I’ve been asked to tell you about my favorite time travel novels, films, and TV shows. You likely know my favorites.
I’m not going to come at you with Terminator. Or Back To The Future. Or Groundhog Day. Or Planet Of The Apes (either the Heston or Wahlberg installment will do). Or even 12 Monkeys. All of which are absolutely amazing. And all of which you’ve likely seen.
No. I’m going to take you on a journey off the beaten path: five films of time travel you might have missed.
I hope you enjoy them.
5: Déjà Vu (2006)
Denzel Washington stars in this Tony Scott-directed film about an ATF agent who travels back in time to prevent a terrorist attack in New Orleans.
It remains one of my favorite Denzel films. That’s saying something.
4: Time After Time (1979)
Time After Time might have been the first time travel film I ever saw (if not, it was Planet Of The Apes–that scene with Heston on horseback and what he sees rising from the beach took my breath away).
But it was probably Time After Time that sparked my love of the genre. I think because of the scope and the romance and the cleverness.
It may not hold up to the glitz and special effects of today’s time travel blockbusters, but Time After Time, nearly 45 years old now, has an amazing storyline.
Malcolm McDowell plays author H.G. Wells, who, in 1893, shows dinner guests a prototype time machine. Later that night, one of the guests, who is, in fact, Jack the Ripper, uses it to escape the police, traveling to the future. When the machine returns (sans the Ripper), Wells pursues him to the year 1979, in San Francisco.
3: Palm Springs (2020)
This Andy Samberg film is a bit like The Hangover meets Groundhog Day. Andy’s character is attending a wedding in Palm Springs when he gets caught in a time loop. Expect a few surprises (and more than a few laughs).
2: Paycheck (2003)
Welp, they had me at Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman in this near-future sci-fi thriller based on a short story by Philip K. Dick.
Imagine if you had built a machine that could see the future, but you didn’t remember doing it. That’s all I’m saying—no spoilers here.
1: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Okay. Maybe you’ve seen it. But like all conscientious time-travelers, I allow for variables and unexpected events. And if it turns out you haven’t seen Edge Of Tomorrow, I envy you, because you’re in for a treat.
Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in this Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity)-directed film written by Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects).
Imagine Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers (I imagine that’s how it was pitched at a meeting in Hollywood a few years before it began production).
Bug-like aliens have landed on Earth. And conquered Continental Europe. Tom Cruise’s hesitant character is part of the ground force going up against said alien bugs. Things don’t go well. The humans lose. Cruise is killed. And wakes up yesterday. That’s when things get interesting…