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10 Legendary Time Travel Movies

Oct 2 2012 - 4:16pm

Most geeks we know love anything that deals with the space-time continuum, so it makes sense that it's a theme commonly used in sci-fi. With the genre seeing new love this year thanks to current box office hit, Looper [1], we're in the mood to geek out over the films that first got us interested in science fiction. Take a look back at 10 legendary movies that zip through time travel — did your favorite make the list?

Army of Darkness

The Evil Dead series has become a cult favorite for its campy humor and gratuitous gore. And let's not forget — zombies!

Army of Darkness — the last in the series — picks up where Evil Dead II leaves off. After being sucked into a time portal, Ash (played by Bruce Campbell) finds himself holding court with King Arthur in the Middle Ages. In order to get home he has to eliminate the undead. The lesson here? if you find an old book in the woods, DON'T OPEN IT.

Donnie Darko

There's a devoted following of Donnie Darko [2] fans out there; many of which have spent hours trying to break down the film's strange, eerie plotline. Time travel, a tangent universe, or just a messed up kid? While the pseudo-scientific elements of the plot are faulty, the movie is totally mesmerizing and nails teenage angst on the head, and then some.

12 Monkeys

Time travel is a tricky thing. When a convict (played by Bruce Willis) is sent back in time to stop a plague from devastating the Earth, he gets sent back a little too far. Oops. Now everyone thinks he's crazy, and he's got to figure out what causes the diseases, who has it, and where he must go to stop it.

The Time Machine

Some might argue that The Time Machine — based off the H.G. Wells novel by the same — is the best time travel, nay, sci-fi movie of all time. A bored Victorian inventor travels to the future in his homemade time machine to find that a new race has taken over. Will he stay and fix things or go back to cheery old England?

Back to the Future

I'm not sure which is cooler, that a DeLorean is the time machine, or that Michal J. Fox (aka Marty McFly) is driving it. This movie is totally fun and deals with a common dilemma in the time travel canon: if you disrupt the past, you change the future. In this case, Marty has to keep his mom from coming on to him or risk never being born at all. Awkward.

Star Trek: First Contact

The Borg are back. It's the 24th century and in the biggest battle of all time, the part humanoid, part machine collective, loses against the Federation. In an attempt to save face and end human kind, the Borg travel back in time to change history and secure their victory. Don't worry, Jean Luc-Picard and team warp right through that vortex to continue the good fight.

Time Bandits

Because The Supreme Being only had six days to make the world, it was sort of rushed, and the fabric of the universe is filled with holes. Not just any holes either — you can travel through time in these holes. Discovering one of these time holes sounds pretty cool; especially if you're 11, obsessed with history, and have mean parents that ignore you. Add some treasure stealing dwarves and Absolute Evil to the mix, and you've got yourself a big ol' time traveling party.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

In a role that seemed tailor made for Keanu Reeves, two SoCal skater-boy slackers are given a time machine. They then precede to go back in time and kidnap people like Socrates and Napoleon. Mind you, it was all in the name of a class project.

Planet of the Apes

Science rejoice! This movie plays nicely into Einstein's theory of special relativity and time dilation. The crew of the Icarus spacecraft were only supposed to be in space for 18 months, but really end up there for thousands of years. When they crash onto a planet they find out that evolution went a different route.

The Terminator

In the future Earth is ruled by robots. The bright spot is that humanity has a saviour in the form of John Connor. To secure their power, the robots from the future send a cyborg assassin back in time to kill Sarah Connor before John can even be born.

The Terminator was a defining role for Arnold Schwarzenegger and with two sequels to follow, he wasn't lying when he said, "I'll be back."

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