Time Travel has been one of the most fascinating things since the advent of mankind. Since man started having the concept of future and memory of the past, the urge to stay in the present did not exist much. Everyone has always wanted either to travel back to the time when they could mend things they did not find right or travel to the future and foresee already what was about to happen. The science-fiction films have, therefore, dwelled on the concept of time machines that could help man achieve these dreams.
Here are the top 20 time travel films that have been released to date.
1. The Final Countdown
The imaginary wargame scenario turns to life when a crew of USS Nimitz is transported from 1980 to Peral harbor in 1941 (just before the attack on Pearl Harbour). It is no up to the captain if he attacks the Japanese fleets or not and change the history of World War 2.
2. Flight of the Navigator
12-year old David is accidentally knocked off into a desert. When he wakes up, he realizes that eight years have passed. The confusing part is that he has not aged a bit. It is a NASA scientist who discovers the reality.
This Spanish sci-fi thriller is a must-watch. The central character Hector becomes a part of the time loop in an attempt to run away from a murder mystery. He enters the time machine and encounters that he is part of a time loop. He then strives to stop his countless other-selves to exist.
4. Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko, an awkward high school kid, becomes friends with a rabbit whom only he can see. The bunny informs Donnie Darko that his life would end in exactly 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds.
5. X-Men: Days of Future Past
The Wolverine is sent back to time to prevent the zombie apocalypse. Although it is not the most unusual storyline, the film is still a fun watch.
This Australian science fiction film is about a temporal agent who travels back to time to stop the New York bomb attack in 1975. In his final assignment, he has to stop one person and stop the devastating attack.
7. Star Trek: First Contact
The antagonist Borg travels back to time to prevent the humans from interacting with aliens. The protagonist Captain Picard and his crew try to change this course.
8. Doctor Strange
Like all Marvel films, this is also about saving the world. But then also, like all Marvel films you are promised a treat of visual effects. Also, the ability to manipulate time being used as a superpower is also an interesting concept.
9. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
A high school girl Mokoto Konno discovers a time machine that she starts using for fun and high school adventures like passing tests, avoiding certain situations, etc. It is much later that she discovers how it affects others around us. The film unravels the beauty of friendships and the pain of loss.
This is a story of near-future when time travel has become illegal. A mob sends people back to time so that they could be killed by the loopers. However, one of the loopers himself becomes a target.
11. Avengers: Endgame
There is a plan to disintegrate the universe into two halves but the Avengers are determined to reunite these two halves and bring back the necessary balance to life.
It is time to find some other habitable planet for Joseph Cooper. However, after encountering some troubles he sends a message to his daughter on Earth to save the world.
13. The Time Machine
Without a trace of doubt, this film will always remain the most iconic time travel films of all times. Based on the classic novel of H.G. Wells, this film is about him traveling to the years 802 and 701 meeting a world completely unlike his own.
14. Edge of Tomorrow
Adapted from the Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill, this film is about Major William cage set to save the world from an alien attack with the help of warrior Rita. And yeah, they are caught in a time loop.
15. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Since these high schoolers are not interested in studying much, they decide to use the time machine to make a history report for school. All the major historical characters like Abraham Lincoln, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Socrates, etc. are brought to life.
16. Time After Time
A serial murderer uses H.G. Wells’ time machine to escape his era. H.G. Wells pursues to bring him back to the 20th century.
17. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
The Captain and crew have no option but to travel back to 200 years to recover a whale which is extinct in the future in order to prevent an alien attack on the Earth.
18. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and Hermione travel back to time to save Hogwarts.
19. Planet of the Apes
Most of the films of this franchise are time travel films but the first one is stellar. The film remains iconic although it was released in 1968. It is after traveling at the light’s speed that George Taylor lands on an unknown planet.
20. The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Okay, just hold on. This Terminator film is about Terminator traveling back to 1984 to kill the mother of Skynet’s most difficult enemy John Connor.
21. Back to the Future
Marty travels back to the year 1985 but in order to return he has to find his future parents and make them fall in love so that he can return to his present.
However, it is imperative to mention that it is necessary that these are the only good twenty time travel films. Considering it a disclaimer, there is a lot more to explore and discover in the film world. Time travel has been a fascinating concept for writers, filmmakers, and common audiences alike. Hence, this wishful thinking has been translated into films a number of times and has mostly won the hearts of the audiences whose dreams were materialized onto the screen.