Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
Colin Trevorrow’s Safety Not Guaranteed brings together time travel with romantic comedy once again. Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson, and Karan Soni play three magazine writers who embark on an assignment to interview a man (Mark Duplass) who placed an advertisement seeking companionship for time travel. The film has a natural feel to it and its exploration of the characters’ relationships with themselves and each other make it a worthwhile watch.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Not only is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban the best movie in the Harry Potter franchise (let’s all just admit it), but it’s also one of the best time travel movies. During his third year at Hogwarts, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) finds himself entangled with a known convict, Sirius Black (Gary Oldman). The film’s final act brings into play a magical object called a Time-Turner that plays a key role in the outcome of events. With Alfonso Cuarón’s sleek direction, the enthralling story, and the beloved characters, this is easily one of the most unforgettable time travel movies.
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Twelve Monkeys brings another interesting narrative to the world of time travel films. A convict from the year 2035 goes back in time to discover the cause of a deadly virus, only to be sent to the wrong year. He winds up in a mental hospital but soon winds up discovering the Army of the 12 Monkeys, thought to be responsible for the virus. The fantastic cast and creative storytelling solidify its success as a time travel film.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in this flick about an officer who is demoted and forced to fight in combat without a day of training. He quickly gets killed but takes down an alien with him at the same time. However, coming into contact with the alien has thrown him into a time loop, and he is forced to experience the same day of fighting and dying on repeat. Taking a cue from Groundhog Day, this movie mixes time travel with other familiar elements of science-fiction and ultimately makes for a clever final product.
In Looper, Rian Johnson creates a unique world of science-fiction that serves as a backdrop for complex characters. Time travel has been created but is only available on the black market, the mob sending those they want to get rid of 30 years into the past. When they arrive, a hitman named Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is waiting to clean up the mess. Looper manages to be fairly unpredictable for its subject matter and is thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking.