A staple of the sci-fi genre, time travel has been done in movies ranging from Butterfly Effect at Avengers: Endgame, all with their different rules and outcomes. With many examples leaving plotlines for audiences to sort out, and others making no sense, here are the five best time travel movies to date…
5. 12 Monkeys (1995)
The first entry on my list of the top five time travel movies, this one stars Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis, and is directed by the often eccentric Terry Gilliam, 12 monkeys certainly has all the parts there ready to be a great time travel movie. Add in a crazy “isn’t he” character in Brad Pitt, and a time-traveling Bruce Willis trying to find the origins of a deadly virus that is wiping out humanity, and you have yourself. even a movie you’re going to be stuck everywhere.
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4. Primer (2004)
Perhaps the only film on this list that doesn’t attempt to make the mechanics of time travel easily digestible for audiences, it follows two engineers who happen to travel through time. Requiring multiple viewings to fully appreciate, you won’t necessarily know that the first time you watch you’re actually watching a future version of the characters or the current, or past version…just watch it. And then, after watching a second time, check out the multiple charts and fan explanations for a true appreciation of just how good it all is.
3. Groundhog Day (1993)
Starring Bill Murray in the lead role, this film walks a fine line between the comedic tropes of being stuck living the same day and the philosophical side of things to do with it; the loneliness, the almost endless choices with no consequences, and how, given time and the will, you could learn and improve as you wish. Starting the film as a jaded curmudgeon, Bill Murray ends it as a reformed man.
2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
I can’t write a list of the top five time travel movies without including this sequel. The whole premise of the movie, in fact the franchise as a whole, revolves around time travel and affecting the future by disrupting the past/present. Easily the best of the franchise, with the villain of the first reappearing as the savior of the second, Judgment Day improves on everything from the original, including the action set pieces, gunfights, story, and thankfully the characters. motivations and explanations of the time spent. .
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1. Back to the Future (1985)
Number one on this list of the top five time travel movies is perhaps the most obvious and certainly one of the most famous. A must-have for any ’90s kid growing up, the adventures of Doc Brown and Marty McFly are firmly entrenched in pop culture, from clearly inspired projects like Rick and Morty to huge fan following to this day. Who would have thought that a film about time travel and the chance to see what your parents were like at your age would do so well?
There are the top five time travel movies, but what unknown gems would make your list, or is there a mainstream example that you think should replace one of my entries?
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