Going Back in Time: 5 Good Time Travel Movies
Movies weren’t made for a certain genre; however, certain genres seem to lend themselves to visual storytelling. Sci-fi movies definitely seem to fit into the idea and more specifically, I think time travel movies make the moviegoing experience even better.
With the release of this weekend’sProject Almanac (and no I don’t expect it to come close to cracking the list of top time travel movie), I wanted to quickly recount my favorite in the sub-genre.
Here they are:
Some day I’ll get around to doing my Top 5 unfairly panned films so I can give The Butterfly Effect its due diligence. Although it stars Ashton Kutcher in a more dramatic role (which some people don’t like), I think it still does a great job of showing the idea of how some choices can have a profound effect on future events (a definite theme today). Based on the famous chaos theory, the script and movie may be the darkest of the movies on this list and that’s something I tend to appreciate on a personal level.
I almost forgot about Interstellar because it’s a relatively new movie. Christopher Nolan’s film didn’t exactly exceed expectations – and it led to some people calling the movie Nolan’s first failure – when it released last November. All in all, the movie was probably more successful on a stylistic and effects level, but I think it’s worth mentioning when you talk about time travel movies.
Although the sample size isn’t huge for time travel movies, there does tend to be the same types of plotlines. The most “original” or different use of time travel exists in Rian Johnson’s movie Looper. If you read the logline – a movie about a time traveling hitman that tries to bend the rules – you wouldn’t fully appreciate just how deep the plot actually gets. In some ways, it mirrors The Butterfly Effect but with more classic sci-fi elements to create an all-encompassing experience.
As far as the “science” in science-fiction is concerned, there aren’t a lot of movies as technically sound as the under-appreciated film Primer. Most people haven’t heard of the no-frills, low budget sci-fi drama but for those that have seen it, they certainly haven’t forgotten it. Or understood it for that matter. Primer is a surprisingly eerie film that takes multiple viewings to fully comprehend as should be the case with something as complex as time travel.
I was embarrassed to have gone this long without seeing Back to the Future but I alleviated that problem about a month ago when I sat down and finally saw what all the hubbub was about. I wasn’t disappointed either (and probably, in some ways, more embarrassed since it took so long) because Back to the Future is a truly iconic movie. In the context of this list, the Michael J. Fox-starring movie probably doesn’t fit in but it has the fun factor that is unparalleled. As far as time travel goes, the plot also deals with a form of the butterfly effect but, like I mentioned earlier, is much more light-hearted and fun.
As for honorable mentions, I thought about adding Click, Deja Vu, Donnie Darko, Edge of Tomorrow, Frequencies, Men in Black 3, Midnight in Paris, Safety Not Guaranteed, and/or Source Code. What other movies should be on the list?
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