10 Underrated Time Travel Movies


Time travel has long served as one of the most interesting plot devices in science fiction and other genres. However, while many of the most popular time travel films are the ones that have received the most critical attention or have the highest budgets, many stories fall beneath moviegoers’ radars.


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Science fiction itself has always been one of the best genres of all mediums of entertainment. The use of time travel has the potential to combine any other genre, from romance to western or thriller to horror. The ability to place characters in new time periods alongside unknown threats and characters always makes for entertaining fiction.

10 Time After Time Features H.G. Wells Chasing Jack the Ripper

In the science-fiction thriller Time After Time, a fictionalized version of H.G. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) chases Jack the Ripper forward in time to the 20th century. After the killer is revealed to, in fact, be one of Wells’ friends, the author pursues him after the Ripper uses Wells’ time machine.

Not only does the movie explore the detective-themed aspect of the story, but it also challenges Wells’ futurist beliefs. Upon arriving in 1979, he realizes that the world isn’t quite the advanced and enlightened future he had hoped for, but he persists.

9 Somewhere In Time Is A Heart-Breaking Love Story Set In The Past

Somewhere in Time combines mystery, romance, drama, and science-fiction into a single narrative. The story begins with Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) encountering an older woman who leaves him with an enigmatic message after a one-off meeting.

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Collier is later drawn to a hotel and a woman in a painting, with whom he becomes deeply intrigued. Using a unique method of time travel that relies on concentration, Collier is able to travel back into the past, where he pursues love with Elise (Jane Seymour).

8 Flight of the Navigator Has A Missing Boy Form A Friendship With A Spaceship

Disney’s Flight of the Navigator follows the story of a young boy who was abducted by aliens and his subsequent return to Earth. However, when he returns, the boy, David, hasn’t aged a day – meanwhile, the entire planet, along with his family, has moved on eight years.

When the government takes the boy and the spaceship for testing, the ship – whose computer is sentient – develops a personality and befriends David. The story then turns into an all-out adventure between the unlikely friends as they explore the planet together.

7 Deja Vu Sees Time Travel Combined With CSI Cases

One of Denzel Washington and Tony Scott’s best collaborations, Deja vu tells the story of the aftermath of a deadly terrorist attack in New Orleans. ATF agent Doug Carlin (Washington) begins his investigation of the crime and is then teamed with an elite investigation unit.

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While attempting to solve the crime with seemingly revolutionary technology, Carlin realizes that the investigators can look back in time. As he becomes convinced that he can use the technology to prevent the attack, Carlin tries everything to do so.

6 Timecop Tells The Story of Time-Travelling Special Agents

Timecopstarring Jean-Claude Van Damme, is set in a world where special police protect the timeline against interference. After uncovering a plot to corrupt history for personal gain, agent Max Walker (Van Damme) finds himself caught up in a conspiracy.

On the run from the conspirators, and running with a love interest, Walker struggles to subvert the conspiracy to corrupt the timeline. With an eventual showdown between the heroes and villains, the story presents a great concept around the idea of time travel, and the need to police it.

5 Frequency Has A Father/Son Bond Kept Alive By A Special Radio

Frequency tells the story of a father and son relationship that takes place throughout time on a radio. The father (Dennis Quaid) is a firefighter in 1969, while his son (Jim Caviezel) is a detective in 2000, their roles bringing them together as the son seeks to save his father.

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With nothing but the radio to link them across the decades, the two work together to try to solve a slew of murders from the 60s. As the story progresses, the father begins to have second thoughts about the impact of interfering with history.

4 The Final Countdown Sends An Aircraft Carrier Back To 1941

The Final Countdown follows the crew of a 1980 aircraft carrier when a mysterious storm transports them back to 1941. When they arrive, the carrier’s crew soon realizes they have been transported to the day leading into the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor.

After the emergency rescue of a politician at sea, the ship’s crew find themselves in an ethical and practical dilemma. The movie focuses on the lead-up to the attack and the questions and implications of what would happen if the crew interfered with history.

3 Twelve Monkeys Is Peak Time Travel Mystery

One of Bruce Willis’ best movies, Twelve Monkeysexplores an apocalyptic future and the current events that led up to it. A survivor from the future, James Cole (Willis), is sent back to the past to prevent a catastrophe that almost destroys humankind.

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When he arrives in the present, he kidnaps Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe) to use her to help him find the link to the collapse. As he travels with her, she slowly comes to believe his story and helps him in his struggle to prevent an apocalypse.

First Contact remains of the best Star Trek movies. However, talk of other entries, including the various series and J.J. Abrams films, often overshadows this film despite its excellent quality.

The story follows the crew of the Enterprise as they pursue the terrifying Borg back in time to an Earth before warp drive had been invented. As the ship in space battles a Borg incursion, the group below must convince a scientist to go on a space flight to make first contact.

1 Arrival Is Denis Villeneuve’s Masterpiece

While a strong hit among the most devoted science fiction fans, Arrival is often underappreciated by the mainstream. Not only does the film present a fascinating premise, but the effects, sound, and acting combined with Villeneuve’s masterful directing make this so great.

One of the greatest science fiction films ever made, Arrival follows a team of scientists as they interact with newly arrived aliens within their ship. The film presents several fascinating concepts, including the perception of time, and sees the aliens addressing an issue in the present that will arise in the future.

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