Source Code (2011)
Another film following in the footsteps of Groundhog Day, our protagonist (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) enters the body of someone new as he attempts to prevent a mass murder attack on a commuter train, re-living the incident over again. The film is more for entertainment than anything to think too deeply about, but it makes for some good action sequences.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
In an epic X-Men installment, the X-Men join forces with their younger selves in order to change the past and salvage their future. Both time periods come together in order to save their species, all wonderfully brought together through time travel. This arguably made for one of the best X-Men movies in the franchise, and the time travel element really showcases the character development here.
Ethan Hawke shines in Predestination, in which he plays an agent who travels through time in order to stop criminals from going through with their crimes. The plot is fairly unpredictable, and it’s one that will make you think. Close attention to detail will pay off when watching this movie, and intricacy often makes for the best time travel film.
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
A goofy but loveable entry, this film has Keanu Reeves and Alex Winters playing floundering high school students. The pair uses a time machine to travel back in time and put together a report for history class that will earn them an A+—one that involves bringing a group of famous historical figures back with. The concept may seem ridiculous, but the absurdity is what makes it great.
Shane Carruth’s Primer is definitely more arthouse than virtually any other movie about time travel, which is surprising in a way, because—as this movie shows—a lot of creativity can be had with the concept. The film follows two friends who build a device that unintentionally creates a time loop. Of course, they start out by using this to their advantage but quickly learn there are catastrophic consequences to their tampering with time. It’s very refreshing for a time travel film and is worth the watch for anyone desiring something unique.
While it seems like there are so many titles on this list, there were also so many wonderful ones that couldn’t make the list. But in terms of escapism, all-time travel movies are pretty great. Since we can’t really travel through time (yet), I suppose watching movies about it is the next best thing.