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48 Best Time Travel Movies Ranked By BaTTR Score

Hi, this is Barry, and welcome to my site. If you’re looking to ensure that you’ve watched all of the best time-travel movies ever made, you’re in the right place. Contrary to the usual “best time-travel lists” all over the internet, this one is a continually evolving one, and films will keep getting added. So do drop a comment with your favourite flick if you don’t see it here. Apart from that, many of the complex movies link to a detailed explanation. So for time-travel films, this is your one-stop-shop. I know some of the classics may not be in the list yet, but it’s just a matter of time. All the titles are ranked based on the BaTTR Score (Barry’s Time Travel Review Score), a rating mechanism created to particularly rate movies based on time-travel. You can read more about it here – BaTTR Score Explained. Let’s go through the best time travel movies ranked in reverse order by the BaTTR Score.

In a nutshell, here are the BaTTR Score Parameters:

Time Travel Mechanics – How the time travel happens and to what extent the mechanics is woven into the plot.

Repercussion – What the purpose of the time-travel is and what are the in-film complexities because of it.

Base Coherence – How well the timelines were executed in the film. This is not part of the overall score. Instead, we have … 

Coherence – This is the Base Coherence recalculated, keeping in mind the Repercussion in the film. A film that doesn’t have complexity is bound to have a coherent timeline. An outstanding time-travel film should have sold consistency despite complex cascading events.

Rewatchability – How good was the film in terms of characters, plot, acting, etc. Basically, how likely it is that you would watch it again. 

Contents


Best Time Travel Movies: 48 to 41

48. Terminator 5: Genisys (2015)

BaTTR Score1.20

terminator genisys

With a brand new Sarah Connor and Terminator model, this film tried it’s best to recover the series from the wreck that Terminator 4 was. Sadly, one does not simply mess around with timelines in a way that undoes T1 and T2 and get away with it. After over a decade, it was good to see Arnold reprising his role. I suspect this film might always stay at the bottom of this evolving best time travel movies list. You can find a quick discussion about the film here – Terminator Genisys Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (1) – No one will ever know how people manage to go through time in the Terminator Movie Series as no filmmaker tries to describe the process.

Repercussion (2) – This is the only film in the entire Terminator series that is set in more than one time. We get to see John Connor as an older man in the future and a set of events that affect the past.

Base Coherence (2) – The film creates a new timeline that messes around with the events of part 1 and part 2 in ways that really damages the classics. T-101’s past and purpose were left without any answers considering he was so central. Even the filmmakers decided to discard these events in their next film.

Coherence (0.8) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 0.8 (2 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (1) – The characters were not compelling enough though the actors did a good job. The script was just all over the place and presented a storyline which had holes all over the place and never bothered to give any concrete answers.

47. Terminator 6: Dark Fate (2019)

BaTTR Score1.30

terminator dark fate

Dark Fate saw both Sarah Conor and T-101 coming back to settle an old score. The movie felt like an alternate-reality version of T2: Judgement Day. Though it was rinse-dry-repeat of the same concept, it still manages to keep you guessing. Some impressive CGI does transport you back to 1991 as you see some very familiar faces in events that never occurred before this film – I know this is cryptic, but I can’t say more without spoiling it.

Time Travel Mechanics (1) – The Terminator movies were never one for stepping down into the details of how exactly the time travel happens.

Repercussion (2) – We see a mild impact on a pair of characters in a predestined way. However, that said, it’s not a massive impact on the plot as such.

Base Coherence (3) – This film, like many of the Terminator movies, sports a brand new timeline that shows altered events right after the end of T2: Judgement Day. 

Coherence (1.2) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 1.2 (3 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (1) – The film felt just like watching T2. The characters and the plot give the same vibes as the prequel. There is nothing new the movie offers other than watching Sarah Connor pick up her guns again.

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

BaTTR Score1.40

terminator rise of the machines

The third instalment came a decade after the superhit sequel – Judgement Day. The terminators are back from the future, and the filmmakers tried to put a new spin on the film by shifting the attention from Sarah and John Connor to another person by the name Katherine Brewster. It was good to see Arnold reprise his role after a long break. Honestly, this film even ended well, and part 4 should have taken it to the point leading up to Kyle and the very first Terminator. But clearly, an end was never intended for the Terminator Series.

Time Travel Mechanics (1) – How all the time travel happens is a secret. It’s still a mysterious ball of electricity that brings machines from the future.

Repercussion (1) – There is nothing we see in the film that has an impact on the future or the past. As with most Terminator films, the entire story happens linearly during one particular time. 

Base Coherence (3) – This film sorta rewrites history by creating an alternate timeline. Judgement Day moves forward to a future date. This is the first film in the series that started messing around with the series’ timeline. However, this film still had some sense of consistency.

Coherence (0.6) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 0.6 (3 x 1/5).

Rewatchability (3) – Rise Of The Machines saw a female terminator and the whole Judgement Day concept had not yet become old. It was nostalgic, and as I mentioned, the plot did have substance. It’s probably the last of the Terminator films that can be rewatched a couple of times.

45. The Final Countdown (1980)

BaTTR Score1.50

the final countdown

This 80s film sees a modern super-aircraft carrier that gets hit by an electric storm that transports the vessel to 1941- a day before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The crew are left the choice to alter history or not. The Final Countdown is an alternate-history film which delivers very well on this engaging tale.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – The electric storm is told be a vortex, perhaps housing a wormhole, that transports the carrier back in time.

Repercussion (1) – The characters don’t really interact with history in a way that can cause a dent in the fabric of time. This was done intentionally because, after all, it is history. 

Base Coherence (5) – The single timeline in the film is done beautifully with a lovely twist on two of the characters. There aren’t really any time complexities which could reduce the Coherence score of the film.

Coherence (1) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 1 (5 x 1/5).

Rewatchability (2) – The film is engaging and subtly brings in characters from history and tries to answer some questions around their mysterious disappearance. Do give this one a watch if you haven’t already.

44. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2010: Live Action)

BaTTR Score1.50

Time Traveller The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Live Action

This live-action film is based on a novel by the same name. The storyline has no commonalities with the 2006 Anime other than the fact that they are both on this best time travel movies list. In fact, this film is a sequel to the 1983 flick also by the same name. The movie follows a girl who travels back in time to fulfill her seemingly dying mother’s wish.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – We’re told that the mother was developing a formula for time travel. The daughter uses this to make her jump back. Beyond that, we’re told nothing more.

Repercussion (1) – No event in the movie really affects the present or the future. The film focuses entirely on the relationship between the lead characters and the love they develop for one another.

Base Coherence (5) – The single timeline that is established in the film remains untouched. This is expected as there are no actions that cause a ripple through time.

Coherence (1) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 1 (5 x 1/5).

Rewatchability (2) – The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a warm bitter-sweet romantic film with a mild element of time-travel. The characters are lovely, and the film is definitely worth a watch.

43. Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

BaTTR Score1.55

Happy Death Day 2U

This is the second instalment of the film series. While the first movie was an unexpected surprise, the sequel as in most cases, doesn’t deliver as well. That said Happy Death Day 2U is a fun film with all the characters coming back to reprise their roles with a lovely little twist.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – We’re told that a science experiment, which one of the characters has been doing, unintentionally sends people into loops. But that’s about it, no further information is given about this machine.

Repercussion (2) – While the film appears to start pretty complicated, it resolves into one person going through loops while remembering the details of the previous cycles. 

Base Coherence (3) – We know that this film is set in an alternate timeline, and this explains the characters and their variations. However, a couple of threads are left wide open, and the movie doesn’t wrap it all up very well.

Coherence (1.2) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 1.2 (3 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (1) – As I mentioned, the film is fitting for a one-time watch, as it still somehow managed to put together an engaging plot. But it’s the first part that really created the characters and the concept, the second one only draws on what was already built and hence the score.

42. Project Almanac (2015)

BaTTR Score1.65

Project Almanac

Project Almanac follows a bunch of teenagers who stumble upon a time machine in one of their home’s basement. While initially, they use the time machine carefully with many defined ethical rules, as expected, they break those rules. For all the details about this film, you can check this out – Project Almanac Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – The time machine is mentioned to be something the lead character’s father worked upon years ago. Beyond that, it’s left a mystery.

Repercussion (3) – The movie has a ton of events of the past, causing ripple effects in the present and future. We also see the same moments being revisited, creating enough excitement in a timey wimey way.

Base Coherence (1) – However, the movie fails to keep anyconsistency of its timeline definition. We see it sway between a single timeline, multi-timeline, and time-loop approach far too many times.

Coherence (0.6) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 0.6 (1 x 3/5).

Rewatchability (1) – While the actors have done a decent job, the characters are shallow, and the plot is unable to produce the curiosity to watch it more than once. But if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s pretty good for a one-timer.

41. Time Trap (2017)

BaTTR Score1.75

time trap

This film is a pleasant surprise. The plot synopsis makes it appear like it’s going to be a big blunder but Time Trap manages to turn thing around. The plot is centred on a group of students looking for their professor who goes missing after entering a mysterious cave. They follow him in to realize the true nature of the cave. You can read all the details about the plot here – Time Trap Explained

Time Travel Mechanics (3) – The cave has the effect of time dilation. Meaning, any person entering the cave experiences time at a pace much slower than the outside world. To what extent the time dilates is a fascinating angle in the movie.

Repercussion (1) – There are no time complexities caused because of the time dilation. It’s pretty unidirectional, so nothing is intriguing in this area of the storyline. 

Base Coherence (5) – It’s a single timeline with people moving forwards, and events are linear. There is no room for messing up on Coherence in this film.

Coherence (1) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 1 (5 x 1/5).

Rewatchability (3) – Time Trap has an exciting concept, and the truth about the cave is an impressive reveal. While the ending maybe a little over the top, the film gets points for trying. However, the acting in the movie is really deplorable.


Best Time Travel Movies: 40 to 31

40. Lake House (2006)

BaTTR Score1.95

Lake House Movie

Lake House is a romantic film that narrates the story of two people who grow close and fall in love over a series of letters they exchange only to slowly realize that they may not be living in the same time.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – Letters pass through time because of a mysterious mailbox outside the house. It’s an intriguing concept, but being a romantic film, it’s left uncertain as it’s not a significant plot point.

Repercussion (2) – While most of the film focuses on the relationship of the two central characters, the film does momentarily dive into actions in one time that affects the other.

Base Coherence (2) – The film appears to start off by displaying that there are multiple timelines, then it randomly shifts to a single timeline and then goes back to multiple. I don’t think the writers really focussed on this a lot.

Coherence (0.8) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 0.8 (2 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (3) – It’s a charming film with lovable characters and mixes up genres well. If you don’t mind ignoring timeline glitches, you’ll enjoy Lake House.

39. The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009)

BaTTR Score2.00

time travelers wife

As the title of the movie suggests, the film revolves around a woman’s husband who has an abnormal condition where he uncontrollably travels to random points in time. Time Traveler’s Wife is not science fiction but more a romantic drama.

Time Travel Mechanics (1) – Other than the fact that the lead character possesses an unusual gene, there is no further explanation as to why he can time-jump. This is fine because the fictional science is not the intention of the movie.

Repercussion (2) – There are a few moments where the non-linear life of the traveller results in a few implications on the future and past events, and these are well thought of.

Base Coherence (5) – The film sports a single and very consistent timeline. It’s nice to see how the events that look seemingly disconnected all assemble to form a complete coherent picture.

Coherence (2) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 2 (5 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (3) – Time Traveler’s Wife is an excellent film with a good cast and a solid story. It’s a fantastic twist on a romantic tale and an enjoyable movie.

38. The Terminator (1984) & 37. Terminator 2 (1991)

BaTTR Score2.00

Terminator 1 Terminator 2 Best Time Travel Movies

You’re probably wondering how on earth do iconic blockbusters like T1 and T2 be positioned as low as this, right? Before you judge this list, let’s just ask this question – Were the first two Terminator films primarily time-travel movies or where they futuristic action films with a little bit of time-travel concepts sprinkled in? It’s really the latter. Time Travel is not the primary focus of the movies. Both films take place in one time with humans and machines appearing mysteriously from the future, after that it’s full-blown action all the way. Personally, T2 is one of my all-time favourite films, but comparing with the others on this list, it’s barely a time-travel movie. However, a list featuring the best time travel movies would be incomplete without mentioning these two films.

Time Travel Mechanics (1) – People just appear in an electric ball of static discharge. There is no mention of how they travel through time.

Repercussion (1) – Well, there is the thing of John Connor and Skynet being bootstrapped because of the whole time travel thing. But it’s literally a couple of lines in the movies with no real impact to the plot as such. Even if Kyle Reese were not John’s dad, the film would still have been as incredible. The same applies to Skynet’s bootstrap.

Base Coherence (5) – Well, nothing being shown about the future automatically means that timelines established in the film are airtight, and there are no flaws. But honestly, we already know that the more the sequels tried to show, the more they dug their timeline graves.

Coherence (1) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 1 (5 x 1/5).

Rewatchability (5) – Both the Terminator films are iconic and set a benchmark for cyberpunk movies like never before. The characters are etched firmly in the wheels of time and are referred in so many works of fiction. The dialogues are so cool, it’s now part of people’s vocabulary. Both films can be watched endlessly, and tirelessly. 

36. Mega Time Squad (2018)

BaTTR Score2.15

Mega Time Squad

Mega Time Squad is a hilarious film that follows a small-time crook who picks up an ancient Chinese bracelet that allows him to travel back in time by a few minutes. Things get out of hands when he travels back too many times trying to escape death at the hands of a gangster.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – The ancient bracelet that the lead character steals can send the person back in time when he hits the button on it. It’s an artifact he picks up while looting a store.

Repercussion (3) – Time travel creates a whole bunch of replicas of the lead character (as you can guess from the name of the film) creating much confusion in a fun and brutal way.

Base Coherence (1) –  Well, this is a single timeline film, however, the person going to the past can follow his own path, he’s more of a clone that appears in the past. The film writes off any time consequences whatsoever, and you don’t have to keep track of the time jumps.

Coherence (0.6) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 0.6 (1 x 3/5).

Rewatchability (3) – It’s a funny film which has some fantastic characters that get wound up in an escalatingly gruesome manner. The romantic angle is light and doesn’t take the attention away from the main plot. It’s probably the funniest one on this best time travel movies list.

35. In The Shadow Of The Moon (2019)

BaTTR Score2.20

in the shadow of the moon

In The Shadow Of The Moon is centred on a cop on the hunt for a serial killer who resurfaces mysteriously unaged every decade. He obsesses and waits for her to track her down and uncover her identity and origin. If you want to read about this film in detail, go here – In The Shadow Of The Moon Explained (it’s got a timeline diagram too).

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – We’re shown a glimpse of a machine that fills with a fluid to transport itself and the person inside back in time. The film attempts to explain the connection between time-jumps and blood moon but doesn’t delve much into the logic. 

Repercussion (3) – The time-traveller’s actions cause a ripple-effect leaving unintended clues for the cop to follow – a trail which leads to the beginning. I know that was cryptic, but any more would spoil the plot.

Base Coherence (3) – The film sports multiple timelines, that branch out once every 10 years. However, it is left unclear what happens to the prime timeline.

Coherence (1.8) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 1.8 (3 x 3/5).

Rewatchability (2) – The film is a good attempt at showing two people progressing in the opposite direction of time. The actors have done a splendid job, but the characters are not very intriguing, and the plot is a little too light.

34. About Time (2013)

BaTTR Score2.20

about time

About Time is a feel-good romantic-comedy film about a family whose male members can travel in time once they turn 21 years old. The lead character tries to utilize it to find love, but over the course of the film, we see him embracing life to the full and learns the true meaning of his gift.

Time Travel Mechanics (1) – For some unknown reason, the male folks in the family can travel back in time. It’s left at that purposely as the film is not about the science of time travel. Time-travellers don’t physically travel back, only their mind travels back into their past body.

Repercussion (3) – Since the lead character is a nice guy, he uses his powers for very moderate changes to his past. That said, we do see a couple of direct consequences based on changes to his past. I loved the idea that going back to a time before a child is born can potentially change who that child is.

Base Coherence (3) – The film sports multiple timelines where each change to the past results in a new timeline which overwrites the older one. It is curious how one travel back into their past body and be inside a cupboard when the past self never went inside the closet in the first place.

Coherence (1.8) – The final Coherence Score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 1.8 (3 x 3/5).

Rewatchability (3) – The film has excellent characters and chemistry. The father-son relationship is more touching than the romantic angle. The cast is fantastic, and it’s lovely to see the actors give the characters life. About Time is a cheerful film and leaves you feeling good in the end. Despite the similarities, there are many reasons this film does better than The Time Traveler’s Wife on this best time travel movies list.

33. Happy Death Day (2017)

BaTTR Score2.25

happy death day

This is a looper slasher film that finds a college girl reliving the day she gets killed by a mysterious masked murderer over and over again. Happy Death Day is a hilarious take on the classic time-loop film with an intriguing plot. For a loop by loop breakdown of this film, check this out – Happy Death Day Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (1) – There is nothing mentioned in this film as to why she’s going through her time-loops. The sequel does give the reason, but I believe that was thought up much after this film was produced.

Repercussion (2) – It’s the simple setup of one person going through loops while remembering the details of the previous loops. 

Base Coherence (5) – The movie shows each of the loops to be in a timeline of its own and actions in one timeline do not affect the other. It’s hard to create flaws in such a setup.

Coherence (2) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 2 (5 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (4) – The film is excellent, has a ton of comedy, great acting, and a catchy storyline. Mixing the slasher genre with humour and time-travel was an excellent idea.

32. Groundhog Day (1993)

BaTTR Score2.25

groundhog day

Groundhog Day is among the first few films that saw massive success in the space of a person being caught in an endless time-loop. Bill Murray shines in this role, and the film’s commercial success set the pathway for many such films after, most of which are on this list of best time travel movies.

Time Travel Mechanics (1) – There is no mention as to why the lead character is going through the loops, it just is. Besides, this is not really a science fiction film, it’s a romantic comedy.

Repercussion (2) – Nothing too complicated in the film. It’s just one person going through his eternal loops in an isolated way and one day, he breaks out of the cycles.

Base Coherence (5) – The film keeps each of the loops in a distinct timeline. There is no causality between the time-loops and therefore no room for flaws.

Coherence (2) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 2 (5 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (4) – It’s a brilliant film with a superb narrative, fantastic acting and is a timeless classic which you can watch endlessly in… well… loops.

31. Time Lapse (2014)

BaTTR Score2.25

Time Lapse

Time Lapse is a film about three friends who discover a camera in their dead neighbour’s house that takes photographs of the next day. What initially starts off as fear slowly turns into crazy ideas for each one to fulfill their desires. Take a look at this article which takes you through the plot one picture at a time – Time Lapse Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (3) – The concept of a camera taking photographs of the future is not original, we’ve seen it in The Twilight Zone (A Most Unusual Camera), but the movie does an admirable job of drawing out the concept into a full-length feature film.

Repercussion (2) – The photographs force the characters to take actions in a course-corrective way. No one is physically travelling through time, so there are not too many time-complexities created by the situation. 

Base Coherence (5) – The film has one very tightly written timeline where all the pieces fit to reveal the bigger picture beautifully at the end. The timeline was conceived and executed flawlessly.

Coherence (2) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 2 (5 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (2) – The film is a good one to watch perhaps once or twice, but the characters are not that consistent in terms of their development. It sometimes feels like they’re doing things just to progress the plot and to align with what’s in the photos regardless of their personalities.


Best Time Travel Movies: 30 to 21

30. X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)

BaTTR Score2.35

x men days of future past

The X-Men series saw two different casts, the young and old counterparts. Days Of Future Past brought all of them together in one massive movie that saw Wolverine’s consciousness going back in time to stop the creation of sentinels that eventually hunt and kill every mutant on the planet. While the rest of the XCU had no time travel, DOFP secures its place on this best time travel movies list. Here’s a short explanation of the film and a timeline diagram – X-Men Days Of Future Past Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (3) – While it’s not explained how, Shadow Cat harnesses her phasing energy to send Wolverine’s consciousness back in time. He doesn’t physically travel, so he just wakes up one day in his past body.

Repercussion (3) – Wolverine works with the X-men at the time to try and alter the course of history to stop a scientist from creating the sentinels that will control, monitor and eventually wipe out the mutants of the world. This film causes a ripple effect on the entire series, and not in a positive way.

Base Coherence (4) – The film sports two distinct timelines. One replaces the other, and the stray consciousness goes forward into the body of an alternate Wolverine. Not much is described about this alternate timeline leaving the future films to work its fate.

Coherence (2.4) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 2.4 (4 x 3/5).

Rewatchability (1) – Don’t get me wrong here. This film was a treat for the fans with the full cast coming together. However, it’s one film from a series which developed characters over the course of many movies. Days of Future Past is not a standalone film that just about anyone can watch, and hence the low score.

29. Palm Springs (2020)

BaTTR Score2.40

palm springs

Palm Springs is an endless time-loop film that starts off bang in the middle of one of many loops the lead character has been stuck in. Furthermore, he gets a companion who happens to get trapped too. The film delves into romance in the context of an endless time-trap. Here’s everything you need to know about the movie and its dinosaurs – Palm Springs Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – A cave is shown to contain a wormhole which traps any person entering into a time-loop. The loop resets when the person either dies or sleeps.

Repercussion (2) – Each loop is shown to have it’s own beginning and end, the people who are looping retain their memories as they progress. However, it’s unclear how people co-loop even when one of them dies in the middle of a cycle. 

Base Coherence (4) – The film establishes one timeline per loop and each day’s events reset as if they never happened. While this is fine, it’s not clear how people remember details of each other even though their reset times may be different. For example, when one person dies, they would reset immediately, while the other person would go on in the previous loop till they sleep.

Coherence (1.6) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 1.8 (4 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (4) – It’s a fun film with great characters and humour. I loved how they did not waste any time explaining the concept of time-loops and just quoted a few movies for context. It’s a lovely light film good for multiple views.

28. Looper (2012)

BaTTR Score2.45

looper movie

Looper is a science-fiction action movie that deals with gangs in the future, sending people back to the past to have them executed. Each executor eventually retires when he kills his future self. The film follows the lead character who fails to kill his older self and the many consequences that follow. This article, with a detailed timeline diagram, will answer all the questions you have about the film – Looper Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – We’re shown that there is a machine that exists in the future that can transport people back. Most people sent back are done so against their will, but there are no further details given about the device.

Repercussion (3) – We have old and young versions of a couple of people who co-exist in the same time. We also see that when one gets hurt, the other gains scars. The actions of the younger person also cascade over the years resulting in a different future for him.

Base Coherence (3) – The timelines are a little muddied. We know that this is not a single timeline setup, we’re shown at least three distinct timelines in the movie. However, there is a ton of issues in the flow from one timeline to the other. The film tends to ignore much of its fictional science.

Coherence (1.8) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 1.8 (3 x 3/5).

Rewatchability (3) – Two actors playing the same character is very believable, and there is enough action in the movie to keep you entertained, great acting too.

27. Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

BaTTR Score2.50

bill and ted's excellent adventure

Honestly, we all know that Bill and Ted’s is more a comedy than a time-travel flick. That said, the movie has not ignored the causal loop at any point throughout the storyline. A man from the future shows up to help two teenagers pass their history exam by providing them with a time-machine. The characters are silly, funny, iconic and bodacious… all at the same time, dude. Some find them too corny, but that was by design and the film sits comfortably in the middle of this best time travel movies list.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – The time machine is a phone booth that characters ride to take themselves to the date they desire by dialling it in. I’m surprised how they don’t pay any homage to Doctor Who.

Repercussion (2) – There are no cascading effects to any of the travels back in time. It’s all mostly humourous. The lead characters do meet themselves for a short moment and exchange bootstrapped information, but it’s not of major significance to the main story. 

Base Coherence (5) – The single timeline is kept in pristine condition by ensuring that all the events that happen are predestined—even small ones like a trashcan falling from above. We aren’t shown this, but Ted would eventually ensure he dropped that can on his dad in the future.

Coherence (2) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 2 (5 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (4) – The movie is air-light and provides for great laughs. Bill and Ted are two characters etched into the glass of awesomeness, and you can watch this film several times.

26. ARQ (2016)

BaTTR Score2.60

ARQ Netflix

ARQ is an infinite time-loop film that has a couple waking up in their house to realize that they have a break-in. The assailants are revealed to be from a corporation from whom the lead character has stolen data. The lead soon realizes that he resets back to the point he woke up each time he dies. Over the various loops that follow, the plot unfolds, and we understand the complex nature of the time-cycles. Here is a loop-wise explanation of this film – ARQ Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (3) – The device that’s triggering time to reset is called the ARQ, which is an experimental time-device that has been stolen. The distance from this device affects the memory of a person in the subsequent loops.

Repercussion (3) – The looper retains his memories over the subsequent cycles. Every other looper recalls previous cycles slowly over the course of the time-loops. The loops are also batched, which makes it more exciting. I can’t explain more without giving away spoilers.

Base Coherence (4) – The reset happens at a specific time of the day, so there is no confusion of who is causing the loops to reset. Each new timeline is independent of the previous. However, we see a switch in the primary looper, which is left a little ambiguous.

Coherence (2.4) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 2.4 (4 x 3/5).

Rewatchability (2) – While the concept is excellent, the lack of character development and some of the questionable plot-holes in the film doesn’t make it a contender for too many watches.

25. Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009)

BaTTR Score2.60

frequently asked questions about time travel

Yeah, Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel is the actual name of the film. And no, it’s not a documentary. The movie is about three socially awkward dudes who go out to grab a drink at the local bar. Unfortunately, the restroom ends up being a coordinate for a time leak sending the guys unexpectedly through erratic points in time.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – The restrooms in the bar are told to have a time leak which causes inadvertent time travel. And that’s all we’re told.

Repercussion (4) – The trio end up travelling back and forth quite a bit, and you see a lot of future and past selves running past each other. Their minor actions create an eventuality where they become celebrated legends. As glorious as the future appears, they need to choose if it’s the right one for them. This aspect pushes this lesser known film ahead of its mainstream competitors in this best time travel movies list.  

Base Coherence (3) – While the central part of the movie sports a single timeline with a ton of predestined events, we’re told about “editors” who alter the course of history. This causes a lot of inconsistencies in how the timelines are defined.

Coherence (2.4) – The final Coherence Score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 2.4 (3 x 4/5).

Rewatchability (2) – The film has fun characters and a catchy premise. The non-linear paths that lead to the end keep the film entertaining throughout. It’s great for a one-time watch. However, the plot is not too deep, and it’s not one of those movies you will go back and watch multiple times.

24. Arrival (2016)

BaTTR Score2.65

arrival movie

People who went to the halls expecting an alien invasion film were most disappointed. Arrival is a science-fiction drama which delves deep into languages and how it affects our thought processes. The story sees a linguist who tries to decode the language used by heptapods who have mysteriously appeared and positioned 12 ships over the world’s major cities. This article analyses the plot in a simplified manner – Arrival Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (3) – Arrival has an unusual take on experiencing non-linearity in time. This is a spoiler so you can skip this section. The alien language rewires the brain to perceive time non-linearly. Which means the present, past and future are experienced simultaneously by a person who learns this language.

Repercussion (2) – The climax sees a crucial moment where the lead character draws information within a most exciting predestination loop. However much of the film has no other time complexities.

Base Coherence (4) – The single timeline of the movie stays mostly consistent barring the one question they raise (which is unexplained) – how does the General know what to do at that party?

Coherence (1.6) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 1.6 (4 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (4) – The cinematography, concept and characters are outstanding in the film. Arrival has a grand narrative and fantastic acting, and a heart-touching dilemma.

23. Edge Of Tomorrow (2014)

BaTTR Score2.70

edge of tomorrow

Edge Of Tomorrow is a multiple-loop movie based on the Japanese book All You Need Is Kill. Honestly, the book would score much high on the BaTTR Scale for its consistency. The film is centred on a soldier fighting an alien race who resets to a day prior every time he is killed. He eventually runs into a Sergeant who states that she too used to loop. Together they take the fight to the alien species. I must say this film is one of the coolest sci-fi flicks on this list of best time travel movies. This article here explains the film and its ending while comparing it to the book – Edge Of Tomorrow Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (3) – The movie explains that the alien blood gives the ability to reset to the previous day. The aliens are actually a network of a central Omega and fighter Alphas who each reset and adapt their war strategies to obliterate the humans. The book has a lot more details which you can read about in the link above.

Repercussion (3) – Each loop starts and terminates from the air-field to the soldier’s death. The cumulative memory of the looper enables him to take corrective actions to try and find a winning solution.

Base Coherence (3) – Each reset happens in a way that erases previous loops. So ideally there should have been no flaws in execution. But sadly, the ending of the film introduces some giant holes in the final timeline. If they had taken the approach the book did, it would have been flawless. 

Coherence (1.8) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 1.8 (3 x 3/5).

Rewatchability (3) – It’s an impressive science fiction with some intriguing concepts. The characters are great, and the CGI and action sequences are fabulous.

22. A Day / Ha-roo (2017)

BaTTR Score2.75

a day ha roo korean movie

A Day is a Korean time-loop film that has a renowned surgeon getting trapped in a loop where he struggles to save his daughter from a repeating accident. As the story progresses, we are introduced more characters and complexity, and finally, the reason for the looping. This Asian film outdoes many of the western productions on this list of best time travel movies. You can read all the details about this film here – A Day Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – The reason for the time-loops is a little lukewarm and spiritual. It’s explained to be the undying heart of a son trying to keep his father from committing an insidious crime.

Repercussion (3) – Memory is retained and aggregated over the many loops, and this alters the actions that are taken. What’s interesting is that more than one person is looping and this raises the complexity.

Base Coherence (5) – Each of the loops takes place in a distinct timeline. However, there is the added element of multiple consciousnesses that are looping together, and it is well executed.

Coherence (3) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 3 (5 x 3/5).

Rewatchability (3) – The film has a good storyline and the actors have done a fine job. The film is quite gripping but hinges on a single premise. While the big reveal is enjoyable, it’s not a timeless film.

21. Back To The Future: Part 3 (1990)

BaTTR Score2.90

back to the future part 3

This is the third and final instalment of the trilogy. Unlike the first two parts, the film takes place mostly in 1885 and has limited connection to the events back in good ol’ 1985. The story follows the lead characters trying to fight it out in the wild west and travelling back to the future one last time. In case you are wondering why is this iconic film scores so low on this best time travel moves list, don’t worry, this is part 3 we’re talking about.

Time Travel Mechanics (5) – Though the goodness of the DeLorean and the Flux Capacitor are in place, they don’t feature a lot in the film because we’re in the steam engine era. That said, the train heist to push the car to hit the 88 mph is most excellent.

Repercussion (2) – The events in this film have minimal effect on the timeline. Part 3 is a little isolated that way, except just one thing at the end with the car-race.

Base Coherence (4) – The film wraps up the trilogy pretty consistently. But as I mentioned above, this wasn’t hard to do given the film’s events were mostly isolated. There is a tiny paradox created with the tombstone, and as a result, we don’t know if this movie erases the events of the first two parts.

Coherence (1.6) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 1.6 (4 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (3) – While the film has its funny moments and memorable characters, it’s nowhere near the awesomeness of the first two parts. While there isn’t a new exciting element or person introduced in the film, we do see a lot more Doc Brown’s side of things.


Best Time Travel Movies: 20 to 11

20. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban (2004)

BaTTR Score3.00

Harry potter prisoner of azkaban

This is the third film in the Harry Potter series and the only one to feature a little time-travel. The story is based around Sirius Black who is the escaped prisoner from Azkaban on his way to the school to kill Harry. While all the other parts of this film-series are completely in the fantasy genre, part 3 played it differently mixing it up with some science fiction and hence finds its way to this best time travel movies list.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – A magical artifact enables the carrier to travel through time non-linearly. It would have been good to see more of a background on this object, but the story doesn’t give further details. 

Repercussion (4) – The film sees a ton of consequences of time travel affecting the characters at various point of time in the movie. It also enables a charm in a beautiful, predestined manner.

Base Coherence (5) – The film sports one consistent timeline where each of the events falls into their place and creates a perfect loop.

Coherence (4) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 4 (5 x 4/5).

Rewatchability (2) – The film builds well on the main characters and introduces some excellent new ones. The cast is magnificent and really helps bring the book to screen. The reason for the low score is because this film is not standalone and the characters were built over two other films.

19. Blood Punch (2015)

BaTTR Score3.00

blood punch

This is a splendid thriller which involves time-loops. Blood Punch is centred on three people who head to a lonely hunter’s villa in the woods to cook a ton of meth and get caught in perpetuity. It’s an excellent thriller garnished with just the right amount of humour. The filmmakers have really taken the effort to think the concept in the film through. The whole point about a best time travel movies list is to dig up films like these. Here’s a detailed analysis of the plot and ending – Blood Punch Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (3) – Well, it’s not fictional science but fantasy. The land happens to be sacred and traps the trio in an eternal curse. Unlike many time-loop films, Blood Punch states precisely why the loops begin and how it can be ended.

Repercussion (3) – It’s not the case of the day just looping on a person where death simply resets the day, and the memories are cumulative. If dead, the person’s body remains, and a clone begins to loop, and all memories of prior cycles are lost. This makes for an excellent element for the plot to pivot on.

Base Coherence (5) –  Each day is one distinct timeline and events from one timeline do not affect the others. That said, the loops are brought to a close brilliantly and leaving you craving for a sequel.

Coherence (3) – The final Coherence Score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 3 (5 x 3/5).

Rewatchability (3) – The film truly is a hidden gem, has fantastic characters, concept and plot. With just 3 people, Blood Punch packs in a lot of excitement and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s a brilliant mix of fantasy, thriller and comedy.

18. Donnie Darko (2001)

BaTTR Score3.00

donnie darko

Donnie Darko follows a troubled young boy who narrowly escapes an aircraft propeller that comes crashing on to his bed. He’s soon met by a man in a bunny suit who claims to be from the future and says the world is soon going to end. For a detailed breakdown of this film and its timeline diagram, go here – Donnie Darko Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (4) – A freak cosmic event causes a wormhole that branches reality into a tangent universe. The lead character becomes this new reality’s nexus and is guided by the living and dead from the future—the intricacies of the thoughts given to the in-film rules are brilliant.

Repercussion (2) – The film doesn’t see too many time-travel related consequences where the past affects the future. However, the ending does cause an impact due to time travel to the past. 

Base Coherence (5) – There are precisely two timelines – the primary universe and the tangent universe. Events of the tangent universe do not propagate to the primary except as vivid dreams. It’s hard to mess up consistencies given the setup.

Coherence (2) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 2 (5 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (4) – It’s an eerie film with a great cast. The fantastic thing is that you can either view the movie as a science fiction film or as a psychological thriller taking us through the experiences of a troubled young man. Regardless of how you think about it, it’s a brilliant film.

17. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006 Anime)

BaTTR Score3.10

the girl who leapt through time 2006 anime

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a 2006 anime is a lovely romantic science-fiction that follows the life of a girl who suddenly gains the ability to jump back in time. While initially, she uses her newfound powers for some frivolous personal reasons, she later learns how she has affected the people around her.

Time Travel Mechanics (3) – A harmless walnut-shaped object that the lead discovers turns out to be a misplaced time device brought by a time traveller from the future. The time-device is pre-loaded with a limited number of time jumps, and this element makes the movie more interesting.

Repercussion (3) – We’re shown that each of the time jumps creates a new timeline and possibly destroys the older one. The lead character traverses through a whole bunch of time jumps navigating through the same set of events repeatedly until she finds the source of the device. She, however, never runs into her past self and, as a result, the movie doesn’t get very complicated. 

Base Coherence (4) – Considering each jump takes her back to a new timeline, the final timeline is pretty coherent barring for the little glitch that is caused by a fellow time-jumper.

Coherence (2.4) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 2.4 (4 x 3/5).

Rewatchability (4) – The anime is well produced with quirky characters and a plot that is quite intriguing. The artwork in the film is excellent, and the romantic element is adorable and moving. It’s a movie that stays enjoyable over multiple watches.

16. Blink (Doctor Who 2007 Episode)

BaTTR Score3.25

dr who blink episode

Blink is an exception, it’s not a film but one episode of the series Dr Who. It’s a standalone episode, and you can watch it even if you haven’t seen any part of the show, which is why it’s on this list of best time travel movies. It all begins with one person mysteriously disappearing from a house that has these strange statues called the Weeping Angels.

Time Travel Mechanics (4) – Time Travel in this story is entirely unintentional. The Weeping Angels are defined to be cosmic creatures which are stone when not seen by anyone. They feed off potential time-energy. Meaning, they send a person back to the past and steal the energy of the persons unlived life in the present. For example, if a person is, say, 50 years old would have lived till 80 years. By sending this person back in time, they feed off the 30 years they stole from the person’s present.

Repercussion (2) – Other than one cool piece of video footage, which forms one half of a conversation, there is minimal effect to the timeline because of a person’s time travel.

Base Coherence (5) – Complexities in the series are limited, and it all wraps up nicely when the remaining half of the conversation makes its way to the Doctor in a bootstrapped manner.

Coherence (2) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 2 (5 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (5) – Blink is a solid episode filled with humour and tension. It raises a whole bunch of questions which all get answered within the episode. It’s a lovely script and can be seen repeatedly.

15. Source Code (2011)

BaTTR Score3.25

source code movie

Source code is a multiple-time-loop film where one man is trying to catch the bomber responsible for killing hundreds on a train. Before the terrorist strikes again, the government is trying to identify who he is through a cutting edge technology that allows a person to live multiple iterations of the 8 minutes leading up to the explosion on the train. If you would like to read a loopwise explanation and plot analysis, check this out – Source Code Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (4) – The government program injects the mind of one individual into the body of another on the train within the time window of 8 minutes. While we’re initially led to believe this is merely a simulation of the 8 minutes, the technology may be spawning off new timelines with real people in it.

Repercussion (3) – As in most time-loop movies, the lead character remembers details from previous loops and uses them to narrow down on his objective. But it doesn’t get too complicated as there is no way for the lead to run into alternate versions of himself or has any control beyond the 8 minutes.

Base Coherence (5) – Given that each loop happens in a different timeline, everything is pretty consistent, and the film is wrapped up nice and tight.

Coherence (3) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 3 (5 x 3/5).

Rewatchability (3) – The film is super engaging and keeps you hooked till the end. The plot and cast is fantastic, and the film is great even after multiple watches.

14. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

BaTTR Score3.25

avengers endgame

I’m pretty sure you’re thinking what a comic book movie is doing a list of the best time travel movies at a spot this high. Well, I can’t say this enough but Avengers: Endgame decided to execute a film based on time travel but had to keep in mind there were 20+ movies prior to it that couldn’t in any way be ruined. So not only did the film have to execute a great story based on time travel, it needed to preserve the prequels. Endgame follows the remaining Avengers trying to bring back all the lives that were lost through an elaborate time-heist. For a simplified video of the timelines and the plot analysis, read this – Avengers: Endgame Time Travel Explained.  

Time Travel Mechanics (4) – We’re introduced to the concept of time dilation in the sub-atomic quantum realm. The team accesses this realm and uses a spacetime GPS to navigate their way to the past. The fictional science is well thought out and in great detail too.

Repercussion (4) – There is a ton of running into their past selves and cascading effects thereon. We’re taken back to many of the previous MCU movies and get to relive some epic, nostalgic moments. Of course, this concept was borrowed from Back To The Future 2 (with a well-placed homage). However, no changes to the past had any cascading effects on the prime timeline and this was by design.

Base Coherence (5) – Endgame was smart to take the route of multiple timelines to ensure they did not, in any way, alter events of previous movies. Each timeline was well defined, and characters crossing over didn’t create any plot-holes. It was tight and well-executed. 

Coherence (4) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 4 (5 x 4/5).

Rewatchability (1) – While the film was brilliant and one of my favourites in the MCU, all of the characters we cherish were built over 20+ movies. There is no way a newbie to the MCU would watch and understand Avengers: Endgame in isolation. And that’s why the low score.

13. Interstellar (2014)

BaTTR Score3.25

interstellar movie

If you’re a Nolan fan [like me], you’re probably wondering why this film doesn’t feature in the top 5 of this best time travel movies list. Well, think about it, would you really call Interstellar a time travel movie? Or is it more a grand space-travel science-fiction with elements of time travel? I’d say the latter. Interstellar is a brilliant film set in a post-apocalyptic world where humans are trying to save themselves by leaving Earth. You can read about the details of the plot and the possible plot-holes here – Interstellar Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (5) – The films sports one of the most compelling concepts of time travel, gravity. Characters who are in the proximity of a black hole (a dying star with a massive gravitational field) experience the passage of time far slower than the others back home—thereby technically travelling to the future. I also love the concept of the 5-dimensional space that presents the past through various moments in time. This is perhaps one of the most creatives visuals ever produced. 

Repercussion (2) – Time Travel in the movie is not the central concept, family and relationships are. The impact on the timeline is limited to the movie’s climax with a series of back-to-back actions taken by the lead character.

Base Coherence (5) – The film portrays a single timeline with predestined events that fold upon themselves in a beautifully consistent manner.

Coherence (2) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 2 (5 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (4) – Interstellar is a captivating film that has visuals that will blow your mind. The characters are compelling, and the storyline is fascinating. You’ll enjoy watching this film time and over for years to come.

12. Butterfly Effect (2004)

BaTTR Score3.30

butterfly effect

Butterfly Effect is a concept which talks about how a small insignificant event, like the flap of a butterfly’s wings, can cascade and escalate into a giant storm as a result of causality. The film The Butterfly Effect deals specifically with this idea. The lead character experiences blackouts through his younger life and is somehow able to revisit those very moments and make a change to alter the course of reality.

Time Travel Mechanics (3) – The lead character mysteriously returns to specific moments in his own past, at moments that he has had blackouts. He is then able to change his decision which alters his life and the people he’s close to in unforeseeable ways.

Repercussion (4) – This film is all about repercussions. Every small act bubbles up into something wild and unexpected. It’s quite interesting to follow the reasoning as to why the future is now vastly different even though the change made was relatively small.

Base Coherence (4) – The film takes the multi-timeline approach as each of the pathways of time are branches of different realities. We don’t know if all the realities co-exist or only one does but movie wraps most time-based events consistently.

Coherence (3.2) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 3.2 (4 x 4/5).

Rewatchability (3) – It’s a pretty good film with interesting characters. I’m not sure if many viewers fancied the cast, but I liked the movie enough to watch it many times over the years.

11. Déjà Vu (2006)

BaTTR Score3.35

deja vu movie

Déjà Vu is a film centred on a cop who’s trying to locate a terrorist responsible for the bombing of a ferry. With the help of a sophisticated surveillance system that can reconstruct events from 4 days prior, the team follows the life of a woman who was onboard the ferry. The film combines the time-travel sub-genre well with a crime thriller and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Time Travel Mechanics (3) – What appears to be a state-of-the-art surveillance system turns out to be a device that can access the past. The team is actually looking into the past by 4 days as a continual sliding window.

Repercussion (4) – While initially, the team wants to stay away from meddling with the past, but as we all know one never sticks to their word in matters of time-meddling. I also love the car chase that happens between two points in time, very unique.

Base Coherence (3) – The film sports two different timelines with a modified set of events. However, a couple of plot-holes are introduced in the integrity of the timelines. At moments there appears to be one timeline and other times it is shown to be two separate timelines. 

Coherence (2.4) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 2.4 (3 x 4/5).

Rewatchability (4) – It is a fantastic film with elements of action, mystery and science-fiction. The central plot is intriguing, and the characters are great. It’s an enjoyable film which you’ll end up watching multiple times.


Best Time Travel Movies: 10 to 1

10. Twelve Monkeys (1995)

BaTTR Score3.50

12 monkeys movie

A lot of the mainstream time travel movies with big actors tend to focus on elements other than the timeline and eventually make a mess of the plot, but not 12 Monkeys. This film is based on a dystopian future where a strain of a powerful mutating virus kills most of humanity. A small team of scientists figure that the only way to fight it is to send someone back in time to locate the original source and strain of the virus. You can read all about it here in good detail – 12 Monkeys Explained. This popular film also spawned a TV Series by the same name with events running parallel to the film.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – It’s nothing too elaborate. We are told that there is some machine that handles time travel but aren’t shown anything about it. We get to mostly see the aftereffects of time travel back and forward.

Repercussion (4) – The impact of the character’s actions are pretty high, but it’s not that people are running into their past selves or parents. That said, the central airport scene is presented mysteriously in so many perspectives, and the reveal at the end is quite brilliant. Each of the actions of the characters feeds back into the history of events beautifully. 

Base Coherence (5) – This single timeline is executed flawlessly, and the beginning and end come together. I love the intention of the future scientists and how they devise their plan to extract what they need from the past. The film is damn tight in the execution of the timeline and for that it deserves its spot high on this best time travel movies list.

Coherence (4) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 4 (4 x 5/5).

Rewatchability (4) – The film gave us some memorable characters and quotes that are eternal. Not only is this film viewable multiple times, but the TV series is also enjoyable.

9. The Infinite Man (2014)

BaTTR Score3.50

the infinite man movie

Infinite Man is a hidden gem which is centred on a couple celebrating their anniversary and getting caught in a series of time jumps that takes them back by one year. Most lists talking about the best time travel movies tend to leave this film out. The tiny-budgeted movie has just three characters and packs quite the punch with both time-complexities and humour. Here’s a detailed explanation with a timeline diagram – Infinite Man Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (3) – The device that takes characters back through time is supposed to be a memory record-and-playback machine. The lead works on this device because he wants to correct the memory of his previous year’s anniversary. However, it turns out that people get physically transported back in time.

Repercussion (5) – There are so many versions of the three characters throughout the film, and we see the same scenes from so many different perspectives that you’ll claw at your seat joyfully as you try to keep track.

Base Coherence (4) – For the most part of the film, it is one tight timeline with past, present and future selves trying to alter events and fumbling at it. However, a small set of past events appear moderately modified even though the film attempts to portray one single immutable timeline.

Coherence (4) – Given the Repercussion score is a 5, the Coherence score is the same as the Base Coherence score for this film.

Rewatchability (2) – It’s a lovely film which you will watch a couple of times to really understand it. However, the characters don’t shine except for Alex, Alex is incredible. It’s what best that could have been done within a tiny budget.

8. Triangle (2008)

BaTTR Score3.50

triangle movie

Triangle is a film based on multiple time-loops. A woman and her friends go on a sailing trip and get hit by a storm. Before they drown, they find a cruise ship passing by and get onboard and soon wish they never did. Unlike other time-loop films, Triangle’s loops have an extra dimension of complexity, and this makes it more exciting. Here’s everything you need to know about the movie – Triangle Movie Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (3) – The film is not based on time travel in the pure sense. But the lead is experiencing time non-linearly; hence Triangle makes this list of best time travel movies. The reason for the time-loops is fascinating, but it’s also the crux of the movie (spoiler), and you should watch it for yourself.

Repercussion (5) – Oh, there is a ton of complexity as the loops are multi-dimensional in nature and you’re going to keep your attention on multiple sets of characters running about. I love how the people belonging to the odd loops follow a different path as compared to the ones in even loops.

Base Coherence (4) – You can clearly trace the path of the lead right from the beginning to the end baring one exception (the beach scene). That lead to a lot of speculation on the internet. However, it’s all brought together form a tight ending.

Coherence (4) – Given the Repercussion score is a 5, the Coherence score is the same as the Base Coherence score for this film.

Rewatchability (2) – While all other aspects of the film are brilliant, there is not much depth to the characters, and this will leave you remembering this movie as a uber-complicated slasher.

7. Mirage / Durante la tormenta (2018)

BaTTR Score3.55

Durante la tormenta mirage

Mirage is a Spanish film which combines the sub-genres of a murder mystery and time-travel most elegantly. A mysterious storm connects two people 25 years apart in time, and this leads to the unravelling of a murder. For a detailed explanation of the film and its timeline, you can check this out – Mirage Movie Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (3) – The electrical storm that occurs in two times 25 years apart happens to relay a television signal back in time. Nobody physically travels through time, but information exchanged causes timelines to rupture.

Repercussion (4) – There is a severe impact on the lives of the characters because of a single action—saving a boy’s life. Events of the past get rewritten, creating a massive diversion to the life of the protagonist. This also results in the murder to chanced be upon and solved differently each time.

Base Coherence (4) – Mirage sports multiple timelines with one person’s consciousness travelling from one timeline to the other. Some of the apparent paradoxes are handled by the film elegantly by creating branches in the flow of time. However, we are left with a minor dangling Grandfather Paradox at the end.

Coherence (3.2) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 3.2 (4 x 4/5).

Rewatchability (4) – Mirage is most engrossing and builds the suspense wonderfully against the backdrop of events which are non-linear in nature. The characters and the acting really shine, and you’ll be glad to watch it many times over.

6. Timecrimes / Los Cronocrímenes (2007)

BaTTR Score3.75

timecrimes los Cronocrimenes

Timecrimes is a Spanish film that follows one man who accidentally stumbles upon a time machine and travels back in time by merely an hour. In this short time-window, he makes life quite miserable for himself. It’s a hilarious flick that needs your focus and attention as the consequences of the time travel are quite messy despite the humour. Here’s is a detailed explanation of the film – Timecrimes Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – We are shown there is an elaborate experiment and a physical device that transports a person back through time, there are not many details around the device itself.

Repercussion (5) – What makes things complicated is that the duration of time travel is pretty short, only about an hour. The lead character unavoidably runs into his past self, creating a series of cascading events that escalate really quick.

Base Coherence (5) – Despite how incongruent the events appear, the movie wraps it all up perfectly within one tight and consistent timeline. The pieces of the puzzle fit to a T at the end with no loose ends.

Coherence (5) – Given the Repercussion score is a 5, the Coherence score is the same as the Base Coherence score for this film.

Rewatchability (3) – What is unique about this film is that the character that is experiencing time travel, unlike most movies, is not a person of science. He travels back unintentionally, and we get to witness a bumbling idiot somehow manage to navigate his timeline, much like a duck wandering safely through a minefield.

5. Primer (2004)

BaTTR Score3.80

primer movie best time travel movies

Made within a shoestring budget of just $7000, Primer gives many mainstream time-travel productions a run for their money. Shane Carruth wore multiple hats in this film like actor, producer, director, and music producer. Not only is the film super-complicated, but it also sports one of the most believable time-travel mechanics in the sub-genre. Check out the detailed timeline-wise analysis of the film- Primer Movie Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (5) – The core concept in the film is that one can only travel back in time to the point the time machine was switched on. The way time travel works is that one has to sit in the machine for as much time as they want to go back. One hour in the device takes you back in time by one hour. This concept is plugged into the plot very well, and we see the characters get creative, given the limitations. This mechanics is the most realistic of all in this list of the best time travel movies.

Repercussion (4) – While the lead characters initially agree to avoid messing with the past, they just can’t get themselves to stay put. This leads to multiple versions of themselves running around across various timelines, and it all gets rather complicated.

Base Coherence (4) – For most of the film, paradoxes are avoided because of establishing multiple timelines, which are remarkably consistent. However, the film does lose a little grip towards the end, leaving a few threads open.

Coherence (3.2) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 3.2 (4 x 4/5).

Rewatchability (3) – It’s an intriguing film that makes you want to watch it multiple times to better understand the nuances. However, the movie had limited characters, and they don’t leave a lasting impression on you. Well considering the budget, even this is quite a feat.

4. Predestination (2014)

BaTTR Score4.00

predestination movie best time travel movies

Anyone who has just finished watching Predestination has the same look as that of a pigeon with massive digestion issues. Based on the short story All You Zombies by Robert A. Heinlein, Predestination presents a plot focused on packing as many impossible scenarios as a human mind can take within one film. Here’s the timeline diagram and detailed explanation – Predestination Movie Explained. This film is easily the most bizarre film on this list of the best time travel movies.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – This is an area that the film ignores. All we are shown is a mysterious violin box with a date dial on it. Using it, characters travel through both time and space.

Repercussion (5) – Hmm, how do I say anything here without giving out any spoilers? Let’s just say the implications presented in the movie will frequently make you say, “wait, how on earth can that be possible?” for weeks after you’ve watched the film!

Base Coherence (5) – The name of the film is a giant clue, this film sports the Predestination Paradox, and it does it so tactfully. The single convoluted timeline is wrapped up beautifully to form both the beginning and the end! I know that sounds cryptic, but anything more I say will spoil the film for you if you haven’t watched it yet.

Coherence (5) – Given the Repercussion score is a 5, the Coherence score is the same as the Base Coherence score for this film.

Rewatchability (4) – The film has fascinating characters, great acting, and a plot that blows your mind. Can’t say more, go watch it for yourself.

3. Back To The Future – Part 1 (1985)

BaTTR Score4.30

back to the future - best time travel movies

This film really raised the bar for all time-travel movies. Everything from the characters to the concept of a time machine in a DeLorean makes this film unique to date. The film is a giant bundle of awesomeness and has put a smile on my face each time I’ve watched it since 1985 (yeah, you have to read that in Doc’s voice).

Time Travel Mechanics (5) – “If you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?”. The insanely cool concept of the flux-capacitor built into a DeLorean and the 88 miles per hour to trigger it is conceived brilliantly and plays very a central role though the film.

Repercussion (4) – To endanger your own existence by interrupting the event that causes your parents to meet is a pretty “heavy” timeline repercussion.

Base Coherence (4) – The Grandfather Paradox was dealt with innovatively through probabilistically disappearing photographs and well .. hands. But given the film doesn’t define alternate timelines, it does introduce a few bugs in the timeline’s consistency.

Coherence (3.2) – The final Coherence Score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 3.2 (4 x 4/5).

Rewatchability (5) – This film will stay fresh for eternity. There is no end to rewatching this masterpiece time and again. We must go back!

2. Back To The Future – Part 2 (1989)

BaTTR Score4.50

back to the future 2 - best time travel movies

Not only did the film create a fresh storyline, but it also beautifully layered itself on top of the complexities of the first part. Marty and Doc Brown are forced to go back to the same date in the past (as they did in the first movie) to undo something terrible. For me, this film really took it to the next level for a sequel. Even Avengers: Endgame mentions this film because of how they revisit some of the older MCU movies. It’s iconic and soars up high in this list of the best time travel movies.

Time Travel Mechanics (5) – You’ve still got the DeLorean and all the awesomeness that comes with it, it also flies now. “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!”

Repercussions (5) – Time-travel in this movie not only messes with events specific to this film, but it also has a tremendous consequence on the prequel’s events. This is creativity at it’s best!

Base Coherence (4) – Unlike the first part, this film clearly introduces the concept of multiple timelines explained memorably by Doc Brown on a blackboard. I still base all my timeline diagrams based on how Doc draws it for Marty.

Coherence (4) – Given the Repercussion is a 5, the Coherence is the same as Base Coherence for this film.

Rewatchability (4) – You only end up falling in love with the characters in the film all over again. It’s one of those films that you can’t ever get enough of.

1. Kimi No Na Wa / Your Name (2016)

BaTTR Score4.75

kimi no na wa your name

Okay, if you haven’t already watched this film, stop reading now. Knowing even the slightest details about this film can potentially spoil it for you. Please return once you’ve watched this phenomenal film.

Kimi No Na Wa is a Japanese anime directed by Makoto Shinkai. It has one of the most captivating visuals and characters. This film takes creativity in the sub-genre of time-travel to the next level. It all begins with some mysterious yet harmless body-switching between two people but a while into the film, it all becomes crazy. If you’re looking for the full explanation with a timeline diagram, go here – Your Name Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (5) – The lead characters, connected through a predestined thread of fate, mysteriously swap bodies over a while. Only at the midpoint of the film, are we told that they’ve been switching bodies 3-years apart. The very fact that the film is based on time-travel is a surprise element dropped in the mid of the film.

Repercussion (5) – The intricacies of cause and effect of time-travel in this film is pretty complicated. Swapping back and forth through time results in the disruption of one timeline and the creation of another. Events of a critical day are rewritten, and we get to see two realities blurring into one unified possibility, Kataware-doki.

Base Coherence (4) – Barring the issue of the unexplained “delayed” disappearing of messages from Taki’s phone, the time complexities in this film are wrapped up pretty tight.

Coherence (4) – Given the Repercussion score is a 5, the Coherence score is the same as the Base Coherence score for this film.

Rewatchability (5) – Everything about this film is lovable, the characters, the plot, the artwork (oh, the artwork!), and the creative storyboarding. It’s one of those films that you can enjoy watching over and over and notice something new each time. It really brings together fantasy, science fiction, and so many other genres like no other movie. And for that, Kimi No Na Wa takes the crown on this list of the best time travel movies.

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