3 best Time Travel Movies (Actually about Time Travel!)

In entertainment I often see time travel used as a catalyst to move the stories to specific setting. Very rarely do these stories actually go deep into the mechanics of time travel. So today I will be listing off my favorite time travel movies that are actually about time travel.

To not confuse anybody that means that the movie has to specifically be about time travel and it can’t be used just to move the story to a different setting. A good example of What’s not going on this list is Doctor who.


and the terminator


Very rarely in doctor who does time travel actually play in role of the plot in each episode.

Without further ado here are my 3 Favorite time travel movies about time travel.

#1 Primer


Primer is every nerds fantasy and every average consumers headache. If you aren’t willing to put in the work and really focus, you will not understand this movie. What I mean by that is that this movie doesn’t attempt to dumb itself down, you either get what is going on or you are left in the dark simple as that. But if you are willing to try to understand what is going on you will be rewarded with an amazing story of distrust and backstabbing with a whole bunch of mind bending time travel.

I don’t wan’t to spoil the movie, but I will give you a basic run down of the premise. The story follows two entrepreneurs/engineers named Aaron and Abe. During work one day they somehow discover time travel. after building a machine to time travel with, they immediately try to profit with it. While being careful trying to not mess up the timeline, they memorize what stocks go up, then travel to the past to invest in the stocks that go up. At first they only use time travel in this way. But then they start traveling back behind each others backs and start using the time machine for more personal things. and pretty soon you have a situation that gets out of hand.


This movie isn’t for the casual viewer since its dialogue has a lot of technobabble and there is a lot to keep up with plot wise. But if you are willing to put in effort you won’t be dissapointed. for being an indie movie with only a budget of 5,000$ this movie is incredibly well written and deep. Although the plot it’s well written and it’s fun to figure out the plot, primer really doesn’t have much else going for it… With that being said I give “primer” an 8/10. But don’t listen to me, watch it yourself and make your own opinion about it. you will be glad you did.

#2 The Butterfly effect


The Butterfly Effect is a 2004 movie written and directed by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber. The story follows a 20 year old college student named Even Treborn who has the ability to inhabit his past self (which basically means all his memories travel back to his past self). With this ability he tries to change his life for the better by changing his past behaviors. But unbeknownst to him, his actions will have consequences that he won’t be able to predict. Or a Butterfly Effect

this movie is really good at showing the unpredictable aspects of time travel. Even might try to beat up his past selfs bullies, but that action causes a butterfly effect that causes him to somehow lose his limbs. Besides time travel, this movie also explores themes of dysfunctional families and mental illness.

there is something you should know about this movie before you watch it. And that is there are four different endings, and you will get a different ending depending on what version you watch. I watch the directors cut, and out of all of them, the directors cut is the saddest but it ends the movie beautifully. I give this film a 7/10, because in some spots the acting isn’t to my liking and the cinematography is very much of it’s time. But if you can look past it’s dated aesthetics you will be greeted with a great character driven drama with heavy sci-fi themes.

#3 Back to the Future trilogy


I know that this kinda breaks my one rule that I stated in the beginning. but although time travel does take a back seat to the action and comedy, that doesn’t mean that time travel isn’t acknowledged at all. In fact (if you weren’t tipped off to the title of the movie) time travel has a huge role in how the story plays out (especially in part 2), so I would argue that this does work with my rule that I stated in the beginning of this post.

With that out of the way let’s go in to detail why this movie is so darn good. What I think is the main contributor to the success of this movie is the character. Doc brown and Marty mcfly are the single most iconic film duo in history. And for good reason, their relationship with each other acts as a foil to each one. Marty is the easy going youth and doc brown is the crazy and wacky scientist. It’s fun watching the two characters rub off on each other and seeing each one grow as a character.


But besides the two main characters there is also more colorful characters like Biff, the classic bully and later a villain. Jennifer, Marty’s love interest. George mcfly, Marty’s nerdy dad turned badass. and of course our favorite dog Einstein


With a beautifully crafted score by Alan Silvestri, Great action set-pieces, timeless comedy, and memorable characters. You got yourself an instant classic. The trillogy as a whole gets a 9/10. All of the films are incredibly solid, but there isn’t enough umph to give it a 10/10. Never the less you will be entertained by these films.


So those are my 3 favorite time travel films. What did you think about the list and what are some of your favorites? Let me know down in the comments below 🙂