Time Travel is one of those Science Fiction themes that has continuously captivated movie lovers. Whether a movie carries the plot back to the past, to the future or both, we’ve all come to love the glimpse it shows us of what has been and what could be.
So lets travel back into Science Fiction history and look at these 20 Sci-fi Time Travel Movies.
A low budget films that turned out to be more than what most would expect. It delves into the deeper philosophical implications of time travel as the two protagonists, Aaron (Shane Carruth) and Abe (David Sullivan), start to make changes in their own pasts. They begin by using their time machine to get rich but eventually it created friction between the two and endangers their friendship.
2. Sound of Thunder
The movie is based on a classic short story by Ray Bradbury with the same title. It involves a time travel safari hunt wherein rich clients go back 65 million years to hunt dinosaurs. Like what most people will already have suspected, something goes terribly wrong in one of their trips and history is changed.
3. Time After Time
The movie presents a mix of the classic and the modern day with its plot and characters. Jack the ripper, played by David Warner, uses the time machine of H.G wells, played by Malcolm McDowell, and travels to modern day San Francisco. Wells follows Jack and tries to stop him before he creates the same problems he did in the past. In the process Wells falls in love with a bank administrator and who helps him in his search for the ripper.
4. Somewhere in Time
The movie takes a different route in its use of the popular Time Travel theme. Richard Collier, played by Christopher Reeve, is captivated by a portrait of an actress who lived in 1912. He later finds out that he had met the actress when he was young and she had in fact given him his golden watch. Being a successful writer going through writers block, he becomes obsessed by time travel and through the help of a friend he finds out that self-suggestion can take one back in time.
5. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
In this segment of this immensely popular saga our protagonists are faced with a danger that could destroy their home world. A probe arrives in their galaxy that starts to vaporize the worlds oceans. The crew discovers that it is in fact searching for humpback whales that are already extinct. So in order to save their home world the crew performs a gravitational sling shot which propels them back through time into the 80s. They now have to deal with busy life in this era and try to find the whales that they can take forward in time to save the future of the world.
6. Time Machine 1960
The plot of the movie involves the protagonist, George, a young scientist who travels forward in time. He initially goes through the historic world wars and being a pacifist, is distressed by these. He keeps going forward but an accident happens and he is sealed in molten lava. In order to escape he keeps going forward until it is the year 802,701. Unlike how most movies portray the future, this movie depicts the people as simple and Idle. They have forgotten everything that they have learned and have started to live herd like lifestyles.
7. Back to the Future
Everyone knows about back to the future. It is one of the most popular movies the world over and carries a rather simple but fun portrayal of time travel. In this movie the machine is a car invented by a mad old scientist named Doc. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd). His friend Marty McFly (Michael J. FoX) uses the car to travel back in time to the era when his parents met. His presence there causes problems and he now has to get his parents back together and find a way to get back to the future.
In this movie, time travelers return back to the past to recover people to repopulate the future. This is kept a secret but is endangered when Bill smith, a flight investigator, meets Loise Baltimore who pretends to be a stewardess but is in fact a time traveler. Loise came back in time through a “gate” and tries to stop Bill from finding out the truth about time travel technology to prevent alteration of the future.
9. The Philadelphia Experiment
This Time Travel thriller involves an experiment where a naval vessel goes though a radar cloaking test. The result of the test is disastrous and the crew all die except for 2 persons, Herderg an Parker. These two are reported missing and are in fact transported into the future. Another time anomaly occurs and Parker gets pulled back to the past which creates an abnormal scenario where an aged Parker meets his Young old friend in the future.
Real Experiment URL: http://www.think-aboutit.com/Misc/the_philadelphia_experiment.htm
Movie URL: http://www.allmovie.com/work/37990
10. 12 Monkeys
The movie involves a virus that kills most of the human race. Cole is sent back in time to discover its cause and in the process he meets Kathryn. They both try to unravel the mystery behind the virus and investigate the identity of the “Army of the 12 Monkeys”.
Miles Monroe is frozen after a failed operation. He then wakes up 200 years later to discover a different world. The world is controlled by a leader who is never seen and one who rules with an iron fist. He is forced to run when the scientists that unfroze him are overpowered by the police. He then acts as an android to escape detection.
12. Land of the Lost
Rick Marshall is a paleontologist who develops a tachyon amplifier. After meeting Holly Cantrell, a graduate student, they go to a cave where she found a fossil with a cigarette lighter imprint on it. The cave has high levels of tachyons and when Rick activates his amplifier the two along with their friend Will Stanton open up a time warp. They meet a guide, Cha-Ka a primate like creature, here and go on to explore many oddities of history that have been collected here.
13. Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann
Lyle Swann is competing in a cross-country race on his motor cycle in Baja when he accidentally rides into a time travel experiment. He is sent back to 1877 and rides off before he can be restored back to his own time. He sees what he thinks might be civilization and heads of to it.
14. Army of Darkness
A sequel of the Evil Dead films, Army of Darkness involves the Necronomicon once again. In this movie a store employee is pulled back in time to a castle being attacked by evil forces. He is then ordained to be he prophesized savior and quests for the Necronomicon. He makes a mistake in chanting the words and instead of dispelling the evil, he summons a horde of skeletal warriors led by his evil counterpart.
15. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
A true classic that all Sci-Fi enthusiasts know. In this sequel two terminators are sent back to the past. One is tasked to kill John Connor the future rebel leader in humanity’s battle against the machines while the other must protect him. John’s mother is the only one who knows the truth about the terminators but she is being held in an asylum because of the past incidents. The three protagonists must flee from their new enemy and destroy it or the hope of all humanity will disappear.
16. Time Bandits
A young boy is taken on a thrilling time travel adventure when six dwarfs take him through a magical portal. He later discovers that these dwarfs are fleeing from the “supreme being” because they stole a map that allows them to find places where they can travel through time. Their goal is to become rich by stealing from wealthy people in the past.
This movies takes us back to medieval France during the war and invasion of the British. Our protagonists led by Paul and Frances go back in time recover Paul’s father. They must now navigate through the perils of the warring era and do so quickly before their time limit expires.
A thought provoking sequel and one that is considered to be the best out of the titles. The plot occurs after the destruction of the world by nuclear missile where three ape-o-nauts travel back in time through the ship that was destroyed in the first title. They travel back to 1973 after the explosion and are captured by the government. They are later on accepted into society only to be hunted again.
19. Stargate: Continuum
The sequel continues with an elite group seeking to travel back to earth. When they do they are ecstatic only to find out that in this reality, history has been altered. The Star gates were never discovered and they must now find out who has been meddling with earths history. The team must now defeat their greatest enemy Ba’al who is using the Star gates to further his attempts to conquer earth.
20. Slipstream 2005
A modern day time travel story with a modern day device as the catalyst for time travel. In this movie Stuart Conway is able to go back in time through his cellphone. He is only able to go back 10 minutes though and to test this he attempts a bank robbery. Unlucky for him another group has the same plans and he now travels back in time to fix the whole mess.