42 Best Time Travel Movies

I love time travel movies. Of EVERY shape and size. I don't care how silly the premise is or how unbelievable the reasoning, the time travel could be science fiction, or it could be magical, or it could just happen, but I do give an edge to those who give a successful sci-fi logic to the time travel and have closed loop stories (meaning, no grandfather paradoxes for those of you who have enough nerd-street-cred to understand what that means). So here are what I consider the very best of this, my favorite, science fiction genre.

DISCLAIMER: Time travel for this purpose includes machines and/or people with full awareness of the future or past (their own, in many cases) and who interact with the world to influence that future or past because of that knowledge, and who are generally (although not always) able to alter or interact with that future or past.
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1.
The Terminator (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A seemingly indestructible humanoid cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs. (107 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
 
2.
Donnie Darko (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident. (113 mins.)
Director: Richard Kelly
 
3.
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
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. (129 mins.)
Director: Terry Gilliam
 
4.
About Time (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
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. (123 mins.)
Director: Richard Curtis
 
5.
La jetée (1962 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The story of a man forced to explore his memories in the wake of World War III's devastation, told through still images. (28 mins.)
Director: Chris Marker
 
6.
Lola rennt (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
After a botched money delivery, Lola has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks. (81 mins.)
Director: Tom Tykwer
 
7.
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed. (130 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
 
8.
Looper (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
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. (113 mins.)
Director: Rian Johnson
 
9.
Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified advertisement seeking a companion for time travel. (86 mins.)
Director: Colin Trevorrow
 
10.
Interstellar (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in space in an attempt to ensure humanity's survival. (169 mins.)
 
11.
Dead Again (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An amnesiac and a private eye find they might have a past life connection. (107 mins.)
Director: Kenneth Branagh
 
12.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her ten year old son, John Connor, from a more advanced cyborg. (137 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
 
13.
Planet of the Apes (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An astronaut crew crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved. (112 mins.)
 
14.
My Science Project (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
A high school student and his friend find a strange, orb-like piece of equipment to use as a science project, but must stop it when it begins to threaten mankind. (94 mins.)
 
15.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
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. (132 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
 
16.
Doctor Who (2005 TV Series)
Episode: The Day of the Doctor (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  
In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London's National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion. (45 mins.)
“ It played in the theaters concurrently with airing on television and so I am counting it as a movie. ” - Margaret_Nieter
 
17.
Waxwork (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A wax museum owner uses his horror exhibits to unleash evil on the world. (95 mins.)
Director: Anthony Hickox
 
18.
Time Bandits (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A young boy accidentally joins a band of time travelling dwarves, as they jump from era to era looking for treasure to steal. (116 mins.)
Director: Terry Gilliam
 
19.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry. (142 mins.)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
 
20.
Sound of My Voice (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Two documentary filmmakers attempt to penetrate a cult who worships a woman who claims to be from the future. (85 mins.)
Director: Zal Batmanglij
 
21.
Army of Darkness (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A man is accidentally transported to 1300 A.D., where he must battle an army of the dead and retrieve the Necronomicon so he can return home. (81 mins.)
Director: Sam Raimi
 
22.
Primer (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
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. (77 mins.)
Director: Shane Carruth
 
23.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s everyday at midnight. (94 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
24.
The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Men seeking relief from the Black Death, guided by a boy's vision, dig a tunnel from 14th century England to 20th century New Zealand. (90 mins.)
Director: Vincent Ward
 
25.
Time Lapse (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
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. (104 mins.)
Director: Bradley King
 
26.
Time After Time (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
H.G. Wells pursues Jack the Ripper to the 20th Century when the serial murderer uses the future writer's time machine to escape his time period. (112 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Meyer
 
27.
Los cronocrímenes (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
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. (92 mins.)
Director: Nacho Vigalondo
 
28.
Brigadoon (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Two Americans on a hunting trip in Scotland become lost. They encounter a small village, not on the map, called Brigadoon, in which people harbor a mysterious secret, and behave as if they were still living two hundred years in the past. (108 mins.)
 
29.
Predestination (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
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. (97 mins.)
 
30.
The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A Chicago librarian has a gene that causes him to involuntarily time travel, creating complications in his marriage. (107 mins.)
 
31.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A soldier fighting aliens gets to relive the same day over and over again, the day restarting every time he dies. (113 mins.)
Director: Doug Liman
 
32.
Kate & Leopold (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
An English Duke from 1876 is inadvertedly dragged to modern day New York where he falls for a plucky advertising executive. (118 mins.)
Director: James Mangold
 
33.
Star Trek (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
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. (127 mins.)
Director: J.J. Abrams
 
34.
The Time Machine (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A man's vision for a utopian society is disillusioned when travelling forward into time reveals a dark and dangerous society. (103 mins.)
Director: George Pal
 
35.
Meet the Robinsons (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Lewis is a brilliant inventor who meets mysterious stranger named Wilbur Robinson, whisking Lewis away in a time machine and together they team up to track down Bowler Hat Guy in a showdown that ends with an unexpected twist of fate. (95 mins.)
 
36.
The Lake House (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A lonely doctor, who once occupied an unusual lakeside house, begins exchanging 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. (99 mins.)
 
37.
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Two seemingly dumb teens set off on a quest to prepare the ultimate historical presentation with the help of a time machine. (90 mins.)
Director: Stephen Herek
 
38.
Triangle (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The story revolves around the passengers of a yachting trip in the Atlantic Ocean who, when struck by mysterious weather conditions, jump to another ship only to experience greater havoc on the open seas. (99 mins.)
 
39.
The Last Mimzy (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Two siblings begin to develop special talents after they find a mysterious box of toys. Soon the kids, their parents, and even their teacher are drawn into a strange new world and find a task ahead of them that is far more important than any of them could imagine! (90 mins.)
Director: Bob Shaye
 
40.
Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
While drinking at their local pub, three social outcasts attempt to navigate a time-travel conundrum. (83 mins.)
 
41.
Forever Young (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
During a cryogenics test, a pilot frozen in 1939 awakes in 1992 but time is running out, as his body starts to age rapidly. (102 mins.)
Director: Steve Miner
 
42.
Toki o kakeru shôjo (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A high-school girl acquires the ability to time travel. (122 mins.)