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By 7 November 2013 | Categories: news

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We find a rip in the space/time continuum in order to bring you our selection of the top 6 time travel movies.

Back to the future, time travel movies

BACK TO THE FUTURE

1985

The flux capacitor, the awesome DeLorean, Marty McFly, and Doc Brown would not exist without Back to the Future. This irresistibly funny, charming and magical 1985 time travel classic has ingratiated itself in pop culture to the point where fans commemorated the 25th anniversary of the date Marty was meant to arrive in the future.

It’s carried by two actors - Michael J. Fox’s McFly oozes charm, while Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown is the blueprint mad-scientist. Robert Zemeckis’s imaginative storytelling makes Back to the Future a time capsule of awesome.

Quick fact: If it was not for a memo from none other than Steven Spielberg the movie might have been titled "Spaceman From Pluto".

Donnie Darko, top time travel movies

DONNIE DARKO

2011

A haunting rendition of Mad World by Gary Jules closes what must be one of the most mind-bending time travel films ever conceived. In an antithesis of It’s A Wonderful Life, a teenager is confronted with his own mortality, discovering he’s experiencing a version of a future in which he should not exist.

Jake Gyllenhaal’s breakthrough performance as Donnie Darko and a seething 80s soundtrack carry Richard Kelly’s thought-provoking cult classic about teenage angst, time travel and destiny. A time warp in and of itself, Donnie Darko’s dark visions of a giant bunny named Frank will continue to entertain and disturb.

Quick fact: The film flopped at the box office thanks to being released just after 9/11.

Terminator, time travel movies

THE TERMINATOR

1984

Arnold Schwarzenegger is The Terminator. We could stop there, but James Cameron’s sci-fi vision birthed more than just two monstrous Hollywood careers, it created an indestructible time travel franchise.

Prequels, sequels and TV series allowed film-makers to run rampant with past, present and future variations of the man vs. machine theme. If McG and Sam Worthington weren’t able to kill it with Terminator Salvation, you could say this time travel phenomenon will only die when Schwarzenegger does, and that’s if they haven’t created a clone or digital version of the action icon by then.

Quick fact: Schwarzenegger’s famous “I’ll be back” was originally meant to be “I’ll come back”.

Source code, time travel, movies

SOURCE CODE

2011

Source Code is what happens when you squeeze Groundhog Day, Quantum Leap and Speed in a time travel blender. This death-defying, out-of-body thriller zooms in on a terrorist situation as a decorated helicopter pilot (once again Jake Gyllenhaal), is tasked with finding a bomb on a train minutes before it explodes.

Inhabiting someone else’s body in another time, reliving the same explosive sequence of events, trying to locate a ticking time bomb under pressure and questioning your every move make for edge-of-the-seat entertainment in this beautifully-crafted and intelligent time travel thriller from Duncan Jones (Moon).

Quick fact: Director Duncan Jones is David Bowie’s son.

LOOPER

2012

Time travel and crime go hand-in-hand - just think of the possibilities: losing evidence, hiding corpses and making the ultimate getaway. Looper roots itself in 2074, an age where time travel has been outlawed by government agencies. Instead of facing meticulous police forensics, targets are sent 30 years back in time, when it was easier to dispose of bodies.

Writer-director, Rian Johnson, took inspiration from The Terminator and Primer in creating this fascinating sci-fi crime epic as a hitman (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is confronted with his own worst enemy: his future self (Bruce Willis).

Quick fact: The diner seen in the movie was specially constructed with the crew having to field questions from locals about when it will open for business. 

Triangle, time travel, sci-fi movies

TRIANGLE

2009

The last place where you want to be when the gears of time travel kick in, is stranded on a boat in the middle of the ocean. Worse still, what to do when a mysterious killer starts flat-lining your friends one by one? Triangle is exactly what a good time-thriller should be – nail-bitingly suspenseful, secretive and ever so confusing if you haven’t got your thinking cap on.

Don’t get put off by the film’s low-budget and relatively unknown cast – with Triangle you are in for a heck of a ride, if you can track it down.

Quick fact: There are lots of references to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, including the number 237 popping up. 

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