My top 10 movies featuring time travel
New League assignment this week. We apparently were off last week, but Brian has thrown a very good subject for this week. He wants us to create a list of 10 favorite movies. We can pick the category. There are so many ways to slice-and-dice a list of 10 movies. It took me a while to really think about it but I think I came up with an appropriate angle for me.
If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know I’m an aficionado of time travel in pop culture. Some say I would be an “Internet authority” on said topic (I won’t argue that). I see the movies and TV shows, I read the books. I study it. I enjoy it. Check out the numerous time travel articles I’ve written on this blog as well as Episode 3 of the Nerd Lunch podcast in which we discussed time travel (and our third most downloaded episode, btw). You can see I have something invested in this subject. So, I thought I’d list out my 10 favorite movies that feature time travel.
I realize there are going to be ones you’ll want on, but I’m giving you my list of favorite time travel movies. I’ll also include some honorable mentions at the bottom.
So, let’s get started going back…..to the future….and past. Whatever. Oh, and I don’t normally do this, but I’m actually ranking these 10 – 1. Much like time itself, the order matters.
10. Galaxy Quest – Time travel is really only used in this movie as a small plot device at the very end, but it’s used very well. The Omega 13 is a nebulous and strange device, but it worked and both spoofed the original Star Trek’s version of time travel as well as created a fun version of time travel for the movie. Plus, I love the s**t out of this movie. The perfect spoof of classic Star Trek while simultaneously being a really good stand along sci-fi movie.
(Via Harry Potter Wikia)
9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – This is another kind of a cheat. The movie doesn’t feature time travel, but uses it as a plot device towards the end. However, it’s used very well and the Time Turner itself is a fascinating little gadget. This third movie in the HP franchise is so good and having time travel at the end and also realizing Hermione has been using it from the beginning of the story, just makes it that much better.
8. Time Crimes – This is a pretty great little suspense movie that has a plot that not only features time travel, but revolves around it. It gets a little crazy at the end, and a little confusing as well, but I really enjoy the hell out of this movie. It’s about a guy named Hector who stumbles upon a time machine and gets himself into several hairy situations when he’s sent back 30min into the past.
7. Groundhog Day – Not generally thought of by people as a time travel movie, but it is. Murray is trapped in what we call a “time loop” and has to live the last 24 hours over and over and over. Such a great movie even if the “time loop” is never really explained.
(Via just plain doug)
6. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure – EXCELLENT! I really do like this movie. It’s silly and dumb and makes little sense but it is so much fun. I actually welcome a Bill & Ted 3 if it ever comes about (even though I like Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, it’s not one of my favorites).
5. Deja Vu – This movie sort of snuck up on me like Time Crimes. I watched it, but really had no idea what it was about. And I hate to put this here, because it spoils a small part of the plot you don’t actually know at first. However, this is a very solid time travel movie and I highly recommend it.
4. Star Trek (2009) – I know this movie gets a lot of s**t for continuity. CT isn’t a fan of this movie because of that. However, being a fan of the Star Wars Expanded Universe and the DC Universe, you come to realize that while continuity is great, you can’t really rely on the creative people to protect it. The overseers of the continuity care less about it than the fans of the property. Are there problems with the timeline of this movie as it pertains to the original Trek? Yes, of course there are. But I love the hell out of this movie anyway. I DON’T CARE IF SPOCK PRIME AND KIRK MEETING ON THE FROZEN PLANET AND THEN ALSO MEETING SCOTTY ON SAME PLANET IS A HUGE IMPROBABLE COINCIDENCE (which, when I write that down, really sounds stupid). They tried to tie it in and I appreciate that. They did about as good a job as the original movies did. Screw nit picking, this movie is bad ass. It gets the characters right. It gets the feeling of the universe right. The end result works and I highly look forward to Star Trek 2 (which hopefully won’t feature time travel). For me, the biggest offense this movie made was to make Tyler Perry head of Starfleet.
3. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home – Probably the most mainstream, comedic movie of the original series. Maybe even the entire movie series (excluding the reboot). The original crew utilizes the slingshot maneuver around the sun to go back to 1986 to save some humpback whales so they can return with them to the future to talk to an alien space probe that is about to destroy Earth. If it sounds completely ridiculous, well, it is, but this movie is not only fun it’s incredibly funny. And that’s why it makes it in here at #3.
2. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (T1) – This is my favorite Terminator movie. I enjoy the first one, I don’t really ever think about the third one…or the fourth one really. I’ll include the first Terminator here too, but I’m really talking about T2. Such a great movie. What else is there to say. And it still holds up.
1. Back to the Future (BTTF 2/3) – And this should come as no surprise to anyone that has read this blog for 5 minutes. Like T2, I’m really talking about the first movie, but I’m going to peripherally include the entire series.
Hot Tub Time Machine - I love everything about this movie. It’s silly and fun and crazy. And kinda dumb. But it’s supposed to be.
Time Bandits - I honestly go back and forth on this movie. Some days I love it, some days I don’t.
Freejack - I saw this in the theater and I’ve loved it ever since. It probably has something to do with my man crush on Emilio Estevez. And I realize the movie is not great and Mick Jagger is f**king terrible, but I still really enjoy watching this movie.
Forbidden Kingdom - First team up with Jackie Chan and Jet Li. The lead kid isn’t my favorite, but this is a really fun and visually awesome movie.
Other entries from around the League:
1. Tim at FASTE put up an unbelievably personal list that I am literally in love with. Check it out.
2. Shawn over at Branded put up his top 10 favorite movie villains
3. Michael May actually just went “straight up top 10 favorite movies” and put together a pretty good list.
4. Ashley over at Life With Fandom puts together a rather eclectic and geektastic top 10 list.
5. Brian from Cool and Collected gave us 10 of his favorite monkey movies.
6. Aaron over at Movie Hodge Podge put together a STRONG list of his favorite 80s action movies.