The premise of the film Looper, starring Bruce Willis and everyone’s favorite actor at the moment, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, seems to be a clever and probably original take on the whole time travelling thing, that’s been with us in cinemas for what seems like forever.
But will it be legendary good? Good enough to be among the ‘X best time travel films ever’? I guess it depends how you rate its predecessors, but despite the plenty of terrible films made out of a wonderful idea, there have been quite a few gems over the years involving timelines and altering futures by actions in the past.
Number 9 – Back to the Future II
Everything’s great about BTTF II, but there’s some kind of charm missing that was there in the original. Maybe it’s just the whole freshness that was lacking, because as Marty travels to what will be present day very soon and back to 1955 once more, we probably get a bigger and better story than in the first movie. Plus, there’s a whole lot more of Biff, one of the greatest comical villains in history.
Number 8 – Time After Time
Great steampunk design and a nice spin on the whole fish out of the water idea, as HG Wells chases his friend, Jack the Ripper, in 1970’s London, in a sort of criticism into what a violent and primitive society we’ve become, or simply always remained like.
Number 7 – Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
If you’re looking for scientific accuracy (as close as possible), look elsewhere. Two slackers go off and pick up historically prominent figures through time so they can use them in their history class presentation, just so they don’t flunk it and alter the future of the universe, which is a utopian society due to the inspiration of the music and wisdom of the Two Great Ones.
Number 6 – Time Bandits
Kind of a growing up tale with the usual weirdness of Terry Gilliam and a few of the Monty Python group as a few dwarfs appear in the middle of Kevin’s bedroom and take him off to a time travel adventure which is kind of a losing his innocence story while facing true evil. There’s still a question of what happened to his parents in the end, but the mystery just adds to the film’s allure.
Number 5 – Star Trek (2009)
J.J. Abrams couldn’t have done a better job with the rebooting of a stagnating franchise by presenting a young enterprise crew but without discarding the potential of using the actors (and characters) from the old movie and series, using Nero and Spock as the creators of all the mess.
Number 4 – Groundhog Day
Not a very scientific one, but a good story and a great actor make up for the fact that we don’t really know why the hell there’s no explanation as to why Phil Connors wakes up in the same day over and over again. There were many variations in the script about how that happened, with the voodoo curse thing luckily dropped. The biggest discussion among fans is how long he actually spends in the time loop.
Number 3 – Primer
Probably the most complicated films of the genre, as it doesn’t bow down and simplify itself to the taste of the audience. Shane Carruth wrote, directed, produced and starred in this film about two guys accidentally inventing a time machine. The film is noted for its complex technical dialogue (being a match major) and trying to portray scientific discovery in a down-to-earth and realistic manner. It cost only $7000 to produce, and needs to be watched several times in order to understand what the hell happened.
Number 2 – Terminator 2: Judgment Day
The film takes place 11 years after the events of the first one. This time Arnie gets sent back to protect John Connor from the T-1000, the liquid metal terminator, sent back in time to kill him. The only time travel going on is the arrival of the two Terminators arriving in present day (1995 in the film), but there is all the consequences on the future side to it. A great action film, one of the best of all-time, capturing perfectly what the former California governor should do on screen – Look robotic, talk as little as possible and beat people up.
Number 1 – Back to the Future
The tagline makes the movie looks much worse than it really is, but time travel films that don’t take themselves too seriously can’t get any better than this. It’s got a couple of loopholes, but the fun feeling this movie gives you pretty much compensates for anything that some might find wrong with it. The DeLorean is probably the best time machine ever as well.