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  • Writer's pictureAbby Brenker

The Best Time Travel Films

For some reason I feel like this list of films is going to be oddly polarizing. These are Alan and my favorite time travel themed movies from our research for The History of Time Travel. If you've missed that episode, you can listen here.

Timecrimes (2007) Hands down, Timecrimes is one of the best examples of a time travel movie we’ve found. It’s neat and tidy, easy to understand and satisfying to watch. It’s a Spanish language film that offers a really digestible view of time travel to audiences. Plus, as a bonus I loved the aesthetic and dark charm of the characters.

Back To The Future (1985) Often referred to as a perfect film, Back to The Future is an obvious contender for this list. Starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, Back to The Future is a family favorite. It’s funny, it’s engaging and when it comes to time travel, it has the perfect set of rules for audiences to understand. We all know that DoLorean has to reach 88 miles per hour, powered by plutonium and 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to time jump.

Donnie Darko (2001) Perhaps a bit of a dark horse, but a favorite of mine. Donnie Darko tells the story of a teenager who starts to receive cryptic and upsetting messages from the future. The film stars Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal along with Drew Barrymore and Jena Malone. It’s a great intersection of drama, horror and science fiction. Plus, we love the sound track.

Interstellar (2014) Interstellar’s time travel mechanics were met with some drama after the film was released, but I’m still a fan. Directed by Christopher Nolan, Interstellar brings us into a version of Earth that’s on the brink of collapse. Humanity has depleted our resources. The only option we have is to explore a new home, and we need to travel there via wormhole. Interstellar stars Matthew McConaughy, Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway.

Looper (2012) In 2012, the film Looper starring Joseph Gordan Levitt and Bruce Willis was released. It’s an interesting premise, unlike many other films in this genre, time travel already exists. But only to the wealthy.

Edge of Tomorrow (2014) The same year Interstellar was released, another time travel movie hit theaters. Edge of Tomorrow, starring Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton and Tom Cruise. A squarely time loop movie.

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