There is something intriguing about the idea of traveling through time. This plot is a concept that many books and movies have explored. Exploring the consequences of time travel is a great theme that many find enjoyable to watch. Here are the best time travel movies and where to find them.
Don’t forget to check out these thrillers and crime movies from HBO Max.
The movie Timeline from 2003 features some familiar faces such as Paul Walker, Gerard Butler, and Billy Connolly. This Sci-Fi adventure is based on a book by Michael Crichton, but, unfortunately, he disliked the movie so much that he would refuse to license any more movies based on his novels for the rest of his life.
While the movie does not precisely follow the book, it is still a worthy time travel movie. It follows a group of archeologists who travel back to 1357 to find one of their fathers who never returned. Their time machine is a 3D fax machine, which sounds like a cool concept. In the past, they are thrown into a battle between French warriors and the British. It is a good story but strays from the book quite a bit.
2. Time Trap
The concept of this movie is different from many of the others. Instead of actively moving through time, the characters find a spot on Earth where time moves much slower than the rest of the planet. For them, this is a cave. What’s really cool about this cave in terms of movie history is that part of the movie was filmed in the Bronson Caves. These caves were also home to filming for the TV series Batman from the 1960s.
The plot of this film features a professor who goes missing when he enters a cave. A group of his students come looking for him and get trapped as well. They soon discover people from other eras trapped, including violent cave people. The world outside moves at a much quicker pace, and soon, everything they know is gone. They must escape the cave to enter back into a now futuristic society.
3. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Star Trek IV is one of the highlights of the entire Star Trek franchise. Since Star Trek takes place so far in the future, most of the movies need elaborate sets and new inventions. The genius behind this movie is that the crew travels to the same year it was made, 1986. This tactic is a clever way to use things of the time.
The crew goes back in time to collect humpback whales, which are extinct in their future. An alien probe has threatened to destroy Earth, and those are the only creatures that can communicate with them. The premise sets up some fun interaction with people and technology of the 1980s. The crew attempting to use primitive technology such as computers that don’t understand voice commands is especially amusing.
4. The Time Machine (1960)
There are a lot of film adaptations of H.G. Well’s novel The Time Machine. The story itself is so fascinating and imaginative, especially given the time it was written. It was the inspiration for many time travel stories after this. It can be hard to do justice to a book when making a movie, but this version of The Time Machine is a worthy one to watch.
The unique spin here is that H.G. Wells, or George, is a character in the film, played by Rod Taylor. In the book, the narrator is just referred to as “the Time Traveler.” The movie has George telling stories of his adventures in the time machine to his dinner guests.
5. Army of Darkness
Bruce Campbell stars as Ash, who is accidentally transported back to 1300 A.D. After defeating two monsters, he is heralded as the Chosen One, who is to retrieve the Necronomicon, an evil book. Although uninterested at first, he learns that this book is the only way for him to get back to his own time, so he sets off on a quest to get it.
This film is a silly movie, but it’s funny and a good time. Campbell is at his best here in his line delivery and comedic talent. The line where he calls his gun his “boomstick” to the people of the past is especially amusing.
This film is an example of how dangerous it can be to encounter your younger self through time travel. Joe, played by both Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, is a looper. This job entails men from the future being pulled into the past where he can assassinate them and dispose of them more easily.
What complicates matters is that one day he knows his old self will be sent back for him to kill. This practice is done to erase all evidence of him ever being a looper. Instead of this being simple, old Joe is able to escape, and the two must battle for survival. This film is an interesting take on time travel and presents a new type of danger.
While we don’t know how Sandra Bullock’s character traveled through time while asleep, the movie Premonition presents a new way to do time travel by mixing up the order of her days. This creates the mystery surrounding her husband’s death and a deadline that she needs to figure out. It was actually based on a CBS Radio Mystery Theater episode called “The Ides of March” which aired in 1975 and has an almost identical storyline.
The story begins with Bullock’s character Linda skipping forward in time to his death and then back and forth between the days leading up to it and the days after. This movie will keep you hooked from beginning to end as she struggles with a mixture of emotions. The suspense is palpable, and the story is very well done. The twist at the end will make you gasp, and you can draw your own conclusion. It leaves the story with yet another mystery, but this one will not be solved. What’s really cool about it is that it was even Sandra Bullock’s idea.
8. Source Code
An injured Army Captain, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, finds himself inserted into the debut run of a program that puts his consciousness into another human being. Each time he goes in, he can only relive the same eight minutes before a train he is riding on explodes. The goal is to figure out who the bomber is because they are expecting more attacks.
Even though they tell him that he cannot change the past, he attempts to save the people on the train, including another passenger named Christina. This film explores an interesting aspect and presents time travel in a unique way. Is he really going into the past, or is it simply a computer program? You are hooked as you wait to discover the answer.
9. Flight of the Navigator
Flight of the Navigator is a really interesting take on alien abduction as a way of traveling through time. The story centers around a boy named David who is abducted by an alien. While eight years pass on Earth, just a few hours pass for him. He returns to his family, but everything is different, and he finds it hard to adjust to this future. Soon, the government gets involved, and he meets the ship, voiced by Paul Reubens, who took him in the first place.
This one’s a classic 80s movie with some laugh-out-loud moments and some cool alien creatures. It presents us with a great time travel story to enjoy.
10. Back to the Future
You didn’t think we would have a time travel article without this one, did you? Back to the Future is without a doubt the top when it comes to these movies. From a stellar cast to an expertly interwoven story, this is a great example of how this genre should be done. The trilogy is strong, but the first movie is definitely the strongest.
Marty McFly is a high school teenager whose friend, a scientist named Doc Brown, invents a time machine. Terrorists attack them when about to travel through time because Doc stole their plutonium. Marty ends up traveling back alone and messing up the initial meeting of his parents. He must fix the past in order to still exist in his present. The movie is funny and can be watched over and over.
Time travel movies can be fun to explore. Imagining the different ramifications of time travel can be both fun and confusing. Do also check out some of the best family-friendly movies to watch together with your family.