The Best Movies About Time Travel

February 2, 2023

When it comes to the best movies about time travel and time warps, everyone immediately thinks of the iconic 1993 film Groundhog Day. From the cute little groundhog to watching Bill Murray relive “Groundhog Day” over and over again to comic perfection, there’s a ton to love about this film. If you love movies that defy all logic, here are a few others that you can watch over and over again.

The Best Movies About Time Travel

If you haven’t seen films like About Time and Everything, Everywhere, All At Once, stop the clock. These beloved time-travel movies will have you wishing you could travel back in time and watch them again for the first time.

Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Nothing is as it seems in this popular cult classic. Janet (Susan Sarandon) and Brad (Barry Bostwick) blow a tire and find themselves stranded at the spooky castle of the mysterious Dr. Frank-N-Ferter (Tim Curry). Hilarity and weirdness ensue — including the actual musical number, “The Time Warp.”

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

In this adrenaline-packed action flick, Wolverine goes back in time to save the world, leading to a fun, energetic film that brings viewers through two periods. The film is, by far, one of the best recent X-Men films, especially as it gives us this iconic scene with Evan Peters as Quicksilver.

The quick (no pun intended) slow-motion scenes with Quicksilver are some of the coolest in superhero film history. What more do we need to know? We’re watching it.

Time Bandits (1981)

When a troop of time-traveling pirates (who, oh yeah, are dwarves) bumbles into a young boy’s life looking for treasure, our hero finds himself unable to avoid tagging along through time on a series of misadventures that just might save the universe.

No self-respecting child of the ‘80s could create a time-travel movie list without including Terry Gilliam’s inventive brain-child. Starring Sean Connery and Shelley Duvall, this film ranks with fantasy films like The Dark Crystal and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Cage (Tom Cruise) finds himself dying on the same day over and over again. No big deal.

In this action-packed film, the loop continues until he can build the skill and strategy to work with warrior Rita (Emily Blunt) to fight off an alien invasion and save the world.

Everything, Everywhere, All At Once (2023)

Multiverse hopping, time travel – same thing, right? In 2023’s hit Everything, Everywhere, All At Once, Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) and Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) find themselves jumping through alternate realities. The movie (as described) brings the pair, and their daughter, Joy (Stephanie Hsu), through almost every possibility of who Evelyn could have been, taking the viewer along with them.

Dr. Strange (2016)

For those who like their time-loops in another dimension and with a heavy dose of sarcasm, step into the weird and wonderful world of unlikely hero Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) — the caped cynic who survives a debilitating accident and discovers that he can learn and practice magic.

SPOILER ALERT: His ultimate feat is triggering a time loop to — you guessed it — save the world. The fun continues in 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, where Dr. Strange battles the reality-bending Scarlett Witch.

READ MORE: NYFA Welcomes Emmy-Nominated Actress Elizabeth Olsen to NYFA’s Q&A-List Series

The Time Traveller’s Wife (2009)

Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, The Time Traveller’s wife is a sweeping romance about love, patience, and of course, impeccable timing.

Time-traveling Henry (Eric Bana) can’t control his strange powers or fate as a time-traveler, and for the most part, he doesn’t try to. But that all changes when he meets a young woman, Clare (Rachel McAdams), who claims to know him. The story is about how ultimately, nothing can stop true love  —  just complicate it. Warning, this is a tear-jerker.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

Eva Green stars as Miss Peregrine, who runs an orphanage for children who have inherited a rare recessive gene of “peculiarity” that grants them powers that are … unusual, to say the least. With the help of a time loop, they live together in relative safety and secrecy … until the time loop is no longer enough, and young Jake must learn to use his powers to become the protector.

Arrival (2016)

Ready for an Oscar winner? This riveting 2016 sci-fi, adapted from Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life,” was nominated for 8 Oscars and won Best Sound Design.

Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is called in to break the language barrier with aliens that arrive on earth, preempting an apocalyptic global crisis. Yet, while figuring out how to communicate with the visitors, Louise discovers that alien language has some important side effects… including a life-altering effect on time.

Happy Death Day (2019)

For those who like their time loops with a side of horror, this flick provides mind-bending chills.

College student Tree (Jessica Rothe) is murdered on her birthday and then wakes up again to re-live the ordeal on a loop until she can figure out who is after her. It’s a horror puzzle sure to thrill fans of time loops and terror alike.

Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe), a college student, awakens in horror to discover that she has become trapped in a parallel universe. Her boyfriend, Carter (Israel Broussard), has moved on, and her friends and classmates appear to be completely different versions of themselves. When Tree discovers that Carter’s roommate has been manipulating time, she becomes the target of a masked killer once more. When the psychopath begins to pursue Tree’s inner circle, she quickly realizes that she must repeatedly die in order to save everyone.

READ MORE: NYFA Alum Tracy Oliver’s ‘The Blackening’ Trailer Released

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

Starring New York Film Academy alum Aubrey Plaza, this flick follows a sardonic magazine intern as she investigates a local man (Mark Duplass) who places a classifieds ad seeking a time travel companion.

Complications ensue when she goes undercover in this quirky indie adventure.

Palm Springs (2020)

Nyles (Andy Samberg) meets Sarah (Cristin Milioti), the maid of honor and family black sheep, while stuck at a wedding in Palm Springs. Sarah is drawn to Nyles and his eccentric nihilism after he saves her from a disastrous toast. When their impromptu tryst is thwarted by a bizarre interruption, Sarah must join Nyles in accepting the notion that nothing really matters, and they begin wreaking spirited havoc on the wedding reception.

Groundhog Day (1993)

The movie that started it all … Phil (Bill Murray) is a cranky weatherman who finds himself trapped living the same day over and over again — until he gets it right!

Andie MacDowell costars in this classic ’80s film.

About Time (2013)

Tim’s (Domhnall Gleeson) life changes when his Dad (Bill Nighy) reveals a family secret: men in their family can time travel! Tim revels in his newfound ability and its possibilities to help him bolster his love life with his wife Mary (Rachel McAdams, who can’t seem to avoid marrying time travelers), solve problems, and excel at work … until he discovers that some of life’s most bittersweet moments just can’t be time-hopped around.

Back to the Future (1985)

Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) goes back to the 1950s in a Delorean to save the life of his friend, Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd). But in the process, he disrupts the time-space continuum — and jeopardizes his own existence — when he accidentally interrupts his parent’s first meeting. Forget getting back to 1985: the real question is, can Marty make his mom fall in love with his geeky dad and get a chance to exist at all?

Marty McFly may not exactly save the world, but this is the greatest time-travel adventure of all time. It’s official.

Create Your Own Films at NYFA

Have your own idea for a time-loop or time-travel movie? Explore our programs in screenwriting and filmmaking to learn how to tell your own innovative stories.

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