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Top 10 Time Travel Movies

Top 10 Best Time Travel Movies (2012 List) Whether short stories, novels, or film, Time Travel is one of the most popular (and my personal favorite) forms of science fiction. Since Rian Johnson’s Looper is out this weekend here’s my rundown of the 10 best time travel movies, picked not just for stand-alone quality but for their quality AND unique use of the time travel conceit.

10. The Terminator & Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Top 10 Best Time Travel Movies 2012
Arguably the best action/sci-fi movie ever made, T2 is also a great time travel piece. Even though the characters only jump back in time once (via a ‘time displacement sphere’), the film constantly debates the ethical and philosophical problems that would arise from this technology. And because some fans believe that Kyle Reese was actually John Connor and that he sired himself into existence – and anytime a film inspires nerds to use their brains to increase the overall level of perversity in this world, it deserves to be on a Top Ten List.

9. The Time Machine (Original)

Based on the story by H.G. Wells, this film manages to capture the boredom of its inspiration, plus most of the book’s prose as it was transliterated into the film as voice-over narration. Still, the VFX were earth shattering at the time, the Morlocks have really awesome light-bulb eyes, and the use of disaster warning sirens to induce the human instinct to hide underground is chilling and inspired.

Honorable mention goes to the even worse remake by H.G. Wells’s grandson Simon which, despite its more pathetic moments, made a valiant attempt to revive Guy Pierce’s already fading career and provided the perfect platform for Orlando Jones’s unrecognized genius as the creepy CREEPY holographic museum guide.

8. Time Bandits

This inspired lunacy from Terry Gilliam (who appears twice on this list) follows the adventures of a gang of midgets who steal a map from God and use it to time travel for treasure. It’s absolutely brilliant satire with a litany of great cameos, including John Cleese as Robin Hood, Ian Holm as Napolean, and Sean Connery as King Agamemnon. Also, David Warner stars as the devil, who shoots rockets by pulling off his fingers. I mean, come on, that’s awesome!

7. The Jacket

An underacted psychological thriller, proving that Keira Knightly does not need breasts to be hot and does not need to do that damn slack-jawed stare to be a good actress. And Adrien Brody is kick-ass as a tough-as-nails soldier who finds himself popping back and forth in time whenever he’s tortured in an insane asylum.

6. Donnie Darko

Love it or hate it, you have to admit that an emo-angst supernatural time travel horror satire is pretty original. Featuring the only good performance Jake Gylenthal has ever turned in and awesome slow-mo steadi-cam shots from director Richard Kelly, this flick makes the perfect evening in for young couple that like to talk philosophy and wear creepy rabbit masks.

Top Time Travel Movies 2012
Time Travel Movies – 5th to 1st >

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  • dnwilliams said
  • dalmatianjaws said

    Whoa, I totally forgot I wrote this list. A LOOOONG time ago, which is fitting.

    Time Crimes would totally get an honorable mention if I wrote it today … as would Hot Tub Time Machine

    And it’s a gross oversight that I didn’t include Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure … oh well.

    Why Bogus, DNW?

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  • Edge of Etiquette said

    ‘I hate you. I berate you.’

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      Why, Edge of Etiquette?

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      • gd smith said

        Edge of Etiquette is the fictitious band responsible for the immortal “I hate You”. It was written for the Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home because the producers had wanted the punker to be listening to Duran Duran and one of the people involved in the soundtrack balked, saying they could make an authentic sounding hardcore punk record, that would be better and would save money on copyright control. They played the result to Leonard Nimoy and he loved it. It was also used in another film, though I’m not sure what it’s called.
        It features some very funny lines and is available on YouTube.

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  • dalmatianjaws said

    Just got out of Looper … DAMN that’s a good movie.

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  • dalmatianjaws3000 said

    Dear DalmatianJaws,

    I am you – but from the year 3000. Don’t ask me how you end up living so long. That’s not important right now.

    What IS important, is that you eat at Subway tomorrow. At precisely 12:46pm have a turkey-ham, on wholewheat, with a drizzle of honey mustard dressing, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

    A TASTE adventure.



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    • dalmatianjaws said


      That sounds incredible. My mouth looks forward to the future.



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  • mysteryinc. said

    Must give hnourable mention to “Frequency” which provides warnings about playing with the past.

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