forming a love triangle with his own parents that would make Freud spin in his grave like a wind turbine. It's up to Marty to make his own parents fall in love and reconnect with the younger version of Doc Brown to find a way back ... to the future. Full of crackerjack silliness and goofy plotting, the secret strength of "Back to the Future" is its simple message that your parents, believe it or not, are people too. Bouncy and full of the charm that makes director Robert Zemeckis a pillar of the 1980s, "Back to the Future" is pure candy-coated perfection.

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'Great Scott!': Here are the 31 greatest time travel movies ever made, ranked

Let's gun the ol' speedometer up to 88 miles per hour with a look back at the best temporal adventures in movie history. 

Back To The Future Christopher Lloyd Michael J. Fox

Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown and Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly in Back to the Future.  Credit: FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Image

No matter how much we try to hold onto time — which is less of a tangible thing and more of an ethereal human construct — it always seems to slip away through our fingers like sands glimpsed through an hourglass. To borrow a lyric from Pink Floyd's "Time": "And then one day you find ten years have got behind you."

Doesn't that just hit you right in the feels?

Perhaps that is why we, as a species, are so enamored with the idea of time travel and the tantalizing, yet elusive, promises the genre has always held in the realm of science fiction. If the ability to travel to the past or the future existed, we'd be able to rectify egregious mistakes, visit with notable historical figures, or fight off unstoppable robot assassins from the future. Okay, maybe not the third thing, but you get the point. Our collective fascination with temporal displacement isn't going anywhere and to that end, we present our ranking of the 31 best time travel movies ever made.

31. Idiocracy (2006)


As the years go by, Mike Judge's sci-fi comedy about a guy with average intelligence who wakes in a world full of morons (effectively making him the smartest man alive) feels less like satire and more like reality. Sad, yet true. Why water crops with an energy drink? Because it's got electrolytes! Why electrolytes? Because electrolytes are what plants crave! Duh, everyone knows that.

30. Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

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Hot Tub Time Machine could have easily taken the lazy route with tired jokes and poorly-written characters. Instead, the film offers up a surprisingly tender message about yearning for the past and getting a second chance to fix the missteps of one's youth. It also helps that the comedy is just as strong as the emotion. What's more: you've got Chevy Chase playing a mysterious repair man who recalls Don Knotts' character in Pleasantville . What else could you really ask for?

29. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) YT

Shagadelic baby, yeah! On par with parody greats like Airplane and The Naked Gun , the first Austin Powers film lampoons to the James Bond franchise to perfection. Not only that, but the concept of a womanizing British super-spy from the 1960s trying to navigate the modern world felt ahead of its time, putting forth ideas of contemporization nearly a decade before Daniel Craig stepped into the shoes of 007.

28. Timecop (1994)

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Timecop is exactly what it's title suggests: in the future, there exists a police force tasked with monitoring the timeline. Simple as pie. Nineties action icon Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as Max Walker, a titular temporal cop who must prevent a dangerous political from altering the past for his own gain.

27. The Time Machine (1960)

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No, we're not talking about the Guy Pearce version from 2002 — we're talking about the OG adaptation of the iconic H.G. Wells tale directed by George Pal and starring Rod Taylor. The actor takes on the role of time traveler (duh) who gets way more than he bargained for when he travels to a future where humans battle a subterranean species of monstrous creatures known as morlocks.

26. Flight of the Navigator (1986)

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A stone-cold ‘80s classic whose influence can certainly be felt in films like The Adam Project , Flight of the Navigator centers around a young boy who unwittingly travels to the future in an alien spaceship. A remake's been in the works for years, but it doesn't seem like much progress has been made on it.

25. Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Back To The Future 2 Hoverboard 2

One of several sequels on this quantum list, Back to the Future Part II set the stage for Avengers: Endgame three decades in advance with the idea of revisiting fan favorite moments of a previous movie via the utilization of time travel. When future Biff goes back to 1955 to give his younger self the sports almanac, Marty must follow and evade the version of himself in Part I . Great stuff!

24. Time After Time (1979)

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H.G. Wells returns in this time-twisting movie in which the sci-fi writer attempting to stop Jack the Ripper, only for the infamous killer to use Wells' time machine against him. Several years later, director Nicholas Meyer would go on to direct another sci-fi classic — Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

23. Time Bandits (1981)

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Most likely a major influence on Tony Fleecs' Time Shopper comic (well worth the read!), Time Bandits was among Terry Gilliam's first efforts as director. It's just something you won't get anywhere else: a unique Monty Python spin of the time travel genre. A tale of time-leaping dwarves on the hunt for treasure. As of 2019 , Thor director Taika Watiti was attached to a small screen remake at Apple TV+.

22. Army of Darkness (1993)

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Army of Darkness is where the Evil Dead series went completely off the rails in the best way possible. After two outings at a possessed cabin in the middle of the woods, writer-director Sam Raimi needed a change of scenery? He could have gone to another contemporary location, but deciding to thrust Ash Williams back in time to the Dark Ages was a stroke of unexpected genius.

21. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

A schoolgirl leaps through the air with her arm behind her.

There was no way we could talk about the best time travel movies ever made and not give a shoutout to Mamoru Hosoda's 2006 masterpiece of an anime.

"The film plays the time-looping games of Groundhog Day, but it's also a sweet, credible study of a girl who wants to turn back the clock on her relationships with two boys who are starting to think more about romance than baseball," Kim Newman wrote in their review for Empire Magazine . "It has few fireworks, but still sticks in the mind, and is a definite upgrade from Digimon: The Movie for director Mamoru Hosoda."

20. Back to the Future Part III (1990)

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Immediately following the events of Part II , Marty travels back to 1885 to save Doc Brown from living out the rest of his life in the Old West (Emmett's favorite time period). While there, our favorite skateboarding teenager runs afoul of Biff's ancestor, Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen. Oh, and Doc falls in love with a schoolteacher named Clara, giving us a softer side of the mad scientist we've come to know over the last two installments.

19. About Time (2013)

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Richard Curtis — the man who gave us Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love Actually — tries his hand at the time travel genre with heartwarming results. Curtis, who both wrote and directed the film, is less interested in the sci-fi element and more preoccupied with the human drama of a young man who suddenly learns that the men in his family can jump through time.

18. Timecrimes (2007)

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Writer-director Nacho Vigalondo's tight sci-fi thriller sort of flew under the radar when it was initially released back in 2007. If you haven't yet watched it, we can't recommend this one enough. Its handling of those pesky paradoxes that come with the time travel territory is *chef's kiss*.

17. Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)


It only took about three decades to get another entry in the Bill & Ted saga, but Face the Music was well worth the wait. An offbeat exploration of what it means to get older and come to terms with not achieving all the goals you once hoped to achieve, the third outing for Bill Preston and Ted Logan hits all the right notes. Even after all these years, Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter have still go it. Rock on!

16. Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek (2009) YT

It had been close to a decade since the release of Star Trek: Nemesis when J.J. Abrams brought the classic franchise back to the big screen. But how do you reboot such a beloved property after so many decades of shows and movies? You take it back to its roots with just a few twists here and there. Enter the narrative device of time travel, which gave audiences fresh takes on Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Sulu, and the rest of the Enterprise crew while still remaining true to who these characters were in the OG run.

15. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)


You can set anything in the 1970s and you're going to have a good time. Based on the seminal comic book arc by the dynamic X-Men duo of Chris Claremont and John Byrne, Days of Future Past finds Logan traveling back in time (courtesy of Kitty Pryde) to prevent the mutant-hunting Sentinels from every being created. The finished product is a perfect marriage of the Bryan Singer films with the prequel continuity established by Matthew Vaughn in First Class . The ‘70s-set adventure is seriously groovy (who could ever forget that Quicksilver sequence set to Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle"?), while, in the dystopian present, the last gasp of mutant resistance engages in the real last stand against the Sentinels, which have been encoded with Mystique's adaptive cells. Nail-biter is an understatement.

14. Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

Star Trek: First Contact (1996) YT

The second Star Trek feature to be spun out of The Next Generation TV show, First Contact features a race against time (both literally and figuratively) to stop the Borg from preventing humanity's first contact with an alien species (the Vulcans).

"I think the most important plot aspect of the movie and what gave it its title was that Vulcan encounter at the end," co-writer Brannon Braga told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016. "This is what Star Trek is and this is where it all began. And you want it to happen. It's what's at stake — Star Trek itself — and that to me gives the movie such a strong core.

13. Run Lola Run (1998)


If you're a fan of that Community episode that explores all the potential outcomes of a simple game night gathering, then you'll probably enjoy Run Lola Run . Similar to Pulp Fiction four years prior, Tom Twyker's third directorial effort plays around with the timeline of its storytelling (something that would serve Twyker well on Cloud Atlas ). When the titular woman's boyfriend loses a bag of money that belongs to a very dangerous crime lord, Lola only has 20 minutes to come up with the dough. A simple and engaging premise gets an added boost from the screenplay's exploration of fate and how our actions can lead to unforeseen consequences.

12. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) YT

Time travel isn't something we often associate with witches and wizards (Doctor Strange being an obvious exception), but Prisoner of Azkaban features one of the tightest examples of a paradox-free time loop you're likely to find anywhere in the genre. When Sirius Black and Buckbeak the hippogriff are wrongly sentenced to be executed, Harry and Hermione use a Time Turner to save both innocent souls. Director Alfonso Cuarón effortlessly sets up the temporal element long before we ever get to that point, so that when our heroes do go back to change the past, it feels both earned and satisfying. Moreover, the time travel sticks to a concrete set of rules about not changing that which is immutable. Good stuff. Magical even.

11. Source Code (2011)

Source Code (2011) YT

Groundhog Day , but as a heart-thumping action mystery/thriller. That's Source Code , baby — the second feature-length effort from David Bowie's filmmaker son, Duncan Jones. His follow-up to 2009's Moon proved Jones was not a one-hit high concept pony. Jake Gyllenhaal leads the project as Colter Stevens, a man forced to relive a specific train journey in an effort to find out who bombed the locomotive. Verga Farmiga, Michelle Monaghan, Jeffrey Wright, and Michael Arden round out the cast with Scott Bakula making a voiceover appearance as Colter's dad (most likely a loving reference to Bakula's role as Dr. Samuel Beckett in Quantum Leap ).

10. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) YT

Whoa! On paper, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure sounds so off the wall as to be un-filmable: Two high school slackers with a love of rock n' roll travel through the centuries in a futuristic phone booth given to them by risqué comedian George Carlin in order to ace their history exam and not be sent to military school. If we were Hollywood executives in the late ‘80s, we'd probably ask what kind of reefer screenwriters Chris Matheson (son of famed sci-fi icon Richard Matheson) and Ed Solomon were smoking. But it works! And by golly, it works well.

9. Groundhog Day (1993)

Bill Murray in Groundhog's Day

Less of a time travel movie and more of a time loop movie, Groundhog Day is, perhaps, the finest directing effort from late actor/writer/filmmaker Harold Ramis. In this existential comedy, a bitter and self-centered newscaster is forced to relieve the same day over and over again until he learns a bit of humility. He can't leave the epicenter of the titular holiday (Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania) and any suicide attempt simply sends him back to the previous morning. It's a horrifying prospect, living out a hellish purgatory of repetition each and every day, but in Ramis's able hands, Groundhog Day keeps things light, earning its place as one of the finest dramedies ever made.

8. Looper (2012)

LOOPER (2012) YT

Looper is noteworthy for two big reasons: 1) Rian Johnson's snappy screenplay never gets too bogged down in the "rules" of the time travel genre and 2) Joseph Gordon-Levitt went the extra mile to wear facial prosthetics that made him look like a younger Bruce Willis. The decision to focus on a low-level enforcer for a group of future mafiosos who dispose of their victims in the distant past is pretty genius stuff. Johnson not only makes time travel feel fresh, he also manages to breathe new life into the crime thriller space. Not an easy feat by any means.

7. 12 Monkeys (1995)

12 Monkeys (1995) YT

Terry Gilliam just couldn't help himself; the dude just had to churn out another time travel masterpiece 15 years after Time Bandits . And we're very thankful he did. A top-of-his-game Bruce Willis steps into the shoes of a convict who is sent back in time to learn about a mysterious pathogen that wiped out a good chunk of humanity. The movie itself is a remake of the French film made in 1962. Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, and Christopher Plummer co-star. Pitt, who played mental patient Jeffrey Goines, nabbed a Golden Globe victory and Oscar nod for his performance.

6. Arrival (2016)

Arrival (2016) YT

Denis Villeneuve's first foray into the world of science fiction, Arrival is a thinking person's time travel story. In fact, that little detail isn't really made obvious until the very last act. If you're looking for explosions and cheesy one-liners, then you're looking in the wrong place. Might we suggest our list of best action flicks from the ‘90s? Arrival takes a methodical and procedural approach to the question of: how would the world react if alien spaceships showed up on our doorstep tomorrow? How would we communicate with beings that are so wildly different from ourselves? The film is subdued and thoughtful — a masterful slow burn of an audition for its director's genre chops.

5. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Edge of Tomorrow (2014) YTaa

Source Code walked so that Edge of Tomorrow could run. Edge of Tomorrow , Live. Die. Repeat. — Call it whatever you want, just don't call us late for the battle against the Mimics. Under the direction of Doug Liman, Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, and the rest of the cast (which features the late Bill Paxton) clearly have a ton of fun in this movie about a man thrust into a war against his will. He can't fight for crap, but when an alien bleeds time travel blood all over him, he gains the ability to relive the same day over and over again. Liman plays everything organically, taking the time to allow us to learn the rules alongside our hero before he truly figures out how to use his newfound ability to his advantage. Now, when is the sequel coming out?

4. The Terminator (1984)

The Terminator (1984) YT

"Come with me if you want to live!" This shouted by a complete stranger who, just a few moments ago, showed up in a back alley naked as the day he was born. We are, of course, referring to Kyle Reese, the soldier sent back in time to prevent the T-800 from murdering the mother of John Connor, who will one day lead humanity against the machines. Little does Mr. Reese know that he is destined to be the father of that child. Time travel is just a means to an end here: an excuse to pit two flesh bag protagonists against an unstoppable killing machine with one simple goal: assassinate Sarah Connor.

3. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) YT

The fourth Star Trek movie to feature the OG cast members from the '60s-era television series, The Voyage Home , Kirk, Spock, and the rest travel back to San Francisco (circa 1986) and communicate with whales. You shouldn't be laughing over there, because that's actually what happens. Leonard Nimoy, who sat in the director's chair for this one, wanted to go for a very different Trek story.

"No dying, no fighting, no shooting, no photon torpedoes, no phaser blasts, no stereotypical bad guy," he once remarked . "I wanted people to really have a great time watching this film [and] if somewhere in the mix we lobbed a couple of big ideas at them, well, then that would be even better."

2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) YT

Arnie's T-800 wasn't kidding when he said "I'll be back" seven years prior to the release of T2: Judgment Day . He definitely did come back and with quite a vengeance. Except this time, the killer android with the Austrian accent didn't come to the past to kill young John Connor, but to protect him from a new mechanical threat: the shape-shifting T-1000.

Sequels are tricky to pull off properly, but writer-director James Cameron has yet to fumble the follow-up ball. This film ramped up everything audiences loved about the first movie, deepening the mythology while never losing sight of its heart: the fractured relationship between John and his mother as well as the budding relationship between John and his buff, sunglasses-wearing protector.

1. Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the Future

Credit: Universal

You knew this one would be at the very tip-top of our list, didn't you? There's just no getting around it, no matter what timeline you travel to, Back to the Future is the greatest time travel movie of all time. Despite an overt lack of coherent rules and paradox resolution, the movie speeds by (at 88 miles per hour, of course) on charm, memorable characters, and relatable stakes.

And that's not even mentioning the most iconic time machine in the history of the genre: a winged-door DeLorean that runs on a plutonium-powered Flux Capacitor. What's a Flux Capacitor? Again, don't mind the science — just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride to 1955, where young Marty McFly has to ensure that his parents end up together, lest he and his siblings disappear forever.

Speaking with SYFY WIRE in 2019, Back to the Future co-screenwriter Bob Gale summed up the film's immortal legacy: "The idea that we were able to just tell this time travel story and make it not about changing history; making this human story and the big surprise was that everybody in the world has wondered the same thing: ‘What did my parents do on their first date?' It just connects with everybody."

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The Best Time Travel Movies Of All Time

The Best Time Travel Movies Of All Time

Harper Brooks

No time loop movies, like ‘Groundhog Day’ or ‘Edge of Tomorrow.’ 

Time travel movies captivate audiences with their imaginative concepts and thrilling narratives. In the spirit of exploring the unknown, this ranked list of the best time travel movies was ranked by thousands of film buffs. Through the magic of cinema, viewers get to navigate twisting timelines and alternate realities, experiencing the endless possibilities and intriguing paradoxes that time travel offers. (No time loop movies included here!) This list celebrates not just the top-rated films but also the collective taste of movie lovers who have voted, ensuring that the rankings reflect real audience preferences.

Some quintessential time travel movies have earned their spot for a variety of reasons. Back to the Future , starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, is a charming and adventurous romp through different eras. Its humor and iconic DeLorean time machine make it a perennial favorite. The Terminator , directed by James Cameron , thrills with its intense sci-fi action and the relentless pursuit of Linda Hamilton by a futuristic cyborg. Its sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day , elevates the stakes with groundbreaking visual effects and a deeper of human nature. Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys enthralls viewers with its dystopian narrative and Bruce Willis's gripping performance. The mind-bending twists of Looper , starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, delve into the ethical quandaries of time manipulation. On the softer side, About Time , featuring Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams, charms with its heartfelt romantic elements layered with time-travel intricacies. From good time traveler movies to great indie sci-fi gems, each film offers a unique take on time travel, ensuring that every type of viewer finds something to love.

Join the fun and help shape the ultimate crowdranked list of time travel movies. Whether you're a fan of action-packed adventures, heartwarming romances, or mind-twisting thrillers, your vote matters. Discover new favorites and revisit beloved classics as you explore the best time travel movies that cinema has to offer. Don't forget to vote for your top picks and see how they fare against other time-traveling tales!

Back to the Future

Back to the Future

Back to the Future , a legendary science-fiction adventure film directed by Robert Zemeckis, stands as a triumphant depiction of time travel in the 1980s. With exceptional performances by Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, this movie artfully immerses viewers in the nostalgic world of Hill Valley, 1955, when Marty McFly (Fox) is sent back in time by Doc Brown's (Lloyd) iconic DeLorean-powered time machine. As Marty navigates his new environment, the importance of preserving the past and personal destinies becomes increasingly evident, giving birth to a timeless tale that resonates with audiences across generations. Through its humorous yet tender storytelling and innovative special effects, Back to the Future  remains an essential addition to the pantheon of time-traveling cinema.

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  • # 2 of 399 on The Best Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

The Terminator

The Terminator

Helmed by visionary director James Cameron, The Terminator  is a gripping sci-fi thriller that solidified Arnold Schwarzenegger's status as a Hollywood superstar. Set against the backdrop of a dystopian future where machines rule over humans, the film tells the story of Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), who finds herself pursued by a relentless, technologically advanced cyborg (Schwarzenegger) sent back in time to change the course of humanity's future. Featuring groundbreaking visual effects and an adrenaline-fueled storyline, The Terminator  became an instant classic upon its release and still captivates viewers with its exhilarating blend of action, suspense, and time-travel intrigue.

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  • # 6 of 399 on The Best Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The gripping sequel to James Cameron's groundbreaking The Terminator , Terminator 2: Judgment Day  elevates the stakes and pushes the envelope further with its enhanced visual effects, compelling narrative, and poignant character development. In this ambitious follow-up, Schwarzenegger reprises his role as a Terminator, this time tasked with protecting a young John Connor (Edward Furlong) from an even more menacing and advanced cyborg. As the story unravels, themes of redemption, sacrifice, and humanity's struggle against fate take center stage, leaving viewers riveted by the film's immersive storytelling. Terminator 2: Judgment Day  continues to stand as a testament to the power of cinema and the unyielding potential of time-travel tales.

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Back to the Future Part II

Back to the Future Part II

In Back to the Future Part II , director Robert Zemeckis reunites Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd for an inventive and thrilling follow-up that expands on the original's narrative and explores new dimensions of time travel. As Marty McFly and Doc Brown embark on a daring quest to save their future, viewers are treated to a visually stunning and expertly crafted adventure that transports them across multiple timelines - from a fascinatingly dystopian 2015 to an alternate version of 1985. With its razor-sharp wit and intricate plot twists, Back to the Future Part II  showcases the boundless creativity of its filmmaking team while solidifying the franchise's standing as a beloved and timeless piece of cinematic history.

  • # 23 of 399 on The Best Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked
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12 Monkeys

Masterfully directed by the visionary Terry Gilliam, 12 Monkeys  is a dystopian sci-fi thriller that immerses viewers in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a deadly virus. With captivating performances by Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, and Brad Pitt, the film follows a prisoner (Willis) as he is sent back in time to gather information on the origins of the lethal disease and potentially prevent the catastrophe from ever occurring. As the plot unfolds, the intricate narrative blurs the lines between past, present, and future, offering a mesmerizing study of fate, reality, and memory. Boasting stunning visuals and an unforgettable storyline, 12 Monkeys  stands as a masterwork in the time-travel genre and a testament to the power of innovative filmmaking.

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Looper is a mind-bending sci-fi thriller directed by Rian Johnson that boldly ventures into the realm of time travel with a unique twist. In the film's futuristic setting, hitmen known as "Loopers" eliminate targets sent back in time by crime syndicates, thus erasing them from existence. Featuring exceptional performances by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, the movie centers on a young Looper (Gordon-Levitt) who faces the ultimate dilemma when he's assigned to eliminate his future self (Willis). As the narrative weaves through a complex web of morality, survival, and destiny, viewers are left spellbound by the film's intensity and thought-provoking themes. Looper  is a gripping cinematic achievement that will have viewers contemplating its intricate story long after the final credits roll.

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Back to the Future Part III

Back to the Future Part III

Concluding the beloved time-travel trilogy, Back to the Future Part III  takes Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) on a thrilling adventure to the Wild West of 1885. Helmed once again by visionary director Robert Zemeckis, this installment seamlessly melds classic Western tropes with the franchise's trademark humor and sci-fi elements, resulting in a highly entertaining and satisfying conclusion to the series. As Marty and Doc work together to return to their own time, they encounter a host of new characters and challenges, further exploring themes of fate, friendship, and love. Back to the Future Part III  is a fitting finale that stays true to its predecessors' charm and leaves audiences with a sense of wistful nostalgia for the adventures they've shared.

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  • # 59 of 379 on The Best Movies Of The '90s, Ranked

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

With its irreverent humor and endearingly quirky cast, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure  remains an iconic '80s comedy that delivers laughs and heart in equal measure. The film follows two lovable yet dim-witted teenagers, Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves), as they embark on an epic journey through time, meeting historical figures such as Napoleon, Socrates, and Abraham Lincoln while attempting to pass their history final. Directed by Stephen Herek, this wildly inventive tale is brimming with hilarious moments, memorable quotes, and an infectious sense of fun that stands the test of time. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure  captures the spirit of adventure and friendship, reminding viewers of the joys inherent in life's most unexpected journeys.

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  • # 40 of 399 on The Best Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked
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Christopher Nolan's Interstellar  is a visually stunning and emotionally charged sci-fi epic that explores the depths of human ingenuity and the complexities of time travel. Featuring powerful performances from Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Chastain, the film follows a group of astronauts as they embark on a perilous journey through a wormhole in search of a new habitable planet for humanity. With its breathtaking visuals, thought-provoking themes, and intricately woven narrative, Interstellar  pushes the boundaries of storytelling, challenging viewers to ponder the future of mankind and the inexorable passage of time.

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The Time Machine

The Time Machine

H.G. Wells' classic science fiction tale comes to life in George Pal's 1960 adaptation of The Time Machine , a groundbreaking study of time travel that captivated and inspired generations of filmmakers. Starring Rod Taylor as a Victorian scientist who invents a machine capable of traversing the centuries, the film transports viewers on a thrilling journey through time, from the peaceful countryside of 19th-century England to the far-flung future. Rich in both visual splendor and narrative depth, The Time Machine  is an enduring cinematic treasure that continues to intrigue and entertain audiences more than half a century after its release.

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The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect is a captivating psychological thriller that delves into the dangerous consequences of altering the past. Starring Ashton Kutcher as a college student who discovers he can change his traumatic childhood experiences through meditation, the film explores the unpredictable ripple effects of tampering with the delicate fabric of time. Directed by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber, The Butterfly Effect  keeps audiences on the edge of their seats with its intense storyline, inventive plot twists, and compelling study of fate and redemption.

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Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame

Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame  serves as the stunning culmination of an epic saga, expertly weaving time travel into its grand narrative to deliver a thrilling and emotionally resonant superhero adventure. As Earth's mightiest heroes race against time to undo the havoc wrought by Thanos, they confront personal challenges, shattered relationships, and the immutable nature of their destinies. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Avengers: Endgame  provides both heart-pounding spectacle and poignant character moments, solidifying its status as a landmark achievement in the annals of sci-fi and comic book cinema.

Planet of the Apes

Planet of the Apes

A groundbreaking work of science fiction, Franklin J. Schaffner's Planet of the Apes  presents a chilling vision of a future where intelligent primates rule over subjugated humans. Charlton Heston stars as an astronaut who crash-lands on a seemingly primitive world, only to discover its terrifying secret – a civilization where apes dominate and humans are enslaved. With its thought-provoking themes, iconic imagery, and unforgettable climax, Planet of the Apes  stands as a cornerstone of 20th-century cinema and continues to captivate viewers with its bold study of the consequences of untamed ambition.

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In Mike Judge's darkly comedic satire Idiocracy , time travel serves as the catalyst for a biting examination of societal decline and human stupidity. The film follows a perfectly average man (Luke Wilson) who is accidentally frozen and awakens 500 years in the future, only to find that society has devolved into a dystopian nightmare of ignorance, commercialism, and environmental catastrophe. With its razor-sharp wit and incisive social commentary, Idiocracy  offers both laughter and sobering reflection on the trajectory of human progress.

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  • # 137 of 191 on The Best Movies For Men
  • # 31 of 167 on The 150+ Best Futuristic Dystopian Movies


Frequency combines elements of sci-fi, thriller, and drama to weave a gripping tale of a father and son separated by time yet connected through a miraculous radio signal. Starring Jim Caviezel and Dennis Quaid, this unique time-travel narrative unfolds as father and son attempt to solve a murder, even as their actions in the past precipitate unforeseen consequences in the present. Directed by Gregory Hoblit, Frequency  is a suspenseful and emotionally resonant film that deftly navigates the complexities of time travel while exploring themes of family, love, and destiny.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Merging the original X-Men with their younger counterparts, X-Men: Days of Future Past  is an ambitious and thrilling installment in the long-standing superhero franchise. Directed by Bryan Singer, the film employs time travel to bridge the gap between past and present, as Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent back to the 1970s to prevent a cataclysmic event that could alter the course of history. With its star-studded ensemble cast and compelling narrative, X-Men: Days of Future Past  delivers action-packed entertainment while exploring themes of redemption, unity, and the endless potential for change.

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Galaxy Quest

Galaxy Quest

In the beloved sci-fi comedy Galaxy Quest , time travel plays a crucial role in the uproarious adventures of a group of washed-up actors unwittingly recruited by real aliens to save their species. Starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, and Alan Rickman, this hilarious send-up of both classic Star Trek and fan conventions showcases the power of love, friendship, and courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. With its delightful humor and heartfelt moments, Galaxy Quest  remains a cherished favorite among fans of lighthearted time-travel escapades.

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  • # 29 of 178 on The Best Alien Movies Of All Time, Ranked
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Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko

Richard Kelly's enigmatic cult classic Donnie Darko  offers a haunting and atmospheric study of time travel, destiny, and mental health. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the troubled titular character, the film follows Donnie's descent into a surreal world of prophetic visions, mysterious occurrences, and sinister manifestations. As he confronts the prospect of an impending apocalypse, Donnie finds himself navigating a labyrinthine narrative that deftly interweaves elements of horror, science fiction, and coming-of-age drama. Donnie Darko  remains a deeply evocative and mesmerizing cinematic experience that continues to haunt and engage viewers nearly two decades after its release.

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Star Trek

J.J. Abrams' 2009 reboot of the iconic Star Trek franchise boldly goes where no film has gone before, utilizing time travel to create an exciting and refreshing take on the beloved sci-fi universe. Featuring a fantastic ensemble cast led by Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, this modern retelling introduces a new generation of fans to the thrilling adventures of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and the USS Enterprise crew, while staying true to the spirit of the original series. Brimming with dazzling special effects, kinetic action sequences, and heartfelt character moments, Star Trek  is a thrilling ride that has breathed new life into the storied franchise.

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  • # 32 of 178 on The Best Alien Movies Of All Time, Ranked

It's a Wonderful Life

It's a Wonderful Life

Frank Capra's enduring masterpiece It's a Wonderful Life  is a timeless study of the impact of a single life on the world around it. In this heartwarming tale, James Stewart stars as George Bailey, a down-on-his-luck man who contemplates ending his life on Christmas Eve. Through the intervention of a bumbling guardian angel, George is granted the opportunity to witness an alternate reality where he never existed, ultimately realizing the profound effect his life has had on those around him. Though not typically viewed as a time-travel narrative, It's a Wonderful Life  thoughtfully demonstrates the ripple effect of our actions through time and serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of compassion, gratitude, and human connection.

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The Time Machine

This 2002 adaptation of H.G. Wells' groundbreaking novel, directed by Simon Wells, plunges viewers into a thrilling and visually stunning journey through time. Starring Guy Pearce as a brilliant inventor who creates a time machine to change the tragic course of his past, the film introduces audiences to an array of fantastical settings, from Victorian London to a distant, post-apocalyptic future. Though differing from its literary source material in several key aspects, The Time Machine retains the spirit of Wells' work, offering an engrossing study of human ambition, love, and the inexorable march of time.

  • # 77 of 178 on The Best Science Fiction Action Movies
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About Time

In Richard Curtis' charming romantic comedy About Time , time travel serves as a poignant metaphor for the beauty and fragility of life's fleeting moments. The film follows Tim (Domhnall Gleeson), a young man who discovers he has the ability to travel through time, and uses his newfound power to find love, fix mistakes, and bring happiness to those around him. With its whimsical humor, heartfelt performances, and beautiful cinematography, About Time  artfully explores themes of love, family, and the importance of cherishing every moment of our lives.

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Star Trek: First Contact

Star Trek: First Contact

Star Trek: First Contact is an exhilarating installment in the iconic science fiction franchise, blending elements of action, adventure, and time travel to create a thrilling cinematic experience. As the USS Enterprise crew, led by Patrick Stewart's Captain Jean-Luc Picard, confront the malevolent Borg, they find themselves transported back in time to the pivotal moment of humanity's first contact with an alien race. Faced with the responsibility of preserving history and ensuring the future of mankind, the crew embarks on a desperate mission to thwart the Borg's sinister plans. Directed by Jonathan Frakes, Star Trek: First Contact  is a gripping and emotionally charged journey through time and space, celebrating the spirit of exploration and unity at the heart of the long-running franchise.

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The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife

Based on Audrey Niffenegger's bestselling novel, The Time Traveler's Wife  is a deeply moving study of love, loss, and the complexities of time travel. Starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana, the film tells the story of Clare (McAdams), who falls in love with Henry (Bana), a man with a rare genetic disorder that causes him to involuntarily travel through time. As their relationship unfolds across the years, the couple faces numerous challenges and heartbreaks, resulting in a poignant and bittersweet portrait of devotion in the face of uncertainty. The Time Traveler's Wife  is a tender and memorable examination of the enduring power of love, even when time itself seems to conspire against it.

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Somewhere in Time

Somewhere in Time

Somewhere in Time is a romantic fantasy that captures the hearts of viewers with its touching portrayal of love transcending the boundaries of time. Starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, the film tells the story of Richard Collier (Reeve), a playwright who becomes infatuated with a woman from the past and wills himself back in time to be with her. Through tender performances and a sweeping score, Somewhere in Time  showcases the power of timeless love and leaves a lasting impression on those who have experienced this enchanting narrative.

  • # 331 of 399 on The Best Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked
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Predestination , a mind-bending science fiction thriller directed by the Spierig Brothers, expertly navigates the intricate paradoxes of time travel to deliver a captivating and cerebral cinematic experience. Starring Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook, the film follows a time-traveling agent on his mission to stop a mysterious criminal known as the "Fizzle Bomber." As past, present, and future collide, a dizzying web of secrets, betrayal, and destiny is revealed, leaving viewers enthralled by the film's labyrinthine narrative and stellar performances. Predestination  is an ambitious and thought-provoking study of fate, identity, and the complex nature of time itself.

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Hot Tub Time Machine

Hot Tub Time Machine

In the irreverent comedy Hot Tub Time Machine , a group of disillusioned friends, played by John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Clark Duke, accidentally travel back in time to the 1980s via - you guessed it – a hot tub. As they navigate the raucous decade, complete with outrageous fashions, wild parties, and questionable hair choices, they each face the consequences of their past decisions and the potential to rewrite their futures. Directed by Steve Pink, Hot Tub Time Machine  is a hilarious and nostalgic romp through time that serves as both a love letter and a playful critique of the era.

  • # 16 of 100 on The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s
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Déjà Vu

In Tony Scott's action-packed thriller Déjà Vu , Denzel Washington stars as an ATF agent who discovers a cutting-edge technology that allows him to travel back in time to prevent a catastrophic terrorist attack. As the narrative unfolds, Washington's character faces a high-stakes race against the clock , battling to save innocent lives while uncovering a deeper conspiracy. With its pulse-pounding action sequences, intricate plot twists, and captivating study of time manipulation, Déjà Vu  is a thrilling and engrossing cinematic experience.

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

In the third installment of the beloved Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban , director Alfonso Cuarón masterfully introduces time travel into J.K. Rowling's magical universe. As Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron (Rupert Grint) face new challenges at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the enigmatic Time-Turner plays a crucial role in their quest to uncover the truth about Sirius Black (Gary Oldman). Offering a unique spin on time-travel tropes within the context of the mystical world, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  remains a thrilling adventure and fan-favorite entry in the iconic series.

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  • # 37 of 769 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

Forever Young

Forever Young

In the heartfelt romantic drama Forever Young , Mel Gibson stars as a grieving World War II pilot who volunteers for a cryogenic experiment after losing the love of his life. Accidentally awaking 53 years later, Gibson's character discovers the power of second chances as he reconnects with the past and forges new relationships in an unfamiliar world. Combining elements of sci-fi, romance, and time travel, Forever Young  offers a bittersweet study of love, longing, and the inexorable passage of time.

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Denis Villeneuve's critically acclaimed science fiction film Arrival  offers a unique and mesmerizing study of time, communication, and the complexities of human perception. When mysterious alien ships appear across the globe, a linguist (Amy Adams) is tasked with deciphering their language and establishing contact. With its stunning visuals, innovative narrative structure, and engrossing themes, Arrival  delves deep into the potentialities of language, empathy, and connections that transcend the boundaries of time itself.

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Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

In this fan-favorite installment of the Star Trek  film series, the crew of the USS Enterprise, led by William Shatner's Captain Kirk and Leonard Nimoy's Spock, embark on a daring mission through time to save Earth from an imminent disaster. As they journey back to the 20th century, the crew encounters cultural challenges, comedic mishaps, and unexpected revelations, all while working to prevent the extinction of a vital aquatic species. Nimoy also directs this beloved time-travel adventure, which skillfully blends humor, action, and environmental themes, offering a timeless study of humanity's responsibility to protect and preserve our planet.

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The Final Countdown

The Final Countdown

The Final Countdown , directed by Don Taylor, is an intriguing time-travel tale that explores the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by a modern-day aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz, when it is inexplicably transported back to the eve of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Starring Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen, the film presents a gripping examination of the crew's response to their newfound knowledge of history, as they confront questions of duty, loyalty, and the potential consequences of altering the past. This compelling blend of sci-fi, history, and drama offers a fascinating study of the intersections between fate, human nature, and the flow of time.

  • # 42 of 64 on The Best Movies Of 1980
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In Timecop , Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as a hard-hitting enforcer tasked with policing the timestream and preventing criminal exploits in the past. This high-octane sci-fi action film, directed by Peter Hyams, delivers an exciting blend of martial arts, explosive stunts, and mind-bending time travel paradoxes. As Van Damme's character confronts personal tragedy and a diabolical conspiracy, Timecop  offers viewers a thrilling and thought-provoking cinematic ride.

  • # 341 of 379 on The Best Movies Of The '90s, Ranked
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Army of Darkness

Army of Darkness

In the wildly entertaining third installment of Sam Raimi's cult classic Evil Dead trilogy, Army of Darkness  sees the reluctant hero Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) transported back in time to the medieval era. Armed with his trademark wit, chainsaw hand, and boomstick, Ash battles the forces of evil in a bid to save humanity and return to his own time. Filled with outrageous humor, over-the-top action, and unforgettable one-liners, Army of Darkness  stands as a beloved classic in the annals of time-travel cinema.

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Time Bandits

Time Bandits

Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits  is a highly inventive and whimsical time-travel fantasy that follows a young boy as he embarks on a fantastical journey through history with a group of mischievous dwarves. As they traverse various time periods and encounter historical figures such as Napoleon, Robin Hood, and King Agamemnon, this ragtag group of adventurers faces formidable challenges, hilarious mishaps, and life-altering revelations. Time Bandits  is a delightful and visually imaginative study of friendship, courage, and the limitless potential of the human spirit.

  • # 209 of 399 on The Best Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked
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13 Going on 30

13 Going on 30

13 Going on 30 is a delightful romantic comedy that uses time travel to explore themes of self-discovery, friendship, and the obstacles we face as we grow up. Starring Jennifer Garner as Jenna Rink, a young girl who wishes to fast-forward through her awkward adolescence, only to wake up as a 30-year-old woman, the film expertly navigates the challenges and joys of adulthood and the importance of staying true to oneself. Directed by Gary Winick, 13 Going on 30  is a heartwarming and relatable tale that will leave viewers with a newfound appreciation for the beauty of life's journey.

  • # 4 of 100 on The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s
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  • # 43 of 156 on The 150+ Best Classic Tween Movies

Kate & Leopold

Kate & Leopold

Kate & Leopold is a charming romantic comedy that combines time travel with a captivating love story. Starring Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman, the film follows Leopold (Jackman), a 19th-century English gentleman who is inadvertently transported to modern-day New York City. As he encounters Kate (Ryan), a strong-willed career woman, the pair form an unlikely connection that transcends time and societal expectations. With its light-hearted humor and enchanting romance, Kate & Leopold  offers a delightful study of love, destiny, and the enduring power of human connection.

  • # 529 of 769 on The Most Rewatchable Movies
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In this modern retelling of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol , Bill Murray stars as a cynical television executive who is visited by three spirits who force him to confront his past, present, and future. Through its unique spin on the classic time-travel narrative, Scrooged  provides a perfect blend of humor and heartfelt emotion, ultimately delivering a powerful message about the importance of compassion, empathy, and redemption.

  • # 88 of 399 on The Best Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked
  • # 307 of 769 on The Most Rewatchable Movies
  • # 18 of 126 on The Best Christmas Movies Of All Time

The Lake House

The Lake House

In The Lake House , Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock star as two lonely individuals who discover they are living two years apart but can communicate through a magical mailbox at the titular lake house. As their correspondence unfolds, they begin to fall in love, despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of time separating them. This tender and captivating romance, directed by Alejandro Agresti, artfully explores themes of longing, fate, and the timeless power of love.

  • # 143 of 473 on The 400+ Best Chick Flicks Ever
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  • # 44 of 58 on The Best Valentine's Day Movies

The Philadelphia Experiment

The Philadelphia Experiment

The Philadelphia Experiment , directed by Stewart Raffill, is a sci-fi thriller inspired by the urban legend of a 1943 naval experiment gone awry, resulting in the disappearance of a warship and its crew. When two sailors from the ship suddenly materialize in the Nevada desert in 1984, they must unravel the truth behind their bizarre predicament while evading the agents of a shadowy government organization bent on covering up the incident. Blending action, conspiracy, and time-travel intrigue, The Philadelphia Experiment  offers a captivating and thought-provoking cinematic journey.

  • # 313 of 403 on The Best Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked
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The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol

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Primer , directed by Shane Carruth, is an ingenious low-budget sci-fi drama that delves into the consequences and paradoxes of time travel with remarkable complexity and intelligence. The film follows two engineers who inadvertently discover a method of time travel and become increasingly obsessed with its potential benefits and dangers. As they manipulate time for personal gain, morality and ethics blur as the story takes unexpected twists and turns. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, Primer  is an exceptional study of human nature and the ethical dilemmas that arise when presented with the power to change the course of history.

  • # 237 of 252 on The 200+ Best Psychological Thrillers Of All Time
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Peggy Sue Got Married

Peggy Sue Got Married

Peggy Sue Got Married presents an enchanting journey into the past as Kathleen Turner's titular character finds herself transported back to her high school days in the 1960s. This acclaimed romantic comedy-drama skillfully melds wistful nostalgia, vibrant period details, and Turner's captivating performance to create an emotionally resonant experience. Struggling to navigate the complexities of her youth and the knowledge of her impending divorce, Peggy Sue's plight captures the tender vulnerability and transformative power associated with time travel. Directed by the legendary Francis Ford Coppola, this movie serves as a reminder of the magic that can arise when a compelling story is brought to life by a stellar cast and masterful filmmaking.

  • # 222 of 399 on The Best Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked
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Futurama: Bender's Big Score

Futurama: Bender's Big Score

Futurama: Bender's Big Score , directed by Dwayne Carey-Hill, brings the beloved animated television series to the big screen for an epic adventure filled with time travel, comedy, and heart. When an evil alien race uncovers the secret of time travel, they exploit the futuristic world for profit and send Bender, the lovable robot, on a series of quests through history. As the Planet Express crew faces the resulting chaos, they must unravel the mysteries of time and Bender's own past to save the universe. Futurama: Bender's Big Score  is an entertaining and smartly-written addition to the time-travel genre that will delight fans of the series and newcomers alike.

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Escape from the Planet of the Apes

Escape from the Planet of the Apes

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Meet the Robinsons

Meet the Robinsons

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Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey

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Time After Time

Time After Time

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Deadpool 2

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Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

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Terminator: Dark Fate

Terminator: Dark Fate

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Lost in Space

Lost in Space

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Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

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Safety Not Guaranteed

Safety Not Guaranteed

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The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two

The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two

Run Lola Run

Run Lola Run

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As they say in well-written scripts, "You mean... like time travel?" + also a few bizarre stories about real people who have claimed, despite every law of physics, they have traveled through time.

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The 23 best time travel movies of all time

From Back to the Future to Looper to Palm Springs, the time travel narrative traverses the film spectrum. Here are EW’s picks for 23 of the best. 

Despite time travel being considered more of a science fiction trope, there is something positively enchanting about the idea of being able to go back to another time or forward into the future, even if just for a moment. While this list deals with a mix of films, some of which consider the hazards of time travel (mostly through time loops), for the most part, these films see time travel as a net positive. Time travel is also a sphere that is mostly occupied by television, thanks to shows like Doctor Who , Quantum Leap , and Lost , even though the number of time travel movies has shot up over the past two decades or so.

Unfortunately, the earliest this list goes is 1962; while there are some time travel movies from the Old Hollywood days, they lack a lot of the imagination and thoughtfulness about the nature of time that the movies on this list bring. This list is a mix of straight dramas, killer action, rollicking comedies, and heartfelt romance — and sometimes, all of those elements exist in a single movie. This list is unranked, and mostly grouped together according to each movie's particular "genre" of time travel: conventional time machines, time loops, magical circumstances, and missions to save the past and the future at the same time. These are 23 of the best time travel movies of all time.

La Jetée (1962)

Kicking off an unranked list of time-travel movies chronologically seems like a good place to start, actually. La Jetée is also probably the most experimental of the films on this list. A French Left Bank short film set in a post-nuclear apocalypse future told through narration and photographs, this is not the first time-travel film by any means, but its impact on the time-travel movies that came after, like 1995's 12 Monkeys , cannot be understated.

A young prisoner (Davos Hanich) is forced to undergo torturous experiments to induce time travel by using impactful memories — and unlike those who came before him, he succeeds, but he ends up discovering a time loop in the process. This is an incredibly stylish telling of what is now a familiar type of story, but in 1962, it was absolutely revolutionary. Honestly, because of its unique technical and visual elements, it still is.

Watch La Jetée on Criterion Channel

Time After Time (1979)

Nicholas Meyer is behind not one, but two brilliant time-travel movies that made this list. For this particular film, he not only wrote the screenplay but also made his directorial debut. The tale of two 19th-century former friends, H.G. Wells ( Malcolm McDowell , unusually wide-eyed and adorable) and John Leslie Stevenson a.k.a. Jack the Ripper ( David Warner , never more menacing yet charming), as they chase each other through 1979 San Francisco thanks to Wells' time machine, Time After Time doesn't spend too much time on the science of time travel, and it's better for it.

This is, in essence, a romantic thriller, as Wells falls for quirky bank clerk Amy ( Mary Steenburgen , delightfully independent) while in search of his old friend turned enemy. It has chase scenes, interrogation sequences, gory murder (courtesy of Jack), and a delightful sense of humor as Wells learns to navigate the future. He thought it would be a utopia; instead, he finds a world in sore need of his idealism, kindness, and dedication to justice.

Where to rent or buy Time After Time

The Back to the Future trilogy (1985, 1989, 1990)

While it's true that the first Back to the Future movie is probably one of the greatest time-travel movies of all time, with its two sequels living in its shadows, all three are essential to understanding the character of Marty McFly ( Michael J. Fox ). The Back to the Future trilogy is an '80s version of a bildungsroman about a teenager who has to learn that there's much more to life than being, well, a teenager. The first film, confidently directed by Robert Zemeckis , is imbued with so much humor and heart, it's all too easy to get sucked into a plot that should be convoluted, but that works so awfully well.

Back to the Future Part II evokes a bit less feeling than the original, and it's significantly grittier, but it's still " another fantastic voyage " as EW's Ira Robbins wrote, flinging Marty and Doc Brown ( Christopher Lloyd ) into a slightly prescient future version of 2015. Back to the Future Part III , meanwhile, restores the heart, but its story is slighter as it wraps up Marty's saga, sending Doc off on a brand new adventure all his own. While the first Back to the Future movie is required viewing for any time travel enthusiast, stick around for the rest of the trilogy, too: Even if this franchise's view of time travel is riddled with potential paradoxes, they are entertaining paradoxes nonetheless.

Watch the Back to the Future trilogy on Tubi

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

"Be excellent to each other" is the reigning philosophy of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure , the adventurous, fun-loving, stoner time-travel comedy that spawned a franchise, including a third installment released in 2020. Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves absolutely triumph in the roles of lackadaisical teenagers Bill and Ted, respectively, as they journey through time to bring back legends in order to pass their history class.

If the film seems silly, that's because it is meant to be. Whereas the Back to the Future franchise intended to craft a legend, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure kicks off the journey with George Carlin as the duo's time travel guide and mentor, Rufus, who intends to enlighten the pair on their mission and destiny. In any other film, the two budding legends, with their free-wheeling ideals and misadventures, would bring down the fabric of time and space itself. However, Excellent Adventure is not a time-travel film that forces you to think too hard about its premise; instead, it invites you to just kick back and have a good time.

Watch Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Amazon Prime Video

Meet the Robinsons (2007)

Meet the Robinsons received mixed reviews when it first debuted, but of the 3-D animated movies that came out of Disney Animation in the 2000s, it's probably the most imaginative and outstanding of the bunch. Following a young orphan as he goes on a fantastic voyage into the future with another young boy who is a time traveler (kind of), Robinsons is stylish to a point and is filled with heart. It's probably also the most kid-friendly entry on this list, but its good-natured humor and complicated emotional palette will appeal to adults, too.

It also fits neatly into a more classic genre of time travel, with time machines, eccentric inventors, and kids looking to make an impact — not just on their time, but on the time they find themselves in, be it the near future or the distant past.

Watch Meet the Robinsons on Disney+

Run Lola Run (1998)

This is, in many ways, the time loop movie; debuting in 1998 to rave reviews, Run Lola Run , a German experimental thriller, is one you will not be able to shake, long after you've finished a viewing (or even a second, to catch what you missed the first time). The protagonist, Lola (Franka Potente, in a punishingly physical performance), is forced to relive a scenario, again and again, involving saving her boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) from certain death.

Potente's performance alone is worth the watch, and of the films on this list, Run Lola Run is actually one of the shorter ones, using its 80-minute runtime to its full advantage. The other time loop movies on this list are also worthy viewing experiences in a lot of ways, but for a pure shot of adrenaline, you can't miss the film EW deemed "a masterful pop piece, humming with raw romance, youth, and energy." If you're interested in more of director Tom Tykwer 's work, he also codirected 2012's Cloud Atlas with the Wachowskis , which, while not a pure time-travel movie, certainly plays with the intertwined nature of time and memory.

Where to rent or buy Run Lola Run

Source Code (2011)

Duncan Jones made a splash with his 2009 feature directorial debut Moon , a moody, philosophical insight into possible lunar labor practices in the future. He followed that thoughtful film up with Source Code , which, while not a movie that could always be described as "thoughtful," could certainly be described as moody. Hitchcockian in a sense, Source Code follows the misadventures of a U.S. Army pilot ( Jake Gyllenhaal ), as he attempts to stop a terrorist attack on a Chicago commuter train — repeatedly.

Source Code does have something to say about the commodification of bodies and minds in the service of the so-called "greater good"; while Gyllenhaal's Captain Stevens' services are no doubt helpful, are they necessary, the film asks. Is it really a good idea to force someone to relive an incredibly stressful idea, over and over again? The movie has its funny moments, even in the thick of all the intense chase scenes through the train; EW noted back in 2012, "The director finds moments of humor in unlikely corners of that train of fools." Indeed. If you enjoyed a film like The Commuter (2018), but thought it could use a time loop and the potential of alternate realities, Source Code is your next mandatory viewing.

Watch Source Code on Showtime

Looper (2012)

Before Rian Johnson introduced us to Benoit Blanc or journeyed to a galaxy far, far, away , he made the tangled time-travel film fittingly called Looper . Starring Bruce Willis , Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a younger Bruce Willis, and Emily Blunt , Looper tells the tale of a contract killer sent after his next target: himself. This is a complicated film, and it is imperfect in a lot of ways, but its brutal appraisal of a possible dystopian future, and the efforts one man takes to prevent that future, are worth the amount of head-scratching you might find yourself doing throughout.

That Johnson likes his narratives to be impenetrable Gordian knots that only his designated protagonist can solve can perhaps be frustrating to the audience. However, if there's one thing that the Knives Out franchise seems to have reinforced, it's that not trying to unpack the mysteries of his work might work to your advantage as a viewer, because Johnson will probably have someone explain what just happened by the end, anyway. Like most of his films, Looper has a social conscience lurking within it as well. As EW's Lisa Schwarzbaum noted , "It's time to wipe the drops from our eyes or else get stuck in a loop, an endless cycle, a rut" about Looper 's core tenet back in 2012. It's a worthy takeaway from a film obsessed with self-fulfilling prophecies people find themselves within.

Watch Looper on Freevee

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Time loop movies need some incredible editing in order to really succeed, and Doug Liman 's enthralling Edge of Tomorrow certainly does so on that point. While Tom Cruise is the lead as a cowardly lion–turned–near-super soldier, all eyes are on Emily Blunt as Rita Vrataski, who rules this movie as one of the few heroes this dystopian, post-alien invasion world actually has left. While the quest Cruise and Blunt go on may be a bit convoluted, the film is so incredibly entertaining because it's so sharply cut, keeping up the pace even as we see similar things over and over and over again.

A tip of the hat must, of course, go to the action, which is as compelling as you would expect from a mega-star who seems determined these days to do all of his own stunts. In an era of often depressing science fiction, Edge of Tomorrow , as EW's Chris Nashawaty mentioned , is a fun, "deliciously subversive kind of blockbuster" to immerse your senses in for two hours, if nothing else.

Watch Edge of Tomorrow on Max

Interstellar (2014)

While this film might technically be considered more of a space opera than a time-travel movie, there's no reason it can't be both. Christopher Nolan 's Interstellar is a dazzling portrait not just of space travel, but of the love between a father and daughter that stretches over the thin fabric of both time and space. Matthew McConaughey as the astronaut father has never been so serious, but acclaim needs to go to Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway as Nolan's strongest women characters to date.

Interstellar varies between being almost too tense to stand, and, at other points, utterly relaxed. As a cinematic experience, it feels all-encompassing, using every possible outstanding special effect to draw its viewers in before the script hits them with emotional truth. While Nolan can certainly be considered " cold and clinical " as EW noted, his space-journeying meditation on the intersection between love and time is anything but.

Watch Interstellar on Paramount+

Palm Springs (2020)

Releasing a time loop movie during a global pandemic where life felt increasingly repetitive and bizarre was certainly a strategy for Hulu and Neon with Palm Springs , but it paid off. While the film was certainly developed long before COVID-19, the scenario of two wedding guests trying to escape the situational loop they've found themselves definitely resonated at the time, and it still does. Palm Springs may seem serious from the above description, but it is actually a fun sci-fi-tinged tale that is largely driven by the comedic skills of leads Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti .

EW noted that the movie avoids " true discomfort comedy ," and honestly, it's all the better for it. If Palm Springs had been angrier, it wouldn't hit home so hard, and it also wouldn't be nearly as entertaining. Instead, it's an often sweet rom-com that doesn't take itself or its completely made-up time loop physics too seriously. It was a Sundance darling for a reason, never quite letting up on the wild ride it takes its characters or its viewers on over the course of its 90 minutes.

Watch Palm Springs on Hulu

Somewhere in Time (1980)

Somewhere in Time might employ one of the strangest methods of time travel of all the movies on this list: time travel by hypnosis, of all things. (And self-induced hypnosis, for that matter.) Time travel on such shaky ground can't possibly hold up, and it somewhat doesn't, in the end. Science fiction great Richard Matheson adapted his own novel into a lackadaisical screenplay for this film, starring Christopher Reeve in a perfectly tragic role as the young man who gives his all for a woman (Jane Seymour) he can never really have.

In many ways, Somewhere in Time feels like a curio of the era from which it came, serving as a time capsule of how stories were told in the late-'70s and early-'80s. That is actually not a mark against it; this is a film that is just a peak tragic romance in a lot of ways; special nods must also go to Christopher Plummer as the young woman's cynical mentor, who seems to possess a certain foresight about the impossibility of Reeve's character. If you want a time-travel movie that is beautifully romantic, from its iconic score to its grand cinematography, you shouldn't stray from Somewhere in Time .

Watch Somewhere in Time on Tubi

Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)

The tale of a grown, about-to-be-divorced woman forced to relive her high school days and her courtship with a dorky-cool musician, Peggy Sue Got Married might be one of Francis Ford Coppola 's most small-scale movies, but it decidedly has the most soul of his catalog of mostly epics. Peggy Sue ( Kathleen Turner , in an Oscar-nominated performance) just wants to leave Charlie (Nicolas Cage) behind, but her time-traveling coma dream conspires against her to force her to reconsider. (It forces Charlie to become a better person, too.)

The film combines the cynicism of a rightfully embittered '80s housewife with the unbridled idealism of a '60s teenager to make one heck of a sincere cinematic concoction. That the film starts at a high school reunion could mean it becomes awkward very quickly, but instead, it's completely joyful. Whether Peggy Sue Got Married started a tradition of "person has some sort of crisis and subsequently ends up in another time" movies is unclear, but it does have a rather clear descendant in one of our next entries.

Where to rent or buy Peggy Sue Got Married

Kate & Leopold (2001)

Doesn't everyone want a young Hugh Jackman from the 19th century to fall out of the sky and into their lives? Leopold (Jackman) is a foppish and geeky, if not perfect, gentleman who quickly has Kate ( Meg Ryan ) falling for him despite her modern understanding of the world. That so many time-travel movies somehow end up in romantic territory is an interesting phenomenon, but one that does make sense. There is something appealing about falling for someone whose time is not your own.

Kate & Leopold is decidedly not a perfect film, although it is the first of director James Mangold 's and Jackman's collaborations (see 2017's Logan for the much grittier future fruits of their labor). It's fluffy, it's light, and it creates a paradox without even really acknowledging it. Someone looked at the Meg Ryan comedies of the '80s and '90s and asked, "But what if we made them science fiction?" It works in spite of itself, with Jackman's physical comedy as he plays " a doll of a boyfriend " and Ryan's sardonic tone carrying the day.

Watch Kate & Leopold on Paramount+

13 Going on 30 (2004)

When a 13-year-old girl is crushed after being tricked at her own birthday party, she makes a wish to be "30, flirty, and thriving," quickly waking up the next day to find herself just that, in the body of Jennifer Garner . Instead of traveling back to the past à la the protagonist of Peggy Sue Got Married , Jenna (Garner, Christa B. Allen) ends up in a potential future, where she is all the things she wished for, but definitely not as happy as she thought she would be.

The 2004 rom-com is a magical time travel tale — there's literally "magic wishing dust" — but that doesn't take away from the hilarity that comes with a 13-year-old trying to navigate an adult woman's life. Of course, in the end, Jenna learns her lesson — it's okay to just be young, for a little bit longer — but the journey she goes on as she discovers not just herself but also her true love ( Mark Ruffalo ) is worth all the silliness in the end.

Watch 13 Going on 30 on Max

Mirai (2018)

This lovely little gem directed by Japanese animation visionary Mamoru Hosoda tells the story of a little boy who unhappily gets a baby sister and ends up learning a lot of lessons about the past and the future. Kun (Moka Kamishiraishi) gets a chance to meet not only the grown, future version of his sister Mirai (Haru Kuroki) but also members of his family at different points in their lives. Mirai is a delightfully imaginative film with some gorgeous animation that contains some " mind-boggling visuals " as EW's Christian Holub pointed out.

It is also a genuinely heartwarming tearjerker; while all ends well for little Kun, the meditations this film offers on the nature of family bonds over the course of multiple generations might just leave you in a state of reflection on your own ties that bind. While many time-travel movies tell their stories from the perspective of youth, few unveil them through the eyes of a rambunctious preschooler, and gaining that perspective, in this case, allows for a truly precious journey.

Where to rent or buy Mirai

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

If you know anything about Star Trek , you know the fourth film is "the one with the whales," but if you don't know anything about the franchise, you probably also know that this one is "the one with the whales." Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home often gets acclaim as the funny Star Trek movie, but it brings a lot more than just comedy. The original crew of the Enterprise fling themselves back in time to save humpback whales in the past in order to save the future from a strange probe that threatens Earth...and will stop, but only if it hears some natural whalesong.

The crew finds themselves in 1986 San Francisco, so it's great that Time After Time's Nicholas Meyer returned to the franchise not as director (he helmed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan ), but as a screenwriter. Watching these characters from a literal utopia navigate a world not designed for them creates not only dynamic humor but great tension as well. As they almost always do, the Enterprise team breaks all the rules in order to save the future as well as the whales. Or, as EW noted in a tribute to the film: "It has heart, and passion — Save the Whales! — and a tremendous sense of fun."

Watch Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home on Max

Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

Star Trek: First Contact doesn't particularly feel as much like a Star Trek movie as Voyage Home does, and EW, in fact, says it harnessed "a sleek, confident style fully independent of its predecessors." As a Trekkie, this may not be the most complimentary way of looking at it, but as a film fan, however, it might be the highest honor someone could bestow upon a movie within this franchise. Captain Jean-Luc Picard ( Patrick Stewart ) turns from a peace-loving diplomat to a Borg-slaying action star while the rest of his crew tries to get the inventor of the Warp Drive (the technology upon which the future relies) to stop drinking so much and actually invent the thing. James Cromwell, as the inventor, Zefram Cochrane, serves as the comedic relief for a remarkably serious and often scary film.

The Borg, '90s Star Trek 's biggest villain, are the main antagonists here, and they do provide some chilling action, even if the introduction that they can easily time travel would really wreck things for some future Trek series. Stewart manages the transition from his mild-mannered diplomat to traumatized warrior well, turning in one of his most ferocious performances. Star Trek: First Contact also gives us a look at a post-apocalyptic world in the midst of a recovery, and in that respect, it makes it both a thoughtful entry in the Trek canon and a time travel action-thriller with a brain.

Watch Star Trek: First Contact on Max

The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

What would a best time-travel films list be without including at least one of the Terminator movies? While an often brutal franchise with diminishing returns after James Cameron 's first two installments, the misadventures of an evil cyborg-turned-good (played to physical perfection by Arnold Schwarzenegger ) in a consistently dangerous world are always thrilling and entertaining.

Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor, mother of the future's savior (and much, much more), is also due an acknowledgment; while the films are remembered for Schwarzenegger's portrayal of the T-800, Hamilton is the heart of this franchise a great deal of the time, as she refuses to die or let her son face the same fate, either. The first two Terminator films are so much more than "scary robots take over the world, everybody dies" – they're action-packed, bloody thrillers with startling narratives, pioneering visual effects, and, of course, time travel as the catalyst.

Watch The Terminator on Max

Where to rent or buy Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

"Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke...I have only done this once before. SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED": This is part of the joke classified ad from which this movie was inspired. You might inspire a more risky movie from the tone of the ad, but what you get is a light comedy that served as the first leading film role for Aubrey Plaza . This Colin Trevorrow -directed film isn't so much about time travel as it is about the cultural assumptions that surround the concept, and those who think it might be possible.

In that sense, it's a meta-narrative on nearly every time travel story which has come before it, and quite possibly, that will come after it. EW called it " a fable of 'redemption' "; redemption, and the acts of salvaging something, anything, for the benefit of the future, is a regular time travel theme, from all those time machines to all those time loops. Safety Not Guaranteed manages to explore these themes with a lot of irony and a splash of heart.

Where to rent or buy Safety Not Guaranteed

Related content:

  • The Terminator movies, ranked
  • Back to the Future cast: Where are they now?
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  • 11 Time-Travel Movies to Watch After Netflix’s <i>The Adam Project</i>

11 Time-Travel Movies to Watch After Netflix’s The Adam Project

I n Netflix’s The Adam Project , Ryan Reynolds plays Adam Reed, a fighter pilot from 2050 who heads back in time to stop the development of time travel. His mission only gets harder after he crash-lands in his childhood backyard in the year 2022 and is forced to team up with his video game-loving 12-year-old self (portrayed by Walker Scobell).

This isn’t Back to the Future : There are no DeLoreans or high-flux capacitors in sight. (Though Mark Ruffalo , as Adam’s inventor dad, does make for a worthy Doc Brown surrogate.) Instead, Adam hops into a wormhole and traverses the space-time continuum to let his preteen self know that the ability to time-hop is a privilege, not a right. It’s a rather heady concept for a family film, but most time-travel movies are about more than just joyriding through history. Whether it’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing a time-jumping hitman in Looper or Jennifer Garner aging 17 years with help from magic fairy dust in 13 Going on 30 , movies featuring transtemporal travel often show why we should err on the side of caution when spanning time and space.

If you’re craving more time travel, here’s a list of 11 movies to watch after The Adam Project . A couple quick notes: Since Back to the Future is undeniably the greatest time-travel movie of all time , it’s omitted from this list to make room for lesser-known choices. The prototypical time-loop film Groundhog’s Day was also passed over in lieu of a more recent selection.

You won’t need a science degree to enjoy any of the movies included here. But you might walk away from your viewing experience feeling as if the future is coming sooner than you think.

13 Going on 30 (2004)

Jennifer Garner gives Tom Hanks a run for his money in this Big -esque coming-of-age dramedy about a girl who wakes up from her traumatic 13th birthday party to find she’s 30, flirty, and thriving. She quickly learns growing up is hard to do, especially when you do it overnight.

Rent it on Amazon Prime Video

Donnie Darko (2001)

After Jake Gyllenhaal ’s titular sad boy narrowly survives a freak accident, he’s left with disturbing visions of a 6-foot-tall rabbit named Frank, who tells him the world is going to end in 28 days. If you don’t totally understand this time-bending film, don’t worry: its stars don’t either . Donnie Darko ’s perplexing final moments are part of its charm.

Watch it on HBO Max

Looper (2012)

Rian Johnson ’s sci-fi action thriller takes place in a not-so-distant future where mobsters punish those they don’t like by sending them back in time to be killed by a futuristic assassin known as a “looper.” When one of those hired guns (a prosthetic nose-wearing Joseph Gordon-Levitt) comes face-to-face with his older self ( Bruce Willis ), he ends up on a wild goose chase to save his future without unraveling his past.

Watch it on Netflix

About Time (2013)

When Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) learns he has the power to travel back in time, he can’t resist making a few tiny tweaks to his past. He soon discovers that even the smallest changes have big consequences in this weepy Brit rom-com directed by Love Actually helmer Richard Curtis .

Happy Death Day (2017)

In this slasher film, often described as “ Groundhog’s Day meets Scream ,” a college student, played by Jessica Rothe, must solve her own murder if she wants to live to see the next day.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted ( Keanu Reeves ) hurtle through time and space in a cosmic phone booth, meeting historical dudes who can help them ace their high school history paper. The best part is that when you’re done with this one, you can keep the adventure going with its sequels: 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey and 2020’s Bill & Ted Face the Music . Pretty excellent, right?

Run Lola Run (1998)

Lola (Franka Potente) —who stands out with fire engine-red hair—only has 20 minutes to secure enough money to save her boyfriend from a Berlin crime boss. This German experimental thriller isn’t your typical time-loop film, but Lola’s ability to learn from her past mistakes to save her love will make you happy that she’s running a marathon, not a sprint.

See You Yesterday (2019)

In this Spike Lee -produced film, high schooler C.J. Walker (Eden Duncan-Smith) uses a backpack time machine to save her brother from being killed by a police officer. But altering the events of the past have consequences that not even a science prodigy can anticipate.

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

This sweet sci-fi rom-com starts with a classified ad from Kenneth (Mark Duplass), a grocery-store worker looking for a partner to travel back in time with. “Safety not guaranteed,” he warns. While some write him off as crazy or paranoid, disillusioned college grad-turned-alt weekly intern Darius ( Aubrey Plaza ) might be willing to risk it all for a chance to roam the universe with him.

Arrival (2016)

Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi drama , which stars Amy Adams as a celebrated linguist trying to communicate with an intelligent alien race, plays with time in ways we won’t dare spoil here. Suffice to say that the film’s twist ending will make you rethink the entire movie.

Watch it on Hulu

Palm Springs (2020)

Nyles (Andy Samberg) and Sarah (Cristin Milioti) found love in a hopeless place: a Palm Springs wedding that they’ve been forced to relive over and over again after getting stuck in a time loop. Both darkly hilarious and sweetly nihilistic, Palm Springs is a unique rom-com for those who don’t want to admit they like rom-coms.

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The 25 Greatest Time-Travel Movies Ever Made

army time travel movies

It must say something, surely, about humans, how often time-travel movies are about returning to the past rather than jumping to the future. As Mark Duplass’s forlorn character says in Safety Not Guaranteed , “The mission has to do with regret.” With all the potential to explore the unknown world of the future, so often when our minds conspire to bend the rules of time it’s instead to rehash the old. It’s compelling to watch a character in a movie do what we cannot — right past wrongs or uncover the reason for or meaning behind the events in their lives, whether they be emotionally catastrophic or merely geopolitically motivated.

So absent is the future from the canon, in fact, that when it is involved, typically future dwellers are leaving their own time to come back to the present. Back to the Future Part II aside, it seems as if there’s something about going forward in time that just doesn’t track for humans. (Of course, you could argue that this is because the present-day concept of bidirectional time travel would infinitely multiply or change beyond recognition any future that may occur, but that’s a knot for another article.)

In any case, the time-travel stories deemed worthy of Hollywood budgets aren’t always straightforward in their mechanics. Some films on this list barely qualify as time-travel movies at all; others could hardly qualify as anything else. There are movies about trips through time but also ones about the bending and fracturing and muddying thereof; then there are those about, as Andy Samberg aptly puts it in Palm Springs , “one of those infinite time-loop situations you might have heard about.” There’s even a movie in which we get only 13 seconds’ worth of time travel, when it functions more like a joke whose punch line hits at the film’s climax.

What these films all do have in common is a fascination with changing the way time works. That being said, the list leaves out movies in larger, more extended franchises in which time meddling is a one-off dalliance thrown into a sequel with little by way of foreshadowing: think Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban , Avengers: Endgame , and Men in Black III . (It also leaves off perhaps the Ur-time-travel movie, Primer , and the quite good Midnight in Paris because their directors don’t deserve the column inches.) We’re looking at self-contained stories using time mechanics from the start, with preference given to those that involve themselves more intently with the ins and outs of time travel; that ask questions about time, aging, memory and so forth; and that try to succeed at it in new and interesting ways. So let’s get to it.

25. Galaxy Quest (1999)

Does Galaxy Quest really count as a time-travel movie? Some compelling reasons argue that it doesn’t: Time travel isn’t a major factor in the plot, and the time traveling that does occur is, yes, only a 13-second jump. But its use of time travel is meaningful insofar as the movie itself is a loving spoof of Star Trek , which makes use of time travel in three films ( one of which made this list ), not to mention dozens of episodes across its various TV iterations. Tacking on time travel as a deus ex machina for the actors in a Star Trek– like show pressed into service as an actual space crew by an endangered alien race is the exact right amount of ribbing in a movie that’s as on point as it is hilarious.

Galaxy Quest is available to rent on Amazon .

24. Happy Death Day (2017)

Pick away at the surface of a time-loop movie and you find a horror movie. Most of the entries on this list are covered in enough feel-good spin to land as comedies, but Happy Death Day stares the horror of the time-loop phenomenon right in the face. (It’s also quite funny.) Reliving the same day over and over is an unimaginably potent form of psychological torture, and adding murder to the equation does little to dull that edge. The film follows a college-age protagonist struggling to escape from a masked slasher hell-bent on killing her again and again while she tries to solve the mystery of how she got stuck in a time loop.

Happy Death Day is available to rent on Amazon .

23. Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Seriously, this may be the only good movie in which the film’s whole focus is using a time machine to travel into the future. The fact that it’s a sequel is telling — the characters already traveled into the past in the first movie , and the filmmakers decided to save “traveling even further into the past“ for the third film in the trilogy. Still, Back to the Future Part II is a fun time that makes great use of sight gags and references, recasting scenes from the first film in the distant future year of 2015 with all its hoverboards and self-lacing Nikes.

Back to the Future Part II is available to rent on Amazon .

22. See You Yesterday (2019)

It’s a dirty little secret of time-travel movies that they tend to be, well, pretty white. Tenet ’s Protagonist aside, if Hollywood’s sending someone through time, they’re almost certainly not a Black person, and for obvious reasons: Most of post-contact North American history is deeply unfriendly to people of color, and the problems a person running around out of time and place is going to encounter are deeply compounded if they’ll likely be the target of racist abuse or violence — which makes See You Yesterday all the more compelling. Produced by Spike Lee and featuring one of filmdom’s most famous time travelers in a cameo role, it follows a Black teenage science prodigy who uses a time machine to try to save her brother from being killed by a police officer.

See You Yesterday is streaming on Netflix .

21. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

No offense to the Back to the Future franchise, but time travel never looks more fun on film than it does in the first Bill & Ted movie. It’s a concept that feels distinctly of a different era, so pure is its zaniness, that it’s hard to imagine anyone concocting it today. The titular duo, Californian high-school students in the ’80s, travel through the past looking for historical figures in order to ace a history project, then bring them all back to the present. High jinks ensue! We get Genghis Khan in a sporting-goods store and Mozart on an electric keyboard. What more could you want?

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is streaming on HBO Max .

20. Source Code (2011)

Time-travel-film aficionados know this won’t be Jake Gyllenhaal’s only stop on this list, but no matter. Source Code finds him repeating the same eight minutes over and over as he struggles to find the culprit in a train bombing — with each replay ending in his own death by explosion. For some reason, a romantic subplot is shoehorned into this, along with a bunch of frankly unnecessary technical mumbo-jumbo, but the core idea is a compelling mix of the time-loop movie and the train whodunit that Gyllenhaal is a perfect fit for.

Source Code is available to rent on Amazon .

19. 12 Monkeys (1995)

Some sort of law of nature dictates that every genuinely good idea and/or piece of true art has to at some point be turned into a Hollywood movie. Thank God La Jetée was adapted into something that can stand on its own feet artistically. 12 Monkeys may not retain its source material’s black-and-white look or stripped-down, static-image presentation, but it is a rollicking good time nonetheless. That’s in no small part due to director Terry Gilliam getting the best out of Bruce Willis and a young Brad Pitt, and recasting World War III as a planet-decimating virus. Which, like at least one other movie on this list , “speaks to the present moment,” or whatever.

12 Monkeys is available to rent on Amazon .

18. Run Lola Run (1998)

Unlike almost all of the other films on this list, the terms time travel and time machine don’t show up anywhere in Run Lola Run . Rather, it’s a sort of de facto time-loop scenario in which the protagonist tries repeatedly to pay a ransom to save her boyfriend’s life. In fact, if not for a few key details, it could easily be characterized (and often has been) as an alternate-endings movie rather than a time-travel film. But the fact that Lola seems to be learning from her past attempts with each successive one suggests that she is, indeed, using knowledge gained from previous loops to bring a satisfactory end to this situation.

Run Lola Run is available to rent on Amazon .

17. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

One of the most striking things about Groundhog Day is the mutability and replicability of its core conceit. Perhaps the best case in point is Edge of Tomorrow , sometimes known as Live. Die. Repeat. after its original tagline. It’s the kind of physically grueling movie only an actor as genuinely unhinged as Tom Cruise could pull off. A noncombatant thrust into a war against invading aliens, Cruise’s character finds himself reliving day one of combat over and over, slowly but surely refining his techniques in order to survive the extraterrestrial onslaught. Like the central twosome in the much less violent Palm Springs , he winds up with a partner in (war) crime, teaming up with the similarly time-trapped Emily Blunt, and the explanation for the replay glitch here is actually pretty satisfying.

Edge of Tomorrow is streaming on Fubo TV .

16. Star Trek (2009)

If you could create some sort of an advanced stat to measure controversy generated per unit of interesting filmmaking decisions, J.J. Abrams would have to be near the top in terms of his ability to rig up movie drama from almost nothing. This is a guy whose filmography is like Godzilla rip-off, Spielberg homage, safe reboot of cherished IP, repeat. Star Trek may be his best film, though, a sure-footed reinvention of a dorky sci-fi franchise that made it, well, cool. Somehow, the beauty of Spock and Kirk’s bromance being woven through chance encounters with future selves kind of … works?

Star Trek is available to rent on Amazon .

15. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

There’s a relative dearth of time travel in animated film, which perhaps is a function simply of the fact that it’s less impressive to stage in a world that’s already unreal. If you can Looney Tunes your way through physics, what’s so special about grabbing the flow of time and tying it into a bow? Still, the original Girl Who Leapt Through Time deserves mention here. It’s a beautiful story that interlaces the complexity of time leaping with the intensity of teenage emotion and the thorny process of growing up where the opportunity to redo things leads, over time, to growth — a less shitty Groundhog Day , in a way.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is available to rent on Amazon .

14. Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

She may not be the most famous, decorated, or emulated actress of her generation, but Aubrey Plaza is someone whose personality spoke to the irony-soaked 2010s in a way that simply could not be denied. Her character on Parks and Recreation , April Ludgate, was, by all accounts, created specifically to channel Plaza’s real-life personality to the screen, and she plays essentially the same character in Safety Not Guaranteed . Here, she’s a sarcastic intern at a magazine working on a story about a would-be time traveler and using her feminine wiles to slowly gain his trust. The chemistry between Plaza and Mark Duplass is probably the film’s high point; the subplot about the FBI feels like it was clipped out of a bad X-Files episode.

Safety Not Guaranteed is streaming on Tubi .

13. La Jetée (1962)

At only a 28-minute run time, La Jetée is arguably too short to merit inclusion on this list. However, what it lacks in content (and in, well, moving images; it’s almost exclusively a collection of static black-and-white shots set to voice-over), it more than makes up for in inventiveness and influence, and it would be a travesty to leave it out in favor of more recent by-the-book fare. Tracing the tale of a man held prisoner in post-WWIII Paris being used in time-travel experiments as his captors seek to remedy the postapocalyptic state of the world, he’s sent into both the future and the past and ends up unraveling a lifelong personal mystery while he’s at it.

La Jetée is streaming on the Criterion Channel .

12. Planet of the Apes (1968)

Unlike the worse but more straightforwardly time-traveling Tim Burton remake, the relationship between the original Planet of the Apes and time travel is inexact — technically, the astronaut crew that lands on the titular planet does travel forward 2,000 years, but it’s not done via a time machine. The travel isn’t instantaneous: It literally does take them 2,000 years to get there; they’re just unconscious and on life support. Still, the way the film’s ending handles the iconic reveal is exactly in line with the best of the time-travel canon, the telescoping, mise en abyme feeling of the world shifting in front of your very eyes without your moving an inch.

Planet of the Apes is available to rent on Amazon .

11. Groundhog Day (1993)

The famous Bill Murray vehicle essentially invented the infinite-time-loop genre (and it’s hardly a movie that succeeds on the strength of its concept alone), but the idea at its core is so steeped in the casual misogyny of late-’80s and early-’90s cinema that it’s hard to watch today without cringing. Murray’s character employing what amounts to PUA-style techniques over and over and over in a desperate bid to fuck his hapless co-worker just doesn’t hit the way it did back then. If the story arc didn’t present a guy detoxifying himself of the worst aspects of masculinity in order to be worthy of a woman’s love as the primary way for a 20th-century white man to achieve full personhood, this would be much higher on the list.

Groundhog Day is streaming on Starz .

10. Predestination (2014)

This is probably the most complicated film on the list. Following a “temporal agent” (played by Ethan Hawke) who’s trying to prevent a bombing in 1970s New York, it’s based on a Robert A. Heinlein short story and features Shiv Roy herself, Sarah Snook, in a star-making turn as someone with a complicated backstory and a secret. Like the best sci-fi, the film’s premise raises all kinds of fascinating questions about the titular concept and throws in some interesting musings on sex, gender, and the self in the process.

Predestination is streaming on Tubi .

9. Looper (2012)

Wes Anderson gets a lot of flak for his overwrought twee visuals, but Rian Johnson has a knack for making movies that feel and function like dioramas even if they don’t look it. Narratively speaking, everything here is constructed just so — and there’s a certain beauty in that — but who ever had a profound experience of art by looking at a diorama? Looper was probably Johnson’s least precious pre– Star Wars film, which is nice because the temptation to drastically overmaneuver the mechanics of a time-travel story can lead to disaster. The tech used to Bruce Willis–ify Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s face is distracting, and the third act’s retreat from the postapocalyptic city of the future to the postapocalyptic corn farm of the future is a brave choice that the film struggles to land. Still, Johnson’s vision of a future in which organized crime runs time travel is compelling and well worth a watch.

Looper is streaming on Netflix .

8. Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko is a bit of a genre mash-up. Part high-school movie, part sci-fi flick, part bleak meditation on the soullessness of late-’80s America, it’s nevertheless a weirdly successful piece of filmmaking that makes fantastic use of a young Jake Gyllenhaal, a great supporting cast (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Jena Malone, and Patrick Swayze among others), and an absolutely iconic haunting cover of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World.” Watching high schoolers navigate parallel universes, wormholes, and time travel is a dicey proposition, but director Richard Kelly makes it work, somehow.

Donnie Darko is streaming on HBO Max .

7. Back to the Future (1984)

While it’s clearly superior to the sequel (and leagues ahead of the final film in the trilogy), the original Back to the Future is a bit of a mess (John Mulaney was right , to be honest). Its racial and gender politics are cringey, and the incest subplot is weird (“It’s your cousin Marvin. Marvin Pornhub . You know that new plot element you’ve been looking for?”), but there’s a clear interest in time travel beyond its shimmering surface: the very real addressing of the “grandfather problem” in time travel via the slow disappearance of Marty from his family photo, the accidental invention of rock music, and a genuine curiosity about the nuts-and-bolts mechanics of time machines. Ahh, what the hell. It’s a romp.

Back to the Future is available to rent on Amazon .

6. Palm Springs (2020)

No offense to Gen-Xers and boomers, but the best time-loop movie of all time is Palm Springs . The film isn’t without its missteps, but it’s much more curious about life than Groundhog Day was through the eyes of Murray’s misanthrope. Cristin Milioti and Andy Samberg‘s characters, stuck in the loop together, are a perfect comedic match, and their shared humanity makes for a beautiful arc. The film raises questions about what’s worth doing in life when nothing lasts and how to stay sane when every day is the same. Of course, as a sort of polar opposite of Tenet , it benefited from coming out during the pandemic by speaking, as it does, to the experience of lockdown.

Palm Springs is streaming on Hulu .

5. Tenet (2020)

Interstellar wasn’t enough for Chris Nolan, apparently. Tenet ’s legacy may end up being little more than that of the COVID action movie no one saw — a bloated thriller that Nolan fought to get into theaters and bar from home viewing reportedly to swell the size of his own pockets. It really did suffer from bad timing, though, because this is genuinely a quintessential big-screen popcorn movie whose absurdity is all the more palatable when it’s given the audiovisual bombast it deserves. Ambitious in scope as it traces a war on the past by the future (yes, you read that right), Tenet is as enamored of action tropes as it is in bucking them, and its investment in rendering visible the brain-bendingly knotty mechanics of moving through time is laudable, even when the movie itself remains opaque — as impenetrable as the future, as hazy as the past.

Tenet is streaming on HBO Max .

4. The Terminator (1984)

A partner to Blade Runner in the mid-’80s invention of sci-fi noir, The Terminator is a stunning film in many ways, despite the third act’s now-iffy visual effects. While it’s not James Cameron’s debut, and it would go on to be bested by its sequel , it functions as an incredible showcase for an emerging young director who would exclusively make big stories for the rest of his career. Arnold Schwarzenegger is perfectly cast as the relentless, unemotional killer cyborg sent back from the future to terminate the mother of the eventual resistance leader, and the film’s romantic subplot has just the perfect amount of time-travel-induced cheesiness for it to work.

The Terminator is streaming on Amazon Prime Video .

3. Interstellar (2014)

It’s not inaccurate to say Christopher Nolan is a director who’s more interested in scale and scope than in expressing the minutiae of the human experience in its purest form. But in Interstellar, a Nolan movie in its titular ambitions, there’s a core element of time travel wrought not as sci-fi fireworks but as a paean to the sheer force and will of the power of love. It both does and doesn’t work, depending on your capacity for cheese in space, but even besides that, Nolan’s use of time as story arc — the way Miller’s planet functions, in particular — is conceptually masterful in the best kind of time-travel-movie way.

Interstellar is streaming on Paramount+ .

2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Whereas the franchise’s first movie spends more time on the question of time travel, in the second it takes a bit of a back seat to the action itself. It’s hard to fault director James Cameron for this decision; T2 remains one of the best action movies of the ’90s and — along with Jurassic Park and The Matrix — one of the decade’s best when for special effects. The groundbreaking T-1000 would honestly be enough to get this movie on the list; a tween John Connor grappling with questions of predestination and the fact that he is vicariously responsible for his own conception feel almost like icing on the time-travel cake. Much as in 12 Monkeys , time travel here is mistaken for delusion, as valiant Sarah Connor, in a Cassandra-esque nightmare, has to battle against the future only she knows is coming. Of course, Cassandra never had access to any firepower stored in underground desert arsenals.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day is streaming on Netflix .

1. Arrival (2016)

It’s fair to wonder whether Arrival really is, in fact, a time-travel movie. The Ted Chiang short story it’s based on isn’t about time travel per se; rather, it’s an exploration of alternate forms of temporal understanding. The linguist protagonist, played by Amy Adams, doesn’t travel through time so much as come to experience it differently. Still, the plot ends up hinging on foreknowledge that she is granted not via visions but by actually experiencing her future simultaneously with her present and past. For our purposes, though, that’s time fuckery enough to merit inclusion, and boy howdy does the film deliver in overall quality. Partly, that’s simply a question of the source material. Chiang is arguably the most talented (and possibly the most decorated) American sci-fi writer of his generation. But the source story is not especially Hollywood friendly, and director Denis Villeneuve has adopted it lovingly, borrowing a plot device from another of Chiang’s stories, the more straightforwardly time-travel-based “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate,” in order to add some third-act blockbuster flavor. The result is a beautiful meditation on love, choice, and courage that packs art-film ethos into a genuine sci-fi blockbuster.

Arrival is streaming on Hulu and Paramount+ .

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Time travel is an evergreen premise for a story. Audiences are fascinated by stories that take place in the past or future, and this is especially true if the protagonist is from the present day.

RELATED: 10 Underrated Time Travel Movies

Meddling with the timestream in any capacity can have deadly results, and there are quite a few entries in the sci-fi sub-genre that explore the dangers of time travel. For every happy ending in a time travel movie comes five more that went the other way, creating dark stories that have continued to entertain fans for years.

Updated on April 24, 2023, by Isaac Williams: Time travel as a plot device opens up all sorts of tropes, themes, and concepts that are difficult to explore in other narratives. As a result, time travel crops up again and again in movies to the delight of audiences. We've updated this list with even more amazing time travel movies.

17 Hot Tub Time Machine

In 2010's Hot Tub Time Machine, a group of friends heads out on a nostalgic trip to a beloved party spot from the eighties. Unfortunately, their vacation spot is now a run-down resort, but a special hot tub with limited time-traveling capabilities saves the day and their vacation.

John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Clark Duke played off each other for big laughs as they messed around with their own past. Hot Tob Time Machine also included a number of pop culture references that effectively established the conventional rules of time travel before putting its own spin on the sub-genre.

16 X-Men: Days Of Future Past

2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past loosely adapted the original comic storyline of the same name. Future versions of the original trilogy's cast returned to the long-running franchise to fight a war against dangerous mutant-hunting Sentinels. Wolverine goes back in time to stop the creation of the robotic threats with the help of the prequel trilogy's cast.

The futuristic scenes were a fun departure for the series, and Days of Future Past used time travel to bring the confusing continuity together. While it ultimately ended up causing quite a few inconsistencies and lasting questions that outlived the franchise, X-Men: Days of Future Past is still a great entry in the sub-genre.

Rian Johnson directed 2012's Looper, which starred Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the titular hitman. Agents from the future employ The Looper to kill and dispose of targets sent back through time. The Loopers make good money, though the career comes with a catch: the hitmen must - at some point - close their own loop by executing their future selves when they are sent back in time.

Bruce Willis played the future version of Gordon-Levitt's character, who managed to escape his fate in an attempt to try and change the future. According to Screen Rant , Gordon-Levitt wore prosthetics to better simulate his progression into the older Willis, which looked phenomenal when the two characters finally met. Looper is action-packed and developed a dark but beautiful futuristic world that still felt familiar.

14 Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

In 1989's Bill & Ted 's Excellent Adventure , two high-school best friends (Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter) dream of starting a legendary rock band. However, their dreams will fall apart if they fail their history report. Their peaceful future depends on them staying together, so George Carlin's Rufus brings a time-traveling phone booth to the Circle K back to help them save the future.

RELATED: 10 Best Teen Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

As Bill and Ted traveled through different eras to collect important historical figures for their class, the audience fell in love with the good-hearted rockers as they discovered a passion for history. The utopian future was also beautiful and teased a larger destiny for Bill and Ted that would be explored in the sequels.

Christopher Nolan directed 2020's Tenet starring John David Washington as the main character, who is never given a name. The Protagonist is a highly-trained special agent who must investigate a new technology from the future that can invert objects through time. He uncovers a deadly plot to destroy the past, present, and future.

Tenet featured beautifully-composed action scenes and mind-blowing shots of opposing forces moving in different directions through time on the same battlefield. Washington and Robert Pattinson shared great chemistry, while Elizabeth Debicki and Kenneth Branagh each delivered scene-stealing performances.

12 12 Monkeys

Bruce Willis starred alongside Madeline Stowe and Brad Pitt in Terry Gilliam's 1995 post-apocalyptic thriller 12 Monkeys . Willis played James Cole, a prisoner in a future where humanity must live underground to escape an airborne plague. He went back in time to investigate the cause of the plague and unlock the secrets of his own past.

12 Monkeys feels like a fever dream because of the frequent and confusing trips back and forth through time as Willis' Cole explored the dark mystery in the past. However, Willis and Pitt's performances helped this time travel tale achieve cult status, which later inspired a four-season-long TV series.

11 Timecrimes

2007's Timecrimes / Los cronocrímenes from writer/director Nacho Vigalondo is Spanish triller. The dizzying story follows a man who finds himself caught in a time loop with a killer whose face is wrapped in masked bandages. Héctor uses a time machine to go back in time for one hour, where he discovered the dark truth about the killer and himself.

RELATED: 10 Foreign Films That Still Need To Be Translated Into English

Timecrimes is a low-budget hit that shocked audiences with its complex but fast-paced story that explored the genre in exciting new ways. Unforgettably dark twists and a fantastic performance from Karra Elejalde helped make Timecrimes a time travel hit.

2004's Primer was a low-budget indie hit from writer-director Shane Carruth. He also stars as one of the engineers who accidentally stumbles upon a way to travel back in time for a few hours each day. Carruth's Aaron and David Sullivan's Abe begin to experiment with their discovery, but things quickly become convoluted and a dangerous side effect of the time travel takes a toll on their bodies.

Primer doesn't dumb down the science or shy away from mathematical discussions, but the complexities of the story pay off with a jaw-dropping finale. While Primer doesn't always make sense, it still stands out as one of the best time travel movies ever made.

9 Terminator 2: Judgment Day

James Cameron returned to direct 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day , the sequel to his horror hit from the '80s . A new Terminator with advanced technology heads to the past to kill the future leader of humanity's resistance. Meanwhile, Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator returned to the franchise to protect the teenager who will, one day, defend the future.

Many fans consider Terminator 2: Judgment Day as the gold standard for a movie sequel. It was the first sequel in the long-running sci-fi franchise, but it continues to impress audiences with ground-breaking special effects that still hold up today.

8 Star Trek: First Contact

Star Trek is one of science fiction's oldest and most storied franchises. It has explored almost every trope the genre has to offer, including time travel. Star Trek: First Contact centers around time travel when the Enterprise crew travel back in time to prevent Borg interference.

RELATED: Every Star Trek Series, Ranked By IMDb

Star Trek: First Contact doesn't do anything revolutionary with the time travel premise or examine it from a scientific lens. Nonetheless, fans still consider it one of the best Star Trek films ever. Enterprise's fight against the Borg embodies the best moments and stories from Star Trek: The Next Generation .

7 Army Of Darkness

The Evil Dead franchise is unlike most time travel stories because it isn't science fiction. Army of Darkness is a pulpy comedy-horror movie that uses time travel as its central premise. It follows on from the cliffhanger ending of Evil Dead II, as Ash Williams finds himself trapped in the Middle Ages after his last fight with Deadites.

Army of Darkness uses Ash's circumstances for both drama and comedy. His main goal is to return to the present day, and his futuristic knowledge and tools are vital to the Deadites' defeat. At the same time, his outsider nature and unconventional persona lead to plenty of jokes. While Army of Darkness doesn't take time travel seriously, the movie is all the better for it.

6 Interstellar

Many time travel films play fast and loose with the laws of physics, which is a necessity for most of the genre. However, Interstellar sets itself apart by being as accurate as possible. The movie tries to explore and justify several different kinds of time travel through a scientific lens.

Interstellar focuses on the quest to find a habitable planet as Earth loses the ability to support human life. Protagonist Cooper explores several worlds orbiting the black hole Gargantua. The film explores realistic time travel through time dilation, and later more speculative means enabled by humanity's advanced descendants. Instellar is visually stunning , compelling, and many experts' favorite sci-fi film.

5 Avengers: Endgame

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the most popular and successful entertainment franchises ever. The closest it has to a single climactic moment is Avengers: Endgame , which wraps up many long-running plot threads and bids farewell to many beloved characters.

RELATED: 15 Ways Avengers: Endgame Is Still The Best MCU Movie

In Avengers: Endgame , the titular team travels back in time to undo Thanos' crushing victory in Avengers: Infinity War . Unlike most cases, they don't try to change the past. Instead, they try to gather the Infinity Stones in the present day. Endgame is a cultural touchstone, a film that may define a generation of cinema.

4 Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day features an unusual variant of time travel. Protagonist Phil Connors finds himself repeating the same day over and over again while he lives in a small town and works a job he hates. He goes through countless iterations of that day, unable to find any way to leave town or move on with his life.

Groundhog Day is a magical realism romantic comedy , but it's so much more than that. Its time-loop plot has left its mark on pop culture and inspired countless other films. Between jokes, the film also has some genuine insights into social interaction, the power of every person's choices, and the human condition as a whole.

2 Planet Of The Apes

Planet of the Apes is an unusual time travel film because it doesn't reveal its time travel plot until the very end. Planet of the Apes's events take place many years in Earth's future, but the characters believe themselves to be on another world in the present.

Planet of the Apes is a sci-fi classic for a reason. Its premise is instantly gripping, and it delicately sprinkles philosophical themes throughout its narrative. Its final plot twist, which the audience only knows about because of a ruined Statue of Liberty, is one of the best twist endings ever made.

1 Back To The Future

The first Back to the Future movie hit theaters in 1985 and starred Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, a high school student who is friends with the brilliant Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd. The first test of the Delorean time machine results in Marty traveling 30 years into the past. He then accidentally interferes with the lives of his teen parents, which threatens his own existence.

Back to the Future was a huge hit and was quickly followed with two more successful entries. The time-travel mechanics even established a set of rules that influenced other sci-fi movies. This, combined with the impressive performances, makes Back to the Future the best time-travel movie .

NEXT: 10 Funniest Time Travel Comedy Movies

  • Back to the Future (1985)

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  • › Best Movies Ever

The 37 Best Time Travel Movies Ever, Ranked

Marty McFly, Mr. Spock, and Austin Powers are some of the big screen's most popular time travelers ever. The time travel movie is a genre full of hits ("Looper"), misfires "Timecop"), and a few entries that should have been bigger deals, like "About Time," which celebrates its 5th anniversary this year. Revisit that hidden gem see how it ranks on our list of the greatest time travel movies ever.

37. 'Meet the Robinsons' (2007)

It took Disney a while to reclaim its spot as king of the animation hill in the 21st Century, but "Meet the Robinsons" was an important step towards reclaiming that old magic. What it lacks in story it makes up for in imagination and visuals.

36. 'Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me' (1999)

The second entry in the Austin Powers movie flips the script, dragging Mike Myers' randy secret agent back to the '60s in order to save the world. But if anything, this sequel is really Dr. Evil's show, with the eccentric supervillain and his diminutive sidekick Mini-Me delivering some of the movie's biggest laughs.

35. 'Idiocracy' (2006)

When an army librarian is frozen in suspended animation for 500 years, he learns that the society of the future is a wasteland of idiocy and celebrity worship. While barely noticed upon its original release, "Idiocracy" has developed a sizable cult following over the years. That's because it has turned out to be a far more prescient film than anyone could have anticipated.

34. 'Interstellar' (2014)

More flawed than some of Christopher Nolan's other epic blockbusters, "Interstellar" is certainly a compelling glimpse of humanity's possible future. The painstaking attention paid to the nature of black holes and the effects of relativistic time travel show that the thrill of exploring space comes with a heavy price.

33. 'Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery' (1997)

Austin Powers cam along at just the right time. The James Bond franchise was currently suffering through one of its lowest points ever, making the prospect of a hilarious Bond spoof all the more appealing. The added time travel element only makes this comedy that much more entertaining, as Mike Myers' goofball secret agent finds himself coming to terms with modern society.

32. 'Hot Tub Time Machine' (2010)

"Hot Tub Time Machine" is further proof that time travel and comedy go hand-in-hand. This film follows a group of depressed, 40-something men who accidentally turn a hotel hot tub into a vehicle to travel back to their high school days. Naturally, it isn't long before the realize that there's no recapturing the past.

31. 'Timecop' (1994)

This modest 1994 hit is either JCD's best or worst movie, depending on which fan you ask. The inspired concept, based on a Dark Horse comic, deserves better big-screen adaptation. But damn it if the Muscles From Brussels doesn't deliver some surprising emotional resonance when he's not doing splits in kitchens.

30. 'Predestination' (2014)

Ethan Hawke has always shown uncommonly good judgment when it comes to starring in genre movies, and that holds true for this 2014 entry. "Predestination" crams in all the twists and turns time travel fans could ever hope for (and then some), but it's really the film's combination of intelligence and finely honed characters that helps it stand out.

29. 'The Time Machine' (1960)

The original (and, so far, best) adaptation of H.G. Wells' classic novel inspired so many of the genre's finest. Its story of an inventor from Victorian England, flung into the distant future and caught in the middle of the Morlocks' efforts to enslave and feed on the Eloi, is rife with thematic issues still relevant today.

28. 'Flight of the Navigator' (1986)

Back in the days when Disney still made live-action movies that weren't remakes or sequels, "Flight of the Navigator" offered a family-friendly take on the time travel movie. Joey Cramer delivers a winning performance here as a 12-year-old boy accidentally dragged eight years into the future by an alien spaceship.

27. 'Back to the Future Part II' (1989)

The middle act of the "Back to the Future" trilogy is -- from a story standpoint -- its weakest link. Don't get us wrong - the early portions of the movie where Marty McFly encounters life at what was then the distant future of 2015 are a real hoot. But the movie never quite lives up to that standard once the main plot kicks in.

26. 'Time After Time' (1979)

From the writer and director of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," this adaptation pits "Time Machine" author H.G. Wells against Jack the Ripper, as the latter escapes to the future (of the now-dated 1979) to continue his murder spree. Yes, the cheesy effects are super date, but the comical "out of time" tone and performances make this one a winner.

25. 'The Girl Who Leapt Through Time' (2006)

Who says time travel movies have to be limited to the Western film world? This 2006 Japanese animated movie works wonders with the concept. It's a charming coming-of-age story about a girl who discovers her time travel abilities and sets about trying to improve her life, with unintended consequences.

24. 'Donnie Darko' (2001)

This cult fave is full of time-bending, reality-shaking ideas that will leave you with a headache and loving it.

23. 'Time Bandits' (1981)

Terry Gilliam's directorial career has seen plenty of ups and downs, but this 1981 fantasy film is easily one of his most satisfying post-Monty Python projects. It follows an ordinary boy unexpectedly dragged through time by a ragtag band of dwarves. The humor and imagination on display here make for a very satisfying, family-friendly romp.

22. 'Star Trek' (2009)

J.J. Abrams' most entertaining, and complete, blockbuster finds a rebooted crew of the Enterprise dealing with time travel and alternate reality as Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy) crosses paths with this untested, younger version of the crew he made history with.

21. 'Timecrimes' (2007)

One of the great things about time travel movies is that they can be done on a shoestring budget if the director is clever enough. That's definitely the case with this 2007 Spanish film. Its low budget trappings do nothing to limit its appeal, with the film focusing on a man stuck in a time loop who must wipe his alternate selves out of existence.

20. 'Back to the Future Part III' (1990)

Universal made fans wait a whole year to see how the story of Marty McFly and Doc Brown would resolve itself, and the conclusion to the trilogy didn't disappoint. "Part III" finds amusing new spins on the series' tropes by flashing back to the Wild West days and finally bringing the whole story full circle.

19. 'Army of Darkness' (1992)

The "Evil Dead" franchise veered in a wildly different direction for Part 3, sending Ash Williams back to medieval times to rally peasants against a Deadite invasion. It's a much sillier film than its predecessors, but one full of neat stop-motion animation, great one-liners and a generally kooky atmosphere.

18. 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' (2014)

Hot off the crossover success of "The Avengers," the X-Men finally saw one of their most popular comics stories adapted to the big screen. With Wolverine forced to reach back to the past to save his fellow X-Men from a very Sentinel-infested future, "Future Past" is a fun epic (that falls short in the scale of its third act) that bridges the "First Class" cast with their original counterparts. And that final scene is just *chef's kiss.

17. 'Source Code' (2011)

Director Doug Jones cemented himself as one of the best new voices in sci-fi thanks to this high-concept thriller. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a man plugged into a device that allows him to relive the last eight minutes of another person's life. The purpose being to prevent a catastrophic terror attack, lending an extra touch of urgency to the plot.

16. 'About Time' (2013)

Who says you can't use time travel as fodder for a romantic comedy. "About Time" proves it's a great way to shape up a normally formulaic genre, with Domhnall Gleason starring as a man who discovers having the power to rewrite his own history isn't all it's cracked up to be.

15. 'Star Trek: First Contact' (1996)

"First Contact" is a sequel to both "The Next Generation's" first movie ("Generations") and their finest hour ("Best of Both Worlds"), as Captain Picard must go full Ahab on a vengeful quest to stop the Borg, a race of cybernetic beings that once tried to assimilate Picard. He and his crew must travel to the past, on the eve of the titular event that spawns the Federation, in order to stop the Borg from destroying "Star Trek" itself. The entertaining hit is one of the franchise's most accessible features, thanks to Jonathan Frakes' feature directorial debut and a fast-paced script from veteran Trek writers Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore.

14. 'Run Lola Run' (1998)

"Run Lola Run" is a stylish and very efficient thriller about a girl who has only 20 minutes to steal 100,000 Deutsche Marks and save her boyfriend's life. The twist being that death is only an opportunity to relive those 20 minutes all over again.

13. 'Primer' (2004)

Time travel can be confusing if you stop to think about the rules and ramifications for very long. Most movies simply ignore that, but "Primer" is all about treating time travel as a logical, complex science. It may take a few viewings to really get a grasp on the story being told here, but it's a film that rewards perseverance.

12. 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' (2004)

Time travel doesn't have to be limited to the sci-fi realm. This "Harry Potter" sequel proves it works just as well in the context of pure fantasy. The entire climax of "Prisoner of Azkaban" revolves around a magical device that allows Harry and Hermione the chance to rewrite wrongs at Hogwarts and spare an innocent man's life.

11. 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure' (1989)

This 1989 comedy introduced us to one of the all-time great Dynamic Duos of film. "Bill and Ted" is time travel at its most fun, with our two bumbling heroes traveling throughout history to gather famous figures who can help them pass their history project. And in the process, they might just make the world a more excellent place.

10. 'Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home' (1984)

Yup, the one with the Whales. Trek's biggest theatrical hit until 2009's J.J. Abrams movie. And you can see why, thanks this charming and hilarious race-against-the-clock to save the 23rd century from a probe seeking the song of a mammal long extinct. So Kirk and Spock slingshot around the sun (naturally) to go back in time to 1986 San Francisco. There, they must find two humpback whales, bring them back to the future in their stolen Klingon ship, and make plenty of LOL moments ("double-dumbass on you!") along the way. It's a perfect movie, no matter the genre.

9. 'Looper' (2012)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's make-up is more distracting than convincing in his portrayal of an assassin whose targets come to him via time travel -- an assassin who grows up to look like Bruce Willis. But the film's heady ideas and grounded take on breaking the laws of physics have earned it a popular spot among fans. (Despite the forced-in-there side plot involving a telekenetic kid destined to become super evil in the future.)

8. '12 Monkeys' (1995)

Terry Gillium's "warts-and-all" approach to time travel is unlike anything we have ever seen before in the genre. Which, in 1995, was an inviting and inspired take as time traveler Cole (Bruce Willis) chases down the Army of the 12 Monkeys in the past before they unleash a hell plague on Earth that infects the future. The film scored Brad Pitt a much-deserved Oscar nom for Best Supporting Actor.

7. 'Edge of Tomorrow' (2014)

Tom Cruise's funniest performance since "Jerry Maguire" is also one of his best, as he finds himself as a selfish Army PR guy who becomes a selfless super soldier in a war between an alien species that requires him to live and die the same day over and over again. The effortless chemistry between him and costar Emily Blunt, coupled with an inventive script rewritten by Christopher McQuarrie, make this underrated blockbuster a must-see.

6. 'Groundhog Day' (1993)

"Don't drive angry!" is just one of the many quotable lines in this Bill Murray classic, which popularized the sub-genre of time travel where people get caught in a repeating loop of time.

5. 'The Terminator' (1984)

Rarely has a sci-fi movie used the concept time travel to such strong effect. "The Terminator" introduced us to Sarah Connor, a woman key to saving the world from a futuristic machine uprising, but only if she can survive the relentless onslaught of a time-traveling android who favors phased plasma rifles in the 40-watt range.

4. 'Arrival' (2016)

Amy Adams will break your heart with her fierce and emotional portrayal of an expert linguist charged with discovering a way to communicate with an alien species whose non-linear means of communication literally cause our hero to fold space-time. The film's strong themes hinged on memory and loss and how the two can become one's present -- no matter how long ago we grieved -- make "Arrival" much deserving of its several Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture.

3. 'Planet of the Apes' (1968)

As one of the greatest science fiction movie of all time, "Planet of the Apes" also features one of the best time travel-related twists in pop culture history. Viewers are led to believe that Charlton Heston's heroic astronaut has traveled to a distant world where sentient apes rule over humankind. But by the end, he realizes he traveled a long way just to make it back to a post-apocalyptic Earth.

2. 'T2' (1991)

James Cameron pretty much remakes his first film, with a bigger budget, and a deeper exploration of humanity in the eyes of a time-traveling murderbot. The end result is a blockbuster that revolutionized the industry, special effects, and blockbuster filmmaking for decades to come.

1. 'Back to the Future' (1985)

In the end, there's really no topping the original "Back to the Future" series for sheer fun and entertainment value. This is one of the defining films of the '80s, with Michael J. Fox's Marty McFly embarking on a thoroughly satisfying trip back to 1955, saving his family and inventing a whole musical genre. We just don't see anyone topping this trilogy, even if they have all the time machines in the world.

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10 best time travel movies of all time, ranked

Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise face each other while wearing mech suits in Edge of Tomorrow.

Time travel movies may all share a core premise, but there’s a surprising variety of films that explore different ideas within the genre. Characters being transported through time can be caught in action-packed adventures, romantic entanglements, and even philosophical loops that can change the trajectories of their lives.

10. About Time (2013)

9. idiocracy (2006), 8. looper (2012), 7. your name (2016), 6. edge of tomorrow (2014).

  • 5. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

4. 12 Monkeys (1995)

3. terminator 2: judgment day (1991), 2. groundhog day (1993), 1. back to the future (1985).

From the underrated sci-fi romance flick About Time , to the beloved ’80s classic Back to the Future , the best time travel movies explore the countless possibilities that arise when characters are flung through the past, present, and future. The greatest entries in the genre range from silly mindless comedies to hard-hitting emotional movies, ensuring that there’s a perfect time travel film for every type of viewer.

About Time follows Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson), who, on his 21st birthday, learns a family secret from his father, James Lake ( Love Actually ‘s Bill Nighy). The men in the Lake family inherit the ability to time travel, which Tim immediately uses to improve his life in tiny, but crucial ways, particularly his romantic involvement with Mary (Rachel McAdams). He soon learns that time travel doesn’t make him immune to heartache and troubles, though.

  • 10 best PG-rated movies streaming right now

Director Richard Curtis’ romantic sci-fi drama weaves a beautiful and surprisingly tearjerking tale that underscores the importance of the small details that make life worth living. The time travel element is used to highlight Tim’s evolving relationships with his partner, friends, and family, as well as what those connections teach him. About Time reminds viewers to embrace the fleeting and imperfect moments that often end up becoming the most cherished memories.

Director Mike Judge’s comedic sci-fi satire revolves around an average Joe serving as a U.S. Army librarian, who’s selected to participate in a top secret military experiment that goes wrong. Chosen for being the “most average individual” in the military, Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson) is put in hibernation alongside a woman, Rita (Maya Rudolph). They’re forgotten about and eventually wake up in the year 2505, where the intellectual bar has plummeted, making Joe the smartest person on earth.

Idiocracy is a hilarious, yet unsettling satire that shows the extreme consequences of consumerism and capitalism. The future it portrays is dominated by ads and low-brow pop culture consumed by an anti-intellectual population. Joe’s basic suggestions like not watering crops with a popular sports drink end up transforming the nation, making his unintentional trip through time a positive one. Although this film wasn’t received well when it first premiered, the box office bomb has become a cult classic with a dedicated fan base today.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a hired gun in director Rian Johnson’s Looper , which is set in a future world where time travel technology exists. Only the wealthy criminal organizations from the future have access to it, though, and they use it to eliminate their targets by sending them to the past, where “loopers” like Joe kill them. When Joe’s boss “closes the loop” by sending the protagonist’s future self (played by Bruce Willis) back in time, his present version can’t bring himself to shoot him.

Although its logic is shaky at times, Looper mostly achieves what it set out to do, which is be an engrossing action-thriller that also touches on the cyclical nature of time. The film is bolstered by fantastic performances and the obvious chemistry between its leads, Gordon-Levitt and Willis, who masterfully play the roles of two different versions of the same man.

In director Makoto Shinkai’s visually stunning anime Your Name , two high school students form a mysterious cosmic connection despite having never met. Mitsuha Miyamizu (Mone Kamishiraishi) and Taki Tachibana (Ryunosuke Kamiki) wake up one day to find themselves in each other’s rooms, with the sudden body swap initially leading to chaos and then unexpected joyful moments in their lives. They eventually learn the true reason for their unique situation.

A gorgeous and moving combination of fantasy and romance, Your Name chronicles the unlikely relationship that forms between the two main characters as they fall in love with each other with every new day of body swapping. It would be impossible to discuss the movie’s time-bending twist without spoiling its well-written plot, but audiences who are fans of anime films should definitely consider the modern classic essential viewing.

Edge of Tomorrow sees a future version of Earth that’s overrun by seemingly invincible aliens. Tom Cruise stars as Major William Cage, an inexperienced soldier who’s assigned to a suicide mission that almost immediately kills him. Instead of actually dying, Cage ends up in a time loop where he uses what he learns about the aliens to plot against them, even if that means dying over and over again.

Alongside Emily Blunt, who plays the role of the equally determined Sergeant Rita Vrataski, Cage embarks on a relentless quest to find the aliens’ weakness. It becomes impossible not to root for the determined Cage, who endures one brutal death after another alongside his team of brave soldiers, especially as the action sequences and accompanying special effects escalate and build toward an explosive conclusion.

5. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

Before Keanu Reeves was an action star , he starred in the movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure , a wacky time travel comedy and adventure flick. The film follows the two titular high school friends, Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Reeves), whose desperation to pass their history class leads to their encounter with a time traveler, Rufus (George Carlin). The duo uses Rufus’s time machine to travel to different points in history and meet significant figures who can help them with their crucial presentation for the class.

Director Stephen Herek’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is silly in the best way, with the film never taking itself too seriously and piling on one absurd plot point after another. Its protagonists’ meetings with historical figures like Napoleon Bonaparte, Billy the Kid, and even Joan of Arc are often gut-busting, as Bill and Ted end up involved in those individuals’ most important actions.

Director Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys portrays a postapocalyptic future where a plague has wiped out most of the population. The surviving humans are confined in bunkers and scientists decide to send the criminal James Cole (Bruce Willis) back to the 1990s to learn more about how the disease started. After an excruciating trip, James lands in a mental health facility for claiming to be from the future. There, he meets the paranoid Jeffrey (Brad Pitt), who’s about to play an important role in releasing the virus.

12 Monkeys is a gritty and chaotic film in the best way possible, with James and Jeffrey’s frenetic interactions effectively building dread as they slowly reveal more about humanity’s fate. Bruce Willis gives an amazing performance as the confused, tortured, and terrified protagonist, whose limited perspective defines what audiences know and don’t know about the origin of the man-made virus.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day is often used as an example of a sequel that’s better than the original , and for good reason. The stakes are higher than ever before in director James Cameron’s legendary sci-fi action classic, which has the original Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) returning from the future, this time to protect Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), as well as her son, John (Edward Furlong). The trio are pursued by another Skynet Terminator, whose task to kill the future leader of the human resistance endangers humanity’s fate.

The incredible sequel is considered not just the best from the franchise, but one of the greatest sci-fi and action movies ever made. Its groundbreaking use of special effects has helped it age well, not to mention its flawlessly choreographed action sequences and endlessly quotable lines like “Come with me if you want to live!” and “Hasta la vista, baby.”

Director Harold Ramis’s Groundhog Day is the quintessential time loop movie that everyone should see at least once. The comedy-fantasy film stars Bill Murray as the cynical and self-centered weatherman Phil Connors, who’s assigned to cover the Groundhog Day events in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. While there, Phil finds himself suddenly and inexplicably trapped in a time loop, forced to relive the same day over and over again.

Groundhog Day may be a comedy, but it won over audiences with its philosophical message, which reveals itself as Phil goes through various emotions in the process of repeating the same day. The ordinary is transformed into the extraordinary as the protagonist finally stops to notice the small things that make life beautiful. Murray is perfectly cast as the weatherman whose predicament soon teaches him more than a few valuable lessons, and his excellent performance also proved that the comedy star could take on more serious roles, too.

One of the best sci-fi movies of the ’80s , Back to the Future is a nostalgic classic that needs no introduction. Director Robert Zemeckis’ enduring time travel adventure is centered on California teen Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), who accidentally ends up in 1955 after testing out Doc Brown’s (Christopher Lloyd) time-traveling DeLorean. While there, he runs into young versions of his parents and mistakenly prevents them from falling for each other, which threatens Marty’s existence.

The influential flick is likely the first film many think of when considering the greatest time travel movies ever. It’s just an entertaining film with a well-executed story that relies heavily on the performances and chemistry of Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, whose characters would become pop culture icons. The original Back to the Future would also go on to spawn a successful franchise that continues Marty and Doc Brown’s story in exciting ways.

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Hannah Saab

The Florida Panthers take aim at the first Stanley Cup in franchise history when they face off against the Edmonton Oilers in Game 4 of the finals tonight. The Oilers are not only trying to keep their season alive, they're trying to avoid history, as a win for the Panthers would mark the first sweep in the Stanley Cup finals since 1998.

Game 4, potentially the final game of the Stanley Cup, starts soon, at 8 p.m. ET. It will be televised on ABC in the United States, but if you're looking for ways to stream the NHL playoffs without cable, here are some options for watching a live stream of the Panthers vs Oilers. Is there a free Panthers vs Oilers Game 4 live stream?

Gervonta "Tank" Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) is making his long awaited return to the ring this weekend. In June of 2023 he got a decisive win over Ryan Garcia in the highest-selling PPV event since Mayweather-McGregor. Garcia took a knee after a crippling liver shot and couldn't beat the count. Davis has since spent a short stint in prison, which calls into question his readiness for the fight. Frank Martin (18-0, 12 KOs) is undefeated and may try to take advantage of Davis' long layoff.

The co-feature fight sees David Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs), the undefeated super middleweight who has long sought a fight with Canelo Alvarez, step up to the light heavyweight division and challenge Oleksandr Gvozdyk (20-1, 16 KOs) for the WBC Interim belt. Gvozdyk's only defeat was to Artur Beterbiev, another potential opponent for Benavidez if he wins tonight and decides to stay in the light heavyweight division.

Netflix's Black Stories collection makes it easier to find the best Black movies on Netflix right now. But with any collection on the streaming giant, you can expect to spend some time searching to find something that really appeals to you. To help you out, we've narrowed down the library in this list that we update monthly.

This June, Will Smith's Oscar-nominated performance as legendary boxer Muhammad Ali in biopic Ali hits the platform, while critical indie hit Tangerine also joins the list.

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10 best time travel comedies, ranked.


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10 Trippiest Sci-Fi Books Of All Time

I am 100% not ready for robert pattinson's upcoming cult favorite horror remake, star wars' first padme & anakin image dates back to 1993, six years before the prequels began.

  • Time travel has been a great vehicle for comedy in movies, allowing stories to take audiences to alternate realities and fantastical settings.
  • Movies like About Time, Men in Black 3, and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me use time travel as a trope for comedic effect.
  • Back to the Future is considered the greatest time travel comedy ever made, with its well-matched lead duo and cleverly crafted script.

From classics like Back to the Future and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure to underrated gems like Midnight in Paris and Peggy Sue Got Married , time travel has been used as a great vehicle for comedy in movies. Based on the laws of physics as they are understood today, time travel is impossible, so a real-life time machine probably won’t get invented any time soon (and if it was going to be invented at all, they probably would’ve come back here by now). But on the big screen, anything is possible. The magic of the movies has taken audiences to alternate realities, galaxies far, far away, and lawless dystopian societies.

The magic of the movies has also taken audiences back to the distant past, forward into the distant future, and returned to a drastically altered present. Time travel stories have mixed in all kinds of genres. Totally Killer mixes a time travel movie with an ‘80s slasher movie. Time After Time uses the time travel device for a quirky cat-and-mouse thriller about H.G. Wells chasing Jack the Ripper across contemporary San Francisco. And in movies like About Time , Men in Black 3 , and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me , the time travel trope has been played for laughs.

RELATED: 10 Things Movies Always Get Wrong About Time Travel

10 Army Of Darkness

Sam raimi, 1992.

At the end of the gonzo slapstick horror opus that is Evil Dead II , Sam Raimi left his deadite-slaying hero Ash Williams stranded in the Middle Ages. The delayed Evil Dead threequel , Army of Darkness , follows up on this zany cliffhanger as Ash attempts to get back to his own time. Some fans of this gleefully gory franchise were disappointed by the lighter tone of Army of Darkness , but the wacky humor, surreal visuals, and Bruce Campbell’s typically spectacular performance go a long way toward redeeming that lighter tone.

9 Deadpool 2

David leitch, 2018.

After his first solo movie got his origin story out of the way, the Merc with a Mouth took on time-traveling baddie Cable in Deadpool 2 . Cable comes back from a post-apocalyptic future to kill the mutant who murdered his family. Meanwhile, Deadpool, in an attempt to be a better superhero, would rather prevent that dark fate by helping the kid become less toxic. When Deadpool gets his hands on Cable’s time-traveling wristwatch, he dives into some of the most fun time-traveling antics ever put on-screen: he rewrites the movie and kills his own actor, Ryan Reynolds, before he signs on to star in Green Lantern .

8 About Time

Richard curtis, 2013.

Richard Curtis added a time travel element to his usual romcom formula in About Time . Domhnall Gleeson plays Tim Lake, who discovers that the men in his family have the ability to travel through time. He initially uses this ability to win the heart of the love of his life, played by Rachel McAdams, but then he goes down the slippery slope of trying to alter his past to improve his future. Thanks to Curtis’ sincere direction and Gleeson and McAdams’ committed performances (not to mention the great Bill Nighy as Tim’s time-traveling dad), About Time is as heartbreaking as it is hilarious.

7 Men In Black 3

Barry sonnenfeld, 2012.

After the first Men in Black sequel was criticized for rehashing all the best jokes from the first movie, Men in Black 3 pushed the boat out with a brand-new story involving time travel. Agent J (Will Smith) is sent back to prevent the assassination of his partner Agent K – which, in turn, will save the Earth. Josh Brolin gives a pitch-perfect performance as a younger Agent K, beautifully capturing all of Tommy Lee Jones’ gruff mannerisms (and his beloved dynamic with Smith).

6 Midnight In Paris

Woody allen, 2011.

During a trip to the French capital, nostalgic writer Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) gets the chance to meet his literary idols when his late-night walks magically take him back to the 1920s in Midnight in Paris . He gets to rub shoulders with such icons as Ernest Hemingway (played by Corey Stoll in a spot-on impression), Salvador Dalí, and Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Gertrude Stein gives him notes on his debut novel. The story of Midnight in Paris is a dream-come-true scenario for lovers of art and literature , and Wilson plays the starstruck fanboy role to perfection.

5 Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Jay roach, 1999.

After being cryogenically frozen to pursue the quotable Dr. Evil into the ‘90s in the first Austin Powers movie, Austin followed Dr. Evil back to the ‘60s in the sequel, The Spy Who Shagged Me . This is one of the most hilariously self-aware time travel comedies as it excuses its own nonsensical plotting. When Austin questions the paradoxes of time travel, Basil Exposition tells him, “ Don’t worry about those things and just enjoy yourself, ” then turns to the camera and tells the audience, “ That goes for you all, too! ”

4 Peggy Sue Got Married

Francis ford coppola, 1986.

A middle-aged woman on the verge of a messy divorce, played by Kathleen Turner, gets a chance at a redo when she attends her 25-year high school reunion and gets magically transported back to her senior year in Peggy Sue Got Married . She ends up falling in love with her husband Charlie, played by an early-career Nicolas Cage, all over again as she remembers why she married him in the first place. Whereas most time travel movies have a sci-fi bent, Francis Ford Coppola directs Peggy Sue Got Married with the sweet, sentimental magic of a Frank Capra fable .

3 Hot Tub Time Machine

Steve pink, 2010.

Hot Tub Time Machine is a million times better than a movie called Hot Tub Time Machine has any right to be . It revolves around a group of disillusioned middle-aged friends who go to the ski resort they used to frequent as youngsters, get drunk in a hot tub, and wake up to find that they’ve traveled back in time to the ‘80s. The script is jam-packed with self-aware humor and jokes about the characters’ knowledge of the future, and it’s also a surprisingly poignant exploration of aging and regrets and midlife crises and second chances.

2 Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

Stephen herek, 1989.

Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter star as the titular high school slackers in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure . Since their rock music will one day save the world, Bill and Ted are given a time machine to help with their history report, so Ted won’t be sent to military school. The movie has a ton of great gags involving historical figures like Genghis Khan and Joan of Arc adjusting to the modern world. Reeves and Winter’s effortless on-screen chemistry makes Bill and Ted endlessly lovable, and their philosophy of “ Be excellent to each other ” is refreshingly wholesome.

1 Back To The Future

Robert zemeckis, 1985.

By far the greatest time travel comedy ever made – the unbeatable masterpiece against which every time travel movie will forever be judged – is Back to the Future . When Marty McFly is accidentally sent back to 1955, he has to ensure his parents get together so he’s not erased from existence while teaming up with the younger version of his friend Doc Brown , the inventor of the time machine, so he’s not stranded in the past. With its well-matched lead duo of Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd and its airtight script full of clever setups and payoffs, Back to the Future is the go-to example of a perfect movie.

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The 30 Best Time Travel Movies to Stream Right Now (That Aren’t ‘Back to the Future’)

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Whenever there's a debate about the best time travel movies or television shows of all time, nine times out of ten, the person you're debating will mention the 1985 classic,  Back the Future . And for good reason. Considered one of the best films ever made, the sci-fi flick paved the way for countless other time travel and  adventure films  that followed. But as much as I enjoy following Marty McFly’s adventures with Doc, there are other great time travel flicks that deserve your attention, too, from Somewhere in Time to The Butterfly Effect.

Whether you’re looking for new titles that explore different time travel theories or you’re just in the mood for a good fantasy, here are 30 stellar time travel films you can stream right now.

These 20 Must-Watch Action Movies on Prime Video Will Have Your Heart Racing

1. ‘Tenet’ (2020)

Who's in it?  John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki, Robert Pattinson, Kenneth Branagh

Run time:  150 minutes

John David Washington stars as a skilled CIA agent who can manipulate time in this fast-paced sci-fi thriller. Throughout the film, we follow the agent as he attempts to protect the world from future threats that want to destroy it. The film was directed by Christopher Nolan, best known for Memento and Inception , so prepare to be as wowed as I was when watched this movie for the first time. I don't believe Tenet got the credit it truly deserved for being such a complex film loaded with twists and turns. But you know, sometimes movies are appreciated years after they come out, and I think that will be the case with this one.

2. ‘Déjà Vu’ (2006)

Who's in it?  Denzel Washington, Val Kimmer, Paula Patton, Jim Caviezel, Adam Goldberg, Bruce Greenwood

Run time:  126 minutes

As if we needed any more proof that talent runs in the Washington family, Denzel Washington gives a noteworthy performance in this action film, which follows an ATF agent who travels back in time to stop a domestic terrorist attack and save the woman he loves. Sit back and prepare to be amazed, thanks in no small part to other stellar performances from Paula Patton, Val Kilmer, Erika Alexander and Elle Fanning. Also, this is hands down my favorite Denzel Washington movie of all-time, which is saying something since his catalog is so robust, but the flashback scenes and the piecing together you have to do to keep up is insane. It's also an underrated performance from Washington in my opinion.

3. ‘Will You Be There?’ (2016)

Who's in it?  Kim Yoon-seok, Byun Yo-han, Kim Sang-ho, Chae Seo-jin

Run time:  111 minutes

This South Korean fantasy revolves around a surgeon who doesn't have much time left to live because of his deteriorating health. His dying wish? To be able to see his true love, who passed away 30 years ago. Fortunately for him, he receives 10 pills that allow him to travel back in time.

4. ‘24’ (2016)

Who's in it?  Suriya, Nithya Menen, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Saranya Ponvannan

Run time:  164 minutes

When Sethuraman (Suriya), a brilliant scientist, invents a watch that allows people to time travel, his evil twin brother wastes no time in trying to get his hands on it. When it falls into the hands of Sethuraman’s son, Mani (Suriya), he has no choice but to go up against his devious uncle. Expect a whole lot of action sequences (and a few musical numbers too!).

5. ‘Interstellar’ (2014)

Who's in it?  Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Matt Damon

Run time:  167 minutes

To be fair, this one feels more like a sci-fi space movie, but it does have some time travel elements and viewers will be blown away by the thrilling scenes and thought-provoking plot. Set in the year 2067, where humanity is struggling to survive, Interstellar tells the story of a group of volunteers who travel through a wormhole near Saturn, hoping to find a safer world in a distant galaxy. The star-studded cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Matt Damon, and its 167 minute runtime made it the longest IMAX presentation ever at the time of its release.

6. ‘12 Monkeys’ (1995)

Who's in it?  Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Christopher Plummer

Run time: 129 minutes

Nearly four decades after a deadly virus gets released, destroying nearly all of humankind, James Cole (Bruce Willis), a criminal from the future, is chosen to travel back in time and help scientists create a cure. Inspired by Chris Marker's 1962 short film, La Jetée , the movie also stars Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt and Christopher Plummer.

7. ‘Your Name.’ (2016)

Who's in it?  Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryo Narita, Aoi Yûki, Nobunaga Shimazaki

Run time: 112 minutes

Yes, anime time travel films are definitely worth your while if you're really into this concept. Your Name (also called Kimi no na wa ) is about two teenagers in Japan who discover that they're connected to one another in the most bizarre way. We won’t spoil it by giving too many details away, but if you need more reason to watch: It currently holds a perfect five-star rating from more that 15,000 viewers on Amazon Prime.

8. 'Donnie Darko’ (2001)

Who's in it?  Jake Gyllenhaal, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Seth Rogan, Patrick Swayze

Run time: 113 minutes

Fair warning, you'll probably never look at rabbits the same way after you see this. The cult classic follows a troubled, sleepwalking teenager who barely escapes a jet engine crashing into his room. But after the accident, he has several visions of a creepy, giant rabbit who claims to be from the future and reveals that the world will end soon. " Donnie Darko is such an intriguing watch," says PureWow Senior Editor Dana Dickey . "I really appreciate the big swing the director took with his first feature. It's a little scary, a little confusing and ultimately very touching."

9. ‘The Call’ (2020)

Who's in it?  Park Shin-hye, Jeon Jong-seo, Lee El, Kim Min-ha

Not to be confused with Halle Berry's 2013 film of the same name, this South Korean psychological thriller is a haunting one that blends together time travel elements, and centers on two women from completely different time periods who connect through a single phone call. The kicker? There's also a serial killer in the mix who's threatening one of their lives, which adds to the suspense.

10. ‘41’ (2012)

Who's in it?  Keith Gordon, Menik Gooneratne, Don Bridges, Dafna Kronental, Gordon Boyd

Run time: 80 minutes

In this remixed version of The Butterfly Effect , a man stumbles upon a hole in the ground that takes him back to the previous day. Not many are familiar with this low-budget indie film, but it’s a fun watch for anyone who genuinely enjoys exploring time travel theories.

11. ‘Mirage’ (2018)

Who's in it?  Adriana Ugarte, Chino Darín, Álvaro Morte, Javier Gutiérrez, Nora Navas

Run time: 128 minutes

In this two-hour feature, Vera Roy (Adriana Ugarte) manages to save the life of a boy 25 years in the past, but in a sudden turn of events, she winds up losing her daughter in the process. Can she get her child back or is her daughter lost forever? You'll have to watch the movie for those answers.

12. ‘Somewhere In Time’ (1980)

Who's in it?  Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, Elise McKenna, Bill Erwin, Richard Matheson

Run time: 103 minutes

It's smart, it's charming and it's required viewing for literally anyone who enjoys a passionate romance. Christopher Reeve plays Richard Collier, a writer who’s so smitten by a vintage photo that he travels back in time (through self-hypnosis!) to meet the woman in it. Unfortunately for him, striking up a romance isn’t as easy with her manager around.

13. ‘Don't Let Go’ (2019)

Who's in it?  David Oyelowo, Storm Reid, Mykelti Williamson, Brian Tyree Henry

Run time: 107 minutes

OK, so this is technically more of a murder mystery, but it weaves in the time travel concept so well. Selma star David Oyelowo plays Detective Jack Radcliff, who's stunned to receive a call from his murdered niece, Ashley (Storm Reid). Will this mysterious new connection help him figure out who murdered her?

14. ‘Timecrimes’ (2007)

Who's in it?  Nacho Vigalondo, Candela Fernández, Juan Inciarte, Bárbara Goenaga

Run time: 92 minutes

A testament to how messy and complicated time travel can be, Timecrimes follows a middle-aged man named Héctor (Karra Elejalde), who accidentally travels back an hour in time while trying to escape an attacker.

15. ‘About Time’ (2013)

Who's in it?  Rachel McAdams, Domhnall Gleeson, Bill Nighy, Vanessa Kirby, Tom Hollander

Run time: 123 minutes

When Tim discovers that the men in his family share a special gift—the ability to time travel— he decides to use it to his advantage by going back in time and getting the girl of his dreams. This comedy will have you cackling all the way through according to Dickey. "Think you've seen every rom-com ever? You haven't watched About Time, the Rachel MacAdams/Domhnall Gleeson vehicle that's way more about the heart of a romantic underdog than it is any sci-fi trappings. Although, yes there's time travel. There's also Bill Nighy as the most charming dad, ever."

16. ‘The Infinite Man’ (2014)

Who's in it?  Josh McConville, Hannah Marshall, Alex Dimitriades

Run time: 85 minutes

Josh McConville is Dean, a clever scientist who tries to relive a romantic weekend with his girlfriend, Lana (Hannah Marshall). When Lana's ex-boyfriend shows up and ruins the mood, Dean attempts to fix this by going back in time, but things don’t go according to plan...

17. ‘The Butterfly Effect’ (2004)

Who's in it?  Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Logan Lerman, Ethan Suplee

The Butterfly Effect brilliantly explores the concept where the smallest change can trigger a series of events and lead to much bigger consequences. Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher), who experienced a number of blackouts throughout his childhood, realizes that he can travel back in time by revisiting those same moments. Naturally, he tries to fix everything that went wrong, but this plan backfires.

"The Butterfly Effect was an obsession between my friends and I when it came out," says PureWow's VP of Editorial Candace Davison . " Just thinking about the small ways you can impact another life—or change the course of your own—had us questioning every little thing we did for days afterward. It's dark and twisted—and years later, I'm looking forward to rewatching it."

18. ‘The Girl Who Leapt Through Time’ (2006)

Who's in it?  Riisa Naka, Takuya Ishida, Yuki Sekido, Ayami Kakiuchi

Run time: 98 minutes

Inspired by Yasutaka Tsutsui's novel of the same name, the film follows a high school girl who uses her newfound ability to time travel for her own gain. But when she sees the negative impact that this has on those around her, she's determined to make things right. Not only is it filled with lovable characters, but it also tackles themes like bullying, friendship and self-awareness.

19. ‘Primer’ (2004)

Who's in it?  David Sullivan, Shane Carruth

Run time: 77 minutes

Although this film was made on a small budget (just $7,000), Primer is one of the smartest and most thought-provoking time travel films you’ll ever see. Two engineers, Aaron (Shane Carruth) and Abe (David Sullivan), accidentally invent a time machine, causing them to experiment with a technology that allows humans to time travel. However, they soon realize the consequences of their actions.

20. ‘The Time Machine’ (1960)

Who's in it?  Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux, H. G. Wells, Alan Young

Based on H. G. Wells's novella of the same title, this Oscar-winning film follows George Wells (Rod Taylor), an inventor who builds a time machine and journeys hundreds of years into the future. Definitely a must-watch for any time-travel fanatic.

21. Palm Springs (2020)

Who's in it?  Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, Camila Mendes, J.K. Simmons, Peter Gallager

Run time: 90 minutes

Following two wedding guests who are stuck in a time loop and forced to keep reliving the same day over and over again, Palm Springs is a must-watch according to PureWow Senior Editor  Abby Hepworth.  "Andy Samberg and Cristin Millioti are both so phenomenal in this and make an unlikely but hilarious duo. The visuals are great, too, and it somehow manages to make the idea of a Groundhog's Day/time travel situation feel fresh and novel."

22. 57 Seconds (2023)

Who's in it?  Morgan Freeman, Josh Hutcherson, Lovie Simone, Brevin Bru, Greg Germann, Kenneth Kynt Bryan

Run time: 99 minutes

Follow the adventures of a tech blogger who seeks to rewrite the past through a time-altering device. A tale focused on seeking revenge against a corporate empire that destroyed a family, this film is full of heart-pounding loop holes where survival matters every second.

23. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023)

Who's in it?  Harrison Ford, Mads Mikkelsen, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antonio Banderas

Run time: 154 minutes

Harrison Ford has been gracing the big screen as Indiana Jones since the early 1980s, and this final installment was a nice way to tie the series together. This fifth and final installment focuses on Indiana Jones embarking on a race against time to retrieve the legendary dial that can alter the course of history, and it takes you through an adventure to say the least.

24. Aporia (2023)

Who's in it?  Edi Gathegi, Peyman Moaadi, Faithe Herman, Whitney Morgan Cox

Run time: 104 minutes

In this film, a grief-stricken widow struggling to find a full-time job while raising her devastated teenage daughter, is sold on the dream of being able to return to her past life through a time machine. This, of course comes with unforeseen implications, and now the woman is forced to deal with terrible consequences as a result.

25. The Shift (2023)

Who's in it?  Neal McDonough, Kristoffer Polaha, Elizabeth Tabish, Sean Austin

Run time: 115 minutes

After encountering a man who seems to have otherworldly powers, Kevin Garner faces new challenges, as he suddenly finds himself banished to another dimension best described as a "parallel Earth." On top of that, he's also fighting to win the love of his life back at the same time. Needless to say, Kevin has a lot on his plate.

26. Totally Killer (2023)

Who's in it?  Kiernan Shipka, Olivia Holt, Charlie Gillespie, Julie Bowen

Run time: 106 minutes

Shipka stars as 17-year-old Jamie, a frightened teen who accidentally travels back to the year 1987 as a result of her encounter with a masked maniac. As it turns out, it's been 35 years since the brutal murders of three teenagers, and in a rather uncanny turn of events, Jamie teams up with the teenage version of her mother to take down the masked killer.

Who's in it?  Ariana Greenblatt, Adam Driver, Chloe Coleman, Alexandra Shipp

Run time: 93 minutes

After suffering a catastrophic crash on a unknown planet, Pilot Mills finds himself transported back 65 million years. With only one other survivor accompanying him, he now must learn how to adjust to a pre-historic lifestyle. This fun storyline has all the makings of an interesting time travel movie with a mixture of both comedy and thrilling moments.

28. The Tomorrow Job (2023)

Who's in it?  Grant Schumacher, Caitlin Duffy, Ariella Mastroianni, Ariella Mastroianni

Run time: 105 minutes

Directed by Bruce Wemple, The Tomorrow Job is action-packed and intense. The film follows a group of thieves who use a drug that allows them to trade consciousnesses with their future-selves in order to steal secrets that they can profit from. Viewers will appreciate the storytelling, cinematography and the captivating fight scenes.

29. Rewind (2023)

Who's in it?  Dingdong Dantes, Marian Rivera, Coney Reyes

A grieving widower makes a deal to go back in time to change some elements of his past—primarily his wife dying during their marital troubles. There's just one problem. This deal comes with an exchange for his life instead. Aside from the time travel component, this film explores themes of love and forgiveness.

30. Babylon 5: The Road Home

Who's in it?  Bruce Boxleitner, Claudia Christian, Rebecca Riedy

Run time: 79 minutes

Return to the city of Babylon as John Sheridan unexpectedly finds himself traveling through different dimensions, timelines and alternate realities. Sheridan is constantly facing chaos and exploration, as he encounters familiar faces, and uncovers new revelations about the cosmic universe.

11 Shows and Movies to Watch This Weekend, Recommended by Our Editors

Why You Should Trust Us

PureWow's editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series (where we rank items on a 100-point scale) to our painstakingly curated lists of fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family picks, you can trust that our recommendations have been thoroughly vetted for function, aesthetics and innovation. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.

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Top 100 Time Travel Movies

Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future (1985)

1. Back to the Future

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator (1984)

3. The Terminator

Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart in The Butterfly Effect (2004)

4. The Butterfly Effect

Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future Part II (1989)

5. Back to the Future Part II

Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, and Madeleine Stowe in 12 Monkeys (1995)

6. 12 Monkeys

Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell in Groundhog Day (1993)

7. Groundhog Day

Don Cheadle, Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Bradley Cooper, Chris Evans, Sean Gunn, Scarlett Johansson, Brie Larson, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Danai Gurira, and Karen Gillan in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

8. Avengers: Endgame

Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Elliot Page, Michael Fassbender, Daniel Cudmore, Bingbing Fan, and Jennifer Lawrence in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

9. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar (2014)

10. Interstellar

Predestination (2014)

11. Predestination

Adriana Ugarte, Álvaro Morte, Chino Darín, and Julio Bohigas-Couto in Mirage (2018)

13. Palm Springs

Owen Wilson in Midnight in Paris (2011)

14. Midnight in Paris

Timecrimes (2007)

15. Timecrimes

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

16. Edge of Tomorrow

Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson in About Time (2013)

17. About Time

Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams in The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)

18. The Time Traveler's Wife

Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and Mary Steenburgen in Back to the Future Part III (1990)

19. Back to the Future Part III

Time Sweep (2016)

20. Time Sweep

Star Trek (2009)

21. Star Trek

Joey Cramer in Flight of the Navigator (1986)

22. Flight of the Navigator

Rewind (1999)

24. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, and Josh Brolin in Men in Black³ (2012)

25. Men in Black³

More to explore, recently viewed.


  1. The 50 All-Time Best Time-Travel Films

    Rate. 67 Metascore. A man's vision for a utopian society is disillusioned when travelling forward into time reveals a dark and dangerous society. Director George Pal Stars Rod Taylor Alan Young Yvette Mimieux. 2. Back to the Future. 1985 1h 56m PG. 8.5 (1.3M) Rate.

  2. Top 25 Time Travel Movies

    87 Metascore. Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown. Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover.

  3. All "Time Travel" Movies

    Short. A young woman vows revenge against the person who murdered her father by traveling back in time. Director Ben Wydeven Stars Doug Gordon Halley Alissa Kulinski. 3. Looper. 2012 1h 59m R. 7.4 (605K) Rate. 84 Metascore.

  4. 20 Best Time Travel Movies Of All Times

    Mike Judge, creator of Beavis and Butt-Head, Office Space, and Silicon Valley, wrote and directed this 2006 satirical time travel movie that was largely overlooked by audiences at the time of its release. Idiocracy follows Private Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson), who is selected for an army experiment because he is deemed average in literally every way imaginable.

  5. The 35 Best Time Travel Movies of All Time

    3. 33. Men in Black 3. Sony Pictures. By the time director Barry Sonnenfeld directed Men in Black 3 in 2012, the franchise was 15 years removed from its fun and campy original, and Men in Black 2 ...

  6. 55 Best Time Travel Movies Of All Time Ranked

    2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Tri-Star Pictures. "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" holds a number of high-octane superlatives: it's one of the best time travel films of all time, one of the best sci ...

  7. Greatest time travel movies ever made ranked

    Army of Darkness (1993) Photo: Army of Darkness Official Trailer #1 - Bruce Campbell Movie (1992) HD . ... Less of a time travel movie and more of a time loop movie, Groundhog Day is, perhaps, the finest directing effort from late actor/writer/filmmaker Harold Ramis. In this existential comedy, a bitter and self-centered newscaster is forced to ...

  8. The Best Time Travel Movies Of All Time

    Back to the Future, a legendary science-fiction adventure film directed by Robert Zemeckis, stands as a triumphant depiction of time travel in the 1980s.With exceptional performances by Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, this movie artfully immerses viewers in the nostalgic world of Hill Valley, 1955, when Marty McFly (Fox) is sent back in time by Doc Brown's (Lloyd) iconic DeLorean-powered ...

  9. The 23 best time travel movies of all time

    Edge of Tomorrow (2014) Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in 'Edge of Tomorrow.'. David James/Warner Bros. Time loop movies need some incredible editing in order to really succeed, and Doug Liman 's ...

  10. 11 Time-Travel Movies to Watch After 'The Adam Project'

    March 11, 2022 10:12 AM EST. I n Netflix's The Adam Project, Ryan Reynolds plays Adam Reed, a fighter pilot from 2050 who heads back in time to stop the development of time travel. His mission ...

  11. The 25 Greatest Time-Travel Movies Ever Made

    24. Happy Death Day (2017) Pick away at the surface of a time-loop movie and you find a horror movie. Most of the entries on this list are covered in enough feel-good spin to land as comedies, but ...

  12. 16 Best Time Travel Movies, Ranked

    Time travel movies like the Back to the Future trilogy and Terminator 2 are just a few hits that stood out in the sci-fi sub-genre over the years. ... At the same time, his outsider nature and unconventional persona lead to plenty of jokes. While Army of Darkness doesn't take time travel seriously, the movie is all the better for it. 6 Interstellar

  13. The 15 Best Time Travel Movies of All...Time

    4. Primer (2004) Shoestring budget indie film, Primer, which acts as a no-frills psychological thought experiment about the accidental discovery of time travel, is one of the most cerebral takes ...

  14. The 37 Best Time Travel Movies Ever, Ranked

    Marty McFly, Mr. Spock, and Austin Powers are some of the big screen's most popular time travelers ever. The time travel movie is a genre full of hits ("Looper"), misfires "Timecop"), and a few ...

  15. 10 best time travel movies of all time, ranked

    4. 12 Monkeys (1995) 3. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) 2. Groundhog Day (1993) 1. Back to the Future (1985) Show 5 more items. From the underrated sci-fi romance flick About Time, to the ...

  16. Top 300+ Time travel movies

    Director Frank Capra Stars James Stewart Donna Reed Lionel Barrymore. 3. The Girl from Tomorrow. 1992 1h 44m. 8.4 (256) Rate. TV Movie. A teenager from the year 3000 takes part in a time-travel experiment, but due to a malfunction finds herself sent back to the year 1990, along with a criminal from the year 2500.

  17. Movies where modern military units go back in time

    DVD Talk Legend. Join Date: Feb 2009. Posts: 12,670. Likes: 523. Received 290 Likes on 224 Posts. Re: Movies where modern military units go back in time. TIMECOP (1994) starring Jean-Claude Van Damme opens with a segment where a robber with an Uzi shows up during the Civil War to rob a gold shipment.

  18. 10 Best Time Travel Comedies, Ranked

    Time travel has been a great vehicle for comedy in movies, allowing stories to take audiences to alternate realities and fantastical settings. Movies like About Time, Men in Black 3, and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me use time travel as a trope for comedic effect. Back to the Future is considered the greatest time travel comedy ever made ...

  19. Is there a time traveling movie where modern Troops/single ...

    Army of Darkness circa '92 is the gold standard of this genre. Reply reply ... Best Movies With Time Travel; Movies Like Time Lapse; Top Posts Reddit . reReddit: Top posts of January 1, 2016. Reddit . reReddit: Top posts of January 2016. Reddit . reReddit: Top posts of 2016  

  20. 15 Best Time Travel Movies of All Time

    3. Groundhog Day (1993) Groundhog Day brings another interesting narrative to the concept of time travel which makes it one of the best time travel movies so far. The film plays on the theme of the repetition and cyclical nature of daily life through the concept of Groundhog Day, meaning the same thing over and over.A weatherman finds himself entrapped in this reality when he continues to wake ...

  21. The 30 Best Time Travel Movies to Stream Right Now (That Aren ...

    Whenever there's a debate about the best time travel movies or television shows of all time, nine times out of ten, the person you're debating will mention the 1985 classic, Back the Future. And ...

  22. Top 100 Time Travel Movies

    1. Back to the Future. 1985 1h 56m PG. 8.5 (1.3M) Rate. 87 Metascore. Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown.

  23. 10 Time-Travel Movies to Stream in Your Past, Present, and Future

    10 Best Time Travel Movies to Stream in Your Past, Present, and Future - Netflix Tudum. Travel without leaving home while watching these films that will have you jumping through time.

  24. Best Time Travel Movies (Find Rare Gems Here)

    Best Time Travel Movies: 50 to 41. 50. Somewhere In Time (1980) Somewhere In Time is a beautiful love story starring Christopher Reeve, a play writer who obsesses on a photo of a beautiful yesteryear actress and ends up going back in time by 70 years to meet her. BaTTR Score: 2.25.