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Posted on June 4, 2015 at 11:30 AM

Published by Courtney Russell / June 4,2015

The criteria for movies to appear on this list is that time travel is a key plot element of it. It does not matter if the movie has performed well in the box office, as long as the critical reviews have been positive. Furthermore, time travel in short movies or videos is not considered. Time travel is the concept of movement (often by a human) between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space, typically using a hypothetical device known as a time machine. Time travel is a recognized concept in philosophy and fiction, but travel to an arbitrary point in time has a very limited support in theoretical physics, usually only in conjunction with quantum mechanics or Einstein–Rosen bridges

The topic of time travel in movies is always highly debated, however, now that the new Terminator 5 is approaching, whose main plot revolves around the main character of John Connor travelling back in time to change the future, many critics have started talking about them once again. Hollywood has seen many movie time travel, some good, some bad, some amazing. It’s truly hard to determine which movies might be considered to be the best of the lot, although there are a few very strong candidates for this title.

12 Monkeys, a 1995 American movies directed by the acclaimed Terry Gilliam is always one of the first movies that comes to mind when talking about time travel in movies. This is a super dark dystopia set within the 2030s, where mankind has been almost completely wiped out. It is based on the 1962 French science fiction featurette La Jetée, although there are significant differences between the two titles. The plot of the movie revolves around the main character, played by Bruce Willis, who travels back in time in order to stop the extinction of humanity from a deadly virus. However, things go wrong while travelling and he has to cope with the consequences of the mistake. It is a very memorable movie that critics consider to be a classic. Even though it did not manage to win any Academy Awards that year, critics were very praising of both the performances and the direction of the movie. Many consider it to be a milestone in movies with time travel and think that it reinvented the genre.

However, long before the movie came out, there was another very popular movie with time travel. A little more than 10 years earlier, in 1984, came the first part of the very successful Terminator franchise, whose fifth movie is soon to come out in cinemas. The original movie, called The Terminator, revolves around a machine sent from the future where they rule the world to kill the mother of the leader of the humanity’s rebellion, John Connor. Starring Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor, the mother of the future humanity leader, and Arnold Schwarzenegger as the titular Terminator, the movie was a resounding success both at the box office and in critics’ opinion. Although many seem to think that the sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, is superior to the original, it still remains a fact that if it wasn’t for this film, the world of movie time travel would be a lot more different than what it is today.

Even though this is not an exact science, many have raised awareness of how exactly time travel in movies works. Depending on the material there are different versions of time travelling, although there are three particularly popular types of time travel in movies that most of the franchises use. This is time travelling with a fixed timeline, time travelling with a dynamic timeline, and time travelling within a multiverse. A good example of the three are 12 Monkeys, Back to the Future, and The Terminator 2, respectively.

The topic of time travel in movies is very interesting and it is actually one of the most popular for fans. If you ask any science fiction fan what their favourite thing about science fiction is, many would say it is time travelling. There is just something majestic about travelling through time and changing the course of history that compels audiences around the world. What’s more, today the effect is just the same as it was 30 years ago, and it seems like this will continue to be the case forever. Or at least until science manages to beat science fiction and invent a real way to travel through time. However, since nobody can confirm that this is even possible, fans of time travelling will only have movies and TV shows to watch and dream. As we all know the list of time travel movies is pretty big but luckily websites like already went a head to make a list of 10 of the most notable time travel movies of the 21st Century.

Some Note Worthy mentions for time travel related films include:

Doctor Who

Planet of the Apes ( 1968 )

Frequency (2000)

Butterfly Effect (2004)

Triangle (2009)

Edge Of Tomorrow (2014)

Predestination (2014)

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox

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