From low-budget indie films to Hollywood blockbusters, science fiction fans have been treated to an increasing number of great time travel movies of late. Whether watching someone studying their own past, changing their own history, striving to return to the present, or dealing with the various paradoxes created by time travel, there are now a plethora of films dealing with adventures in the 4th dimension, which makes compiling a list like this a matter of pure subjectivity. Nevertheless, it must be done so here goes. If you don’t agree with some of the choices, feel free to go back in time and prevent me from compiling this list, or alternatively leave a comment below.
Director: Gregory Hoblit
IMDB Rating: 7.3
When rare aurora borealis activity in 1999 occurs exactly 30 years after a similar incident in 1969, police officer John Sullivan is presented with the means to communicate with his father across time using his childhood ham radio. However, they soon discover altering time can have dangerous consequences.
Director: Shane Carruth
IMDB Rating: 7
In Primer, while working on an anti-gravity device, young engineers Aaron and Abe accidentally invent a machine capable of sending objects and people back in time. Taking advantage of the unique opportunities time manipulation presents is one thing, but dealing with all the complexities of time travel is another matter all together.
The Butterfly Effect (2004)
Director: Eric Bress, Mackye Gruber
IMDB Rating: 7.7
In The Butterfly Effect, Evan Treborn discovers he is able to travel back in time and briefly occupy the body of his younger self. Having suffered several traumatic experiences as a child, he then decides to use his ability to re-write his own history, but like the butterfly effect of the movie’s title, Evan’s actions cause many unforeseen consequences over time.
The Jacket (2005)
Director: John Maybury
IMDB Rating: 7.1
Wounded Gulf War veteran Jack Starks returns to Vermont suffering from bouts of amnesia. Wrongly accused of killing a policeman, he is then sent to a mental institution where during an experimental drug treatment he is able to travel to the past and future for brief moments of time. In Starks’ visions of his future he foresees his own death in four days time, but not the manner of his death. Thus begins a classic race against time.
Deja Vu (2006)
Director: Tony Scott
IMDB Rating: 7
Following a terrorist attack in New Orleans, ATF agent Douglas Carlin is recruited by a top-secret government unit, which has a piece of surveillance technology capable of watching events unfold roughly four days in the past. Working together they try to discover who the terrorist culprit is, but Carlin soon becomes convinced there is a way to prevent the attack ever happening in the first place.
Director: Nacho Vigalondo
IMDB Rating: 7.2
In Timecrimes, a man named Hector is chased by a masked maniac and stumbles upon a secret laboratory in the woods run by a mysterious scientist. Seeking a hiding place Hector accidentally gets into an experimental time machine and travels back in time one hour, triggering a series of unforeseeable consequences and a shocking crime.
Director: Christopher Smith
IMDB Rating: 6.9
In Triangle, a group of friends on a yachting trip encounter mysterious weather conditions, and are forced to seek shelter on a giant abandoned ocean liner. Jess gets a feeling of deja-vu as they explore the ghostly vessel, and a desperate race against time ensues after a masked stranger wreaks havoc on the group.
Source Code (2011)
Director: Duncan Jones
IMDB Rating: 7.5
Captain Colter Stevens wakes up in a secret Army lab to discover he is part of a mission to find the terrorist who bombed a Chicago commuter train. The experimental military program enables him to relive the last eight minutes of one of the passenger’s life, and unearth any clues which may prevent a second, larger target being struck, threatening the lives of millions.
Edge Of Tomorrow (2014)
Director: Doug Liman
IMDB Rating: 8
In Edge of Tomorrow, Major William Cage is drafted to fight against an invading alien army, but after managing to kill an Alpha is killed in combat. He then inexplicably wakes up the previous day, and finds himself stuck in a time loop and forced to relive the same merciless battle over and over again.
Director: Spierig Brothers
IMDB Rating: 7.5
In Predestination, a Temporal Agent travels back in time to prevent future crimes from being committed, but on his last assignment with the Bureau must stop an infamous terrorist called the Fizzle Bomber, before his psychotic bombing spree can begin.