Time travel has intrigued humanity since the dawn of time. We can’t help but think about the possibility of going back in time, changing what happened, or glimpsing the future. From special machines to inexplicable manipulation of the space-time continuum, comedies and dramas alike explore time travel on film. Here are 11 of the best movies about time travel:
1. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is definitely one of the funniest movies about time travel ever made. Alex Winter and a pre-Matrix Keanu Reeves are terrible students about to flunk a history test, so they use a magical phone booth to travel back in time and see history first-hand! They end up bringing some of history back to 1989 with them. It turns out Abe Lincoln just really liked to party.
2. Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko will f*ck with your mind in the best way. I don’t want to give away too much about it, but basically it’s about a mentally ill teenager who discovers a disturbance in time in his town, and has to figure out how to manipulate time to stop horrible things from happening. Jake Gyllenhaal is amazing, and this movie is both weird and a must-watch.
3. Edge of Tomorrow
In Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise is a soldier in a battle against an alien enemy – but he lives the same day over and over, dying in the battle every single day. It’s an awesome action movie that also explains the time travel at the end, which is nice. In a weird move (did they think they were time traveling?) the name of Edge of Tomorrow was changed to Live, Die Repeat AFTER the film came out. Now I guess it’s officially called either one. Apparently a sequel is in the works, which is exciting!
Interstellar is one of my absolute FAVORITE movies, one that benefits from multiple viewings because it does get complicated. It’s about space travel, time travel, black holes, and human connection. It’s a movie that will leave you in awe of our universe.
5. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Days of Future Past explores the questions of: what if you could go back in time to change the past? What if you could change yourself, and your actions? How did the X-Men movies get so freaking good?
6. The Time Machine
A real classic from 1960, this is one of the first movies to explore the possibilities of time travel with a story about an inventor in 1899 who travels to the far distant future.
7. 12 Monkeys
12 Monkeys is a really creative 1995 film starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. A prisoner from 2035 is sent back in time to stop a horrible virus that destroys the Earth in 1996. But he’s sent to 1990 by accident, so naturally everyone just thinks he’s crazy.
8. The Terminator
This movie requires no explanation. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the Terminator, a robot from the future sent back in time to destroy the leader of the human resistance by killing the woman who will become his mother.
9. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 2 is the rare sequel that is exactly as good as the original. And in this one, Arnold is the good guy.
10. Back to the Future
The movie that invented the time-traveling DeLorean is obviously one of the best time travel movies ever made.
11. Hot Tub Time Machine
F*ck it, I’m including Hot Tub Time Machine. I love this movie.
What’s your favorite time travel movie? Tweet at me and let me know @erikaheidewald!