12 Best Romance Movies That Incorporate Time Travel, Ranked

People will do anything for love.

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About Time , one of the most romantic time travel movies ever made, is turning ten this year. Despite premiering a decade ago, its love story is as timeless as ever, thanks to its seamless incorporation of time travel. It's not the only film that does this well, and fans looking for similar movies will be glad to know there's no shortage to choose from.

Who would've thought that manipulating time would forge some of the great love stories? Whether it's found within the chivalry of the gentlemanly past or the future of civilization, cinema has shown that love has no bounds – even if it means traveling through time to get it. Where it may be a common trope for the sci-fi genre, romance flicks have also surprisingly used it to their advantage.

From classic rom-coms like 13 Going on 30 and The Lake House , to more hidden gems like If Only – these movies use the phenomenon of time travel to intertwine greater levels of fantasy and magic. Not only does this increase the overall cinematic experience, but these time travel romance movies also make the love stories incredibly epic.

Updated on August 18, 2023, by Hannah Saab:

12 '13 going on 30' (2004).

After being humiliated on her 13th birthday, Jenna Rink ( Christa B. Allen ) wishes to escape her life of pre-teen unpopularity and become a well-adjusted grownup in this time travel rom-com. She's shocked when she wakes up to find her wish had come true; somehow Jenna ( Jennifer Garner ) is now 30 and living in 2004. Soon she realizes how adulthood has its own set of struggles – one particularly being her love life.

RELATED: The Best Romantic Comedies That Defined the Early 2000s, Ranked

As an iconic 2000s rom-com, 13 Going on 30 has warmed fans' hearts for decades. Largely driven by Garner's bubbly innocence, Jenna's connection with Matt ( Mark Ruffalo ) is undeniably pure and one of the great depictions of friends-to-lovers. This movie also uses time travel to put forth the message of how time is precious; by choosing to only look towards the future, one would never absorb the milestones of the present.

Watch on Max

11 'When We First Met' (2018)

Having been friend-zoned by the girl of his dreams after meeting her at a Halloween party, Noah ( Adam DeVine ) remains close to Avery ( Alexandra Daddario ). Three years later, she's now engaged to someone else. Suddenly, Noah stumbles on the opportunity to travel back in time to the moment they met, giving him the chance to alter his life, and get the girl.=

In an almost Groundhog Day scenario (and it's worth noting that film is a benchmark for romantic time-travel movie), When We First Met is a humorous film that's filled with charm and charisma thanks to the talents of the cast, especially in the case of DeVine. Where the romantic connection is present between characters, it isn't with whom you'd naturally expect as this is a classic tale that teaches audiences that everything happens for a reason.

Watch on Netflix

10 'Kate & Leopold' (2001)

Kate ( Meg Ryan ) is a 21st-century woman who's determined to focus on her career, that is until she meets Leopold ( Hugh Jackman ), an English Duke from the 19th century who's accidentally brought to the future via a portal made by her ex-boyfriend, Stuart ( Liev Schreiber ).

Where Kate & Leopold may be cheesy at times with the classic fish-out-of-water tropes, this movie is an underrated feel-good romance that will easily keep one warm and cozy. With the script's quick wit and fun character dynamics, this twisted modern-day fairytale shows how love doesn't always come to us in the most expected ways.

Watch on Showtime

9 'The Lake House' (2006)

As lonely doctor, Kate Forster ( Sandra Bullock ), moves out of her beloved lake house, she begins to exchange letters with its newest resident, a frustrated architect named Alex Wyler ( Keanu Reeves ). The two instantly spark a connection and form a budding romance. The only problem – she's living in the year 2006, whereas he's in 2004.

RELATED: The Best Keanu Reeves Movies, According to Keanu Reeves

An epic love story where two are separated by time, this romantic flick is special in the way that they portray the simplicities of intimacy. With only the written word to connect, Kate and Alex's closeness is unlike any other in The Lake House . They need not rely on physical attraction or physical needs, they're brought together by a deeper connection – one built on stories, soul, and emotions.

8 'If Only' (2004)

Struck with grief after the sudden loss of his girlfriend Samantha ( Jennifer Love Hewitt ), Ian ( Paul Nicholls ) is given the opportunity to relive the day she died and rewrite his wrongdoings, allowing him to become a better partner and fix things before the impending tragedy.

Despite being an emotional and bittersweet tale, If Only is filled with hope and true love. It sends a message to viewers about how important it is to treasure every moment, every milestone, and to treat every day as if it were your last. With the palpable chemistry between Hewitt and Nicholls, fans will be moved by their devotion towards each other, even until the film's final bittersweet twist .

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7 'The Time Traveler's Wife' (2009)

Henry Detamble ( Eric Bana ) is a librarian from Chicago who struggles with his rare genetic disorder that causes him to randomly travel through time, uncontrollably. His life becomes more complex when he meets and marries the love of his life, Claire ( Rachel McAdams ), as she must now learn to cope with her husband's condition.

An interesting spin on star-crossed lovers, The Time Traveler's Wife captures the struggles of fated love. Where Henry and Claire's story is romantic and tender, it's also incredibly bittersweet. With Henry's condition, fans (as well as Claire) are never sure of when he'll disappear. So when he does on occasions like their wedding, the heartbreak and tension are palpable. Their love story may be unconventional, but there's beauty to it.

6 'Somewhere in Time' (1980)

Enamored and infatuated by a vintage portrait that hangs in a grand hotel, playwright Richard Collier ( Christopher Reeve ) finds a way to travel through time to 1912 to meet Elise McKenna ( Jane Seymour ), a stage actor. Where the two seem destined to be together, conflicts arise when Elise's obsessive manager, William ( Christopher Plummer ), tries to stop them.

RELATED: Movies With the Best Lead Chemistry, Ranked According to Letterboxd

A great movie that's severely slept on, Somewhere in Time tells the story of an unworldly and impossible love. With a brilliant concept and beautiful chemistry between Reeves and Seymour, this movie is one for the romantics and dreamers. It shows the sheer lengths someone is willing to go to find their soulmate – even if it means going through time itself.

Watch on Tubi

5 'Back to the Future Part III' (1990)

As the third and final chapter to their adventures, Marty McFly ( Michael J. Fox ) must travel back in time to 1885 to the Old West to save his friend, Doctor Emmett Brown ( Christopher Lloyd ), from his impending murder. Matters become more complicated when Marty realizes that Doc has fallen deeply in love with local school teacher, Clara Clayton ( Mary Steenburgen ).

Though not a typical romance movie, Back to the Future Part III , is a film spearheaded by the themes of love. Where there are romantic storylines in the previous installments, Doc and Clara's is a breath of fresh air – mostly because Doc is a character that's so determined to avoid the supposed banalities of love. And yet, here he is, willing to be stuck in a foreign time period for the sake of love, happiness, and true companionship.

4 'The Girl Who Leapt Through Time' (2006)

A popular anime movie for beginners , The Girl Who Leapt Through Time tells the story of Makoto Konno (voiced by Riisa Naka ), who learns that she has the ability to time travel. She soon uses her newfound power to fix the small things in her daily life, from schoolwork to friendships. When she meets another person who can time travel, the two develop an unconventional bond.

Chiaki Mamiya (voiced by Takuya Ishida ) helps the protagonist realize and fix the consequences of messing with time, but soon reveals something heartbreaking to her. Their romance is complicated by the fact that Chiaki isn't from Makoto's present day, and eventually has to leave. Their story will have fans rooting for their success until the tear-jerking end.

3 'Midnight in Paris' (2011)

Whilst on a holiday in Paris with his fiancé and her family, Gil Pender ( Owen Wilson ) – a screenwriter and aspiring author – develops a habit of touring the city alone. One night he finds himself swept back in time to the 1920s where he meets his favorite cultural and artistic icons. By experiencing life in the past, he is forced to confront his dissatisfactions with the present.

RELATED: The Best Owen Wilson Movies, According to Rotten Tomatoes

As a romance movie, Midnight in Paris offers multiple romantic interests, each with its own qualities and individual purposes. From Inez's (McAdams) 21st-century realism, to Adriana's ( Marion Cotillard ) 1920s romanticized attitude to life, Gil is forced to reflect on what kind of love will give him true happiness. He'll even come to terms with the dangers of escapism.

Watch on Hulu

2 'About Time' (2013)

Life changed forever when Tim Lake ( Domhnall Gleeson ) turned 21 as his father revealed an odd hereditary trait; all the men in their family have the ability to time travel. Though initially shocked, Tim decides to use his skill to alter his past to improve his future. His main goal – bolster his love life and win the heart of Mary (Rachel McAdams).

With a clever concept, a beautiful script, and a great cast, this poignant movie is one that masterfully tackles the topics of love, redemption, and loss. Where Gleeson and McAdams' chemistry is incredibly sweet, About Time is a movie about more than a simple romantic story . It uses time to talk about the importance of living in the moment and the consequences of one's choices.

1 'Your Name' (2016)

Your Name is a massively popular and beloved anime film that blends fantasy, romance, and sci-fi together. It tells the story of two high school students – Taki Tachibana (voiced by Ryunosuke Kamiki ) and Mitsuha Miyamizu ( Mone Kamishiraishi ) – who inexplicably begin to swap bodies. The two characters have never met, but begin to improve each other's lives and slowly fall in love in the process.

It's impossible to talk about the time travel aspect of Your Name without completely spoiling the plot, but audiences who enjoy emotional animated films should consider this essential viewing for its notoriously tear-jerking twist. The gorgeous visuals and heartbreakingly romantic story easily make it the best film to show the potential of combining love and time travel in film.

NEXT: The Best Romantic Movies of All Time, Ranked

The Silver Petticoat Review

10 Romantic Time Travel Movies to Binge Watch: I’ll Love You to the End of Time

These are some of the best time travel romance movies!

10 Romantic Time Travel Movies to Watch pinterest image

Time travel as a genre is always fascinating in any medium, whether a book, movie, TV show or comic. The possibility of meeting anyone in existence, going to places long forgotten, and uncovering secrets of well-loved icons of the past and maybe even the future gives a special allure to time travel romance movies.

romantic time travel movies list with image of Somewhere in Time.

The fantastical direction this genre takes adds elements of magic, naivete, and touches of illusion, appealing to older and younger viewers alike. Add into this the sprinkle of romance, and you have me hooked.

If I get the chance to watch Shakespeare wooing a girl from the 21st century using poems that have become cult classics, I’m grabbing the popcorn and switching my phone off.


Like most people, I grew up watching time travel movies. Consequently, they have become my favorites. For example, we can all appreciate Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure or watching Hermione travel back in time to see herself punch Draco in the face. (Not only a win for Harry Potter fans but for girls all around.)

Meanwhile, Doctor Who (2005) is my first exposure to real romance and time travel. With the Doctor’s companions all falling for him, he initially only falls for Rose (Nine and Ten).


As a result, it had millions of us hoping he would appear in our living rooms, ready to take us on our own adventure. Since then, there was no going back. There are just so many romantic time travel movies calling out to be binged.

Here is a list of my personal favorite romantic time travel movies that have thus far survived the test of time. However, I will admit this list is not exhaustive (limiting the films to 10 was difficult).


(In No Particular Order)

the lake house still with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves

#1: ABOUT TIME (2013)

About Time

Without a doubt, this is a humorous and engaging retelling of a classic boy trying to win over a girl story. Tim wishes to change his life and get a girlfriend. With this intention, enter Mary.

Tom falls for her and is relentless and tenacious in his pursuit, all thanks to a family secret. The men in his family can travel through time! What a secret to have, and at 21, your options are endless.

About Time beautifully captures the fun-loving side of romance. And, as viewers, we see the benefits of having such a gift and just how painful the gift can be.

For this reason, we see the love between a man and woman and the close relationship between Tim and his father, played by the talented Bill Nighy . Have tissues ready, as poignant scenes will get you teary-eyed.

Content Note: This film is rated 12A in the UK for mild profanity, nudity, violence, and moderate love scenes. For the same reason, About Time is a mild rated R in the United States.


Romantic Time Travel Movies - The Time Traveler's Wife

This falls quite high on my list of must-watch romance films in general as it has sweeping romance and not to mention swoon-worthy Eric Bana as the protagonist. The film beautifully interweaves through different phases of time, keeping the viewer enthralled.

It follows the life of Clare (Rachel McAdams) and how she meets Henry (Eric Bana), or rather how he encounters her. Clare and Henry ‘meet’ in a library. Soon, they both know what Henry is and what he can do, which is being involuntarily thrown through time, forwards or backward.

The movie’s most interesting aspect is that, despite Henry being the traveler, Clare knows more about him. She’s even aware of their relationship during their ‘first meeting’.

You can assume this is not their first meeting without giving too much away. The story follows them through their life together, how his continued absence becomes a toll on Clare, and over time, it delves into the life of living with a time traveler.

Could you live with someone who knows your future? They will know exactly where your life together could end up. Instead of going for the fated lovers’ angle, this looks at how fate may have brought them together, but should they have walked away?

Content Note: This film is rated 12A in the UK for mild sensuality, nudity, and profanity. In the US, the film is rated PG-13.


Somewhere in Time

If you prefer sweet innocent love stories with classic romance, Somewhere in Time will be perfect for you.

Set in 1972, Christopher Reeve stars as student Richard Collier who travels to Mackinac Island to stay at the Grand Hotel, where he sees a portrait of a woman who he becomes enamored with.

He finds out she was a famous stage actress who has passed away. In this obsession with the picture, he finds a way to go back in time to meet her.

Using methods of self-hypnosis, he is able to get back to 1900 and meet Elise McKenna, but what fate is in store for two people with such a big ‘time’ difference? Get ready to fall in love with the characters, cinematography, music, and love stories all over again.

Fun tidbit: Somewhere in Time was nominated for an Oscar for best costume design.

Content Note : This film is rated PG for mild profanity and sensuality.

#4: THE LAKE HOUSE (2006) AND IL MARE (2002)

The Lake House

The Lake House is a somber story, showing love with a facet of yearning, similar to Somewhere in Time . Both have protagonists who are trapped in different times.

Kate Forrester (Sandra Bullock) moves to a new house, leaving behind a letter for the next tenant. The person who reads the letter, Alex Wyler (Keanu Reeves), realizes some unusual things are happening.

Events mentioned in the letter have yet to occur. They come to the realization that they are exactly two years apart, writing from different times.

This charming movie weaves a beautiful story that will appeal to anyone in a long-distance relationship. You will be able to relate to the dates they attempt to go on and how they try and share experiences with each other.

It will make you appreciate that you are at least a phone call away. The ending of the movie will have you on the edge of your seats, and the revelations revealed will make you want to believe in fate and kismet take your pick.

Special mention to the original movie Il Mare (2002), a Korean production and equally a must-watch if you don’t mind subtitles.

Content Note: This film is rated PG with mild profanity, alcohol, and drugs.


10 Romantic Time Travel Movies to Binge Watch: I'll Love You to the End of...Err...Time: Back to the Future Part III

If you are not familiar with this series, what are you doing? Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and the iconic DeLorean made a generation of kids dream about hoverboards and Nike trainers.

This is the third installment of the series, giving more focus to the ‘Doc’ Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd).

Set against the backdrop of the 1885 old west (and true to the name), we get standoffs, brawls, and romance. Meanwhile, Marty travels to 1885 and is stuck because his car breaks down.

Of course, he has a run-in with ‘Mad Dog’ Biff Tannen and his unruly gang. (Trying to send Marty back with their limited resources makes you appreciate a lot of amenities we take for granted.)

In this process, Emmett meets a school teacher, Clara Clayton (Mary Steenburgen), who is a science geek just like him, and soon a romance blossoms.

It is surreal and sweet to see Doc so enamored and unable to figure out how to act. Furthermore, the romance breathes new life into his character and shows an angle we never thought we needed.

In the climax of the movie, there is a race against time to get the DeLorean fixed and Marty back to the present day. Ultimately, even as a sequel, Back to the Future Part III is brilliant.

Content Note: This film is rated PG with moderate profanity, mild sensuality, nudity, and violence.


midnight in paris; romantic time travel movies

‘ You’re in love with a fantasy.’ ‘I’m in love with you.’

Woody Allen does it again, giving us a spellbinding movie with sophisticated and witty characters. He portrays Paris in a way that will make you want to go there and explore.

Winner of an Oscar, Midnight in Paris follows Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachel McAdams) on vacation in Paris, where he wishes to move after they marry.

However, his wife-to-be doesn’t see the magic of the city, hoping to settle in America instead. In the meantime, Gil struggles to write his first novel and takes a strange late-night stroll through Paris, getting an invite to a party that includes guests such as Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Gertrude, and many others who frequented the famous salon of Stein.

It is up to the audience to decide if this is time travel or just the fantasy of a desperate writer who is in love with the golden era of the ’20s. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie because it gave a glimpse of how some of my favorite writers would interact.

This is what other genres cannot do, transport and introduce characters and figures who we would love to meet. This charming film will have you falling in love with the characters and the dialogue.

The superb acting by Wilson portrays an awe-struck, enthusiastic writer who meets his heroes. There is no real story to follow, but rather more events that unfold and how the characters react to them. But life is like this sometimes: we don’t know where things are going until later on.

Content Note: This film is rated 12A  in the UK and PG-13 in the U.S. for mild profanity, sensuality, and nudity.

#7: 13 GOING ON 30 (2004)

13 Going on 30

13 Going on 30 is a reverse-coming-of-age time travel romantic comedy. Jenna (Jennifer Garner) makes a wish on her thirteenth birthday, wanting to be older after going through an embarrassing ordeal.

Jenna wishes to make her older, and it is fulfilled magically. She wakes up the next day to find she is weeks from her thirtieth birthday, has a dream job as a magazine editor, a car, and a very attractive boyfriend.

Everything that anyone could want, but she is still not happy, which pushes the story toward what she truly desires.

This approach is always fun to watch, including hilarious scenes where the protagonist tries to understand the new circumstances and her new body. I admit it’s nothing new in terms of what we can expect, but Garner portrays the character’s innocence and naivete so well.

We see beautiful shots of New York City, which will make you want to book your flight and get over there. However, the surprise in this movie is Mark Ruffalo, who plays Matt, the high school best friend.

Seeing him in this role will be new and a fresh take for fans of the Marvel world. One of the best moments in the movie is the Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’ dance which will leave you astounded and get you on your feet.

Content Note: This film is rated 12A in the UK and PG-13 in the U.S. for mild profanity and suggestive content.

#8: WINTER’S TALE (2014)

Winter's Tale - Romantic Time Travel Movies

Winter’s Tale is set in 1895 on the streets of New York and is based on the novel of the same name. Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) is a seasoned thief who enters the home of Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay). Beverly catches him in the act.

They both fall in love, and she tells Peter a story about how everyone is born with a miracle inside them. This is the theme for the whole movie so keep this in mind while watching.

The movie boasts a lot of big stars: Russell Crowe, Will Smith, and William Hurt, who all play fantastical characters brilliantly. The story jumps to modern times showing us Peter again. But he has amnesia, setting the story for the rest of the movie. The search for his memories and lost story.

Romance like this is always beautiful to watch, even though the audience and characters know it will not be the happy ending we all hope for.

Fans of Downton Abbey will recognize Findlay as Lady Sybil Crawley, carrying off the character of Beverly competently, with a timeless beauty that is only enhanced because we know the fate of the character.

Farrell is exquisite as always, playing his role as an Irish thief so convincingly. There are many twists and turns to keep you entertained during the second half, which is worth the effort.

Content Note: This film is rated 12A in the UK and PG-13 in the U.S. for violence and sensuality.

#9: IF ONLY (2004)

If Only

If Only uses the winning formula that led Groundhog Day (1993) to success, where the day is on repeat. We have Samantha (Jennifer Love Hewitt) and Ian (Paul Nichols), who are a typical couple, showing the relationship and fights.

Tragedy strikes when Samantha has a car accident leaving a heartbroken and grief-stricken Ian. But fate gives him another chance to back in time to try and change events. He lives the same day again and, like any sensible hero, tries to alter the events leading up to her accident.

It’s a sweet story showing the importance of cherishing the people close to you. The film further makes you wonder about how you would react in this situation. Would you be able to change anything?

The story moves at a good pace, keeping audiences on edge as to whether Ian will succeed. Very beautiful moments occur between the two as Ian knows what will come.

He tries his hardest to make everything perfect (and take notes, guys – ahem, ahem). Tissues may be needed; you have been warned.

Content Note: This film is rated PG-13 for some sensual material.

#10: KATE & LEOPOLD (2001)

kate and leopold - Romantic Time Travel Movies

‘I’m not very good with men.’ ‘ Perhaps you haven’t found the right one.’

This time travel romance movie captures everyone’s heart because Leopold (Hugh Jackman) comes from 1876 and has a romantic, classic approach to love.

He has purity dripping from every glance and every word he speaks. It would make any girl fall head over heels for the chivalrous Leopold.

So, what chance does Kate (Meg Ryan) have? Leopold needs to marry someone for wealth, with a dwindling purse and big dreams to pursue. He enters a portal transporting him to modern times. This blows him away to see the sights and progress.

He meets Kate, a market researcher who is cynical but ambitious. They get close but inevitable differences arise, and he returns back to his time.

Kate & Leopold also provides well-written comedic scenes with Kate’s brother, an actor assuming Leopold is deep in character. For fans of epic romantic movies from the ’90s, this 2001 film is equally awesome. Plus, any fan of Jackman will enjoy seeing him in this swoony role.

Content Note: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language.

Did you find one of your favorite movies about time travel and love? If you had the chance to have one of these romances, which one would it be?

Top Photo Credit: Somewhere in Time (Universal Pictures)


More period dramas:.



Book lover – reader and writer. Being a bookworm from an early age introduced me to all wonderful worlds, travelling from Narnia to Hogwarts. This became my hobby and passion leading me to pursue avenues where I can write not just for my enjoyment but also to progress my career. Some of my current obsessions include K-dramas, all things period - any BBC original adaptation. I am currently reading Dan Brown's new novel as well as "All men are Mortal" and re-reading "North and South" because you can never read enough about Mr.Thornton and Margaret!

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11 thoughts on “10 Romantic Time Travel Movies to Binge Watch: I’ll Love You to the End of Time”

Found some new ones for my list, so thanks! I love Hugh Jackson in Kate and Leopold – he plays it so straight it makes the whole thing so much funnier.

Though I haven’t seen it in a while now, I remember that I liked “Lake House,” and I just started to watch “About Time” last night. It’s nothing like I expected, but so far I quite like it! 🙂

Man, Rachel McAdams is all about that time travel life!

Oh, I hoped I’d find a new romantic time travel movie to add to my watched list, but I’m afraid I’ve already seen them all. Lovely curated list, tho!

A long time ago there lived a scientist who would hardly ever venture outside. His life was a lonely one, with long days of research and experiments. It was his ambition to create a potion to see into the future. He had over years collected hundreds of herbs and combined them in various ways until eventually, he was on the brink of a breakthrough…

All these are lovely —- another good one is “1994 Timecop” with Jean-Claude Van Damme and Mia Sara — thriller & romance

I can’t seem to find the movie which was based on a short story “ Christopher Frame “ a photo restorer who time travels ,.falls in love and stays there , tried to lookup but there is no information about it ,I can’t remember the name of the movie or episode either for the love of God ,If anyone knows about it please let me know ,thanks

Another outstanding time travel movie is the 1998 Hallmark Hall of Fame production “The Love Letter”, starring Campbell Scott and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Aired in the late 90s, it’s about an engaged civil war buff who finds hidden letters in an old desk which were written by an unmarried woman in 1863. He is compelled to respond to her and even though he lives in the late 20th century she receives his letters and they begin a correspondence through time. This obviously causes a big problem for his life with his fiance. It’s an excellent movie based on a short story by Jack Finney. Finney is the author of two great time travel novels, Time And Again and From Time to Time.

Hi Everybody, I read through the candidates for best time travel romance, all of which I have seen. I agree with your choices, but not exactly in that order. Although they were all great movies, it is “Somewhere in Time” that takes the number one spot. I was happy to see that at least you gave them the 3rd spot, but, in reality, it was the one movie that expressed so beautifully the concept that love transcends time and in the end, true love brings them together as they slip off into eternity.

There is one more movie to which I would give honorable mention. That is the 1979 movie “Time After Time” where the prolific writer HG Wells pursues Jack the Ripper into the future where Hubert (Malcolm Mcdowell) meets Mary Steenburgen and falls in love. This is another great movie. Thanks, DAD

Hi Dad! I agree with you that Somewhere in Time is the best time-travel romance movie. 🙂 Such a beautiful film!

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Den of Geek

Time Travel and Romantic Comedies: A Perfect Love Match?

Christopher Reeve, Back To The Future, About Time, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time: join us as we examine time travel in romcoms...

movie time travel love story

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Love is complicated enough without time travel. When time becomes a factor in a relationship, that relationship may be in trouble. In science fiction especially, time travel is a wrinkle that both brings lovers together and keeps them separate in some temporally devastating way.

Marty McFly almost breaks up his parents before they even get together. Kyle Reese falls in love with Sarah Connor when tasked with saving her life. Captain America misses out on a dance with Peggy Carter by getting frozen for 70 years (still technically time travel, if a bit low-tech). And, on TV, River Song and the Doctor experience their marriage in almost opposite directions.

read more: 22 Best Romantic Movies on Netflix

But, just as romance factors into timey-wimey movies like Back To The Future , The Terminator , and Groundhog Day , so does time travel cross over into primarily romantic movies. These aren’t sci-fi staples, but films with a degree of magical realism, where the emphasis is on the love story rather than on the disruption to the space-time continuum. They’re about romance, heartbreak and, usually, an extremely dubious mode of transport.

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So, without a DeLorean in sight, here are some of the ways that movie characters travel backwards or forwards in time for love.

Somewhere in Time

Persuading yourself back in time…

The field of hypnotism is a tricky one, but in a number of movies, it’s the way to will yourself back in time. The crossover between time travel and romance in popular fiction can be traced at least as far back as Henry James’ unfinished novel The Sense Of The Past . This was adapted into a play called Berkeley Square , about a young man called Peter Standish who reads his American ancestor’s diary and becomes convinced that he will go back in time, so he does.

The play was adapted into two films, 1933’s Berkeley Square , which bagged its star Leslie Howard an Oscar nod for Best Actor, and 1951’s The House In The Square , directed by Roy Ward Baker and starring Tyrone Power. The 1970 Barbra Streisand musical On A Clear Day You Can See Forever has a woman undergoing hypnotherapy for her smoking addiction regressed back into the time of her ancestor, a nobleman’s wife in the English Regency era.

But the biggy here is 1980’s Somewhere In Time , in which Christopher Reeve plays Richard Collier, a playwright who falls in love with a dead stage actress after seeing her portrait at the hotel where he is staying. With the help of his philosophy professor and some pretty compelling evidence that he once stayed at the hotel in the year 1912, Richard hypnotises himself back in time, shedding all tokens and reminders of his past life in order to remain in the past.

It’s this mode of travel that allows him to meet Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour), but also gives the film its tragic, tear-jerking twist at the end. To get geeky about it, their romance is a bootstrap paradox of mindboggling proportions. The elderly Elise initially inspires young Richard’s obsession by handing him a watch, which he then takes back with him and leaves with her. But it’s the perfect example of a time travel film that packs an emotional wallop without stressing the science.

Peggy Sue Got Married

Passing out at a high school reunion…

As timing goes, it’s probably not ideal to release a movie about going back in time to high school just one year after Back To The Future was an enormous hit. Perhaps that’s why Francis Ford Coppola’s Peggy Sue Got Married is the less celebrated of the two films, but as romantic as Back To The Future gets by the time Marvin Berry and the Starlighters play Earth Angel , the latter film focuses more on the emotional and nostalgic side of things than the time-travelling adventure.

At the start of the film, Peggy Sue Bodell (Kathleen Turner) has separated from her husband and high school sweetheart “Crazy” Charlie (Nicolas Cage), and memories come flooding back at their 25-year reunion, which Charlie promises not to attend then eventually shows up anyway. On stage, as the reunion committee’s homecoming queen, Peggy Sue passes out under the spotlight and wakes up at a school blood drive in 1960.

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After ruling out the possibility that she has died or gone insane, she realises that she may have a chance to live her life differently. Sure, Charlie seems sweeter than the one she’s come to know, but couldn’t she hook up with tough, thoughtful outsider Michael Fitzsimmons (the lesser seen heartthrob role for Kevin J. O’Connor) instead? Well, maybe, but over the course of the film, she comes to remember exactly why she fell in love with her husband in the first place.

The film holds up as a romantic comedy, and has almost become a nostalgic time capsule in itself, for its early roles for the likes of Jim Carrey, Helen Hunt and Joan Allen. And in the center of it, Crazy Charlie isn’t just an early sighting of Crazy Cage. Any given clip of his high-pitched performance might seem as eccentric as some of his later work, but taken altogether, he gives one of the very best turns of his career, making both his future wife and the audience fall for him again. Over time, the film itself has literally become about remembering why Nicolas Cage is so great.

Happy Accidents

Fighting for the right to nostalgia…

Probably the least well known film on this list, Happy Accidents was a Sundance favorite starring Marisa Tomei and Vincent D’Onofrio in the year 2000. It’s a lo-fi comedy drama with all the hallmarks of a festival film, but it’s endlessly, breathlessly imaginative with it.

Tomei plays Ruby, a woman with a literal shoebox full of mad exes, who meets and falls for Sam Deed (D’Onofrio, playing it like a kind of proto-Mark Ruffalo.), She really thinks he might be the one, despite him telling her early on that he is a “back-traveler” from the year 2470. Framed by conversations with her therapist and friends, Ruby variously enjoys the fantasy that she thinks Sam is spinning, and feels frustrated at the ambiguity of his origins.

According to Sam, he comes from a family of “anachronists”, who fight for civil rights and nostalgia in a society that no longer enjoys sex outside of pro-creation and has otherwise broken with the ways of the past. His story is that he travelled back in time on the run from the future cops, but because the movie takes place from Ruby’s point of view, his reluctance to tell the whole story, especially after elements of The Terminator muddle things, gives off the appearance of a cheating partner. He’s come back bearing spoilers, which affects the closeness of their relationship.

Written and directed by Brad Anderson, it’s a film that wraps a compelling time travel story, with more than a few references to Doctor Who ‘s Blinovitch Limitation Effect, into a Sundance-friendly romantic comedy that plays both sexy and geeky by turns. The chemistry between Tomei and D’Onofrio is really something else, and the film constantly plays its central mystery to entertaining effect.

Kate and Leopold

Jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge through a crack in the fabric of time…

In Kate & Leopold , Hugh Jackman plays Leopold Alexis Elijah Walker Gareth Thomas Mountbatten, 3rd Duke of Albany and inventor of the elevator. If that fictionalised character gives you pause, you’re going to have trouble with the way in which he gets from 1876 to the 21st century. Anyone would be upset to see Liev Schreiber in their home taking pictures with a digital camera, but you’d be especially cross if you lived in the 19th century.

Schreiber plays Stuart, an amateur physicist who has created a formula to forecast cracks in the space-time continuum as you might forecast the weather, and has jumped through one of them to track his great-great-grandfather, Leopold. Unfortunately, Leopold climbs up the Brooklyn Bridge (then still in construction) in pursuit of Stuart and winds up following him back to the future.

read more: Ranking the Romances of the MCU

There, he falls for Stuart’s ex and downstairs neighbour, a cynical research executive called Kate (Meg Ryan), and generally gets much too comfortable in 21st century New York. In addition to the film’s dubious use of time travel, the effect of Leopold’s jaunt to the future when he should be inventing the elevator leads to an accident early on, where Stuart falls down an elevator shaft, apparently as a consequence of history being changed. It does beg the question of why the shaft would still be there, if we’re to understand that the lift might cease to exist, but this is definitely more about the romance between the title characters than the science behind it.

Ultimately, the film’s happy ending winds up glossing over Stuart getting all sorts of things wrong, not least in having at some point slept with his own great-great-grandmother before he set them up, but then these are the sorts of slip-ups you make when you literally jump off a bridge as an experiment. As always, Jackman is loads of fun as a man out of time, and this film marks his first collaboration with writer-director James Mangold, with whom he most recently made Logan. An Oscar-worthy screenplay this is not, but nevertheless, it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The Lake House

Finding a penpal from two years ago…

Dating apps usually have a distance setting, so you can find someone who’s close by, but the snail mail equivalent in The Lake House has two people in the exact same location, separated by two years. Based on the South Korean film Il Mare , the film is about a long-distance correspondence between doctor Kate Forrester ( Sandra Bullock ) and architect Alex Wyler ( Keanu Reeves ), who live in the same house in the years 2006 and 2004, respectively.

Whether you’ve seen the film or not, it’s tough to keep the timey-wimey contortions of this one straight in your head. Kate and Alex’s continuing correspondence goes on in relative time, exactly two years apart from one another. So, at one point, Alex meets Kate at a party and interacts with her without introducing himself as someone she’ll write to in the future, which can happen because she vaguely remembers it in 2006 and so he doesn’t change time.

read more: 15 Best Romantic Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now

But the film hinges on a man who dies in a traffic accident, after Kate fails to save him, and when the film becomes about saving him, even though she remembers that she didn’t – oh dear, I’ve gone cross-eyed. Even more than Kate & Leopold , the time travel mechanics of this one are secondary to the romance, with Speed co-stars Reeves and Bullock making a likeable couple separated by the weirdness of their postal arrangements. They save more on stamps than most would writing to each other over a long distance, and they leave the arguments about causality to the geekier couples who go to see the movie.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Borrowing a time-travel device off a tourist from the future…

Yasutaka Tsutsui’s 1967 novel The Girl Who Leapt Through Time has been adapted many times in Japan, on TV and in movies. The most striking of these is the 2006 anime film, in which the novel’s original protagonist features as the aunt of schoolgirl Makoto Konno, who discovers the ability to leap through time after a near-death experience.

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This coming-of-age story sees Makoto use her ability frivolously in order to ace tests and impress her peers, but quickly gets more complicated once her two best friends Chaiaki and Kousuke become entangled in her shenanigans. Having believed that she came upon this ability naturally, it’s eventually revealed that she came into contact with a time travel device that was misplaced by a tourist from the future, and has inadvertently stolen their leaps.

Makoto takes a run-up before each leap and lands hard almost every time she travels back, but the bigger impact usually comes when she affects her own recent history in unexpected ways. It hits all of the usual notes that these films do in terms of characters growing up, but not necessarily in the right order, and one gorgeous sequence involving multiple leaps to avoid an awkward conversation with an admirer is just one of the delights in this gorgeously animated teen movie.

read more: 10 Underrated Time Travel Movies

The Time Traveller's Wife

How do you time travel? You just time travel…

All of this faffing aside, some time travelers have it and some time travelers don’t. Audrey Niffenegger’s novel The Time Traveler’s Wife was a book club favorite throughout the 2000s, and was noted as an influence on Steven Moffat’s creation of River Song in Doctor Who . It follows the very un-chronological romance between Claire Abshire, the title character, and Henry DeTamble, who has a genetic disorder which causes him to involuntarily time travel at random.

The 2009 film version, directed by Robert Schwentke and starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, makes relatively short work of a complex novel, but stays true to that central conceit of a relationship played out in the wrong order, from Henry meeting his wife as a child to their struggles to have children. As in the novel, the film makes an involving and emotional study of the downsides to a superpower that many would probably choose for themselves, albeit not in the conditions that Henry and Claire have to endure.

The wish fulfilment angle on the same ability comes in Richard Curtis’ About Time , in which Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) wins the genetic lottery by not only having Bill Nighy as a dad, but also inheriting the male line of his family’s unique ability to move backwards in time within their own memory. Tim’s first thought is that this ought to be a great help in finding himself a girlfriend.

Early on, the film is about him learning that you truly only get one chance to make a first impression, by accidentally erasing his first meeting with the love of his life Mary (Rachel McAdams, again) and then scrambling to reinstate their relationship. As the film develops, it becomes a study of a time-traveler growing up, with various rules and wrinkles preventing the kind of carefree meddling that Tim enjoyed in his younger years. It’s ultimately more a film about familial love, but it’s still bursting with romance.

read more: Time Traveler’s Wife TV Series in Development at HBO

Midnight in Paris

…but not if you’re Rachel McAdams

To date, there are precisely four films in which Rachel McAdams is the love interest of a man who gets to faff around with time, and she hasn’t got to time travel herself in any of them.

In addition to The Time Traveler’s Wife and About Time , there’s Midnight In Paris , where she plays Inez, the spoiled, cheating wife of Woody Allen’s author insert Gil (Owen Wilson) who doesn’t understand her husband’s nocturnal jaunts to the 1920s, and Marvel’s Doctor Strange, in which she’s squandered as Christine Palmer, Strange’s ex and tether to normality.

In About Time , it’s Tim’s sister Kit Kat who’s hard done by the weirdly specific rule that only male relatives can time travel, but Mary remains oblivious to it altogether. It seems the only sure way to travel back in time in a time travel romance is to not be Rachel McAdams. It’s a whole lot of bollocks that McAdams isn’t at least an A-list star by this stage in her career, but ‘the time traveler’s significant other’ is a fascinating niche in which she’s found herself.

read more: The Best Female Time Travelers in TV History

Being passengers…

But in the majority of the films we’ve covered, the lovers aren’t the Doc Brown type. They’re more Marty – passengers of time travel, usually not fully in control of their respective modes of transport. Time is a force beyond their control, which love must withstand in order to get us to a happy ending.

Whether they’ve swiped right on an old photograph or happened to meet the love of their lives outside of their own timezone, the how is never so important as the why. Like Basil Exposition tells us Austin (and us) in the second Austin Powers movie, the more romantic movies suggest that we don’t worry about those things, and try to enjoy ourselves.

Mark Harrison

Mark Harrison | @MHarrison90

Mark is a writer from Middlesbrough, who once drunkenly tried (and failed) to pitch a film about his hometown to a director from Pixar. Fortunately, he…

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The Greatest Time-Travel Romances of All Time

The greatest romances face the test of time — but what happens when two lovers are adrift in time and space? About Time is just the latest in a long line of time-travel love stories, and tales of time-crossed lovers. Here are the greatest time-travel romances of all timelines.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Teenage love is a tricky thing, and in the 2006 adaptation of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Makoto messes it up over and over again. After she discovers that she can literally leap through time, Makoto uses her power to play cupid not only with her friends, but with her own love life. She learns that relationships are complicated, even when you can arrange it so that certain conversations never happened. This beautiful anime film expands on the stories told in other adaptations of Yasutaka Tsutsui's novel. Makoto's aunt in the film is the protagonist of the original novel, and we see some of the ramifications of her own time traveling romance.

The Time Traveler's Wife

Throughout The time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger compares her main characters' relationship to that between a sailor and his wife. The description is apt as we see Henry and Clare torn apart again and again, never knowing if the storms of life will keep them apart forever. Henry suffers from a genetic condition similar to epilepsy, but instead of having seizures he travels through time. He and Clare struggle to lead normal lives despite his frequent disappearances. In 2009 Robert Schwentke adapted this into a film starring Rachel McAdams, the actress most type-cast as a time traveler's love interest .

Just after World War II, British army nurse Claire Randall is vacationing with her husband in Scotland when she stumbles through a group of standing stones into the year 1743. She wins the trust of a clan of Scotsmen after using her medical knowledge to relocate the arm of Jamie MacKenzie. One thing leads to another and Claire ends up being forced to marry Jamie, breaking her marriage vows to her husband in the future. The situation becomes further complicated when Claire realizes she is falling in love with Jamie. She must choose between trying to find a way back to her present and her husband, or staying with the man she now believes to be the love of her life. This sexy tale has gripped readers for over a decade. The eighth book in the series will be released in March 2014, and Ronald D. Moore is producing a television series based on the books set to come out in Spring 2014.

Somewhere in Time

The course of a life can turn on a penny as we learn in the 1980 film Somewhere In Time. The movie was based on Richard Matheson's beloved sci/fi book Bid Time Return. The story begins with Richard Collier having a strange encounter with an old woman who begs him to "come back to me" and gives him a pocket watch. Shortly later, Collier learns that she was Elise McKenna, an actress from the early 1900s. He grows enamored with her photograph and becomes determined to find a way to travel back in time to meet her. His former professor, who believes he has self-hypnotised himself back to the year 1571, teaches him how to will himself into 1912. When he finds Elise, their whirlwind romance lights up the screen.

Amy and Rory's storyline on Doctor Who

Amy Pond and Rory Williams are among the most popular companions in Doctor Who, and their romance stands out as one of the new series' best storylines. They have rocky moments, but seeing their struggles only makes their relationship stronger and more believable to the viewer. We get to see their relationship develop from Rory's one-sided teenage crush to Amy's willingness to sacrifice everything for him. It's difficult to pick one episode to represent their love story, but the tenth episode of the sixth series is a good place to start. The Girl Who Waited deals with some of the more complex issues with time travel and it's fascinating to watch these characters navigate a messy situation involving both a younger and older Amy.

Back to the Future

Oh Back to the Future, we will never get tired of your time travel hijinks. Marty McFly travels back in time to the 1950s, and in doing so, stops his parents from meeting for the first time. Instead of falling in love with George McFly when her father hits him with her car, Lorraine Baines starts falling for her time traveling son. Hilarity ensues as Marty must play cupid and get his parents to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance before he and his siblings disappear forever. Spoiler, he succeeds, and his parents fall madly in love. As George tells Lorraine, "I'm your density. I mean, your destiny."

Safety Not Guaranteed

A man named Kenneth posts an ad seeking: "Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. Safety not guaranteed." Darius, a young reporter, is sent out with a group to investigate his claims and see what he's really after, or if he's just insane. After winning his trust, the two begin to bond. What follows is a beautiful story about two people learning to accept and trust each other's weirdness. They build a time machine, train, and do everything they can to prepare themselves for the future. Spoiler: The ending is subjective and we never learn for certain if Kenneth can successfully time travel.

Only Backwards

This short story explores the sweetness of a first kiss, and the sacrifices made for loved ones. Mason invents a time machine so he can revisit the most important moment in his life, but not everything goes according to plan. When he returns, every memory after that moment is gone. He is a teenager trapped in a 40 year old body, with no recollection of his beloved wife. They touchingly console each other as they navigate this strange situation. She tells him, "Don't worry...You won't be alone. I'll be here."

Midnight in Paris

Gil Pender doesn't have the best of luck with his time traveling romances, unless you count his love affair with the city of Paris. In Midnight in Paris, he is on vacation with his fiancee when he discovers that every night at midnight, he travels back in time. He finds himself in the 1920s and he encounters all of his favorite writers and artists from that time period. With his present-day romance going poorly, he falls in love with Picasso's mistress Adriana. They begin a relationship, but the present is always there, calling Gil back. This nostalgic movie is romantic, funny, and full of fantasy.

Sense of the Past

When Henry James died, he left an unfinished time travel romance novel behind. It was published in 1917 and spawned a play and two movies. In the novel, Ralph Pendrel discovers that by going into his ancestor's London home, he is also transported to their time. In this time period, he is engaged to a woman named Molly Midmore, although he finds himself more attracted to her sister, Nan. The notes Henry James left outlining the rest of the novel make it clear that Nan reciprocate his love, and eventually realizes that he is a time traveler. If the novel had been finished, Ralph would have had to choose between returning to his own time and another woman or staying with Nan in the past.

The Dancers at the Edge of Time

The universe is about to end, but that doesn't stop Jherek Carnelian from having love on the brain. From the moment he sees Amelia Underwood, a Victorian time traveler, he knows that they will fall in love. Michael Moorecock's series which includes An Alien Heat, The Hollow Lands, and the End of All Songs, follows the lovers as they bounce back and forth through time. As the series goes on we see that their relationship is more important than even they could have imagined.

Quantum Leap: Star Crossed

Sam Beckett's wife left him at the altar, but it didn't happen in every timeline. In Star Crossed Sam leaps back to Donna's college days long before their marriage is set to begin. He theorized that she couldn't commit to him due to issues with her father, and he sets out to fix them before it's too late. Al repeatedly warns him against this plan, but Sam loves her and will do anything to give their relationship a second chance.

Star Trek: City on the Edge of Forever

Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are transported to New York City during the Great Depression — and I bet you can guess which ones falls in love. McCoy saves Edith Keeler's life, and Kirk falls in love with her. Edith is an impressive pacifist who would have gone on to delay WWII and indirectly lead to an Axis victory. Lovestruck Kirk must make a terrible decision—to set the timeline right with Edith's death, or change the course of history forever.

Time and Again

At the heart of Jack Finney's classic time travel novel is the romance between Simon Morley and Julia Charbonneau. The book has a complex plot full of action, mystery, and adventure, but the love story holds it all together. Simon Morley travels back to the 1882 New York City in order to solve a mystery. While in the past he falls in love with Julia, although she doesn't immediately reciprocate his feelings. Their sweet relationship has many memorable moments, but none as fun as the scenes of 1882 Julia experiencing 1970 NYC.

The Man Who Folded Himself

David Gerrold's The Man Who Folded himself gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "self love." Daniel Eakins is a college student who inherits a Timebelt, and with it the ability to travel through time. He uses it to travel to his future where he meets alternate versions of himself, and eventually having a sexual relationship with himself. He eventually meets a female version of himself, Diane, and they attempt to have a more traditional relationship, even having a child together. It's a strange sort of love story, but that doesn't make the book any less powerful.

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  • Best Time-travel And Romance Movies

Best time-travel and romance movies

By rachit gupta | september 8, 2016, 15:09 ist.

Best time-travel and romance movies

Sidharth Malhotra and Katirna Kaif are about to experience time-travel in Baar Baar Dekho. But they’re not the first set of lovers to be able to traverse the landscape of time. Hollywood has had quite the tryst taking lovers hop, skip and jump into the past, future and uncertain present all in a bid to save love. We’re not getting into time travel classics like Star Trek, Looper, 12 Monkeys, Interstellar etc because our focus is simply on romance and its ability to cut across time. Here’s a list of awesome romantic movies that made a big play on time travel too.


Somewhere In Time

Remember Christopher Reeve? When he wasn’t busy playing Superman, Reeve was the goto man for Hollywood’s far-fetched but very effective romances. In this 1980 film, Reeve essayed the role of a playwright who falls in love with a photograph of a beautiful woman. This woman turns out to be an old stage actress who’s passed away so in a bid to meet his new obsession, Reeve’s character travels back in time with just the power of his mind. There are no gadgets, contraptions or science fiction mumbo jumbo at work. Just plain old power of love bending the very fabric of time. The biggest take away from this movie is the fantastic on-screen pairing for Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.    


Peggy Sue Got Married

Creator of the The Godfather movies, Francis Ford Coppola also made a more fluffy film by the name of Peggy Sue Got Married. This movie didn’t have gangsters but it did have a dysfunctional family. Starring Kathleen Turner in the lead role, the movie featured a depressed woman travelling back in time to her high school days to give her romance with her husband Charlie (Nicolas Cage) another chance. Like Somewhere In Time, this film does not offer any scientific reason to time travel. Instead it makes a spiritual / clairvoyance kind of hint at the ability of Peggy (Turner) to skip back in time. Apart from the sugary but compelling romance on offer, the fact that this movie features both Nicolas Cage and Jim Carrey (in a small role) makes it worth a watch.  


Groundhog Day

Redemption, progression, evolution and eventually romance is what makes Groundhog Day such a brilliant time travel concept. Even though Bill Murray isn’t actually travelling back and forth in time, he is caught up in a time loop, where he has to live Groundhog Day over and over again. In doing so, he goes from being a cocky self-absorbed man to being a compassionate and sensitive human being. It’s the evolution of a man into a gentleman and that makes the romanticized themes of Groundhog Day an absolute winner.    


Safety Not Guaranteed

An absurd classified ad asking for time travel companionship leads to a series of events where time travel actually becomes a motive for character interactions and an unlikely romance. This movie starts off with a magazine reporting team zeroing in on a corny ad given out by a classic loner nerd. The team on the reporting team features Darius (Aubrey Plaza) who invariably falls in love with Kenneth (Mark Duplass). Time travel doesn’t form the crux of the action in the movie, but love and a weird liking for science and all things nerdy does make a compelling story.    


Midnight In Paris

A real surprise package, Midnight In Paris was one of Woody Allen’s best offerings, not just in recent past but through his entire career. This film didn’t make any scientific explanations about how Owen Wilson’s character ends up attending Gertrude Stein’s get-togethers with the likes of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Dali, Eliot, Picasso and so many other early 20th century artists. He just hops into a chauffeur driven car and lands up at the hottest literati bar in 1920 Paris. All this while Wilson’s character struggles to get his own book into place which even strains his relationship with fiancée Inez. Midnight In Paris is a wonderful look at creative inspirations and that feeling of listlessness in relationships.    


Planet Of The Apes movies

The Planet Of The Apes movies aren't really romances by definition. You can peg them more on sci-fi thrillers that deal with the themes of future dystopia, kind of close to the original time travel writings of HG Wells, but fact is, romantic exchanges between the characters of these movies make a big impact on its time travelling themes. The 1968 movie featuring Charlton Heston had his character being romantically involved with both a human girl named Nova and the chimpanzee doctor named Zira. His romantic leaning towards Nova, the primitive but perceptive girl was the usual game of passions and hormones, but his rapport with Zira, his saviour and benefactor added a zing to the romantic content of The Planet Of The Apes.  


Back To The Future series

So why did Marty McFly travel to the future, past and present? For love of course. First it was his parents’ love story that needed mending, and then it was both his parents’ love story going haywire and his own romance with Jennifer blossoming over several timelines. Finally the third film even saw Doc Brown falling in love in the past. In India, we’ve tried to ape the same concept in the entertaining but inadequate Action Replay a few years ago and that just proves the perennial appeal of the concept.


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Top 10 Best Time-Travel Romance Movies

Top 10 Best Time-Travel Romance Movies

#10: “Kate & Leopold” (2001)

#9: “back to the future part iii” (1990), #8: “peggy sue got married” (1986), #7: “somewhere in time” (1980), #6: “the lake house” (2006), #5: “midnight in paris” (2011), #4: “13 going on 30” (2004), #3: “groundhog day” (1993), #2: “the time traveler's wife” (2009), #1: “about time” (2013).

The Verdict: Is Groundhog Day A Time Travel Movie?

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Top 100 Time Travel Movies

Best Films about time travel.

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1. Back to the Future (1985)

PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox , Christopher Lloyd , Lea Thompson , Crispin Glover

Votes: 1,281,266 | Gross: $210.61M

2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

R | 137 min | Action, Sci-Fi

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her ten year old son John from an even more advanced and powerful cyborg.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger , Linda Hamilton , Edward Furlong , Robert Patrick

Votes: 1,154,950 | Gross: $204.84M

3. The Terminator (1984)

R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi

A human soldier is sent from 2029 to 1984 to stop an almost indestructible cyborg killing machine, sent from the same year, which has been programmed to execute a young woman whose unborn son is the key to humanity's future salvation.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger , Linda Hamilton , Michael Biehn , Paul Winfield

Votes: 909,848 | Gross: $38.40M

4. The Butterfly Effect (2004)

R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Evan Treborn suffers blackouts during significant events of his life. As he grows up, he finds a way to remember these lost memories and a supernatural way to alter his life by reading his journal.

Directors: Eric Bress , J. Mackye Gruber | Stars: Ashton Kutcher , Amy Smart , Melora Walters , Elden Henson

Votes: 514,313 | Gross: $57.94M

5. Back to the Future Part II (1989)

PG | 108 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

After visiting 2015, Marty McFly must repeat his visit to 1955 to prevent disastrous changes to 1985...without interfering with his first trip.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox , Christopher Lloyd , Lea Thompson , Tom Wilson

Votes: 563,735 | Gross: $118.50M

6. 12 Monkeys (1995)

R | 129 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Bruce Willis , Madeleine Stowe , Brad Pitt , Joseph Melito

Votes: 639,769 | Gross: $57.14M

7. Groundhog Day (1993)

PG | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

A narcissistic, self-centered weatherman finds himself in a time loop on Groundhog Day.

Director: Harold Ramis | Stars: Bill Murray , Andie MacDowell , Chris Elliott , Stephen Tobolowsky

Votes: 671,238 | Gross: $70.91M

8. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

PG-13 | 181 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to reverse Thanos' actions and restore balance to the universe.

Directors: Anthony Russo , Joe Russo | Stars: Robert Downey Jr. , Chris Evans , Mark Ruffalo , Chris Hemsworth

Votes: 1,235,060 | Gross: $858.37M

9. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

PG-13 | 132 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Patrick Stewart , Ian McKellen , Hugh Jackman , James McAvoy

Votes: 736,958 | Gross: $233.92M

10. Interstellar (2014)

PG-13 | 169 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

When Earth becomes uninhabitable in the future, a farmer and ex-NASA pilot, Joseph Cooper, is tasked to pilot a spacecraft, along with a team of researchers, to find a new planet for humans.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Matthew McConaughey , Anne Hathaway , Jessica Chastain , Mackenzie Foy

Votes: 2,030,630 | Gross: $188.02M

11. Predestination (I) (2014)

R | 97 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

For his final assignment, a top temporal agent must pursue the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time. The chase turns into a unique, surprising and mind-bending exploration of love, fate, identity and time travel taboos.

Directors: Michael Spierig , Peter Spierig | Stars: Ethan Hawke , Sarah Snook , Noah Taylor , Madeleine West

Votes: 299,261 | Gross: $0.07M

12. Mirage (2018)

TV-MA | 128 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

Two storms separated by 25 years. A woman murdered. A daughter missed. Only 72 hours to discover the truth.

Director: Oriol Paulo | Stars: Adriana Ugarte , Chino Darín , Javier Gutiérrez , Álvaro Morte

Votes: 62,664

13. Palm Springs (2020)

R | 90 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Mystery

Stuck in a time loop, two wedding guests develop a budding romance while living the same day over and over again.

Director: Max Barbakow | Stars: Andy Samberg , Cristin Milioti , J.K. Simmons , Peter Gallagher

Votes: 177,399

14. Midnight in Paris (2011)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s every day at midnight.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Owen Wilson , Rachel McAdams , Kathy Bates , Kurt Fuller

Votes: 444,756 | Gross: $56.82M

15. Timecrimes (2007)

R | 92 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A man accidentally gets into a time machine and travels back in time nearly an hour. Finding himself will be the first of a series of disasters of unforeseeable consequences.

Director: Nacho Vigalondo | Stars: Karra Elejalde , Candela Fernández , Bárbara Goenaga , Nacho Vigalondo

Votes: 67,878 | Gross: $0.04M

16. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

PG-13 | 113 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

A soldier fighting aliens gets to relive the same day over and over again, the day restarting every time he dies.

Director: Doug Liman | Stars: Tom Cruise , Emily Blunt , Bill Paxton , Brendan Gleeson

Votes: 722,717 | Gross: $100.21M

17. About Time (I) (2013)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think.

Director: Richard Curtis | Stars: Domhnall Gleeson , Rachel McAdams , Bill Nighy , Lydia Wilson

Votes: 377,503 | Gross: $15.32M

18. The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)

PG-13 | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

A Chicago librarian has a gene that causes him to involuntarily time travel, creating complications in his marriage.

Director: Robert Schwentke | Stars: Eric Bana , Rachel McAdams , Ron Livingston , Michelle Nolden

Votes: 156,482 | Gross: $63.41M

19. Back to the Future Part III (1990)

PG | 118 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Stranded in 1955, Marty McFly learns about the death of Doc Brown in 1885 and must travel back in time to save him. With no fuel readily available for the DeLorean, the two must figure how to escape the Old West before Emmett is murdered.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox , Christopher Lloyd , Mary Steenburgen , Tom Wilson

Votes: 473,311 | Gross: $87.73M

20. Time Sweep (2016)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama

Franco loses his investigative journalist girlfriend Julia in a traffic accident and he'll do anything to get her back...

Director: Victor Postiglione | Stars: Luis Luque , Guillermo Pfening , María Nela Sinisterra

21. Star Trek (2009)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The brash James T. Kirk tries to live up to his father's legacy with Mr. Spock keeping him in check as a vengeful Romulan from the future creates black holes to destroy the Federation one planet at a time.

Director: J.J. Abrams | Stars: Chris Pine , Zachary Quinto , Simon Pegg , Leonard Nimoy

Votes: 616,560 | Gross: $257.73M

22. Flight of the Navigator (1986)

PG | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

In 1978, a boy travels eight years into the future and has an adventure with an intelligent, wisecracking alien ship.

Director: Randal Kleiser | Stars: Joey Cramer , Paul Reubens , Cliff De Young , Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 51,025 | Gross: $18.56M

23. Rewind (1999)

94 min | Comedy

A single guy has a video recorder that when re-winded it rewinds his life too. One night He invites to dinner some friends and records the party and keeps rewinding the camera every time something goes wrong with unpredictable results.

Director: Nicolás Muñoz Avia | Stars: Daniel Guzmán , María Adánez , Enrique Simón , Paz Gómez

24. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

PG-13 | 127 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

When Jacob (Asa Butterfield) discovers clues to a mystery that stretches across time, he finds Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. But the danger deepens after he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Eva Green , Asa Butterfield , Samuel L. Jackson , Judi Dench

Votes: 185,259 | Gross: $87.24M

25. Men in Black 3 (2012)

PG-13 | 106 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Agent J travels in time to M.I.B.'s early days in 1969 to stop an alien from assassinating his friend Agent K and changing history.

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld | Stars: Will Smith , Tommy Lee Jones , Josh Brolin , Jemaine Clement

Votes: 381,958 | Gross: $179.02M

26. Source Code (2011)

PG-13 | 93 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

A soldier wakes up in someone else's body and discovers he's part of an experimental government program to find the bomber of a commuter train within 8 minutes.

Director: Duncan Jones | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal , Michelle Monaghan , Vera Farmiga , Jeffrey Wright

Votes: 542,810 | Gross: $54.71M

27. The Time Machine (1960)

G | 103 min | Adventure, Romance, Sci-Fi

A man's vision for a utopian society is disillusioned when travelling forward into time reveals a dark and dangerous society.

Director: George Pal | Stars: Rod Taylor , Alan Young , Yvette Mimieux , Sebastian Cabot

Votes: 44,064

28. Idiocracy (2006)

R | 84 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Corporal Joe Bauers, a decisively average American, is selected as a guinea pig for a top-secret hibernation program but is forgotten, awakening to a future so incredibly moronic he's easily the most intelligent person alive.

Director: Mike Judge | Stars: Luke Wilson , Maya Rudolph , Dax Shepard , Terry Crews

Votes: 178,076 | Gross: $0.44M

29. 12 Dates of Christmas (2011 TV Movie)

PG | 90 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

A story that follows Kate, a young woman who after a horrible blind date on Christmas Eve, wakes up to find she is re-living that same day and date all over again.

Director: James Hayman | Stars: Laura Miyata , Vijay Mehta , Amy Smart , Audrey Dwyer

Votes: 8,192

30. 12:01 (1993 TV Movie)

PG-13 | 92 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A man likes a woman at work. He sees her get murdered. He gets drunk and zapped at 12:01AM. Next morning she's back and everything is exactly like the day before. The time loops gives him chances to save her.

Director: Jack Sholder | Stars: Helen Slater , Jonathan Silverman , Nicolas Surovy , Robin Bartlett

Votes: 5,432

31. Time Lapse (2014)

Not Rated | 104 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Three friends discover a mysterious machine that takes pictures twenty-four hours into the future, and conspire to use it for personal gain, until disturbing and dangerous images begin to develop.

Director: Bradley King | Stars: Danielle Panabaker , Matt O'Leary , George Finn , John Rhys-Davies

Votes: 48,453

32. Looper (2012)

R | 119 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt , Bruce Willis , Emily Blunt , Paul Dano

Votes: 596,610 | Gross: $66.49M

33. The Lake House (2006)

PG | 99 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

A lonely doctor who once occupied an unusual lakeside house begins to exchange love letters with its former resident, a frustrated architect. They must try to unravel the mystery behind their extraordinary romance before it's too late.

Director: Alejandro Agresti | Stars: Keanu Reeves , Sandra Bullock , Christopher Plummer , Ebon Moss-Bachrach

Votes: 156,202 | Gross: $52.33M

34. Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009)

PG-13 | 83 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

While drinking at their local pub, three social outcasts attempt to navigate a time-travel conundrum.

Director: Gareth Carrivick | Stars: Chris O'Dowd , Marc Wootton , Dean Lennox Kelly , Anna Faris

Votes: 36,121

35. Frequency (2000)

PG-13 | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

An accidental cross-time radio link connects father and son across 30 years. The son tries to save his father's life, but then must fix the consequences.

Director: Gregory Hoblit | Stars: Dennis Quaid , Jim Caviezel , Shawn Doyle , Elizabeth Mitchell

Votes: 114,395 | Gross: $45.01M

36. Kate & Leopold (2001)

PG-13 | 118 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

An English Duke from 1876 is inadvertently dragged to modern day New York where he falls for a plucky advertising executive.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: Meg Ryan , Hugh Jackman , Liev Schreiber , Breckin Meyer

Votes: 88,252 | Gross: $47.12M

37. Project Almanac (2015)

PG-13 | 106 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A group of teens discovers secret plans for a time machine, and construct one. However, things start to get out of control.

Director: Dean Israelite | Stars: Amy Landecker , Sofia Black-D'Elia , Virginia Gardner , Jonny Weston

Votes: 83,432 | Gross: $22.35M

38. Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

R | 86 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified advertisement seeking a companion for time travel.

Director: Colin Trevorrow | Stars: Aubrey Plaza , Mark Duplass , Jake Johnson , Karan Soni

Votes: 130,121 | Gross: $4.01M

39. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

R | 109 min | Action, Sci-Fi

A machine from a post-apocalyptic future travels back in time to protect a man and a woman from an advanced robotic assassin to ensure they both survive a nuclear attack.

Director: Jonathan Mostow | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger , Nick Stahl , Kristanna Loken , Claire Danes

Votes: 414,847 | Gross: $150.37M

40. Terminator Salvation (2009)

PG-13 | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

In 2018, a mysterious new weapon in the war against the machines, half-human and half-machine, comes to John Connor on the eve of a resistance attack on Skynet. But whose side is he on, and can he be trusted?

Director: McG | Stars: Christian Bale , Sam Worthington , Anton Yelchin , Moon Bloodgood

Votes: 374,224 | Gross: $125.32M

41. Primer (2004)

PG-13 | 77 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there's something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they've built, wrestle over their new invention. C b

Director: Shane Carruth | Stars: Shane Carruth , David Sullivan , Casey Gooden , Anand Upadhyaya

Votes: 112,710 | Gross: $0.42M

42. Synchronicity (IV) (2015)

R | 101 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

A physicist who invents a time machine must travel back to the past to uncover the truth about his creation and the woman who is trying to steal it.

Director: Jacob Gentry | Stars: Chad McKnight , Brianne Davis , AJ Bowen , Scott Poythress

Votes: 11,242 | Gross: $0.00M

43. Donnie Darko (2001)

R | 113 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

After narrowly escaping a bizarre accident, a troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes.

Director: Richard Kelly | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal , Jena Malone , Mary McDonnell , Holmes Osborne

Votes: 838,051 | Gross: $1.48M

44. Time Trap (2017)

Not Rated | 87 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

A professor enters a cave and goes missing. Some of his students come looking for him and get trapped in the cave as well.

Directors: Mark Dennis , Ben Foster | Stars: Reiley McClendon , Cassidy Gifford , Brianne Howey , Olivia Draguicevich

Votes: 42,122

45. Time Lapse (2014)

46. before i fall (2017).

PG-13 | 98 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

February 12 is just another day in Sam's charmed life, until it turns out to be her last. Stuck reliving her last day over and over, Sam untangles the mystery around her death and discovers everything she's losing.

Director: Ry Russo-Young | Stars: Zoey Deutch , Halston Sage , Cynthy Wu , Medalion Rahimi

Votes: 55,923 | Gross: $12.24M

47. Time Trap (2017)

48. arq (2016).

TV-MA | 88 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Trapped in a lab and stuck in a time loop, a disoriented couple fends off masked raiders while harboring a new energy source that could save humanity.

Director: Tony Elliott | Stars: Robbie Amell , Rachael Taylor , Shaun Benson , Gray Powell

Votes: 41,348

49. Time Bandits (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

A young boy accidentally joins a band of time travelling dwarves, as they jump from era to era looking for treasure to steal.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Sean Connery , Shelley Duvall , John Cleese , Katherine Helmond

Votes: 67,326 | Gross: $42.37M

50. Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)

PG | 92 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

The time-travelling adventures of an advanced canine and his adopted son, as they endeavor to fix a time rift they created.

Director: Rob Minkoff | Stars: Ty Burrell , Max Charles , Stephen Colbert , Leslie Mann

Votes: 76,499 | Gross: $111.51M

51. Shrek Forever After (2010)

PG | 93 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Rumpelstiltskin tricks a mid-life crisis burdened Shrek into allowing himself to be erased from existence and cast in a dark alternate timeline where Rumpelstiltskin rules supreme.

Director: Mike Mitchell | Stars: Mike Myers , Cameron Diaz , Eddie Murphy , Antonio Banderas

Votes: 220,872 | Gross: $238.37M

52. Happy Death Day (2017)

PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy, Horror, Mystery

A college student must relive the day of her murder over and over again, in a loop that will end only when she discovers her killer's identity.

Director: Christopher Landon | Stars: Jessica Rothe , Israel Broussard , Ruby Modine , Charles Aitken

Votes: 158,899 | Gross: $55.68M

53. Timecop (1994)

R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

Max Walker, an officer for a security agency that regulates time travel, must fend for his life against a shady politician who's intent on changing the past to control the future.

Director: Peter Hyams | Stars: Jean-Claude Van Damme , Mia Sara , Ron Silver , Bruce McGill

Votes: 63,143 | Gross: $44.85M

54. Continuum (2013)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

After the disappearance of a young scientist on a business trip, his son and wife struggle to cope, only to make a bizarre discovery years later - one that may bring him home.

Director: Richie Mehta | Stars: John Paul Ruttan , Rufus Sewell , Gillian Anderson , Kiara Glasco

Votes: 7,870

55. Click (2006)

A workaholic architect finds a universal remote that allows him to fast-forward and rewind to different parts of his life. Complications arise when the remote starts to overrule his choices.

Director: Frank Coraci | Stars: Adam Sandler , Kate Beckinsale , Christopher Walken , David Hasselhoff

Votes: 351,066 | Gross: $137.36M

56. When We First Met (2018)

TV-14 | 97 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Noah meets Avery at a Halloween party and falls in love but gets friend-zoned. 3 years later, she's engaged to someone else. Noah returns in a time machine to fix things.

Director: Ari Sandel | Stars: Adam Devine , Alexandra Daddario , Shelley Hennig , Andrew Bachelor

Votes: 53,170

57. The Time Machine (2002)

PG-13 | 96 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Hoping to alter the events of the past, a 19th century inventor instead travels 800,000 years into the future, where he finds humankind divided into two warring races.

Director: Simon Wells | Stars: Guy Pearce , Yancey Arias , Mark Addy , Phyllida Law

Votes: 129,121 | Gross: $56.68M

58. The Jacket (2005)

R | 103 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

A Gulf war veteran is wrongly sent to a mental institution for insane criminals, where he becomes the object of a doctor's experiments, and his life is completely affected by them.

Director: John Maybury | Stars: Adrien Brody , Keira Knightley , Daniel Craig , Kris Kristofferson

Votes: 118,281 | Gross: $6.30M

59. Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

PG | 113 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Alice is appointed to save her beloved Mad Hatter from deadly grief by travelling back to the past, but this means fatally harming Time himself, the noble clockwork man with the device needed to save the Hatter's family from the Red Queen.

Director: James Bobin | Stars: Mia Wasikowska , Johnny Depp , Helena Bonham Carter , Anne Hathaway

Votes: 119,536 | Gross: $77.04M

60. Triangle (2009)

R | 99 min | Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Five friends set sail and their yacht is overturned by a strange and sudden storm. A mysterious ship arrives to rescue them, and what happens next cannot be explained.

Director: Christopher Smith | Stars: Melissa George , Joshua McIvor , Jack Taylor , Michael Dorman

Votes: 126,874

61. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

PG-13 | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Dr. Evil is back and has invented a new time machine that allows him to go back to the 1960s and steal Austin Powers' mojo, inadvertently leaving him "shagless".

Director: Jay Roach | Stars: Mike Myers , Heather Graham , Michael York , Robert Wagner

Votes: 245,626 | Gross: $206.04M

62. Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

R | 99 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

A malfunctioning time machine at a ski resort takes a man back to 1986 with his two friends and nephew, where they must relive a fateful night and not change anything to make sure the nephew is born.

Director: Steve Pink | Stars: John Cusack , Rob Corddry , Craig Robinson , Clark Duke

Votes: 184,048 | Gross: $50.29M

63. Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Peggy Sue faints at a high school reunion. When she wakes up, she finds herself in her own past, just before she finished school.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Kathleen Turner , Nicolas Cage , Barry Miller , Catherine Hicks

Votes: 40,159 | Gross: $41.38M

64. Grand Tour: Disaster in Time (1991)

PG-13 | 99 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi

Before they can complete renovations on their new inn, Widower (Ben Wilson) and daughter (Hillary) are visited by a woman seeking immediate lodging for her strange group of travellers. Why ... See full summary  »

Director: David Twohy | Stars: Jeff Daniels , Ariana Richards , Emilia Crow , Jim Haynie

Votes: 3,015

65. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

PG | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy, Music

Two rock-'n-rolling teens, on the verge of failing their class, set out on a quest to make the ultimate school history report after being presented with a time machine.

Director: Stephen Herek | Stars: Keanu Reeves , Alex Winter , George Carlin , Terry Camilleri

Votes: 139,837 | Gross: $40.49M

66. Time Freak (2018)

PG-13 | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A genius teenage boy is in love with a girl who breaks up with him after a year. He invents a time machine and tries to fix the breakup repeatedly. He finally goes a year back with his friend to fix the bad days.

Director: Andrew Bowler | Stars: Asa Butterfield , Sophie Turner , Skyler Gisondo , Will Peltz

Votes: 9,682 | Gross: $0.01M

67. Naked (I) (2017)

TV-14 | 96 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Nervous about finally getting married, a guy is forced to relive the same nerve-wracking hours over and over again until he gets things right on his wedding day.

Director: Michael Tiddes | Stars: Marlon Wayans , Regina Hall , Dennis Haysbert , J.T. Jackson

Votes: 21,344

68. Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991)

PG | 93 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

A tyrant from the future creates evil android doubles of Bill and Ted and sends them back to eliminate the originals.

Director: Peter Hewitt | Stars: Keanu Reeves , Alex Winter , William Sadler , Joss Ackland

Votes: 80,210 | Gross: $38.04M

69. The Man from the Future (2011)

106 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Zero is a brilliant scientist. However, 20 years ago, he was publicly humiliated when he lost Helena, the love of his life. One day, an accidental experience with one of his inventions ... See full summary  »

Director: Cláudio Torres | Stars: Wagner Moura , Alinne Moraes , Maria Luísa Mendonça , Fernando Ceylão

Votes: 6,804

70. Somewhere in Time (1980)

PG | 103 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

A Chicago playwright uses self-hypnosis to travel back in time and meet the actress whose vintage portrait hangs in a grand hotel.

Director: Jeannot Szwarc | Stars: Christopher Reeve , Jane Seymour , Christopher Plummer , Teresa Wright

Votes: 31,888 | Gross: $9.71M

71. Deja Vu (2006)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

After a ferry is bombed in New Orleans, an A.T.F. agent joins a unique investigation using experimental surveillance technology to find the bomber, but soon finds himself becoming obsessed with one of the victims.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Denzel Washington , Paula Patton , Jim Caviezel , Val Kilmer

Votes: 323,855 | Gross: $64.04M

72. Time Jumpers (2018)

Not Rated | 79 min | Sci-Fi

When a young man finds a time machine device, his life spins out of control.

Directors: Svend Ploug Johansen , Dominic Smith , April Wright | Stars: Samuel D. Evans , Taylor Gerard Hart , Kelli Vonshay Henderson , Mathilde Norholt

73. Time Changer (2002)

PG | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

A Bible professor from 1890 comes forward in time to the present via a time machine and cannot believe the things that he sees!

Director: Rich Christiano | Stars: D. David Morin , Gavin MacLeod , Hal Linden , Jennifer O'Neill

Votes: 2,804 | Gross: $1.28M

74. Altered Hours (2016)

TV-MA | 101 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

A young insomniac's black-market sleep aid sends his mind time-travelling one day into the future, where he's the suspect in the disappearance of a girl he hasn't met -- yet.

Director: Bruce Wemple | Stars: Ryan Munzert , Briana Pozner , Rick Montgomery Jr. , Thea McCartan

75. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Mystery, Sci-Fi

When Lou's shot in the groin, Nick and Jacob drag him in the Hot Tub Time Machine to go back in time and save Lou. The three end up 10 years in the future, where they need to go to find the shooter.

Director: Steve Pink | Stars: Rob Corddry , Craig Robinson , Clark Duke , Adam Scott

Votes: 41,130 | Gross: $12.28M

76. The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations (2009)

R | 90 min | Crime, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Sam Reide uses his power to time travel to solve the mystery of his girlfriend's death.

Director: Seth Grossman | Stars: Chris Carmack , Rachel Miner , Melissa Jones , Kevin Yon

Votes: 20,529

77. Freejack (1992)

R | 110 min | Action, Crime, Sci-Fi

Bounty hunters from the future transport a doomed race car driver to New York City in 2009, where his mind will be replaced with that of a dead billionaire.

Director: Geoff Murphy | Stars: Emilio Estevez , Mick Jagger , Rene Russo , Anthony Hopkins

Votes: 17,205 | Gross: $17.13M

78. Another Time (2018)

TV-MA | 89 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance

Just because a journey leads you somewhere you didn't expect, doesn't mean you ended up in the wrong place.

Director: Thomas Hennessy | Stars: Justin Hartley , Chrishell Stause , James Kyson , Alan Pietruszewski

Votes: 1,106

79. The Butterfly Effect 2 (2006)

R | 92 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Nick Larson discovers a supernatural way to alter his life and travel back in time to key moments in his life by looking at photographs.

Director: John R. Leonetti | Stars: Eric Lively , Erica Durance , Dustin Milligan , Gina Holden

Votes: 37,078

80. See You Yesterday (2019)

TV-MA | 84 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

Two Brooklyn teenage prodigies, C.J. Walker and Sebastian Thomas, build makeshift time machines to save C.J.'s brother, Calvin, from being wrongfully killed by a police officer.

Director: Stefon Bristol | Stars: Eden Duncan-Smith , Dante Crichlow , Astro , Marsha Stephanie Blake

Votes: 11,500

81. Curvature (2017)

90 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

An engineer travels back in time to stop herself from committing a murder.

Director: Diego Hallivis | Stars: Lyndsy Fonseca , Linda Hamilton , Glenn Morshower , Noah Bean

Votes: 3,031

82. Paradox (III) (2016)

TV-MA | 90 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

A time machine's tested first time by a man in the team traveling 1 hour into the future. He returns to warn them against killings in the next hour. Is it possible to change things in the "past"? Twist after twist follow.

Director: Michael Hurst | Stars: Zoë Bell , Malik Yoba , Adam Huss , Bjørn Alexander

Votes: 3,320

83. A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

PG | 109 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him.

Director: Ava DuVernay | Stars: Storm Reid , Oprah Winfrey , Reese Witherspoon , Mindy Kaling

Votes: 47,294 | Gross: $100.48M

84. Counter Clockwise (I) (2016)

Unrated | 91 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

A scientist invents a time machine that transports him six months into the future.

Director: George Moïse | Stars: Michael Kopelow , Frank Simms , Kerry Knuppe , Alice Rietveld

85. S. Darko (2009)

R | 103 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Donnie Darko's little sister Samantha and her best friend Corey are on a cross-country road trip, but soon find themselves entangled in a dangerous glitch in the time-space continuum.

Director: Chris Fisher | Stars: Daveigh Chase , Briana Evigan , James Lafferty , Ed Westwick

Votes: 14,354

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The 15 Most Creative, Mind-Bending Time Travel Movies Ever Made

With Safety Not Guaranteed and About Time , these are the best movies about time travel you haven't seen yet.

Headshot of Katie Bourque

We've been independently researching and testing products for over 120 years. If you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our review process.

Ever wish you could go back in time and handle a situation differently — or live through a historic event before your time? You're not the only one. Time travel has captured the imagination of countless creatives over the years, giving us some fascinating, morally challenging and even hilarious movies. We may not be able to talk a walk into the past — but as some of these films prove, that may be a good thing.

About Time (2013)

best time travel movies   about time

Instead of altering history and life as we know it, the protagonist in this charming British film uses his time-traveling abilities for something a little more relatable: finding love. The result is a surprisingly sweet and criminally underrated romantic comedy.

RELATED: The 60 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time to Stream Right Now

Predestination (2015)

best time travel movies   predestination

Based on Robert Heinlein’s short story All You Zombies , this Ethan Hawke movie will leave you guessing (and second-guessing) the whole time. Without spoiling the ending, it's definitely worth watching again.

The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)

best time travel movies   time travels wife

Of the three movies where Rachel McAdams dates a time traveling man (girlfriend's got a type), the drama is definitely the most serious. Based on Audrey Niffenegger's 2003 novel of the same name, Clare tries to build a life with the man she loves — while dealing with the fact he has no control over where and when he will travel through time.

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

bill and ted's excellent adventure

Excellent! You're going to want to revisit this goofy, fun time travel flick before Keanu Reeves returns for the upcoming sequel.

Groundhog Day (1993)

groundhog day

Does living the same day over-and-over again count as time travel? This Bill Murray film about a weather man trapped in the worst day of his life is a classic, so we're going to count it.

Doctor Strange (2016)

doctor strange

Marvel fans are probably already familiar with Benedict Cumberbatch's role as a neurosurgeon with the powers to access alternate dimensions, but even if you're not familiar with the Marvel Universe, you can still enjoy this superhero romp.

RELATED: How to Watch All 24 Marvel Movies in the Correct Order

Back to the Future (1985)

back to the future

If you're looking for some good, old-fashioned nostalgia, this 80s classic holds up! Michael J. Fox stars as Marty McFly, a teen who accidentally who accidentally gets stuck in the 1950s thanks to his mad scientist friend — and must make sure his parents fall in love with each other so he can still exist!

Interstellar (2014)


Trippy, mind-bending, and everything you want out of a time-travel movie, Christopher Nolan's time-traveling space epic will stay with you long after you finish watching,

Donnie Darko (2001)

donnie darko

Though it initially flopped at the box office, this film gathered a cult-following when it was released on DVD, thanks to Jake Gyllenhaal's intense performance and the surrealist images and themes just waiting to be dissected and discussed. See if you can untangle this famously dense plot for yourself.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban

One of the best Harry Potter films happens to also be a time-traveling tale. Hermione uses a "Time Turner" to take more classes at Hogwarts, but that's not all Harry and his friends use the device for.

Time Bandits (1981)

time bandits

Terry Gilliam's endlessly imaginative film follows an 11-year-old boy who teams up with 6 dwarves for an adventure through time.

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

safety not guaranteed

A classified ad from a mysterious man looking for a time-traveling companion intrigues three cynical Seattle journalists. An unexpected connection forms between the would-be scientist and one of the reporters in this low-key indie.

Primer (2004)


Two engineers create an invention that can alter time — and butt heads over how to handle the magnitude of their creation.

Time After Time (1971)

time after time

H.G. Wells pursues Jack the Ripper in 1970's San Fransisco — as outlandish as the premise is, it's a fascinating movie once you get on board with it.

The Terminator (1984)

the terminator

Two time travelers from the future, an evil cyborg and a resistance fighter, fight over the life of modern woman Sarah Connor, after it's revealed her fate can save humanity.

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30 Best Time-Travel Movies to Watch If You’re Ready to Leave 2020 Behind

30 Best TimeTravel Movies to Watch If Youre Ready to Leave 2020 Behind

Does 2020 have you googling “best time-travel movies” as a last-resort attempt to try and transport yourself to a different version of reality? No, just us? Well, it's certainly understandable. Who wouldn't want to get out of this year, if only for a couple hours? The idea that you could potentially jump into a machine and change the past à la Back to the Future or stumble upon an infinite time loop like in Palm Springs is an interesting thought experiment, to say the least.

Or maybe you're just out of things to watch. Whatever the case, the best time-travel movies cover every genre. Looking for a tug-at-your-heartstrings romance? Try About Time or The Time Traveler's Wife (both of which star Rachel McAdams , who must have a thing for time travel). If a sci-fi action flick sounds more appealing, the Terminator films still hold up. For a goofy comedy, watch Hot Tub Time Machine or Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Like we said, there's something for everyone. 

Image may contain Water Human Person Sunglasses Accessories and Accessory

Palm Springs (2020)

So Palm Springs is not technically a time-travel movie, but it's definitely time-travel adjacent. The film follows Sarah (Cristin Milioti) and Nyles (Andy Samberg), two acquaintances who find themselves perpetually repeating Sarah's sister's wedding day. Frankly, this rom-com might remind you of your own quarantine time loop (in the best way possible, of course).  

Available to stream on Hulu

HOT TUB TIME MACHINE Clark Duke Craig Robinson John Cusack Rob Corddry 2010

Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

A group of buddies (John Cusack, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Rob Corddry) wake up after a night of partying in a ski resort hot tub to find themselves back in 1986. They even look like versions of their younger selves to the others they meet along the way. But can they actually fix the messes their lives have become? 

Available to rent on Amazon Prime Video

THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE Eric Bana Rachel McAdams 2009

The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009)

The Time Traveler's Wife is a 2009 science fiction drama film based on Audrey Niffenegger's novel of the same name. The story follows Henry DeTamble (Eric Bana), a man who happens to have the ability to time-travel but has no control over when or where he goes in time. While that's complicated enough, things become even more complex for DeTamble once he starts building a romantic relationship with Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams).

Available to stream on Netflix  

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT Ashton Kutcher 2004

The Butterfly Effect (2004)

The Butterfly Effect is a 2004 science fiction thriller film starring Ashton Kutcher as 20-year-old Evan Treborn and Amy Smart as Kayleigh Miller, Treborn's college sweetheart. In the film, Evan finds he can travel back in time to inhabit his former self and attempts to change the present by changing his past. But, as any good time-travel fan can tell you, changing the past means there will be unintended consequences in the future. 

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Idiocracy (2006)

Joe Bowers (Luke Wilson) is a super-average dude in 2005 who agrees to take part in an experiment (alongside Maya Rudolph ) that puts him into hibernation until 2505. The thing is, when he wakes up, he discovers that humans have become so unintelligent that he's now the smartest person in the whole wide world. It's both hysterical and a cutting satire that draws some parallels to our current state of affairs. 

Available to buy on iTunes

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A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

Ava DuVernay directed an all-star cast in this Disney adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's beloved 1962 novel of the same name. Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling play three immortal beings who help a young girl (Storm Reid) search for her missing father across space and time.

CLICK Adam Sandler 2006

Click (2006)

Adam Sandler plays a man whose wife (Kate Beckinsale) is frustrated by how much time he spends at work and away from his family. He thinks all his problems are solved when he comes into possession of a magical remote that allows him to fast-forward through the mundane parts of life. But, of course, nothing's quite that simple. 

ABOUT TIME Domhnall Gleeson Rachel McAdams 2013

About Time (2013)

No, you're not seeing things—Rachel McAdams has, in fact, starred in multiple films in which she has a time-traveling partner. In this case, her love is played by Domhnall Gleeson, who is actively trying to change his past in order to have a better future. Prepare to possibly shed a tear or two with this one. 

Available to stream on Netflix

AUSTIN POWERS 2  THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME Mike Myers Heather Graham 1999

Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

Yeah, baby! In the second installment of the Mike Myers series, Austin Powers, Dr. Evil, and the whole crew find themselves back in the ’60s. Dr. Evil is trying to steal Austin’s “mojo,” and along with Heather Graham's Felicity Shagwell, the international man of mystery tries to thwart the bad guys. 

AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER Beyonce Knowles Mike Myers 2002

Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)

After conquering the late ’60s in the second film, the Austin Powers trilogy is completed with a trip back to 1975. Austin teams up with Beyoncé, a.k.a. Foxxy Cleopatra, when Dr. Evil plans to bring back a notorious villain called Johan van der Smut, the titular Goldmember. It is as ridiculous and amusing as the first two films, naturally. 

BACK TO THE FUTURE Michael J. Fox Christopher Lloyd 1985

Back to the Future (1985)

Great Scott! Doc Brown's (Christopher Lloyd) DeLorean time machine sends Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) back to his parents' high school days in 1955, and things get very awkward when his mom (Lea Thompson) develops a crush on him. He has to work hard to make sure his future existence isn't totally erased. 

BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II Michael J. Fox Christopher Lloyd 1989

Back to the Future Part II (1989)

In the second film of the Back to the Future franchise, Marty and Doc find themselves in yet another time-space conundrum. This time they have to travel to 2015 (a world that people in the ’80s imagined would have us all on hoverboards!) to try to make sure the evil Biff doesn’t take over the town. 

BACK TO THE FUTURE III Michael J. Fox Christopher Lloyd 1990

Back to the Future Part III (2000)

The third installment of the Back to the Future trilogy may not be its strongest, but if you're a completist, you're going to want to see Marty's journey through. This time around he and Doc Brown find themselves in the Wild Wild West. Actually, is this the movie that eventually led us to Westworld ?!?

DEJA VU Paula Patton Denzel Washington 2006

Deja Vu (2006)

Technology allows a team of federal agents, including Denzel Washington, to go back in time four days to try to stop a massive ferry bombing set off by a terrorist (Jim Caviezel, who also time-traveled in Frequency ). But will Washington's character also use the tech to stop other crimes, thereby messing with the future? You'll have to watch and see. 


Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

In the sequel to Happy Death Day , Tree (Jessica Rothe) finds herself in yet another time-loop situation—and this time she seemingly moves through different dimensions. While her life is still very much in danger, this sequel adds some very emotional scenes that happen when an important figure from Tree's past makes her way into the present. 

LOOPER Joseph GordonLevitt 2012

Looper (2012)

In Looper 's version of the future, which was directed by Rian Johnson, time travel totally exists—if you can afford to pay for it on the black market. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a time-traveling hit man who finds himself in quite the predicament when a future version of himself (Bruce Willis) is sent back to eliminate him . 

SEE YOU YESTERDAY from left Dante Crichlow Eden DuncanSmith 2019

See You Yesterday (2019)

Teen science prodigies experimenting in making time-travel backpacks? Um, we're already all the way in. But everything takes a dramatic turn when one of their brothers is killed and the two try to put their work into action to change the past. Did we mention this was also produced by Spike Lee? 

THE TERMINATOR Arnold Schwarzenegger 1984

The Terminator (1984)

In this James Cameron action classic from the ’80s, a cyborg assassin who is disguising himself as a human (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is sent from the future to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) because of the threat her future son will one day become—and a blockbuster franchise was born. 


Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Set 11 years after the original film, this James Cameron–helmed sequel finds Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator in the role of protector of Linda Hamilton's son, played by Edward Furlong, because a shape-shifting T-1000 (Robert Patrick) is out to kill him, naturally. Also, Hamilton's fitness routine must have been incredible prefilming because she is a very strong badass . 


Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

Ted “Theodore” Logan (Keanu Reeves) and Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter), go on quite the excellent adventure indeed, dudes. The best friends use a phone booth time machine to ensure they both pass their history class—and keep Ted from being shipped off to military school. Their interactions with historical figures are very righteous, and you'll want to watch the original film in preparation for the upcoming reboot . 

Hugh Jackman Meg Ryan KATE and LEOPOLD 2001

Kate & Leopold (2001)

Rom-com meets fantasy in this Meg Ryan–Hugh Jackman film in which Liev Schreiber plays a physicist who opens a portal through which his great-great-grandfather Leopold travels from 19th-century New York to modern times and falls in love with his ex-girlfriend (Ryan). Talk about complicated family dynamics, right? 

PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED from left Kathleen Turner Catherine Hicks 1986

Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)

Peggy Sue is an unhappy woman on the verge of divorce attending her 25-year high school reunion after leaving her cheating husband (Nicolas Cage). Magically, she finds herself reliving her senior year and she's faced with whether or not to change some of the choices she grew to regret as an adult. 

STAR TREK Zoe Saldana 2009

Star Trek (2009)

Directed by science fiction king J.J. Abrams, this reboot of the beloved Star Trek franchise had a unique plot for James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), and the staff aboard the USS Enterprise: All the action takes place in an alternate reality, because of time travel, which allowed the movie to operate free from any continuity restraints from the original Star Trek series. 

FREQUENCY James Caviezel Dennis Quaid 2000

Frequency (2000)

A New York police officer (Jim Caviezel) in 1999 somehow crosses radio frequencies (get it?!) with the past and soon begins to communicate with his father, a firefighter who died in the line of duty when he was a kid. But will he be able to change what transpired on that tragic day in 1969?


12 Monkeys (1995)

Maybe don't watch this one until you're ready for the too-real plot: A deadly virus has wiped out most of humanity, so a prisoner (Bruce Willis) is trained to be sent back in time to find the original virus and help establish a cure. Brad Pitt was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film. 

Available to stream on HBO.

MEN IN BLACK III from rear Josh Brolin Will Smith 2012

Men in Black III (2012)

Set 15 years after the events of the original Men in Black , this third installment in the franchise was a hit with critics and at the box office for its action-packed plot in which Agent J (Will Smith) must travel back to the 1960s to save a young Agent K (Josh Brolin, in the role originated by Tommy Lee Jones) from a murderous, time-hopping alien. 

CLOCKSTOPPERS Jesse Bradford Garikayi Mutambirwa 2002

Clockstoppers (2002)

If you're feeling an early-aughts teen comedy with a side of time travel, Clockstoppers is, well, your only option. Jesse Bradford plays Zak, the son of a scientist who accidentally finds a watch that can essentially stop time. So, of course, the first thing he does is use it to impress his crush Francesca (Paula Garcés) and best friend Meeker (Garikayi Mutambirwa). 

Available to stream on HBO

SOMEWHERE IN TIME Christopher Reeve Jane Seymour 1980

Somewhere in Time (1980)

Christopher Reeve stars as a playwright who becomes obsessed with the photograph of a woman from 1912 (Jane Seymour), to the point that he magically finds himself transported back in time to find her. Fun fact: Visit Michigan's Mackinac Island, where this was filmed, and you'll feel like you're in another era yourself. The island famously has a ban on motor vehicles. 

THE LAKE HOUSE Keanu Reeves 2006

The Lake House (2006)

Keanu Reeves plays a hot architect, Alex, who renovates a lake house in Wisconsin and sometimes writes romantic love letters to Sandra Bullock's character, Kate. How is that a time-travel movie, you ask? Turns out Alex is living in 2004, while Kate is in 2006—somehow the mailbox at the lake house is a mysterious time portal. 

DEADPOOL 2 Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool 2018

Deadpool 2 (2018)

In this superhero sequel, Wade Wilson a.k.a. Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) reluctantly teams up with the X-Men—including the incredible Zazie Beetz as Domino, a mutant with the ability to manipulate luck—to fight a time-traveling soldier known as Cable (Josh Brolin). Because this is a Deadpool movie, expect a lot of R-rated language and violence. 

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Somewhere In Time: How A Time Travel Romance Starring Superman Found Its Fans

movie time travel love story

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Saturday, Oct. 3 marks the 40th anniversary of Somewhere in Time , a film that took one of the longest, weirdest journeys to popularity. It was savaged at the box office for being stodgy, overly romantic, and out of touch. But today, it's a cult favorite, beloved for the very qualities it was panned for. Its fan base includes retired 4-star General Colin Powell, a couple of FilmWeek critics, and me.

Here's the thumbnail: An elderly actress shows up at the premiere of a young playwright's new production. The playwright becomes obsessed with her and wills himself back in time 67 years to meet her as a young woman. They're kept apart by her manager, but get one perfect day and night together -- before he gets cruelly pulled back to the present and dies of a broken heart. They reunite in Heaven.

Christopher Reeve, fresh from Superman , is the playwright. Jane Seymour, then of Battlestar Galactica , is the actress. And Christopher Plummer, who had just killed as Sherlock Holmes in Murder by Decree , is her controlling manager. The bestselling score was by John Barry, and it was directed by Jeannot Szwarc -- who had just saved Universal's butt by taking over Jaws 2 .

The TV and movie veteran -- whose directing credits range from a 1968 episode of Ironside to a 2019 episode of Grey's Anatomy -- is almost 81, and retired last year to France.

When I reached him there this summer, he said, "What I loved about Somewhere in Time was that there was very little sex, but there was a lot of love. It was really what the French call l'amour fou , a crazy love. You know, they don't make pictures like that anymore." When I responded, "They weren't making pictures like that in 1980," he laughed and said, "I know."

The screenplay is by Richard Matheson, adapted from his novel Bid Time Return , which he set at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego. It would have been convenient to Hollywood -- but because of the power lines, traffic noise, and modern buildings, Szwarc would have needed a time machine to shoot the 1912 scenes at the Hotel del.

Enter an actual time machine: Mackinac Island, off Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Once the center of the fur trade, they had buried their power lines, preserved their Victorian architecture, and banned cars. People get around by horse carriage and bike.

My dad was doing PR for the Island back then, so I grew up spending much of the summer there. But unlike pretty much everyone else on the Island, I didn't get to be an extra in the film.

Mackinac also has a giant Victorian hotel -- Grand Hotel, built in 1887. Back in the day, wealthy Chicagoans went there in the summer to escape the heat. But of course, the Somewhere in Time team had to do their site visit in February. During one of the coldest winters on record. With the Great Lakes frozen from shore to shore.

movie time travel love story

Szwarc and producer Stephen Deutsch (now Stephen Simon) were being towed around the Island by islander Dan Dewey, who went on to become location manager for the film. At one point, he drove 100 yards out onto the ice so the two men -- who he said looked like they were wearing the entire stock of an Eddie Bauer store -- could get a good look at the Grand

Szwarc turned to Dewey and Simon and asked innocently, "Where is the water?" Both of them say nothing, but point down to the ice. "Oh," says the director, realizing he's standing over 100 feet of 32.1-degree water. "Can we go now?"

Even under a blanket of snow, they can see that the Island is the perfect location for the movie -- but they're still 2,400 miles from Hollywood.

"We were about to leave and Jeannot and I were talking," Simon said. "We can't shoot the rooms in the hotel," because they will be occupied by guests. "That needs to be a set. There's no place to build a set here!"

"Well you might be wrong about that," Dewey said.

Islander Trish Martin picks up the story:

"There was an organization that had its world headquarters on Mackinac Island known as Moral Re-Armament. You may not have heard of them, but you might've heard of some of their offshoots, including Alcoholics Anonymous and Up with People. They made a lot of films, along with doing roadshows and so on, and they had a full film studio: editing rooms, a big soundstage, and the whole bit."

Trish was actually in a crowd scene in Decision at Midnight , an MRA production with Martin Landau that was shot on the island in 1963.

The complex also had enough rooms for the cast and crew, solving another of the headaches from when you make a movie on a remote resort island in the middle of high season. It was kismet, and with the exception of a few early shots in Chicago, where the movie starts, the rest was shot on Mackinac from late May to late July of 1979.

They wrapped the production only 9 days over schedule, and went back to California. Everything had gone so well; nobody anticipated the cruel fate awaiting the little romantic picture they put so much love into.

movie time travel love story

But before we go there... let's talk about how the movie handles time travel. As he's obsessing about the actress, Reeve is told by a professor -- played by George Voskovec, who was one of the jurors in Twelve Angry Men , -- that you can will yourself back in time.

In the realm of time travel movies, self-hypnosis must be one of the simplest methods. The polar opposite Avengers: Endgame, which improbably namechecked Somewhere in Time during the Hulk's big explanation of how time travel works.

Getting namechecked in the biggest movie of the millennium was such a big moment for us Somewhere in Time fans, I had to call up Avengers screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

Were they big fans? No -- McFeely says it was just a list of time travel movies they included in a reshoot.

"We found that we really needed to just spend something like two minutes having the Hulk tell people that's not how it works in this movie. We just called out the elephant in the room: other time travel movies, which were sort of getting in the audience's way."

"We got all tangled up in whether there were consequences or no consequences. If it's all in your head there's no consequences, you can do what you want," Markus said.

The two -- the most successful screenwriters in history -- actually sounded a little jealous that Somewhere in Time 's time travel method could be sketched out on a cocktail napkin, while you need a spreadsheet for Endgame .

Let's time travel ourselves, back to 1980. When last we left our heroes, they had just wrapped what was by all accounts a very happy shoot, and it seemed like the stars were aligned for a success for Somewhere in Time . On the strength of two rapturous previews, Universal gave it wide release.

But because of a strike, the stars couldn't support the film they made. And then came the reviews.

Leonard Maltin: Stilted dialogue, corny situations, pretty scenery. Roger Ebert: The movie surrounds its love story with such boring mumbo jumbo about time travel that we finally just don't care. Vincent Canby: Somewhere in Time ... does for time-travel what the Hindenburg did for dirigibles.
"Jerry was in love with Somewhere in Time . Not only did he run it, sometimes he ran it twice in the same night. That started the ball. And then, HBO in their early early days were not buying blockbusters because they couldn't afford it. So , what did HBO program? Movies that hadn't worked out well at the box office."

The second man was Bill Shepard, whom producer Simon says did more for Somewhere in Time 's eventual success than any other person. Bill told me how he discovered the movie that would change his life.

"I was going with a very nice lady from Saint Paul," Shepard said. "She was actually the one who suggested going to the movies. I sat there for 103 minutes literally enchanted. I'd never seen a movie like that before that affected me like that. And as the two of us were walking out of the theater, she turned to me and said, 'Well, that didn't do that much for me. How about you?'"

The lady soon left Shepard's life, but the movie stayed in his heart. In 1990, he started INSITE: the International Network of Somewhere In Time Enthusiasts . And the next year, realizing the huge number of people who wanted a deeper experience, he organized the first Somewhere in Time weekend on Mackinac.

movie time travel love story

In a story filled with time travel, this weekend gathering is yet another time machine. Think of it as a Comic-Con, but where cosplayers get to actually be in Hyrule on the hunt for Ganon , or ride in a real Totoro cat bus . At the end of October each year, Somewhere in Time fans take the ferry to Mackinac, dress in period-correct clothes, act out scenes from the movie, and see the shooting locations -- led by our old friend the snowmobile driver, Dan Dewey.

This is not like a con where a grumpy Lou Ferrigno charges for autographs . The cast and crew love the weekends at the Grand just as much as the fans. As Steve Hellerstein, the movie's transportation captain, told me, "this has made my film career complete. I finally did a film that is recognized... and I'm recognized." Just like the stars, he's invited to and feted at the Somewhere in Time weekends. (Steve Hellerstein died Aug. 8 at the age of 73.)

Jane Seymour attended last year, for the third time -- and her co-star, Christopher Reeve, came in 1994. There's video of the event , and you can see him practically bouncing on the stage taking questions from the audience.

And when someone asks him where "Somewhere in Time" ranks among all the movies he made, he delivers an off-the-cuff monologue that sums up an actor's life.

"This holds the prime place by the fireside in my heart. This is the one that I have the greatest gratitude for. It's very hard to perform and do your work, where you put your emotions forward for the camera, for people to see... and then have it greeted officially by the sound of one hand clapping. And that people found this move and said, 'Wait a minute! It didn't deserve the fate that it got. It didn't deserve to be treated that way.' It moves me more than you can know."

"I romanticize this movie ridiculously," he said. "My wife and I saw the movie for the first time in 1981 [the year they got married]. We loved it because we looked at it and I think we saw ourselves in it. Just married and bananas in love, and passionate about each other the way they are in the film. So that colored what I felt and thought about the film my entire life. I watched it again recently and it made me tear up in all the same places, and it made me long for my wife, who I lost in 2013 to cancer."

Justin Chang, critic for Fresh Air and the L.A. Times , told me, "One of the reasons Somewhere in Time has endured is because it has the courage of its absurd convictions." As he wrote in Variety in 2013:

Ludicrous and irresistible, Somewhere in Time belongs to a long and glorious tradition of love stories ... in which time travel serves as a crucial narrative element and structuring device. It is a genre whose charms I've found myself unusually susceptible to in recent years. ... Wildly romantic, brazenly paradoxical and stubbornly resistant to the rules of logic, these films rely for their effect on a blissful surrender of reason. To dismiss them as ridiculous or implausible is to miss both the point and the pleasure.

movie time travel love story

As Shakespeare wrote in Richard II , "O call back yesterday. Bid time return," because all the "life" stuff eventually happened to me -- some of it quite brutally. And as the years passed, more and more I appreciated the corny themes of Somewhere in Time . And more and more I understood why older people tell and retell the stories from their past.

In his memoir Hand to Mouth , the novelist Paul Auster wrote, "Reach a certain moment in your life, and you discover that your days are spent as much with the dead as they are with the living." To that, I would only add, "And I'm OK with that."

KPCC's John Rabe is the host of the new podcast Call Back Yesterday , which explores how the themes of Somewhere in Time intersect with the lives of his guests and him. The first episode features FilmWeek's Tim Cogshell.

Correction: An earlier version of this story inaccurately stated Jeannot Szwarc's age. LAist regrets the error.

A home is decorated with white and red lights for the holidays. Two trees in front of the homes are also decorated with lights as are the bushes on the sidewalk.

Days to Come

Travelling Without a Passport

Couple kissing by the ocean at sunset

Our Favourite Romantic Travel Movies

movie time travel love story

There’s something so romantic about travelling to an unfamiliar place that the experience is practically made for the big screen. Watching movie characters navigate new places means you can live vicariously through them and experience double the escapism without having to get off the couch. 

If your next holiday feels far away, watch these romantic travel movies and get ready to be transported to a world filled with swoon-worthy romance and scenic destinations. These films are guaranteed to satisfy your wanderlust — at least for the time being. 

  • Before Sunrise
  • Letters to Juliet
  • The Proposal
  • Eat, Pray, Love
  • The Holiday
  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • Roman Holiday
  • Call Me By Your Name
  • The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants

See Also: Romantic Tours & Trips

1. Before Sunrise

For those who have ever dreamed of making an unexpected connection with a stranger while abroad, this movie is for you. Before Sunrise is a 1995 indie film that tells the story of Jesse and Céline, who meet on a train and decide to explore Vienna together on a whim. 

They walk the streets of Vienna at night, talking the whole time about their views on life and love while knowing that when the night is over, they will part ways and likely never see each other again. The movie makes Austria’s capital the perfectly enchanting backdrop to Jesse and Céline’s growing connection, and the soft glow of the evening streets lend a sense of melancholy to their short time together. 

You can watch Before Sunrise on its own, or follow the rest of Jesse and Céline’s story in the sequels, Before Sunset and Before Midnight.

2. Letters to Juliet

On a trip to Verona with her fiancé, Sophie visits Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s House), where it’s customary for lovelorn visitors to leave letters and messages for the Shakespearean heroine (or in this version of Verona anyway). 

When Sophie discovers an unanswered letter from decades ago, she writes back with the help of the Secretaries of Juliet. Her response brings Claire, the author of the letter, to Verona with her grandson Charlie, and the trio embark on a journey through Tuscany in hopes of finding Claire’s long-lost love. 

The movie features gorgeous shots of the Italian countryside, and it’s a celebration of love that will melt even the coldest of hearts. After you watch it, you might just want to hop on a plane to Verona yourself and leave your own letter to Juliet!

See Also: 7 of the Best Movies to Watch on a Plane

3. The Proposal

When Margaret Tate, a high-powered publishing executive, finds out that she might be deported back to her home country of Canada, she enlists the help of her assistant Andrew to act as her fiancé. To convince the immigration agent of their relationship, the two travel to Andrew’s hometown of Sitka, Alaska to meet his family where, spoiler alert: they fall in love. 

While the movie was not actually filmed in Alaska , seeing the contrast between the towering skyscrapers that Margaret is accustomed to and snow-capped mountains that Andrew calls home will make you feel like you’ve taken a quick getaway. This formulaic rom-com hits all the right spots: a fake relationship turned real against a scenic backdrop, with no shortage of charming hijinks.

4. Eat, Pray, Love

In all its forms, Eat, Pray, Love is a travel classic. Follow Liz Gilbert as she embarks on a year-long travel journey around the world after a difficult divorce to regain balance in her life. This movie is a visual dream, featuring sweeping panoramic views of Italy , India , and Indonesia , along with close-up shots of glorious, mouth-watering food. 

The storyline is dreamy and inspirational, and while not everyone can take a year off from their lives to wander the world, hopefully savouring a delicious margherita pizza in Naples is in your future. 

5. The Holiday

Separated by the Atlantic Ocean, Iris and Amanda are two women who exchange houses for the holidays in an effort to escape their respective romantic troubles. New romances spark for both of them in this holiday favourite, and what starts as a spontaneous getaway ends up being much more. 

Amanda’s modern California mansion could not be more different from Iris’ cosy English cottage, and it’s incredibly entertaining to watch them get accustomed to their new settings. This movie is a win for anyone whose favourite part of travelling is being spontaneous and opening your heart to something new. 

See Also: 7 Movies That Will Inspire You to Travel

6. Crazy Rich Asians

The glitz and glamour of Singapore’s luxurious side is on full display in this vibrant movie where Rachel Chu, a young Manhattanite, travels to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick to meet his family.

Unbeknownst to her, his family is part of the ultra-wealthy Singaporean elite, and they’re experts at throwing lavish and extravagant parties. Unfortunately, there’s trouble in paradise for the pair when Rachel realises Nick’s family disapproves of their relationship. 

This movie is a glittering guide to Singapore’s best sights, from sweeping nighttime shots of Gardens by the Bay to glimmering aerial views of Marina Bay Sands with fireworks exploding overhead. The movie also features glamour shots of Newton Food Center — where you can go to get a taste of authentic Singapore — and Sentosa, a prime Singaporean weekend getaway destination.

No wonder travel searches skyrocketed following the movie’s release — after watching this movie, you’ll want to add Singapore to your travel list, too. 

7. Roman Holiday

In this classic tale of mistaken identity, a crown princess falls in love with an American reporter when she decides to explore Rome on her own on a state visit. Audrey Hepburn’s first film doubles as a scenic romp, hitting quintessential Roman spots like the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, and the Trevi Fountain. 

Princess Ann’s zeal for exploring Rome on her own terms speaks to the souls of intrepid travellers everywhere, and you’ll love watching her careen through the streets of Rome on a vespa, eat gelato on the Spanish Steps, dine al fresco, and fall in love on her Roman holiday. 

8. Call Me By Your Name

Set in Northern Italy in 1983, Call Me By Your Name tells the story of the love that blossoms between Elio, the young son of an archaeology professor, and Oliver, a visiting American graduate student. 

Filming for the movie took place in Lombardy, and the province is rendered beautifully, with its ornate architecture, sunlit piazzas, and lush countryside, making for the perfect setting for this melancholy love story.

See Also: Romantic Getaways to Rekindle Your Marriage

9. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants

On the night before they’re slated to go their separate ways, a group of lifelong friends devise a plan to say connected during their first summer apart: by sharing a pair of thrift-shop jeans that inexplicably fit each of their figures perfectly. 

This coming-of-age story follows the four girls — and the magical jeans — to Greece , South Carolina, Mexico , and Maryland, as they journey through a summer of first loves, losses, and heartbreak. 

Being away from the people you love is one of the hardest parts of travelling, and this movie serves as a great reminder that nothing can come between best friends — including time and distance.

What are your favourite romantic travel movies? Let us know in the comments!

movie time travel love story

Melanie Cheng

Melanie is a Toronto-based writer and editor who loves experiencing new things in new places. In between adventures, you can find her with her nose in a book, re-watching episodes of Friends, or on the lookout for her next favourite brunch spot.

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7 best time travel movies that everyone should watch

Posted: November 25, 2023 | Last updated: December 24, 2023

The concept of being able to move forward or back in time gained popularity after H. G. Wells' sci-fi novella, The Time Machine, became popular and has surfaced in many time travel movies over the years. Although it hasn't been proved whether time travel is actually possible, the idea is a fascinating one. And filmmakers have been able to use it to their advantage to build engaging narratives that share their vision of a reality where time travel exists with the audience.

It is interesting to note that filmmakers tend to have different approaches to time travel. While some tend to focus on the positive aspects that can result from time travel, others showcase the deadly negative ramifications that can arise from tampering with time.

Given the widespread interest in the topic among viewers, many time travel movies have been released to date. However, some rank higher than others in terms of offering a fresh perspective on a familiar concept that has been around for decades.

Groundhog Day , About Time and 5 other time travel movies that will take viewers on a time adventure

1) the terminator (1984).

Directed by James Cameron, this time travel movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger was so successful that it resulted in a number of sequels.

Schwarzenegger plays a cybernetic assassin who has been sent from the future. His mission is to kill Sarah Connor, played by Linda Hamilton. The reason behind this mission is Sarah's unborn child, who is destined to be humanity's savior against an AI threat in the future. To keep Sarah alive, a soldier named Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) is also sent back in time.

The movie featured impressive special effects for the time. Casting Schwarzenegger as a machine was a stroke of brilliance. Even with minimal dialogue, his stoic face and intimidating physical presence leave a lasting impression on viewers.

2) Groundhog Day (1993)

This hilarious time travel movie, directed by Harold Ramis, focuses on a cynical weatherman named Phil Connors, played by Bill Murray . He is not particularly enthusiastic about being in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where he is covering the Groundhog Day event. But things get very interesting when he starts reliving the same day over and over again.

The best thing about the movie is the witty writing, which presents viewers with subtle messages about small-town morals and the importance of human connections.

3) Pleasantville (1998)

This enjoyable movie starring Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon approaches time travel a little differently. Directed by Gary Ross, the story revolves around two high school siblings, David and Jennifer. Their lives change drastically when they are transported to Pleasantville , a black-and-white 1950s sitcom that David likes to watch.

It is a lighthearted time travel movie, and at the same time, it holds up a mirror to the serious problems in society. The experienced cast, namely Joan Allen, William H. Macy and Jeff Daniels, deliver stunning performances that add depth to the narrative.

4) Il Mare (2000)

Viewers who have watched The Lake House starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock will find the narrative familiar as it is a remake of this South Korean movie. Directed by Lee Hyun-seung, unlike other narratives of time travel, this movie doesn't showcase humans travelling through time. Instead, two people living two years apart are somehow able to communicate with each other through a mysterious mailbox.

Actors Lee Jung-jae and Jun Ji-hyun do a great job bringing their characters to life, and it is easy for viewers to root for their love even though it seems doomed from the start. Romance movie fans shouldn't miss out on this sentimental time travel movie.

5) Midnight in Paris (2011)

In this time travel movie, directed by Woody Allen, Owen Wilson takes on the role of Gill, a screenwriter accompanying his fiancee and her family on a trip to Paris. However, when he goes for a late-night stroll, he is transported back in time and meets celebrated artists and thinkers of the past.

Like most Woody Allen films, there is a certain charm about this time travel movie that keeps the viewer hooked. It is also interesting to see beloved personalities like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald, Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway, and more come to life onscreen.

6) About Time (2013)

This is another great time travel movie that will appeal to the romantics. Directed by Richard Curtis, it focuses on the life of Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson), who learns from his father (Bill Nighy) that the men in his family have the ability to travel back in time. Tim uses his powers to pursue the love of his life, Mary ( Rachel McAdams ).

The charming and heartfelt narrative is elevated with endearing performances by the cast. Viewers looking for the perfect date-night movie need not look any further.

7) Cafe Funiculi Funicula (2018)

Bookworms will particularly enjoy this time travel movie directed by Ayuko Tsukahara. Adapted from Toshikazu Kawaguchi's popular novel, Before the Coffee Gets Cold , it focuses on a cafe wherein there is a particular chair that allows patrons to go back in time. However, there are certain rules to traveling in time, and they must be followed at all costs.

Starring Kasumi Arimura, Kentarō Itō, Haru and more, this quiet yet poignant time travel movie focuses on relationships, friendships and connections. Likeable characters and touching moments make this a must-watch.

These interesting titles are perfect for viewers who enjoy narratives wherein time travel allows characters to re-evaluate their lives and priorities.

7 best time travel movies that everyone should watch

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20 best star trek time travel episodes & movies, ranked.

The Star Trek franchise has done a lot of time-travel stories in various shows and movies, and some have been undeniably better than others.

  • Star Trek has incorporated time travel into almost every TV show and movie, making it a quintessential science fiction concept in the franchise.
  • Some of the most iconic Star Trek episodes feature time travel, but not all episodes about it are equally impressive.
  • The franchise has used various methods of time travel, with the slingshot effect being one of the best-known examples.

Star Trek is full of incredible time travel episodes, spanning across every series and the movie franchise. As one of the quintessential science fiction concepts, time travel was incorporated into Star Trek from its very earliest days, showing up as early as Star Trek: The Original Series season 1, episode 4, "The Naked Time." From there, the franchise took the concept and ran with it, including time travel or elements of it into countless episodes and making it the focal point of some of the best storylines across the series.

To date, every Star Trek TV show has included at least one time-travel episode. These episodes have mainly shown characters journeying to the past, but some storylines have incorporated the future as well. There have also been smaller more self-contained episodes that deal with time loops or time slips, where a certain character is thrown out of time unexpectedly. Some of Star Trek 's most iconic episodes feature time travel , but given how many storylines related to it there are in the franchise, some episodes about it are undeniably better than others.

TOS Invented Star Trek's Best Time Travel

20 such sweet sorrow part 2, star trek: discovery season 2, episode 14.

Although the main focus of Star Trek: Discovery 's season 2 finale, "Such Sweet Sorrow Parts I&II" wasn't exclusively about time travel, the episode ended with the USS Discovery and her crew traveling 930 years into the future to defeat Control. Much of Discovery season 2 also revolved around the theme of time travel, as Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) worked to uncover the identity of the Red Angel. "Such Sweet Sorrow Part II" was a significant turning point in Discovery 's story trajectory , and the scene where the ship traveled to the future was incredibly moving, but objectively, time travel only made up a small portion of the episode.

19 Star Trek (2009)

J.j. abrams' first star trek reboot movie.

J.J Abrams' reboot film series began in 2009 with Star Trek , which quickly established the Kelvin Timeline, an alternate reality created when Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy) traveled back in time with the film's villain Nero (Eric Bana) through a black hole. Star Trek (2009) was a solid addition to the Star Trek movie series but rewrote franchise history and remains somewhat controversial in its attempt to reimagine Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the USS Enterprise. The time-travel aspect of the film also dealt more with alternate realities and was a comparably small part of the overall plot.

18 Assignment: Earth

Star trek: the original series season 2, episode 26.

Star Trek: The Original Series was full of great time travel episodes, and while season 2, episode 26, "Assignment: Earth" wasn't the greatest, the episode is still memorable for a few reasons. "Assignment: Earth" was originally intended to be a backdoor pilot for a Star Trek spinoff series of the same name, but this never came to fruition since the plot failed to generate much interest. Still, the character of Gary Seven (Robert Lansing) established the Supervisors, who would become important in Star Trek: Picard season 2, and the episode was the first significant TV role for actress Terri Garr.

17 Magic To Make The Sanest Man Go Mad

Star trek: discovery season 1, episode 7.

Combining time-travel tropes with the return of a classic Star Trek character, Discovery delivered a fun bottle episode with season 1, episode 7, "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad." After infiltrating the USS Discovery, Harry Mudd (Rainn Wilson) initiated a time loop, continually blowing up the ship and killing the crew to learn the secrets of Discovery's spore drive . The episode was significant for establishing more of Mudd's backstory , but the plot isn't as impactful when compared to similar time-loop episodes from other series.

16 Cause And Effect

Star trek: the next generation season 5, episode 18.

Star Trek: The Next Generation 's season 5, episode 18, "Cause and Effect" featured the crew of the USS Enterprise-D caught in their own version of Groundhog Day, as the ship repeatedly exploded after colliding with another Starfleet vessel from the past, the USS Bozeman. The Bozeman's crew provided TNG with a special cameo in the form of Captain Morgan Bateson (Kelsey Grammer), and "Cause and Effect" featured two examples of time travel in one storyline . However, when compared to other TNG time-travel episodes, "Cause and Effects" ranks relatively low in terms of significance.

15 Trials And Tribble-ations

Star trek: deep space nine season 5, episode 6.

One of the most entertaining episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine , "Trials and Tribble-ations," dealt with DS9 's crew being thrown back in time to the era of Star Trek: TOS , during the events of the episode, "The Trouble with Tribbles." Archival footage from the classic TOS episode was used in conjunction with the new scenes filmed, providing "Trials and Tribble-ations" with some seriously memorable moments like Captain Sisko (Avery Brooks) meeting Captain Kirk. The episode was amusing and a great crossover between the two series, but was mostly a light and fun romp, lacking the emotional impact of other Star Trek time travel stories.

14 Time’s Arrow Parts I&II

Star trek: the next generation season 5, episode 26, & season 6, episode 1.

"Time's Arrow" continues to be one of the more famous two-part episodes of Star Trek: TNG . During the episode, the discovery of Data's (Brent Spiner) severed head in a San Francisco cave set off a chain of events that led the crew of the Enterprise-D to become stuck back in time in 1893. The now-infamous appearance of Mark Twain (Jerry Hardin) arguably kicked off the franchise's love affair with Star Trek 's favorite author, and the exploration of Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) and Captain Picard's backstory was a welcome addition . "Time's Arrow" is not the most important time travel story in TNG , but it would be a mistake to overlook it.

13 All Our Yesterdays

Star trek: the original series season 3, episode 23.

"All Our Yesterdays" was the second-to-last episode of TOS and a fascinating time travel story. While visiting a planet to warn its residents of an impending disaster, Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) accidentally ended up in different eras in the planet's past, with Kirk in the equivalent of 17th-century England and Spock and McCoy banished to the planet's ice age. "All Our Yesterdays" included some great guest stars like Mariette Hartley, and is one of TOS 's better time travel episodes overall , although not as well-remembered as episodes from other series.

12 Storm Front Parts I&II

Star trek: enterprise season 4, episodes 1 & 2.

As a culmination of several storylines on Star Trek: Enterprise , "Storm Front Part I&II" was a huge episode for the series that dealt with a range of subjects. After being pulled back in time by Temporal Agent Daniels (Matt Winston) to an alternate WWII-era Earth, the crew of NX-01 Enterprise were tasked with helping stop the Temporal Cold War and the infiltration of the Na'kuhl, who had altered the timeline and allied themselves with the Nazis. The Temporal Cold War and well as the ongoing Suliban storyline came together in "Storm Front," and the episode resolved both well, wrapping up some major plot points for Enterprise in the process.

11 Star Trek: First Contact

The second movie in the star trek: tng film franchise.

Star Trek: First Contact is widely considered the best of the TNG movies , and featured an engaging time travel story involving the Borg and the birth of the Federation. In the film, Picard and crew traveled back in time to 2063 to stop the Borg Queen (Alice Krige) from interfering with Zefram Cochrane's (James Cromwell) first warp flight. The introduction of the Borg Queen and the depiction of humanity's first contact with the Vulcans were major additions to Star Trek lore, and the exploration of Picard's ongoing trauma from his Borg assimilation added some wonderful emotional weight to the movie's plot.

10 Ways Star Trek: First Contact Improved The Franchise

10 little green men, star trek: deep space nine season 4, episode 8.

Quark (Armin Shimmerman) , Rom (Max Grodénchik), and Nog (Aron Eisenberg) stole the show in DS9 's "Little Green Men." After a shuttle malfunction, the three Ferengi were thrown back in time to 1947, crash landing in Roswell, New Mexico on Earth, and were subsequently captured by the US government. The episode's humor and the popularity and talent of DS9 's Ferengi characters combined to make a winner , and although "Little Green Men" didn't have a larger impact on the series or franchise as a whole, it is an undeniably well-executed episode.

9 Future’s End Parts I&II

Star trek: voyager season 3, episodes 8 & 9.

Star Trek: Voyager dealt with time travel a lot, and one of the most memorable episodes was the two-part "Future's End" which saw Voyager's crew ending up in 1990s Los Angeles after being pulled through a time rift. Once there, Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and crew found themselves doing battle with Henry Starling (Ed Begley Jr.), a billionaire tech mogul armed with dangerous 29th-century technology. Guest stars like Begley Jr. and Sarah Silverman elevated the episode considerably, and Voyager managed to balance the complicated overarching plotlines quite well .

8 Past Tense Parts I&II

Star trek: deep space nine season 3, episodes 11 & 12.

Lauded as one of Deep Space Nine 's best episodes, "Past Tense Part I&II" found Sisko, Dr. Bashir (Alexander Siddig), and Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) accidentally time-traveling to Earth 2024 after a transporter accident. There, the three were caught up in the political and social unrest of the time, altering the course of history when they were accidentally involved in the premature death of an important historical figure. The episode was highly praised when it first aired for its discussion and depiction of social and societal issues , many of which were relevant back when it aired and continue to be relevant today.

7 All Good Things…

Star trek: the next generation season 7, episodes 25 & 26.

The series finale of Star Trek: TNG , "All Good Things..." is often thought of as one of the best finales in the franchise. The storyline jumped between three different time periods, past, present, and future, following Captain Picard as his consciousness traveled between the three different points. The plot brought back the continuing storyline of Q's (John de Lancie) test of humanity that was first introduced in TNG 's pilot episode, providing a wonderfully cyclical ending to the series . Aside from being a great time-travel story, "All Good Things..." was a poignant and engaging farewell that was extremely well-received by audiences.

“Sky’s The Limit”: Who Invented Star Trek: TNG Finale's Last Line Revealed By Patrick Stewart

6 star trek iv: the voyage home, the fourth movie in the star trek: tos film franchise.

The Voyage Home remains one of the best TOS films and a quintessential time travel story for the franchise. When a mysterious probe threatened Earth, the TOS crew traveled back in time to locate a pair of living humpback whales, bringing them to the future to answer the probe's call. The hilarious hijinks of the Enterprise crew navigating 1980s San Francisco coupled with the surprisingly prescient conservationist message merged to create one of the most iconic Star Trek films of all time, featuring a slew of memorable moments such as Spock's attempt to mind-meld with a whale or the botched mission to infiltrate a nuclear vessel in San Francisco Bay.

5 Tomorrow And Tomorrow And Tomorrow

Star trek: strange new worlds season 2, episode 3.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 had many amazing episodes, but "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow" was one of the season's best. During the episode, La'an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong) found herself accidentally thrown back in time to 21st-century Toronto with an alternate timeline version of James T. Kirk (Paul Wesley). The episode involved some incredible twists and turns, including a cameo by the young version of La'an's infamous ancestor Khan (Desmond Sivan). It was also a tour-de-force for La'an as a character and beautifully channeled one of Star Trek: TOS 's all-time best episodes, "The City on the Edge of Forever."

Star Trek: Voyager season 5, episode 6

"Timeless" was the 100th episode of Star Trek: Voyager , and commemorated this milestone with a bang. After the USS Voyager crash-landed on an ice planet during an ill-fated attempt to return to the Alpha Quadrant, the ship's only survivors, Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) and Chakotay (Robert Beltran) worked for 15 years to figure out a way to send a message back in time warning Voyager about the crash. The episode's standout performance is Wang's portrayal of the older Harry Kim , but the action-packed plot and a surprise cameo by Star Trek: TNG fan-favorite Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) cemented it as one of Voyager 's best.

3 The Visitor

Star trek: deep space nine season 4, episode 3.

One of the strongest aspects of Star Trek: DS9 was the relationship between Captain Sisko and his son, Jake (Cirroc Lofton) , something that "The Visitor" explored masterfully. The episode was told from the point of view of an older Jake Sisko recounting the story of how his father became unstuck in time during an accident on the USS Defiant and had been appearing in his life at random moments ever since. The emotional gut punch of Jake's self-destruction as a result of trying to save his father, coupled with the unintentional foreshadowing of Sisko's ending in DS9 's finale created one of the most moving and well-crafted episodes of the series.

2 Yesterday’s Enterprise

Star trek: the next generation season 3, episode 15.

"Yesterday's Enterprise" is still considered one of the best episodes of Star Trek: TNG , and involved a fascinating time-travel story. The appearance of the USS Enterprise-C from a tear in spacetime caused a drastic timeline shift, thrusting the Enterprise-D crew into a much harsher alternate reality where Starfleet was at war with the Klingons. "Yesterday's Enterprise" featured the first return of Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby) who had died at the end of season 1, and is also the only Star Trek project to ever explore the USS Enterprise's history between Captain Kirk and Captain Picard , introducing the franchise's true first female captain before Janeway, Captain Rachel Garrett (Tricia O'Neil).

1 The City On The Edge Of Forever

Star trek: the original series season 1, episode 28.

Often considered one of the best episodes of the entire Star Trek franchise, "The City on the Edge of Forever" is undoubtedly also the franchise's top time-travel episode . After a drug-addled Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) traveled back in time through the Guardian of Forever, Captain Kirk and Spock followed McCoy back in time to 1930s New York City, where Kirk fell in love with a woman named Edith Keeler (Joan Collins). In a slew of romances, Kirk's relationship with Keeler is still thought of as the character's most iconic, and the episode's beautifully crafted storyline arguably laid the groundwork for every other time travel episode that came after it.

30 Best Romantic Anime Movies Ranked

Hina Amano winking in Weathering With You

Fans will be well aware of the rich diversity that anime offers, but others might not realize that there is a wealth of sub-genres that come under the umbrella of this animation style. In addition to the futuristic sci-fi and more action-packed offerings, a lot of anime is more focused on tugging at the heartstrings and exploring the intricacies of love and romance.

There is something about the power of anime that helps it to emotionally resonate with its audience — and this is particularly evident in romantic anime. The strongest films in this sub-genre really nail the building, maintaining, and sometimes ending of relationships, effectively conveying the deep bonds in both romantic and platonic relationships. While the focus is often on young love, that shouldn't discount the effectiveness of the way romantic anime handles the complex feelings and emotions that can arise — often resulting in an experience that feels deeply personal and relatable. Whether you're a huge anime fan already, or just looking for the place to start , we've ranked 30 of the best romantic anime movies out there.

30. Fireworks

While the usual pattern is to have the anime come first and the live-action remake later, 2017's "Fireworks" turns that on its head as it is a remake of the 1993 live-action film of the same name . This makes it pretty unique among anime movies — the vast majority of which are either completely original stories or are adapted from some other source such as manga, video games, or traditional folklore. 

Critics were initially lukewarm on it, but it was a hit with audiences and was later nominated for both a Japan Academy Film Prize Award and a Crunchyroll Anime Award . "Fireworks" tells the story of a boy named Norimichi (Masaki Suda) who finds a ball that allows him to turn back time and redo past decisions — however, he ultimately learns that each attempt to redo a mistake just leads to a whole bunch of new problems. Along the way, he attempts to connect with his classmate Nazuna (Suzu Hirose). But this is complicated by another boy named Yusuke (Mamoru Miyano), who also has feelings for Nazuna and isn't willing to let her go without a fight. 

Through its "love triangle" dynamic, "Fireworks" offers a great representation of the missteps that teenagers make as they try to form a bond with another person for the first time — while they're also still trying to figure out who they are themselves.

29. I've Always Liked You

Romantic anime movies aren't completely immune to the familiar rom-com tropes, and "I've Always Liked You" is built on the type of silly misunderstanding that forms the basis of so many of the movies we know and love. High school student Natsuki (Haruka Tomatsu) has had feelings for her friend, Yu (Hiroshi Kamiya), for a long time and has been trying to muster up the courage to tell him so. She finally gets it out one day, but immediately backpedals and tells Yu that she was actually just practicing how she'd confess her feelings for a guy she truly did like. So Yu — being a good and loyal friend — decides to help Natsuki find that guy, not realizing it's actually him. 

The perhaps unsurprising twist in this story is that Yu feels the same way, but he also struggles with sharing his feelings and keeps them to himself — something that is further repressed when he thinks Natsuki likes someone else. While all of this is going on, another boy at the school — Koyuki (Tsubasa Yonaga) — also has feelings for Natsuki and is trying to summon his own confession courage. It all admittedly sounds a bit corny and the story beats are rarely surprising, but "I've Always Liked You" is an incredibly sweet and funny film that overcomes its clichés with sharp writing and great characters.

28. The Anthem of the Heart

"The Anthem of the Heart" focuses on a girl named Jun (Inori Minase), who unknowingly exposes her father's affair, and is subsequently blamed for the damage that the revelation does to the family. Not knowing any better, she comes to believe that it truly was her words that caused so much pain — and ends up essentially wishing a magical curse on herself that renders her unable to talk — which she believes is best for everyone. But is the curse real, or is it just her way of excusing herself from talking and not risking having to hurt anyone with her words ever again?

Jun goes on a journey of self-discovery that helps her to forgive and grant herself permission to speak again, aided by her newfound love of music and a budding relationship with a classmate named Daiki (Yoshimasa Hosoya). It's the kind of beautiful story that wouldn't have been as effectively told in any other medium, best summarized by Zac Bertschy for Anime News Network who said, "Every now and then you've got to stop and recognize the truly unique things about anime that are still true — like the fact that it tells stories with animation that no one else does."

27. Clannad

Legendary anime writer and director Osamu Dezaki was part of the first generation of anime creators, starting out as an animator and episode director for the pioneering series "Astro Boy" in the '60s. His storied career also included work on franchises such as "Lupin the 3rd," "Golgo 13," "Hamtaro," and "Clannad" — the last of which would be his final film credit before his passing in 2011 (per Anime Herald ). It was definitely a great way to cap off a hugely varied career, as the "Clannad" film is a bona fide anime classic.

While the "Clannad" franchise began as visual novel video games — and has since spun off into other films and series — the 2007 movie is arguably the cornerstone of the entire brand. It's the story of a high school boy named Tomoya (Kenji Nojima) who is going through the motions in school and life while generally feeling aimless. That is until he meets an intriguing girl named Nagisa (Mai Nakahara), who has expressed an interest in reviving the school's dormant drama club. Seizing his opportunity to impress her, Tomoyo decides to breathe some life into the club, and in doing so he also rekindles the fire of his own life and finally finds meaning in it again.

26. Hello World

"Hello World" takes place in a near-future Kyoto and is about two introverted teenagers who bond over their love of reading, but whose shyness has prevented them from taking their friendship to the next level. One of them, Naomi (Takumi Kitamura), is visited by his 10-years-in-the-future self (voiced by Tori Matsuzaka) to warn him that something tragic befalls the girl, Ruri (Minami Hamabe), shortly after their romance finally begins. Future Naomi and present-day Naomi begin planning ways to prevent the tragedy and change the future, while also helping to progress his romance with Ruri.

The best time travel movies often have a romance at the center — and more specifically, one where time travel must be used to prevent something bad from happening to someone's partner. But the way this is tackled in "Hello World" — with the present and future versions of Naomi working together — is unique, and the plot goes in a lot of interesting and unusual directions toward its surprising conclusion. For fans of hybrid sci-fi and romance stories, "Hello World" is well worth a watch.

25. Summer Wars

The virtual world — and the unique form of escapism it offers — frequently crops up in film, television, and games — even spreading to the real world of fanciful billionaires like Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg (per Vice ). Of course, it also appears in anime with shows like "Sword Art Online" and in the 2009 film "Summer Wars." In the film, society is infatuated with a virtual world called "OZ." One of OZ's moderators is a boy named Kenji (Ryunosuke Kamiki), a math whiz who is challenged by a stranger to solve a complicated puzzle. In successfully doing so, he inadvertently teaches the AI behind OZ the formula that will help it take over the real world.

While that serves as the primary conflict for "Summer Wars," there is also a romantic subplot involving a girl named Natsuki (Nanami Sakuraba) who has "hired" Kenji to accompany her to a family gathering and pose as her fiancé. The twist is Kenji already had a crush on Natsuki, so things get complicated quickly. While it might sound like a lot is going on here, "Summer Wars" is a fun, breezy, and easy-to-watch adventure. It was even named one of the best anime movies of all time by Empire , placed above such classics as "Princess Mononoke" and "Perfect Blue."

24. The Place Promised in Our Early Days

"The Place Promised in Our Early Days" was the first feature-length film written and directed by Makoto Shinkai — who would quickly make a name for himself in the romance anime movie genre with his subsequent projects. He may be the most prolific filmmaker currently working in this particular genre — and he seems to only just be getting started.

Here, Shinkai tells a story set in an alternate post-war Japan that follows three teenagers — Hiroki (Hidetaka Yoshioka), Takuya (Masato Hagiwara), and Sayuri (Yuka Nanri) — as they try to build an airplane that'll allow them to visit a mysterious tower. Hiroki and Takuya both have feelings for Sayuri, but in a refreshing twist, there isn't a competition or rivalry between the boys for Sayuri's affection. The three of them make peace with their complicated situation and largely put it aside so they can all remain friends — not to mention focus on accomplishing the aforementioned task at hand which, of course, does not go off without some serious hitches. Beautifully animated, "The Place Promised in Our Early Days" is the perfect blend of romance and fantasy — a trend that would continue throughout Shinkai's films.

23. Patema Inverted

In a similar vein to the Upside Down in "Stranger Things," 2013's "Patema Inverted" plays with the idea of a real and alternate world. Patema (Yukiyo Fujii) is a girl who comes from an underground civilization and finds herself on the surface — where gravity is reversed from what she knows. She immediately begins to fall into the sky before being rescued by surface-dweller Eiji (Nobuhiko Okamoto). Eiji helps Patema stay grounded, despite his society teaching him that the people from her world are evil and that the sky "swallows" them as punishment for their sins.

It's the familiar "Romeo and Juliet" trope — two lovers who are part of warring sides — but told in a genuinely unique way. As well as the narrow-minded views of those around them, gravity itself is trying to pull Patema and Eiji apart, and forcing them to find ways to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of their budding relationship. "Patema Inverted" touches on classism and bigotry in really effective ways as it tells its heartwarming, sci-fi-tinged love story, and there are more than a few twists that you'll never see coming.

22. Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop

While a lot of romantic movies are about the beginning of a presumably long-lasting relationship, there are also many that just tell the story of a single, magical summer — and that's the approach that "Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop" takes. The story follows a shy boy nicknamed Cherry (Ichikawa Somegoro) — who only knows how to properly express himself via haiku — and a girl who calls herself Smile (Hana Sugisaki) who is trying to be an online personality spreading a message of positivity, but wears a mask because she's self-conscious about her teeth.

Cherry and Smile find themselves working at the same elderly care facility one summer and bond over trying to help Fujiyama (Koichi Yamadera) — one of the people at the facility — to try and find a specific record at the vintage music shop he owns. The two, along with some friends, go on a journey full of music and self-discovery, learning to overcome their respective insecurities. It's an incredibly charming film that paints a wonderful portrait of those magical summers when people share a deeply meaningful, if ultimately fleeting, connection with another person that changes them forever.

21. Doukyusei: Classmates

Hikaru (Hiroshi Kamiya) and Rihito (Kenji Nojima) are two high school boys who couldn't be more different — Hikaru is an expressive, free-spirited teen, while Rihito is much more reserved and doesn't seem all that interested in having fun. However, they soon discover that they have a shared love of music, and as Hikaru helps Rihito with an upcoming concert, the boys quickly develop a friendship — and more — as they realize they aren't nearly as different as they thought they were.

"Doukyusei: Classmates" not only tells a beautiful story, but it does so with gorgeous animation. At times, it looks like a watercolor painting coming to life, which really lends to the dreamlike feeling of the story. There are far too few queer romantic anime movies, but "Doukyusei: Classmates" tells its story of young love in a way that feels very special and sincere. Audiences are crying out for more stories like this, and the fact that this film had a limited theatrical release in the U.S. — something not all anime films receive — is a positive step in the right direction (via Medium ).

20. To the Forest of Firefly Lights

With Hotaru (Ayane Sakura) — the female lead of "To the Forest of Firefly Lights" — being only 6 years old at the start of the film, it might seem unusual to call it a "romance" movie. But the truth is, some people do start feeling genuine connections with others at that age — even if that connection is entirely innocent and platonic. The way this film approaches this is actually very sweet, and it can be argued that it would be hard to do it as effectively in any other medium besides anime.

The boy Hotaru connects with, Gin (Koki Uchiyama), has a curse on him that prevents him from making physical contact with another human being. Doomed to disappear if he does make contact, Gin and Hotaru spend time together and enjoy each other's company without any need for physicality. Of course, as the years go by and they get older, that becomes more difficult and less realistic, and the pair have to see if their relationship has a future despite this major barrier. "To the Forest of Firefly Lights" is ultimately a bittersweet but beautifully told tale of waiting and longing that you'll be thinking about long after it's over.

19. The Garden of Words

Takao (Miyu Irino) is a 15-year-old student and aspiring shoemaker who promises to make a pair of shoes for Yukari (Kana Hanazawa), a 27-year-old teacher. Although their rainy morning meet-ups are warm and friendly, they never exchange formal introductions and know relatively little about each other.

The two eventually find out the truth about one another and spend an afternoon together, at which point Takao tells Yukari he loves her. Pointing out their age difference and the fact that she's a teacher, she tells him they don't have a romantic future together. They part ways, but it is revealed that they keep in touch via email and eventually reunite several years later — with Takao finally giving Yukari the shoes he made for her. 

Despite the age difference between the characters being problematic, "The Garden of Words" approaches this maturely, and while there are obvious romantic intentions from Takao, what we mostly see are two people connecting at a point in their lives when they needed it the most.

18. Voices of a Distant Star

Perhaps more than any of his other films, "Voices of a Distant Star" gives the clearest indication of where Makoto Shinkai would eventually head with "Your Name" in 2016. In some ways, it also feels like a trial run for the grander, more epic sci-fi love story that he would tell with his feature film debut, "The Place Promised in Our Early Days," but the shorter run time of "Voices of a Distant Star" results in a slightly tighter and more focused tale.

Set in the year 2046, Noboru (voiced by Makoto Shinkai himself) and Mikako (Mika Shinohara) are about to graduate high school. Unfortunately, aliens attack the earth and start an interplanetary war, with Noboru being drafted into battle. He and Mikako vow to stay in touch, and they do — only, their messages take longer and longer to reach each other as his duties take him farther and farther away from Earth. Soon, years pass between messages, and they both begin to wonder if the time will come when the next message never arrives — and if they've missed their opportunity to tell each other how they truly feel. 

It's a simple but powerful tale that Shinkai was right to keep as a short story, as anything beyond its 25-minute run time would've made it lose some of its effectiveness. It was clear from this film that Shinkai was going to be a huge force in anime in the years that followed.

17. From Up on Poppy Hill

It wouldn't be a list of anime films without the presence of Studio Ghibli . "From Up on Poppy Hill" was the first direct collaboration between the legendary Hayao Miyazaki and his son, Goro Miyazaki. Hayao co-wrote the screenplay, and Goro directed the film, signifying a passing of the baton of sorts — although Hayao Miyazaki has come in and out of retirement many times since (via Yahoo News ). Despite its positive critical reception , "From Up on Poppy Hill" remains one of the more underrated Studio Ghibli films, but it deserves more credit — particularly as a love story.

Two teens — Shun (Junichi Okada) and Umi (Masami Nagasawa) — are part of a group trying to prevent a beloved building from being demolished to make way for construction for the upcoming Olympics. The two quickly develop feelings for each other — particularly as Umi helps orphan Shun find out more about his past and his family — and the journey ends up connecting them in ways they never could've imagined. While it isn't on the same level as films like "Spirited Away," "From Up on Poppy Hill" is still an excellent film that a lot more people need to check out.

16. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

From Mamoru Hosoda — the same director as "Summer Wars" and 2018's Oscar-nominated "Mirai" — "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" is a highly imaginative romantic comedy-drama that establishes Hosoda as a force to be reckoned with in the anime world. The story focuses on Makoto (Riisa Naka), who finds herself with the ability to time travel. As most 17-year-olds would, she initially uses it for frivolous reasons like retaking failed tests at school and reliving fun evenings over and over again. However, she soon realizes that every time she alters the past for her own benefit, it ends up leading to negative consequences for others.

Forced to wrestle with the idea that her powers can do more harm than good, things come to a head when Makoto starts using her time jump ability to prevent her friend Chiaki (Takuya Ishida) from confessing his love for her — leaving the two becoming entangled in ways they never expected. "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" is a really inventive love story, and as well as one of the best anime films, it also deserves to be in the discussion of all-time great time travel movies.

15. The Wind Rises

Seeing Hayao Miyazaki's name on a Studio Ghibli film is an instant mark of quality, and "The Wind Rises" is among the ones he both wrote and directed. But what makes "The Wind Rises" unique is that it's actually something of a biopic about several real-life engineers and aircraft designers who helped to create some of the aircraft that the Imperial Navy and other military forces used during World War II (via  Polygon ).

While it finds inspiration in truth, it is a very fictionalized account of the lives and work of Jiro Horikoshi, Kiro Honjo, and Giovanni Battista Caproni (voiced by Hideaki Anno, Hidetoshi Nishijima, and Nomura Mansai respectively) and it takes a lot of liberties for the sake of telling a compelling story (per The Artifice ). Perhaps the most significant of these is the fabrication of a woman named Naoko Satomi (Miori Takimoto), who ends up as the wife of Jiro in the movie, and their romance becomes one of the driving forces of the entire film. 

Essentially, it's a fictional love story that loosely borrows some real-life names and events as a backdrop, but it's an incredibly endearing one. It's a formula that many movies try, but with "The Wind Rises" also utilizing Miyazaki's much-publicized love of planes and flight (via The Economist ), the results are enchanting.

14. Josee, the Tiger and the Fish

"Josee, the Tiger and the Fish" is an intriguingly named anime film that sees a marine biology student named Tsuneo (Taishi Nakagawa) trying to scrape together enough money from various part-time jobs to study abroad. He soon finds himself crossing paths with a girl named Kumiko (Kaya Kiyohara) — though she prefers to be called "Josee" — who is wheelchair-bound and in need of a caretaker. Tsuneo is initially reluctant as he finds Josee abrasive and hard to get along with, but when he realizes that it's a great way for him to make some more cash, he agrees.

While it's rough going to begin with — and Tsuneo even considers quitting — he soon finds that he and Josee have a shared desire to travel and see the world. Their professional arrangement soon becomes a friendship and, eventually, a romance as the two realize that seeing the world together is what they truly want. "Josee, the Tiger and the Fish" is an achingly heartwarming story that, most crucially, never panders in terms of Josee's physical challenges. The way the film handles this is a tonic, and it makes it impossible not to fall in love with it.

13. Ocean Waves

"Ocean Waves" is another unique effort from Studio Ghibli in that it was a made-for-television film that aired on Nippon TV. It was something of a trial run for the then-younger generation of Studio Ghibli and its collaborators, seeing what they could do without the guiding hand of Hayao Miyazaki or Isao Takahata and with the limited budget of a small-screen production (per IndieWire ). The results do lack some of the visual splendor and the impeccable polish of a typical Ghibli work, but "Ocean Waves" is still more than worthy of the studio's legacy.

The story follows two high school boys — Taku (Nobuo Tobita) and Yutaka (Toshihiko Seki) — who both become interested in Rikako (Yoko Sakamoto), and have to navigate the way that complicates their friendship. Fortunately, what seems like a tale that's been told a million times is still made fresh by its well-formed characters, sharp writing, and the way the story doesn't go in the obvious directions — particularly how its version of a "happily ever after" isn't necessarily what you might expect. 

It's hard to say whether it would've been a better movie if it had been given the full Ghibli treatment and budget, but for what it's worth, what "Ocean Waves" does end up being is something wholly special, in part because it's not typical Ghibli.

12. 5 Centimeters per Second

While it sits somewhere in the middle of Makoto Shinkai's work, quality-wise, being the middle child is nothing to be ashamed of for "5 Centimeters per Second" as it is still an exquisitely beautiful anime film. Following the theme of his other works, Shinkai once again addresses the highs and lows of long-distance relationships. Across three chapters, "5 Centimeters per Second" follows Takaki (Kenji Mizuhashi) and his relationships with two girls — Akari (voiced by Yoshimi Kondo and Ayaka Onouei) and Kanae (Satomi Hanamura). 

While Kanae tries in vain to win Takaki's affection in the second chapter, his heart lies with Akari, but the former childhood sweethearts have drifted apart over the years and largely have to settle on memories and dreams of each other. Rather than accept the fact they won't be together and move on, both Takaki and Akari choose to live their lives forever pining for the one that got away. It's definitely not the happiest of love stories, but it's one that is no doubt familiar to many. Perhaps the highest praise it could've received came from Mark Shilling of The Japan Times , who proclaimed Shinkai as already having eclipsed Hayao Mizaki in how he reveals the "poignant, evanescent beauty most of us notice only in rare moments."

11. The Night is Short, Walk on Girl

A lot of movies purport to take place within a single day or night, and it often feels like a stretch that so much could possibly happen in such a short time frame. In the case of the wildly inventive "The Night is Short, Walk on Girl," the concept of an impossibly long evening is deliberately subverted as this one night seems to go on for weeks. 

The two leads of the movie are never named and are loosely referred to as "Senior" (Gen Hoshino) and "The Girl with Black Hair" (Kana Hanazawa). Senior has eyes on The Girl and tries to set it up so the two of them "accidentally" cross paths so he can talk to her, but one thing after another keeps getting in the way. While Senior tries to locate a book The Girl enjoyed as a child to eventually bring them together, The Girl is having a seriously wild night — punching a guy making unwelcome advances, and winning a drinking contest against a magical being. 

"The Night is Short, Walk on Girl" does have a bit of "manic pixie dream girl" syndrome going on, but it embraces it to such an extreme that it doesn't feel like a trope here. This might be the most creatively ambitious film on this list and is one of a handful that absolutely would not work in any other medium except for anime.

10. Ride Your Wave

Directed by Masaaki Yuasa — who also directed "The Night is Short, Walk on Girl" — 2019's "Ride Your Wave" proves that he is able to apply his highly visual and reality-stretching approach to storytelling to a more traditional — and arguably more mainstream — love story.

That being said, there are still some fantastical and unique elements to "Ride Your Wave" that make it anything but ordinary. Hinako (Rina Kawaei) is a surfer girl who begins dating handsome firefighter Minato (Ryota Katayose). However, their happiness is short-lived after Minato dies rescuing a jetskier — only to discover that he is seemingly able to live on but exclusively underwater. Revealing himself every time Hinako sings the song they used to sing together, Minato remains part of her life, but eventually, they might have to learn to let each other go. While still a fantasy, "Ride Your Wave" has a realistic approach to romance, giving it a slight edge over Yuasa's other films and making it one of the best romantic movies in recent memory — anime or otherwise.

9. A Whisker Away

In "A Whisker Away," a young girl named Miyo (Mirai Shida) is crushing hard on a boy named Kento (Natsuki Hanae) and tries her best to woo him even as he rebuffs her at every turn. One day, Miyo discovers a mask that allows her to transform into a cat — and naturally, one of the first things she does is approach Kento in her cat form. Kento quickly bonds with the cat, and in this way, Miyo is able to spend time with Kento and get the affection she always wanted from him. However, Kento doesn't know Miyo is the cat, and Miyo wants to have a real, human relationship with Kento. So she needs to decide if it's worth the risk of revealing the truth to him, with the possibility that he'll not only reject her again but also not want to spend time with her as a cat anymore.

It's an extremely sweet story — one that definitely skews a little younger — but that doesn't mean that adults won't be charmed by it as well. In fact, adults probably understand better than kids do just how strong of a bond people can develop with animals, and how sometimes it's easier to open up to animals as they don't judge you and their affection is much more unconditional. "A Whisker Away" feels like a Studio Ghibli film in a lot of ways, and that's definitely intended to be a huge compliment.

8. Weathering with You

Perhaps inspired by "The Garden of Words," Makoto Shinkai revisits a budding love story during a rainy season in "Weathering with You." It focuses on a runaway named Hodaka (Kotaro Daigo) and an orphan girl named Hina (Nana Mori), both struggling with the seemingly never-ending rains that have been drenching Tokyo. After Hodaka helps Hina out of a dangerous situation, the two decide to run away together.

Later, Hodaka learns of Hina's power to make the sun shine and encourages her to use her power for good and to help people. But the terrible price of her power is eventually revealed, and the movie begins to move in a more magical direction that would be a shame to spoil here. All we'll say is that it's an incredible film, and at the heart of it is a wonderful and heartbreaking romance between Hodaka and Hina. It was a massive hit in Japan — making it into the top 15 of the country's all-time highest-grossing movies (per Kogyo Tsushinsha ) — as well as taking more than $193 million worldwide .

7. Millennium Actress

Of all the films on this list, "Millennium Actress" is the one that probably stretches the definition of romance anime the furthest. In some ways, the love story of the movie encompasses visionary filmmaker Satoshi Kon's love of cinema (per Little White Lies ) — using the framework of a retired actress reliving her storied career to move through the various eras of Japanese film history. Like most Kon movies, fantasy and reality are soon blurred, and Chiyoko (the actress, voiced by Mami Koyama) is somehow also relaying parts of her career that took place not only in ancient Japan but also in the future. 

In addition, there is an underlying story of unrequited love between Chiyoko and an anti-war artist she met briefly as a teenager who gave her a mysterious key that she has held onto for her entire life. Because it is a Kon movie, there are layers upon layers of meaning in every scene of "Millennium Actress." He was never going to make a traditional romance movie, and this is the closest he was ever going to get — managing to be both exactly what you would expect, and completely unexpected at the same time.

6. Only Yesterday

Studio Ghibli's 1991 film "Only Yesterday" focuses on a city girl named Taeko (Miki Imai) who tires of the hustle and bustle of Tokyo and decides to visit her farming family in the country. Believing the fresh air and peace and quiet will do her some good, she reconnects with her relatives and gets to know more about them. While there, she also strikes up a friendship with a local farmer named Toshio (Toshiro Yanagiba).

While we don't actually see a relationship between Taeko and Toshio officially begin over the course of the movie, the seeds are definitely being planted, and he no doubt ends up being a major factor in her ultimately deciding that she's ready to leave the city life behind permanently. With an English dub unavailable until the film's 25th anniversary in 2018 (via Gkids ), writer and director Isao Takahata lived just long enough to see "Only Yesterday" discovered by a whole new audience before he died in 2018 (per CNN ).

5. Whisper of the Heart

Despite there being a lot of general romanticism in many Studio Ghibli movies, the company actually doesn't tell traditional love stories very often. One of the few that is more-or-less a straightforward romantic drama is "Whisper of the Heart." The film was written by Hayao Miyazaki but directed by Yoshifumi Kondo, who was primed to transition into being the new creative head of the studio once Miyazaki and Isao Takahata retired (per The Telegraph ). Sadly, he would never get the chance as he passed away three years after the release of "Whisper of the Heart."

The film follows a book-obsessed young girl named Shizuku (Yoko Honna) who begins to notice that every book she borrows from the library has previously been read by someone named Seiji Amasawa (Issei Takahashi). She decides to look for the boy, certain that the two will have a lot in common. But the journey ends up taking some surprising turns that involve a giant, talking cat person — it is still a Studio Ghibli movie, after all. So beloved is "Whisper of the Heart" that it spawned the only direct spin-off movie Ghibli has done so far with "The Cat Returns" in 2002.

4. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas

To address the elephant in the room immediately, the title of this movie is certainly an attention-grabber, and it doesn't immediately strike you as being romantic in nature. While it's easy to make all kinds of wild assumptions about an anime with such a title, it is so named for an extremely heartbreaking reason. "I Want to Eat Your Pancreas" focuses on a high school girl, Sakura (Lynn), who is suffering from a terminal pancreatic illness. She meets a new friend (Mahiro Takasugi) — who goes unnamed for most of the movie — and loves that he doesn't pity her or act sad around her. Instead, he just wants to enjoy her company as if she wasn't dying.

The two spend her remaining days together, and we watch them do the best they can do to act as if they are just two normal teenagers hanging out and falling in love. The sadness that underpins their time together is obviously impossible to completely put out of your mind as you watch, but you'll be surprised just how much you're willing to go along with it and enjoy them relishing each moment they have together. Writing for Starburst Magazine, James Perkins said it best when he said that the movie is "devastatingly beautiful" and a "gut-punch of a romantic drama." You have been warned, you'll need to have an entire box of tissues ready for this one.

3. Howl's Moving Castle

Hayao Miyazaki is a reclusive man who likes to bury himself in his work, and he doesn't give a lot of interviews or talk at great length about his films (via The Guardian ). So when he let slip that his personal favorite movie that he ever worked on is "Howl's Moving Castle" (per The Spool ), it's a declaration that should not be taken lightly as he is obviously very careful about what he shares with the world. 

Needless to say, you can ask 10 different people their favorite Studio Ghibli movie and get 10 equally valid answers, but "Howl's Moving Castle" makes a strong case for being the company's best love story. It echoes "The Wizard of Oz" in several obvious ways — including having a character known as the Witch of the Waste — but in this case, the wizard (Howl, voiced by Takuya Kimura) actually does have magic powers, isn't cruel, and ends up romantically entangled with the movie's Dorothy stand-in (Sophie, voiced by Chieko Baisho). The two go on a magical journey accompanied by other pals — including the scarecrow-esque Turnip Head (Yo Oizumi) — as they try to break Sophie of the curse that has transformed her into a 90-year-old woman. Proving to be a hit with audiences and critics , "Howl's Moving Castle" earned Miyazaki an Academy Award nomination for best animated feature film.

2. A Silent Voice

The shiniest of hidden gems, "A Silent Voice" is about a boy named Shoya (Miyu Irino) who quickly begins to tease Shoko (Saori Hayami) — a deaf transfer student — which encourages most of their classmates to join in. However, when Shoko's mother confronts the school about her daughter being bullied, Shoya is thrown under the bus and becomes the scapegoat for all of the torment that Shoko had received. Things get even worse after Shoko moves on to a different school, as the student body continues to shun Shoya in lieu of taking any responsibility for their own cruelty.

Years later, a high school-age Shoya remains internally tormented for how he treated Shoko and tries to find her in order to make amends. What started as a simple attempt to provide closure for himself and healing for Shoko takes a surprising turn when a romance blossoms between the two. Beyond "A Silent Voice" addressing bullying in a powerful and realistic way, it also tells one of the most well-written and fully-formed love stories in the history of anime.

1. Your Name

We doubt anyone would be surprised to see "Your Name" at the top of this list. Not only is it Makoto Shinkai's best movie, and one of the best anime movies of all time , but it's one of the biggest movies in Japanese history (per The Hollywood Reporter ), making more than $357 million at the box office .

It would be just as easy to list all the accolades "Your Name" has received and records it has broken, but none of that gets to the heart of why it is the best romantic anime movie ever. It's the story of two high schoolers — a country girl named Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi) who dreams of being a city boy, and a boy named Taki (Ryunosuke Kamiki) who lives in Tokyo. When they wake up one morning to find they have swapped bodies and lives, they try to find each other while also attempting to deal with the strange occurrence. Romance tinged with fantasy is what Makoto Shinkai does best, and "Your Name" feels like the realization of all the ideas demonstrated in his previous features and shorts. 

It is an undeniably ambitious premise — and one that could have so easily failed — but "Your Name" completely exceeds all expectations. It's easy to write off a movie this beloved and highly acclaimed as "overrated," but "Your Name" deserves every ounce of praise it has had heaped upon it.

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Dunki's story is an emotional one - rolling in friendship, romance, heart-wrenching and heart-warming moments all into one. And in trademark Hirani style, there are dollops of comedy which is laced with satire to make it an entertaining ride, along with the strong message the film brings forth.

movie time travel love story

Dunki Movie Review: Shah Rukh Khan's Dunki is dunked with love and longing

  • Times of India

Dunki - Title Announcement

Dunki - Title Announcement

Dunki - Official Trailer

Dunki - Official Trailer

Dunki - Official Teaser

Dunki - Official Teaser

Dunki | Song - Lutt Putt Gaya

Dunki | Song - Lutt Putt Gaya

Dunki | Song - Nikle The Kabhi Hum Ghar Se

Dunki | Song - Nikle The Kabhi Hum Ghar Se

Dunki | Song - O Maahi

Dunki | Song - O Maahi

Dunki | Song - Banda

Dunki | Song - Banda


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movie time travel love story

saurabh bishnoi 3655 1 hour ago

Copycat act from different Punjabi movies.

movie time travel love story

Gyan 3 hours ago

movie time travel love story

Arun Rao 1757 6 hours ago

Just back from #Dunki <br/>2 words to describe my mindset &quot;Feeling Cheated&quot;.<br/>I had high expectations due to 2 reasons <br/>1) It's a Rajkumar Hirani film. <br/>2) The reviews (which were obviously bought out).<br/>It was difficult to sit through the entire length. Nothing in the film that is anything above mediocre. Don't waste your money.

Kamal Uddin 43 7 hours ago

Heartfelt And Touching Movie

Mihir Shah 70070 12 hours ago

Boring movie. Probably the weakest from RKH. The second half was still decent.

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  • This film marks the first collaboration of uncle-nephew duo Anil Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor. Arjun is the son of Anil’s brother Boney Kapoor. Share
  • This film marks the first collaboration of uncle-nephew duo Anil Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor. Arjun is the son of Anil’s brother Boney Kapoor.
  • This is the second time Arjun Kapoor is playing a double role, the first being Aurangzeb (2013).
  • The song ‘Yamma yamma’ from ‘Shaan’ is sampled in the song ‘Partywali Night' for the film.

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The 25 Best Time Travel Movies to Whisk You Away from Reality

Who wouldn't love a time machine right about now?

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Every product on this page was chosen by a Harper's BAZAAR editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

Meet Cute (2022)

Kaley Cuoco and Pete Davidson co-star in Peacock's Meet Cute , a delightful and often dark rom-com based around time travel. Feeling suicidal, Sheila (Cuoco) finds a time machine in a nail salon and decides to go back in time 24 hours. While re-living her first date with Gary (Davidson) again and again, Sheila loses touch with reality and might have destroyed any chance she had with him.

A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

High schooler Meg Murry travels through time and space in search of her missing astrophysicist father (Chris Pine). On her journey, Meg meets Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), as well as a whole host of dangerous beings.

The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)

Based on Audrey Niffenegger's 2003 novel of the same name, The Time Traveler's Wife tells the story of Henry (Eric Bana), a librarian who is able to randomly travel through time. After meeting Clare (Rachel McAdams) as a child, Henry later develops a romantic relationship with her. HBO's recent adaptation starring Theo James and Rose Leslie has reignited the debate regarding whether or not the story promotes grooming , or if it's a timeless romance.

Back to the Future (1985)

'80s classic Back to the Future has stood the test of time, and spawned two equally entertaining sequels. In the first film, Marty McFly is sent to the 1950s in his friend Doc Brown's time machine, a super cool DeLorean. Marty meets his parents as teenagers, and his presence risks changing history forever.

See You Yesterday (2019)

Netflix's See You Yesterday follows science prodigy C.J. (Eden Duncan-Smith), who invents time traveling backpacks. Along with her best friend Sebastian, C.J. uses her invention to go back in time to stop her brother from being murdered by a racist police officer. However, she's also forced to face up to the limitations and consequences of time travel.

About Time (2013)

Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) inherits the ability to time travel from his father, and decides to use the gift to find love. After a failed attempt at romance, Tim meets Mary (Rachel McAdams), but due to several time travel-related mishaps, romance isn't instantaneous for the pair. Written and directed by rom-com aficionado Richard Curtis.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

James Cameron's follow-up to 1984's The Terminator was a smash-hit that cemented the franchise's popularity. In the sequel, a killer T-1000 Terminator is sent back in time by Skynet to kill the future leader of the resistance, the son of Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), John (Edward Furlong). At the same time, the resistance sends a reprogrammed T-800 Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back to protect Connor.

Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

Four miserable friends reunite after one of them nearly dies. To cheer themselves up, they decide to spend some time together at a ski resort. Unfortunately, the resort's hot tub isn't what it seems, and they accidentally end up traveling back to 1986. The four friends scramble to find a way back to present day. Starring John Cusack and Craig Robinson.

12 Monkeys (1995)

After a deadly virus destroys humanity in 1996, survivors are forced underground. Decades later, prisoner James (Bruce Willis) agrees to go back in time to find the original virus, so that scientists can work on a cure. However, he arrives too early in 1990, and is promptly institutionalized, where he meets Jeffrey (Brad Pitt), an anti-corporate environmentalist. From there, the mystery only gets more intriguing.

Looper (2012)

In the future, time travel is used by the mob to assassinate people, who are sent back in time and killed by assassins known as "loopers." Joe's (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) older self (Bruce Willis) is sent back to be eliminated, but manages to escape before he is killed. Thus begins a twisty time travel epic, that also stars Emily Blunt.

Tenet (2020)

The Protagonist ( John David Washington ), a former CIA agent, is tasked with stopping World War III. Learning to bend time, he attempts to prevent the destruction of the world. Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki co-star.

Last Night in Soho (2021)

Aspiring fashion designer Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie) manages to travel back to the 1960s, where she meets singer "Sandie" ( Anya Taylor-Joy ). What starts as a glamorous encounter with the past soon becomings a horrifying nightmare. Co-starring Matt Smith.

Déjà Vu (2006)

A top secret organization has developed the ability to see four days into the past, in order to catch criminals. While hunting a terrorist, ATF agent Doug (Denzel Washington) realizes that this new technology might allow him to stop crimes from happening altogether.

Source Code (2011)

An unusual riff on the time travel movie, Source Code stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Army Captain Colter, who is trying to identify the person responsible for bombing a commuter train. Re-living an eight minute re-creation of the moments leading up to the explosion, Colter is stuck in a terrifying loop, until he can solve the mystery.

Mirai (2018)

A young boy called Kun runs away from home, as he feels neglected by his family after the arrival of his little sister, Mirai. Kun accidentally discovers a time travel portal in a magic garden, and is transported into the past, where he meets his mother as a child. Later, he travels to the future, where he finds his sister as an adult, and completely changes his outlook in the process.

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

Aubrey Plaza stars as an aspiring journalist whose latest assignment involves a mysterious classified ad about time travel. "You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED," the ad reads. Mark Duplass co-stars.

Groundhog Day (1993)

Although Groundhog Day is technically a "time loop" movie, it wouldn't feel right to leave it off the list. Phil (Bill Murray) is a disgruntled weatherman sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. When he wakes up the next day, he realizes that he's re-living February 2, which happens again and again, until he figures out how to stop it.

Needle in a Timestack (2021)

The wonderful Cynthia Erivo stars alongside Orlando Bloom, Leslie Odom Jr., and Freida Pinto in this romantic sci-fi flick. In the future, the wealthy are able to partake in "time jaunting," but the ripples from these changes often cause timelines to warp and change. Needle in a Timestack focuses on a happily married couple whose relationship is jeopardized by an ex intent on changing history.

The Lake House (2006)

Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves star in this completely cheesy but endlessly loveable rom-com that defies time. Architect Alex (Reeves) and doctor Kate (Bullock) write letters to one another via a mailbox at a lake house where they both live at separate times. Despite the time difference, they're able to communicate with one another and forge a relationship via this magical postal system that transcends time.

Predestination (2015)

Ethan Hawke stars as an agent tasked with stopping a deadly attack before it happens, via time travel. Traveling back to 1975, he attempts to find and stop a bomber in New York, but his mission is far from simple. When he returns to the future, his life only gets more complicated.

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Amy Mackelden is a freelance writer, editor, and disability activist. Her bylines include Harper's BAZAAR, Nicki Swift, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, ELLE, The Independent, Bustle, Healthline, and HelloGiggles. She co-edited The Emma Press Anthology of Illness , and previously spent all of her money on Kylie Cosmetics.

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