Looper was a sci-fi movie, specifically a time travel sci fi movie. (read what I thought about Looper here) There are only a handful of sci-fi movies where time travel is part of the plot. So I’m going to talk a bit about other movies where the ideas are similar, but time travel may not be the plot device used to tell the story. I don’t list movies like Groundhog Day or Source Code because those aren’t time travel movies, but day or momen repeat movies and that’s different. Don’t argue. And no, I’m not going to mention movies like Back to the Future, Terminator, or Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures, because you should already know about them, and no, I’m not talking about the Time Traveler’s Wife or Hot Tub Time Machine...because I purposefully did not seem them. And for your reference, there’s a huge list of time travel movies on wikipedia.
I thought of this one right of the bat after finishing Looper. Why? Because, in my opinion, 12 Monkeys got time travel right. If you haven’t seen it yet, you have to. You can’t call yourself a sci-fi fan if you haven’t. Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis both star in this bizarre but amazing movie. It’s just, honestly, perfect. I own it.
Butterfly Effect isn’t a normal time travel movie, in that the main character, played by Ashton Kutcher, can only travel to different points in his own lifetime in order to fix the lives of those he cares about. If you’ve seen both Butterfly Effect and Looper, you’ll get what I mean when I say both have a similar ending.
You probably didn’t see this one. This is one of those small budget films that gets overlooked, but has a solid script and plot. Basically, two really smart guys build a box in their garage and discover that it does something they didn’t plan on it doing...like travel through time. But this leads to complications, like, what would you do...if there were two of you?
This is one those movies when your not so nerdy friend says “oh, you gotta see this one, it’s the best movie ever!”...and then you see it, and you think “well, it was pretty good, but...eh...”. Yeah, you heard it, I’m not a huge fan of Donnie Darko. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but...eh. Also, it seems like a lot of these time travel movies have the same ending. Butterfly Effect, Donnie Darko, Looper. Huh. Come up with something new guys!
You’ve heard this one before. A man from the future comes back to the past to save a woman. “Hey” you say, “that’s the plot of Terminator!” And you would be right. However, this is a romantic comedy, so, it’s different. It’s actually pretty fun and lovely. I own it. It's actually pretty decent...and the movie isn't quite sure if Vincent Denafreo is bat shit crazy or is actually from the future until the very end. Though, I think we can all agree that either way, he's probably a little crazy.
Dude 1: “I got a great idea!”, Guy 2: “What!?”, Dude 1 “Let’s put Denzel Washington in a movie where is the good guy!”, Guy 2 “Yeah, we’ve done that before...like, 51 times.” Dude 1: “Really, that many!?” Guy 2:” Yeah.” Dude 1: “Huh.” Guy 2: “Yeah.” Dude 1: “I got it, what if he’s the good guy, but he’s trying to stop a crime...in the past!” Guy 2: “Genius.” Dude 1 "Also, we'll have the dude who played Jesus as the bad guy." Guy 2 "Love it." Yeah.
What happens if you combine the time travel plot device of the Terminator, an alien invasion like Independence Day, and huge, shape changing machines like Transformers? Yeah, you get a movie called Returner. Oh yeah, and a bit of martial arts thrown in for good measure. I recommend just because someone made a movie like this.
Sound of Thunder
Here’s a fun, small budget but still pretty good movie. Can’t go wrong with Ben Kingsley. This is basically a movie that asks the question “what if time travel was the norm, and people went on dinosaur hunting safari’s, but then f&*$ed up the time continuum because some dumbass steps on a butterfly.” Yeah. It’s a fun one, check it out.
Here’s one you should check out if you haven’t yet. Basic premise here is a dude messing with a radio pics up a frequency of his dad 30 years earlier talking on the same radio, which is totally awesome...but there are some things they need to fix as there’s a bad guy that wants to do bad things and...oh just watch the movie. No one really travels through time in this one, they really just communicate through time, but I still like they handle the time stuff.