Best Time Travel Movies: The 2023 Monster List

Hi, this is Barry , and welcome to my site. If you’re looking to ensure that you’ve watched all of the greatest 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 keep getting added. So do drop a comment with your favourite flick if you don’t see it here. 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. Let’s go through the best time travel movies ranked in reverse order by the BaTTR Score.

If you’re looking specifically for time-loop films where a character lives the same day over and over again, check this – Every Time Loop Movie.


Best Time Travel Movies: 83 to 81

83. Terminator 5: Genisys (2015)

BaTTR Score: 1.20

terminator genisys

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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 films 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.

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82. Before I Fall (2017)

BaTTR Score: 1.30

before i fall

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A high-school girl begins reliving one day of her life after dying in a car accident. Going through the many time-loops, she understands the impact she can make on the people in her life. 

Time Travel Mechanics (1) – The premise or the reason for the looping is far too arbitrary.

Repercussion (2) – Each timeloop happens in a way that doesn’t interfere with the other loops. The film’s complexity is low.

Base Coherence (3) – While each loop is kept in its own timeline and only her memory cumulates, there is no clear reason why the final scene should end the looping. 

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

Rewatchability (1) – Before I Fall is a casual teen drama that hints at purgatory and regret. But the characters and premise makes it hard to take the plot seriously since there is not enough backstory (or connection) between the key characters.

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81. Terminator 6: Dark Fate (2019)

BaTTR Score: 1.30

terminator dark fate

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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.

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Best Time Travel Movies: 80 to 71

80. Ritânâ / Returner (2002)

BaTTR Score: 1.35


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Returner is a Japanese film that sees a girl travelling back in time, from a dystopian future, to try and stop an alien race from invading the planet. She arrives in the present time and forces a talented assassin to help her with her quest.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – The girl uses the future tech, which appears to be a quantum device strapped on to her hand. Also, we see the use of some sort of portal that she leaps into to take her back in time. The wrist device also allows for time slow-down, but it’s not clear if it can be used at will to travel through time. 

Repercussion (2) – The girl’s actions do affect the future, quite clearly. But we’re never really shown the future more than once, which is right at the beginning of the movie.

Base Coherence (1) – Returner struggles to make sense of the timelines it creates. We see unexplained time jumps, creating all kinds of paradoxical situations.

Coherence (0.4) – The final Coherence Score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 0.4 (1 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (1) – The cast is good, and the film attempts a good plot. However, the characters are a little over the top, especially the male lead and the villain. The CGI seems to be limited thanks to the small budget. It’s definitely worth checking out. But it’s unlikely that it will draw you back to watch it again. 

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79. See You Yesterday (2019)

BaTTR Score: 1.35

see you yesterday

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See You Yesterday follows two wiz-kids who invent a time machine and go back in time by one day to save a sibling who was killed due to a mistaken police shooting. They soon realize it’s never easy to change the past without consequences.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – There is a fuzzy explanation to the time machine and a restriction imposed that the jump can be only one day, but that’s about it.

Repercussion (2) – Each jump causes cascading changes, but it’s contained to the main characters alone and doesn’t make for a great deal of complexity.

Base Coherence (1) – Despite a simple plot, the film struggles to manage consistencies across the various timelines, making it too crammed with paradoxes.

Coherence (0.4) – The final Coherence Score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 0.4 (1 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (1) – While the movie initially had promise, it didn’t go anywhere. The climax was done as though it were a series luring audiences to the next season. In short, See You Yesterday feels like half a movie and hence secures a very low spot on this all time best time travel movies list.

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78. Synchronic (2019)

BaTTR Score: 1.40

synchronic ending explained

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This film is about a synthetic drug that hits the legal market, making consumers travel through time. One man goes on a hunt for his friend’s daughter, who might be lost in time. Here’s a detailed breakdown – Synchronic movie explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – The film attempts a new concept of a drug that messes with the pineal gland allowing time travel. The physical location of the traveller causes them to travel back by a specific number of years. However, this unique concept didn’t integrate with the plot very tightly. 

Repercussion (1) – Time travel is to very distant points in the past, going from decades to centuries. The film keeps itself away from any time complexities and finds a lower spot on this list of massive time travel movies.

Base Coherence (3) – Though most of the movie kept with a single consistent timeline and in-film rules, some moments broke those rules. For example, does distance from the ground matter? It seems to in one case, but not so in another.

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

Rewatchability (2) – Synchronic had good characters and was set in the same universe as Spring, Resolution and The Endless. However, it didn’t have a substantial plot and leaves the viewer wanting more.

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

BaTTR Score: 1.40

terminator rise of the machines

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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.

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76. The Final Countdown (1980)

BaTTR Score: 1.50

the final countdown

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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.

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75. Time Bandits (1981)

BaTTR Score: 1.50

time bandits best time travel movies

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Time Bandits is a fun fantasy film that sees a young boy joining a bunch of dwarfs on a journey through time as they run into epic fictional and real characters from history. It’s a pretty loaded cast and is a very entertaining movie.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – A mysterious map that belongs to the supreme being allows the group to locate holes in the fabric of spacetime and travel to various points in history.

Repercussion (1) – There are no consequences to the past or the future because of the group travelling through time. 

Base Coherence (5) – The film scores full here simply because no time complexities are introduced. Things are very straightforward, and the movie has no opportunities to goof up anything related to the timeline.

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

Rewatchability (2) – It’s an entertaining film with laughs throughout. The cast is brilliant, and the cameos are excellent. However, the climax turns erratic, and it’s not really a film that tries to push the boundaries of the sub-genre of time travel.

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

BaTTR Score: 1.50

Time Traveller The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Live Action

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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 top 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.

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73. The Lift / El Ascensor (2021)

BaTTR Score: 1.55

The Lift El Ascensor

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The Lift is a Spanish film centred on a couple arguing inside an elevator on their way out of the building. Soon as they hit the lowest floor, one of them ends up returning to the moment they entered the lift. The rest of the film takes us through the couple’s time in the elevator and their attempts to break free.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – There is a reason given as to why the couple is looping, but the film doesn’t really go into further details of the machine.

Repercussion (2) – Like most time-loops films, each loop exists in its own timeline and memories cumulate for the looper. However, memories are retained only for the person who hits the button, making it entertaining.

Base Coherence (3) – I’d say the film tries really hard to throw in a backstory to the looping, but by doing so, they introduce many unanswered questions around why they’re able to access objects from someone else’s loops.

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

Rewatchability (1) – The Lift is a one-time watch that attempts a new twist to the ol’ time-loop concept. While the characters and their predicament is intriguing and at times humorous, the film is underwhelming and thus doesn’t shine on this top time travel films list.

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72. Repeaters (2010)

BaTTR Score: 1.55


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Three people in rehab suddenly find themselves waking up on the same day repeatedly. While one of them sees this as a blessing, the other two want to stop the phenomenon leading to a cat and mouse chase.

Time Travel Mechanics (1) – There is not much in the film about why they begin looping; it’s got an unexplained metaphorical touch to it.

Repercussion (2) – The looping concept is simple; the birth of the new day causes the three of them to restart the same day over with their memories cumulating.

Base Coherence (3) – The exit from the time-loops was pretty inconsistent, considering the three were co-looping, raising a lot of questions in the end.

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

Rewatchability (2) – Repeater is a film with an interesting angle to the looping, but the characters are a little too hypocritical, and the film attributes a sense of righteousness to them. That said, it’s definitely worth checking out once.

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71. Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

BaTTR Score: 1.55

Happy Death Day 2U

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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.

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Best Time Travel Movies: 70 to 61

70. Naked (2017) / Naken (2000)

BaTTR Score: 1.55

naken naked

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Naked is a funny time-loop film that sees Marlon Wayans’ character living a one hour loop endlessly, which begins with him waking up naked inside an elevator.

Time Travel Mechanics (1) – The film doesn’t go into the whys; it’s a fun romantic comedy.

Repercussion (2) – Like most time-loop films on this best time travel movies list, the concept is simple – each loop is independent of the others where only one person has cumulative memory.

Base Coherence (3) – Given the genre of the film, there is not a lot of effort put in the direction of consistencies of each loop.

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

Rewatchability (2) – Naked surprises you with a humourous plot set within time-loops. Marlon does a lot of the heavy lifting and delivers well, and the film is definitely worth the watch.

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69. Project Almanac (2015)

BaTTR Score: 1.65

Project Almanac

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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.

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68. Men In Black 3 (2012)

BaTTR Score: 1.65

men in black part 3

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In this third instalment of the film series, Agent J finds himself slipping into an alternate timeline where Agent K does not exist. J goes back in time to hunt down the alien Boris, who is responsible for the altered history.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – A specific high-rise location has a pathway to the past triggered by a mysterious device.

Repercussion (3) – The film introduces a good deal of complexities where changes to the past snowball to affect the future.

Base Coherence (1) – The film conveniently allows only Agent J’s memories to remain, thereby enabling the plot, and this multiple timeline film introduces too many paradoxes. 

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

Rewatchability (1) – It was good to have Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones reprise their roles with the addition of Josh Brolin in the mix. Men In Black 3 was released 10 years after the sequel and was done really well. There seemed to be more depth to the characters than in the earlier films. However, the Rewatchability score of 1 is because this film rides on the characters and concepts created by the prior movies.

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67. Midnight In Paris (2011)

BaTTR Score: 1.75

midnight in Paris

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This is a super-light romantic comedy where Owen Wilson’s character gets picked up by a bunch of people at midnight each night, taking him to the 20s. The film smartly weaves in a variety of characters from history and has a brilliant cast.

Time Travel Mechanics (1) – It’s a fun film that doesn’t really focus on why or how the time travel happens.

Repercussion (1) – There are no time complexities in the film, meaning events in the past have no cascading effects on the present.

Base Coherence (5) – We have a simple, consistent, unaffected timeline without any inconsistencies.

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

Rewatchability (3) – Midnight In Paris is a fun film with great characters that talks about how easy it is for one to dwell in the past. The movie also gives a great perspective on how every era considers another time in history to be the golden age

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66. Time Trap (2017)

BaTTR Score: 1.75

time trap

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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.

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65. The Time Machine (2002)

BaTTR Score: 1.80

The Time Machine 2002

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The Time Machine is based on H.G Wells book and is the second feature film adaptation of the novel. This movie attempted to create a variation to the original story to make it more fantastical. The Time Machine is the story of a man who goes far into the future. While visually, the movie did well, it didn’t create too much of a stir amongst movie viewers. The 1960 movie is much further below in this best time travel movies list.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – The movie simply brings back a more spruced up version of the classic time machine. It paid homage to the original film by retaining the look of the controller device. Sadly, the film creates flaws in how objects behave at the precipice of the time device. 

Repercussion (2) – The lead character does attempt to go to the past. His actions lead to small changes but are generally unable to alter history. Other than that, there is no ripple effect to the time travellers actions.

Base Coherence (3) – There is a new timeline introduced because of a minor change. Later in the film, we see a conversation establishing the immutability to avoid paradoxes but is soon undone when the lead character proceeds to travel back and forth in time.

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

Rewatchability (2) – The Time Machine is an exciting take on the book. Though the film was highly promising in the first half, it felt rushed and sort of incomplete towards the end. The movie could have really explored the far future to the point of the end of the earth, but it didn’t take that path. The protagonist could have been a lot better defined in terms of character.

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64. Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

BaTTR Score: 1.80

safety not guaranteed best time travel movies

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A couple of magazine writers go over to investigate an ad in their magazine that requests someone interested in travelling back in time. On meeting the advertiser, it appears he might be a looney. Safety Not Guaranteed is a favourite of everyone who loves the time travel sub-genre and no time travel list is complete without it.

Please skip over the below details if you haven’t watched the movie; spoilers ahead.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – As disclosed in the end, there is a time machine that actually exists. However, there are no details about its workings.

Repercussion (2) – We’re shown events that change before any time travel happens in the movie. It’s nice the way it’s been done; it keeps you doubting throughout. However, the changes are minor and don’t bring about significant complexities to the film.

Base Coherence (3) – The film has at least two sets of events from the past, but it muddies them into one timeline creating paradoxical inconsistencies.

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

Rewatchability (2) – The film is cast well and has interesting characters. I love how it keeps you guessing till the end. The plot is undoubtedly intriguing the first time around, but once you know what’s going on, the film doesn’t leave a lot for subsequent watches.

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63. Mine Games (2012)

BaTTR Score: 1.80

mine games entering the mine

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This one is an impressive looper film. A group of friends land up at an isolated cabin in the woods to celebrate their end of college. They find a mine nearby and enter it and unleash evil. It’s not a mindless slasher, so do give it a watch.

Time Travel Mechanics (1) – There is no explanation for why the loop phenomenon is occurring.

Repercussion (3) – The events and people fold upon themselves, and the film manages to introduce exciting complexities.

Base Coherence (2) – Sadly, many questions are left open at the end leading to inconsistencies in the plot. The loop elements are discussed in detail over here – Mine Games explained.

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

Rewatchability (2) – While the end raises too many questions, the film is pretty well executed and has a good cast. It’s definitely not a mindless slasher, and it’s a great watch in case you missed it.

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62. The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things (2021)

BaTTR Score: 1.80

map of tiny perfect things

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This one is a romantic film set inside infinite timeloops. I know you’re thinking Palm Springs (which is also there in this list of top time travel films), but The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things has an entirely different take on the subject. Here’s a detailed article – The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (1) – The looping is almost a wish come true. The film primarily uses the concept of timeloops as a metaphor for “being stuck and unable to move on”.

Repercussion (2) – The co-loopers don’t cause any cascading effects. Their memories are retained as they loop over and again. They don’t go into “what happens if you die?” which is good.

Base Coherence (3) – Considering the film had loops that existed in their own isolated timelines, there was little change to mess things up. But the end does bring in a plot hole which I have explained in the article above.

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

Rewatchability (3) – The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things is a good take on the concept of looping, with a brilliant longcut opening scene. The chemistry is believable, and the movie stays light and breezy throughout.

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61. The Tomorrow War (2021)

BaTTR Score: 1.90

The Tomorrow War ending

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In 2048, an alien species attacks Earth, and the future humans are unable to contain the battle. They travel back in time to the present, seeking help to fight in the tomorrow war.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – The future uses a wormhole that creates a jump-link between the past and the future; the details are left fuzzy.

Repercussion (3) – The discoveries made in the future help the present make different decisions. Can’t say much more without giving out spoilers.

Base Coherence (1) – The film was filled with plot holes, that too, the classic Grandfather Paradox, and the filmmakers didn’t do a lot to explain how the causality works. Here’s an article that goes into the timelines of The Tomorrow War.

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

Rewatchability (2) – The film is an enjoyable creature feature where the makers actually bother showing the aliens in their full definition in broad daylight. The reveal is pretty interesting too and makes for a good one-time watch.

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Best Time Travel Movies: 60 to 51

60. Il Mare (2000) / Lake House (2006)

BaTTR Score: 1.95

Lake House Movie

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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. It’s a remake of a Korean film by the name Il Mare.

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.

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59. Time After Time (1979)

BaTTR Score: 2.00

Time After Time

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Time After Time is a hypothetical fantasy story of H.G. Wells (the Time Machine author), who creates a Time Machine, just like in the book. Soon enough, the plot takes a turn towards the pursuit of Jack The Ripper through time.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – The time machine is a homage to the original movie. Other than that, there’s nothing unique in the space of mechanics.

Repercussion (2) – Time travel happens in a way that doesn’t alter anything. The concept is uni-directional and straightforward.

Base Coherence (5) – Considering very little time complexity is introduced, the film keeps its one timeline consistent and intact.

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

Rewatchability (2) – Time After Time used the actual H.G. Wells (before becoming a celebrated author) to give a nice twist to the plot. The film also explains intelligently why the real Jack The Ripper was never found.

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58. The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009)

BaTTR Score: 2.00

time travelers wife

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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 with Rachael McAdams and Eric Bana.

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.

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57. The Adam Project (2022)

BaTTR Score: 2.05

Adams And Dad

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The Adam Project’s plot sees a man travel back in time to team up with his younger self to save the world. As corny as that sounds, that’s pretty much what the film is about. You can read all about it here – The Adam Project explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – A smart wormhole on a jet allows people to travel through time and beyond that the film doesn’t focus on the mechanics.

Repercussion (3) – The movie is about changing the past, and these alterations cause cascading changes to their history. Although most of the impact is merely mentioned, we don’t actually see the future.

Base Coherence (2) – The film is filled with massive paradoxes and plot holes and struggles with the definition of timelines.

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

Rewatchability (2) – The movie is a good watch and has enough witty conversations to keep you interested. It’s a fast-paced action film and is entertaining.

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56. Haunter (2013)

BaTTR Score: 2.05

Lanky man haunter

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Haunter is a horror film that presents a story within loops of time. A girl wakes up repeatedly on the same day, the day before her birthday. As she begins finding out why, she is haunted by other spirits and a creepy old man.

Time Travel Mechanics (3) – The reason for looping and how the lead character travels through time is fascinating and woven into the plot very well. Can’t say more without spoiling the film.

Repercussion (2) – Most of the time travel results only in furthering the knowledge of the situation but doesn’t really have many causal impacts. Fundamentally, the film is simple (intentionally). Here’s everything you need to know about the film – Haunter explained.

Base Coherence (3) – While the timeline appears to be single and consistent, the mechanism that leads to time travel is a little inconsistent at times. Certain events are also very repetitive, making the viewer question when exactly it happened, for example, the father and the car. 

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

Rewatchability (2) – Haunter has a terrific concept and is tastefully executed. The reason for the loop was engaging. However, it was hard to get behind the lead character and feel for her and that’s why this film doesn’t excel in this list.

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55. Mega Time Squad (2018)

BaTTR Score: 2.15

Mega Time Squad

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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.

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54. In The Shadow Of The Moon (2019)

BaTTR Score: 2.20

in the shadow of the moon

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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.

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53. About Time (2013)

BaTTR Score: 2.20

about time

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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. This is Rachael McAdams’ second film playing the wife of a time traveller.

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 time travel list.

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52. Boss Level (2021)

BaTTR Score: 2.25

boss level

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Boss Level is a timeloop film that combines insane amounts of action and comedy. The film has a great cast – Frank Grillo, Naomi Watts, Mel Gibson and Michelle Yeoh, to name a few. This one is really high on adrenaline.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – We’re shown a time machine that’s being worked upon, which is triggered incorrectly to lock the world into an infinite loop. It appears all other details have been reserved for the sequel.

Repercussion (2) – Like all timeloop movies, each loop occurs in its own timeline, erasing the previous loop’s events. This removes most complexities that the film has to deal with. Only the central person’s memories get cumulated.

Base Coherence (5) – Since the newer loops erase the previous ones, there is not much opportunity to mess things up. Most timeloop films end up with a full score in this section.

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

Rewatchability (3) – Boss Level is a thoroughly enjoyable film and is a fresh execution of the time loop concept. The film begins in the dead centre of the multiple loops and then navigates back and forth to give the audience context of what’s going on. It’s like Crank happening in an endless time loop!

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51. The Door Into Summer (2021)

BaTTR Score: 2.25

Door into summer 2025 - Second Time

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The Door Into Summer is a Japanese adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein’s novel by the same name. The film is centred on a young robotics engineer tricked by his two partners and forced into cryosleep for 30 years. Check out the complete film details here – The Door Into Summer explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – The film makes it explicit that there is a scientist who invents the time machine, but beyond that, we have no further details.

Repercussion (3) – There is some exciting turn of events that come from time travel, and the plot is investigative, so we discover what actually happens as the film unfolds.

Base Coherence (5) – This is based on a Robert Heinlein book, and he keeps it air-tight; a well-crafted single timeline with some lovely predestination and bootstrap paradoxes!

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

Rewatchability (1) – The Door Into Summer is an excellent adaptation of the book and also adds more charm to the romantic angle. However, the plot is very predictable, and nothing really surprises you and it finds a spot lower down in this time travel films list.

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Best Time Travel Movies: 50 to 41

50. Somewhere In Time (1980)

BaTTR Score: 2.25

somewhere in time

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Somewhere In Time is a beautiful love story starring Christopher Reeve, a play writer who obsesses on a photo of a beautiful yesteryear actress and ends up going back in time by 70 years to meet her. 

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – The filmmakers tried to introduce the concept of self-hypnotism to convince yourself that you are in a particular era. And one must make sure that they see nothing that reminds them of their present time. It was a little over the top but creative for its time.

Repercussion (2) – Since the time frame is 70 years, there is little scope for events to have cascading effects. But even so, we see a few key moments that are affected because of the time travel.

Base Coherence (5) – Somewhere In Time sports one clean timeline, which has a set of predestined events like the ledger entry. The filmmakers took great care to keep it tight.

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

Rewatchability (3) – Somewhere In Time is a warm romantic film with an excellent cast. Its bitter-sweet ending puts a smile on your face and a tear in your eye. Also, watching this film, you can’t but feel sad for Christopher Reeve and finds a memorable spot in this top time travel movies list.

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49. 12:01 (1993)

BaTTR Score: 2.25

12:01 movie

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This is a TV movie based on a book by the same name. The word is that Groundhog Day plagiarized the story. Though there was a court case, it was withdrawn. The story sees a man trapped in a timeloop repeatedly witnessing the death of a woman he has a crush on.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – A particle accelerator misfires causing a rift in reality. Unfortunately, one man happens to get trapped in the timeloop thanks to a terribly timed electric shock.

Repercussion (2) – Each loop happens in an isolated manner, and only the memories of the looper cumulate. 

Base Coherence (5) – Timeloop movies rarely end up having a tough time with coherence as each loop happens in its own isolated timeline.

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

Rewatchability (3) – 12:01 has interesting characters and an intriguing plot that reveals itself bit by bit over each timeloop. It’s an enjoyable movie with a good deal of humour thrown in.

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48. Happy Death Day (2017)

BaTTR Score: 2.25

happy death day

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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.

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47. Groundhog Day (1993)

BaTTR Score: 2.25

groundhog day

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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.

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46. My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday / Boku Wa Asu, Kinō No Kimi To Dēto Suru (2016)

BaTTR Score: 2.25

my tomorrow your yesterday

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This is an adorable Japanese romantic film that follows the lives of two people over a month as they fall in love and begin a relationship. The catch is that both of them are experiencing the flow of time in opposite directions. This film would easily be one of the best romantic time travel movies.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – The film simply explains that there are two worlds, each having the flow of time in the opposite direction of the other.

Repercussion (2) – The film focuses on the romantic angle, and the critical aspect of the plot is how the two of them experience their days in the relationship. There are mentions of drowning accidents which is hinted to be part of a bootstrap paradox but are outside the film’s central scope.

Base Coherence (5) – My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday presents a single consistent timeline that is wrapped up nice and tight. The complexities of this film are limited, and the execution is perfect.

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

Rewatchability (3) – My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday is a feel-good romantic film that leaves you with many tears because of the brilliant character chemistry and the twisted nature of time in their relationship.

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45. Time Lapse (2014)

BaTTR Score: 2.25

Time Lapse

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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.

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44. Meet The Robinsons (2007)

BaTTR Score: 2.30

meet the Robinsons

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This film is plain hilarious. A kid steals his father’s time machine to travel to the past but has it stolen. He teams up with a young scientist to help him trace a mysterious Bowler Hat Guy who has big plans for the time device.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – There is a time machine that gets people from one time to another, nothing very involved.

Repercussion (3) – Meet The Robinsons is a fun film and doesn’t focus on a complicated time based plot. That said, there are a couple of cascading links between the past and the future.

Base Coherence (2) – This film sports multiple timelines that overwrite one another. While the concept is interesting, this film doesn’t try too hard (for the right reasons) to avoid paradoxes.

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

Rewatchability (3) – The movie’s characters are brilliant and keep you laughing days after you’ve watched it. This animated film is a must-watch fun family entertainer.

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

BaTTR Score: 2.35

x men days of future past

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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.

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42. Palm Springs (2020)

BaTTR Score: 2.40

palm springs

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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 1.6 (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.

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41. Synchronicity (2015)

BaTTR Score: 2.40

Synchronicity time machine explained

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Synchronicity is centred on a man trying to prove to his investor that his time machine works. When he realizes that he has been played and will lose his life’s work, he takes a leap of faith through time. For a detailed explanation, go here – Synchronicity movie explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – We’re shown a complicated device that takes a unique radioactive material to power up. But there is no further definition to the machine other than that.

Repercussion (4) – The plot gets quite crazy past the middle of the film with cascading effects of time travel, although restricted to the main character. 

Base Coherence (2) – For a low budget film, it is applaudable how much thought went into the various timelines. But it doesn’t all come together, especially the part about how the doppelgangers arrived.

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

Rewatchability (2) – The movie is a must-watch for time travel fans; you’ll go back to watch it again to fully get it. But beyond that, the characters are not very compelling. As viewers, you’re constantly asking, “but why is he doing this?”.

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Best Time Travel Movies: 40 to 31

40. The Jacket (2005)

BaTTR Score: 2.45

the jacket time jump 2

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The Jacket is a psychological thriller in which a war veteran is wrongfully accused of murder and committed to a mental asylum. One of the doctors employs illegal treatment methods on him that has an unexpected side effect.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – The lead is transported by a fixed time window to an alternate time every time he is experimented on. The concept is excellent, but the film doesn’t go into the whys.

Repercussion (3) – The central character brings back information from a different time to his present to create and alter history.

Base Coherence (3) – The film presents a multi-timeline model where one timeline rewrites the other giving birth to some paradoxes and an unintentionally tragic ending.

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

Rewatchability (3) – The Jacket is a good film with a superb cast. The story is intriguing and keeps you hooked, as the time travel angle is fascinating. You can read all about it over here – The Jacket explained.

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39. Retroactive (1997)

BaTTR Score: 2.45


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Retroactive is a classic 90s action-packed thriller that sports time-loops. The film follows a hostage negotiator who gets a lift from a couple. At once, you know the guy is toxic, and things are going to get crazy… and they do.

Time Travel Mechanics (3) – A scientist who’s testing his time device is the source of all the chaos, and the device is smartly integrated into the film’s plot.

Repercussion (3) – The film doesn’t restrict itself to a single person within the time-loops. As the cycles progress, they become more complex, with more people caught in the mix.

Base Coherence (3) – Flawless execution is always a challenge with more complex time travel films. Retroactive does a good job wrapping things up using multiple timelines but raises questions about who remembers what when a new loop begins.

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

Rewatchability (2) – The movie has a good cast and keeps you on edge. It’s one of the earliest time-loops films which fell in the action genre. Sadly, Kylie Travis, who looked like the next big female action star, disappeared a year after this film.

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38. The Call (2020)

BaTTR Score: 2.45

young sook Korean call

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This is an excellent Korean film that sees two women talking to each other 20 years apart. The information exchange causes cascading effects altering the future in unpredictable ways. The Call is gripping because an ally in one timeline may not remain an ally in another. The film’s plot is why it finds a solid spot in this best time travel movies list. Here’s a detailed explanation for the movie – The Call Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – There is no one physically travelling through time; however, information does. There is really no explanation for the origins of the phone or how it’s doing what it’s doing.

Repercussion (4) – Every conversation causes drastic changes to the future. It’s a game of chess played between two people 20 years apart and is presented very well in the movie.

Base Coherence (1) – The film ignores causality altogether and shows the past and future events as though happening side by side. It fundamentally doesn’t consider that any change to the past traverses through a cause-effect chain to eventually affect the future.

Coherence (0.8) – The final Coherence Score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 0.8 (1 x 4/5).

Rewatchability (3) – The plot is gripping, and the actors have done a beautiful job. The film keeps you on edge, wondering what is going to happen next. I loved the visuals that showed the switching of timelines.

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37. Looper (2012)

BaTTR Score: 2.45

looper movie

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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 (Gordon-Levitt) who fails to kill his older self (Bruce Willis) 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.

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

BaTTR Score: 2.50

bill and ted's excellent adventure

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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 time travel 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.

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35. The Terminator (1984) & 34. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

BaTTR Score: 2.50

Terminator 1 Terminator 2 Best Time Travel Movies

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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? 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 that gave Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton a cult status, 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.

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33. ARQ (2016)

BaTTR Score: 2.60

ARQ Netflix

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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.

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32. Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009)

BaTTR Score: 2.60

frequently asked questions about time travel

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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.

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31. 41 (2012)

BaTTR Score: 2.60

Timeline 2 Explained

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41 is a hidden gem. It’s an independent film made on a shoestring budget. The plot follows a student who stumbles upon a motel room with a hole in the floor that takes a person back in time by 12 hours. You can watch the full film and read the explanation here – Watch 41 with a detailed analysis

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – There’s not much in the time travel mechanics section. It’s a simple floorboard that is removed and allows a person to enter a hole in the floor. When they get out, it’s 12 hours earlier.

Repercussion (4) – The film has many events folding onto itself. The central character has a couple of run-ins with himself, which changes the course of his own life. The multiple travels back make it complex.

Base Coherence (3) – While initially coherent, the film tends to contradict itself. For a movie like this, it’s hard to say anything beyond this without spoiling the plot.

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

Rewatchability (2) – Considering the film was made on a non-existent budget, it wasn’t big on character development. The film is enjoyable and is definitely worth the watch. So please do check it out.

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Best Time Travel Movies: 30 to 21

30. Arrival (2016)

BaTTR Score: 2.65

arrival movie

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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.

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29. The House At The End Of Time (2013) / House Of The Disappeared (2017)

BaTTR Score: 2.70

The House at the End of Time House Of The Disappeared

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The original is the Venezuelan film La casa del fin de los tiempos that released in 2017. It was beautifully remade in Korean in 2017 as Si-gan-wi-ui jib. These are the original titles, and you can look up the films by their English titles too. The plot revolves around a woman who’s jailed for the murder of her husband and child. She returns after many years to uncover what actually happened. They’re both fantastic films, and you can read the detailed analysis here – House Of The Disappeared explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – The house is built on a mysterious time vortex that throws people inadvertently across fixed intervals of times. Nothing further is explained in the films. The Netflix series DARK used a similar concept too.

Repercussion (3) – The back and forth through time causes many interesting impacts on the central character’s life, and it all fits into the storyline beautifully.

Base Coherence (3) – The film has one timeline, which is consistent for most parts, but it does raise questions about why we don’t witness any interference with future years.

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

Rewatchability (4) – Both films have a fantastic cast and non-linear story-telling, and the mixing of three different genres is just beautiful. Both films keep you on edge at all points and will have you going back and rewatching them periodically. 

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28. La Jetée (1962)

BaTTR Score: 2.75

la jetee

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La Jetée is a French science fiction film that presents a convoluted story via a narration over still images. This film inspired the movie 12 Monkeys which took the concept and really did magic with the plot. La Jetée is unique and deserves to be on this list of best time travel movies even though it is a short film.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – There is not much mentioned about how time travel is achieved. However, we are shown people hooked to machines and sent through time. Most of them go insane except the lead because of his connection to the past.

Repercussion (3) – La Jetée zeros in on a central moment that exists because of the time travel but has limited implications. It’s hard to say anything more without spoiling the film.

Base Coherence (5) – A single consistent timeline is presented and 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) – Despite just images and a narration, the film really grabs your attention and succeeds in telling the audience a really complex story. It’s a favourite of many film school students.

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

BaTTR Score: 2.75

Harry potter prisoner of azkaban

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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 (1) – 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. This helped with cutting straight to the plot as the backstory was already established.

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26. Maanaadu (2021)

BaTTR Score: 2.75

Maanaadu Time Loop

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Maanaadu is a time-loop film that sees a man heading for a wedding getting caught in a political terror attack. The film is predominantly a thriller with some outstanding elements of comedy in the mix.

Time Travel Mechanics (2) – While there is a reason for the looping, it is pretty hazy. Effectively the protagonist is the chosen one. 

Repercussion (3) – Maanaadu definitely has more complexity than your average one person reliving the same day movie. Co-loopers always add to the fun!

Base Coherence (5) – Each loop happens in its own timeline, and the plot elements are kept nice and clean right to the end. 

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

Rewatchability (3) – Maanaadu is a fun thriller where the bad guy steals the show. The cat and mouse chase across multiple time-loops makes this film worth watching many times.

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25. A Day / Ha-roo (2017)

BaTTR Score: 2.75

a day ha roo korean movie

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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.

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24. The Time Machine (1960)

BaTTR Score: 2.75

The Time Machine 1960

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The Time Machine was the first mainstream film adaptation of the book by the same name by the amazing H.G. Wells. The story is about a scientist who narrates his experience of time travel to the future; to the year 802,701. The movie is an excellent adaptation of the book and also adds a good reason to why he lands up in a year so far into the future.

Time Travel Mechanics (4) – The movie is all about the device. It’s the iconic piece of equipment that was conceived by H.G. Wells which was brought to life by the film. The device being displaced by merely a few feet plays a very vital role in the movie. 

Repercussion (2) – The lead character’s actions don’t really cause any ripple effects in time for the most part of it. However, the initial portions with the Filbys are heartwarming.

Base Coherence (5) – The film portrays a single consistent timeline. As we witness time travel into the future, a few questions are raised about the immediate turn of events. But these get answered flawlessly in the end.  

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

Rewatchability (3) – The first-person narrative has been adapted wonderfully, and the characters are very believable. The future presented in the film is very creative with the Eloi and Morlocks and how humanity progressed over the millennia. This film is pretty much the father of all other films in this best time travel movies list, and the book is much older.

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23. Edge Of Tomorrow (2014)

BaTTR Score: 2.85

edge of tomorrow

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Edge Of Tomorrow is a multiple-loop movie based on the Japanese book All You Need Is Kill. The film is centred on a soldier (Tom Cruise) fighting an alien race who resets to a day prior every time he is killed. He eventually runs into a Sergeant (Emily Blunt) 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 amazing 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 (4) – 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 (2.4) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 2.4 (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.

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22. Frequency (2000)

BaTTR Score: 2.90


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Frequency sees a man fiddling around with an old radio, and thanks to the strange occurrence of an aurora borealis, he ends up connecting with his father 30 years in the past. 

Time Travel Mechanics (3) – The use of the radio bridging the two people is a great concept, and arguably the first time such a thing was done in a film.

Repercussion (4) – Small changes in the past cause cascading effects on the future, leading to the hunt for a murderer.

Base Coherence (2) – The film tries to keep it all in one timeline, leading to some glaring issues. For example, the writing on the desk is as if it were happening in real-time and the climax does not consider causality; going by the rules in the film, the final scene would have never happened.

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

Rewatchability (3) – The characters are compelling, and the relationship between the two leads is excellent. This film makes for a great watch even after all these years.

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

BaTTR Score: 2.90

back to the future part 3

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This is the third and final instalment of the trilogy by Robert Zemekis. 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.

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Best Time Travel Movies: 20 to 11

20. Blink (Doctor Who 2007 Episode)

BaTTR Score: 3.00

dr who blink episode

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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 (4) – 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.

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19. Blood Punch (2015)

BaTTR Score: 3.00

blood punch

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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 giant time travel films list is to dig up movies 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.

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18. Donnie Darko (2001)

BaTTR Score: 3.00

donnie darko

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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. Jake Gyllenhaal is so young in this one!

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.

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17. Source Code (2011)

BaTTR Score: 3.00

source code movie

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Source code is a multiple time-loop film where Jake Gyllenhaal’s character 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 (2) – 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 (2) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 2 (5 x 2/5).

Rewatchability (4) – 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.

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

BaTTR Score: 3.10

the girl who leapt through time 2006 anime

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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.

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15. Déjà Vu (2006)

BaTTR Score: 3.20

deja vu movie

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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 (4) – 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 (3) – 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 (1.8) – The final Coherence score stands corrected against the Repercussion score to 1.8 (3 x 3/5).

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.

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14. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

BaTTR Score: 3.25

avengers endgame

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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.

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13. Interstellar (2014)

BaTTR Score: 3.25

interstellar movie

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If you’re a Nolan fan [like me], you’re probably wondering why this film doesn’t feature in the top 5 of this top time travel films 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.

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12. Butterfly Effect (2004)

BaTTR Score: 3.30

butterfly effect

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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.

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11. Mirage / Durante la tormenta (2018)

BaTTR Score: 3.35

Durante la tormenta mirage

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

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Best Time Travel Movies: Top 10

10. Twelve Monkeys (1995)

BaTTR Score: 3.50

12 monkeys movie

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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 Bruce Willis starrer 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.

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9. The Infinite Man (2014)

BaTTR Score: 3.50

the infinite man movie

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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 awesome 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.

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8. Triangle (2008)

BaTTR Score: 3.50

triangle movie

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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.

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7. Tenet (2020)

BaTTR Score: 3.75

inverted fight protagonist

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Christopher Nolan is the father of Nolan-Time. Many of his films portray time in a non-linear format, either as a narrative (Memento) or a plot-element (Inception). Tenet is Nolan sitting down and thinking, “what can I do in the space of time travel which has never been done before” and delivering just that. In a nutshell, the film is about a group that is trying to protect the world from extremists of the far future, but you know that is an oversimplification. So, here’s a simplified explanation of the film with timeline diagrams – Tenet Explained.

Time Travel Mechanics (5) – Time travel in Tenet does not merely have people instantly transporting to another time. A concept called Inversion is thrown in where a person goes backwards at 1 second per second. This is not the first movie to showcase the idea; Primer has the same concept. However, the physics of inverted people and objects interacting with the forward flowing ones is fantastic and give a fresh twist to time travellers. 

Repercussion (5) – The consequence of both time travel and Inversion is central to the plot. There are sequences in Tenet that deal with multiple persons from a different time, both forward-facing and inverted. Every travel to the past feeds into the consequences of the future making it very complex.

Base Coherence (3) – Thanks to inverted objects, the film introduces new paradoxes, like, “was the glass pane manufactured with bullet holes?” The climax also raises more questions about unlocking the gate than it answers. Inversion in films is the first of it’s kind. I hope this concept goes a long way ahead.

Coherence (3) – Given the Repercussion is a 5, the Coherence is the same as Base Coherence for this film.

Rewatchability (2) – Sadly, all the awesomeness Tenet displays in its fictional science and execution is countered by cold characters, an overdone Bond-esque Russian villain accent, and a central premise leading up to a final battle that questions the grand plan of the antagonist. In spite of a low rewatchability score, Tenet finds a high spot in this list of best time travel movies. 

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6. Timecrimes / Los Cronocrímenes (2007)

BaTTR Score: 3.75

timecrimes los Cronocrimenes

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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.

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5. Primer (2004)

BaTTR Score: 3.80

primer movie best time travel movies

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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.

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4. Predestination (2014)

BaTTR Score: 4.00

predestination movie best time travel movies

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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 great time travel films.

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.

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3. Back To The Future – Part 1 (1985)

BaTTR Score: 4.30

back to the future - best time travel movies

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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). We love you Marty McFly, we love you Michael J Fox.

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!

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2. Back To The Future – Part 2 (1989)

BaTTR Score: 4.50

back to the future 2 - best time travel movies

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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 McFly 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.

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

BaTTR Score: 4.75

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.

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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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