10 time travel films worth stopping for
05:00 AM, Nov 10, 2013
In 1895 H.G. Wells penned what many consider the first modern-time travel story, The Time Machine. But even Charles Dickens was hitting on the theme in 1843 with A Christmas Carol.
Both have seen modern film versions, along with a multitude of screen variations.
“Time travel just opens the door to a rich way of thinking about life,” says Richard Curtis, writer/director of About Time. “It allows you to think that you can mess up your life and change it back. Even if you’ll probably mess it up again.”
A list of time-traveling film essentials.
Groundhog Day (1993)
Bill Murray’s obnoxious local weatherman finds himself in an endless replay loop of the same day (Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, PA.) before changing his self-centered ways.
Back to the Future (1985)
Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly took his specially rigged DeLorean into the past to change the early days of his troubled family and spawned two sequels.
Woody Allen received raves for 2011’s Midnight in Paris, but the madcap Sleeper was Allen at his time-traveling best.
The Terminator (1984)
Arnold Schwarzenegger cemented his era of box office dominance as a robot assassin sent back in time to kill the future leader of a rebel restistance — a waitress named Sarah Connor.
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Brad Pitt earned an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of a madman, and Bruce Willis stars as a convict sent back in time to find the source of a deadly virus that has wiped out human life in the future.
Retired future assassin Willis travels back to 2044 where he battles a younger version of himself (Joseph Gordon Levitt) to change history.
Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
The slackers (Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter) worked the time-jumping premise for 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but in the goofy sequel they give menacing Death a wedgie.
Time Bandits (1981)
Terry Gilliam’s film features historical fantasy, treasure-seeking dwarves and John Cleese as a twisted Robin Hood. What’s not to love?
The Time Machine (1960)
Attention must be paid to the film adaptation of Wells’ classic with Rod Taylor as the Victorian Englishman finding future humans have evolved into the helpless Eloi and the dreaded Morlocks.
Somewhere in Time (1980)
Christopher Reeve plays a Chicago playwright besotted with the portrait of an actress (Jane Seymour) and travels back in time to meet her.