“Great scott!” These time travel movies are truly out of this world
Time travel is a concept that’s endlessly fascinating to us all. It’s a plot device that’s used in both movies & television for years. Time travel movies, in fact, have produced some of the best and most memorable content out there. Whether endlessly quotable or just plain hilarious, time travel movies definitely seem to speak to us as people in some sort of way.
Naturally, this means that we should recommend some of the best of the best of time travel movies. Now, to set some parameters here, we’re going to recommend time travel movies where people actually travel through time. Time loop movies like, say, Groundhog’s Day should be their own classification. With those ground rules set down, let’s take a look.
Back to the Future
We’re going with the movie that is, to many, the OG time travel film. Starring Christopher Lloyd & Michael J Fox, Back to the Future is one of the best time travel movies of all time. 80s teen Marty McFly (Fox) is sent back in time to 1955 while testing a time travelling DeLorean with his eccentric scientist friend Doc Brown (Lloyd). While in the past, Marty prevents his parents meeting.
So, naturally, Marty is racing against the clock to make sure that his parents meet & fall in love in order to ensure that he’s born. It’s some seriously heavy stuff. But the film is great with moments that are endlessly and fondly remembered. It spawned into a wildly successful franchise. Though, in our opinion, we like the first one the best.
13 Going on 30
What can we say? Some of the best time travel movies out there are more comedic than anything else. In this beloved romcom, we follow a teenage girl who, after a wish, wakes up in her 30-year-old body (Jennifer Garner) in the future. While there, she learns that having everything you ever wanted does not mean that you’re really and truly happy in the end.
Add in an adorable Mark Ruffalo and the best “Thriller” scene ever? It’s pure cinematic gold. 13 Going on 30 is just a fondly, fondly remembered time travel movie for an entire generation of romance lovers. It remains super charming on a rewatch almost two decades after its release.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Arguably one of the best action movies of all time, and the best of the Terminator franchise (don’t @ us), Terminator 2: Judgement Day takes place 11 years after the original 1984 film where a T-1000 Terminator (Robert Patrick) is sent back in time in order to kill a young future savior of the human race, John Connor (Edward Furlong), son of Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton).
In order to stop him, the original Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is sent back to protect him. Honestly? The Terminator franchise has never quite hit the glorious highs of Judgement Day, which is one of the most gripping action movies you’ll watch. From it’s perfect cast to amazing story, it’s one of the best time travel movies that you can ever watch.
In Looper’s future, time travel totally exists. That is, if you can pay for it on the black market. Directed by Rian Johnson, the future has loopers, hitmen who kill victims from the future, with the final victim being their retired future self. Things, however, get a bit hairy when looper Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) gets pulled into the web of his older self (Bruce Willis), who wants to alter history.
One of Rian Johnson’s best movies, Looper takes the concept of time travel and wraps it up in a crime thriller. It’s a wild ride where you can never really guess how the future will change and how things could play out. It’s a recent addition to the best time travel movies list, but a great one.