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10 Romantic Time Travel Movies to Binge Watch: I’ll Love You to the End of Time

These are some of the best time travel romance movies!

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Time travel as a genre is always fascinating in any medium, whether a book, movie, TV show or comic. The possibility of meeting anyone in existence, going to places long forgotten, and uncovering secrets of well-loved icons of the past and maybe even the future gives a special allure to time travel romance movies.

romantic time travel movies list with image of Somewhere in Time.

The fantastical direction this genre takes adds elements of magic, naivete, and touches of illusion, appealing to older and younger viewers alike. Add into this the sprinkle of romance, and you have me hooked.

If I get the chance to watch Shakespeare wooing a girl from the 21st century using poems that have become cult classics, I’m grabbing the popcorn and switching my phone off.

RELATED: 80 OF THE BEST ENTERTAINING TIME TRAVEL TV SHOWS YOU NEED TO WATCH

Like most people, I grew up watching time travel movies. Consequently, they have become my favorites. For example, we can all appreciate Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure or watching Hermione travel back in time to see herself punch Draco in the face. (Not only a win for Harry Potter fans but for girls all around.)

Meanwhile, Doctor Who (2005) is my first exposure to real romance and time travel. With the Doctor’s companions all falling for him, he initially only falls for Rose (Nine and Ten).

RELATED: 7 FUN AND ROMANTIC TIME TRAVEL ASIAN DRAMAS

As a result, it had millions of us hoping he would appear in our living rooms, ready to take us on our own adventure. Since then, there was no going back. There are just so many romantic time travel movies calling out to be binged.

Here is a list of my personal favorite romantic time travel movies that have thus far survived the test of time. However, I will admit this list is not exhaustive (limiting the films to 10 was difficult).

10 ROMANTIC TIME TRAVEL MOVIES TO BINGE WATCH

(In No Particular Order)

the lake house still with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves

#1: ABOUT TIME (2013)

About Time

Without a doubt, this is a humorous and engaging retelling of a classic boy trying to win over a girl story. Tim wishes to change his life and get a girlfriend. With this intention, enter Mary.

Tom falls for her and is relentless and tenacious in his pursuit, all thanks to a family secret. The men in his family can travel through time! What a secret to have, and at 21, your options are endless.

About Time beautifully captures the fun-loving side of romance. And, as viewers, we see the benefits of having such a gift and just how painful the gift can be.

For this reason, we see the love between a man and woman and the close relationship between Tim and his father, played by the talented Bill Nighy . Have tissues ready, as poignant scenes will get you teary-eyed.

Content Note: This film is rated 12A in the UK for mild profanity, nudity, violence, and moderate love scenes. For the same reason, About Time is a mild rated R in the United States.

#2: THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE (2009)

Romantic Time Travel Movies - The Time Traveler's Wife

This falls quite high on my list of must-watch romance films in general as it has sweeping romance and not to mention swoon-worthy Eric Bana as the protagonist. The film beautifully interweaves through different phases of time, keeping the viewer enthralled.

It follows the life of Clare (Rachel McAdams) and how she meets Henry (Eric Bana), or rather how he encounters her. Clare and Henry ‘meet’ in a library. Soon, they both know what Henry is and what he can do, which is being involuntarily thrown through time, forwards or backward.

The movie’s most interesting aspect is that, despite Henry being the traveler, Clare knows more about him. She’s even aware of their relationship during their ‘first meeting’.

You can assume this is not their first meeting without giving too much away. The story follows them through their life together, how his continued absence becomes a toll on Clare, and over time, it delves into the life of living with a time traveler.

Could you live with someone who knows your future? They will know exactly where your life together could end up. Instead of going for the fated lovers’ angle, this looks at how fate may have brought them together, but should they have walked away?

Content Note: This film is rated 12A in the UK for mild sensuality, nudity, and profanity. In the US, the film is rated PG-13.

#3: SOMEWHERE IN TIME (1980)

Somewhere in Time

If you prefer sweet innocent love stories with classic romance, Somewhere in Time will be perfect for you.

Set in 1972, Christopher Reeve stars as student Richard Collier who travels to Mackinac Island to stay at the Grand Hotel, where he sees a portrait of a woman who he becomes enamored with.

He finds out she was a famous stage actress who has passed away. In this obsession with the picture, he finds a way to go back in time to meet her.

Using methods of self-hypnosis, he is able to get back to 1900 and meet Elise McKenna, but what fate is in store for two people with such a big ‘time’ difference? Get ready to fall in love with the characters, cinematography, music, and love stories all over again.

Fun tidbit: Somewhere in Time was nominated for an Oscar for best costume design.

Content Note : This film is rated PG for mild profanity and sensuality.

#4: THE LAKE HOUSE (2006) AND IL MARE (2002)

The Lake House

The Lake House is a somber story, showing love with a facet of yearning, similar to Somewhere in Time . Both have protagonists who are trapped in different times.

Kate Forrester (Sandra Bullock) moves to a new house, leaving behind a letter for the next tenant. The person who reads the letter, Alex Wyler (Keanu Reeves), realizes some unusual things are happening.

Events mentioned in the letter have yet to occur. They come to the realization that they are exactly two years apart, writing from different times.

This charming movie weaves a beautiful story that will appeal to anyone in a long-distance relationship. You will be able to relate to the dates they attempt to go on and how they try and share experiences with each other.

It will make you appreciate that you are at least a phone call away. The ending of the movie will have you on the edge of your seats, and the revelations revealed will make you want to believe in fate and kismet take your pick.

Special mention to the original movie Il Mare (2002), a Korean production and equally a must-watch if you don’t mind subtitles.

Content Note: This film is rated PG with mild profanity, alcohol, and drugs.

#5: BACK TO THE FUTURE PART III (1990)

10 Romantic Time Travel Movies to Binge Watch: I'll Love You to the End of...Err...Time: Back to the Future Part III

If you are not familiar with this series, what are you doing? Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and the iconic DeLorean made a generation of kids dream about hoverboards and Nike trainers.

This is the third installment of the series, giving more focus to the ‘Doc’ Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd).

Set against the backdrop of the 1885 old west (and true to the name), we get standoffs, brawls, and romance. Meanwhile, Marty travels to 1885 and is stuck because his car breaks down.

Of course, he has a run-in with ‘Mad Dog’ Biff Tannen and his unruly gang. (Trying to send Marty back with their limited resources makes you appreciate a lot of amenities we take for granted.)

In this process, Emmett meets a school teacher, Clara Clayton (Mary Steenburgen), who is a science geek just like him, and soon a romance blossoms.

It is surreal and sweet to see Doc so enamored and unable to figure out how to act. Furthermore, the romance breathes new life into his character and shows an angle we never thought we needed.

In the climax of the movie, there is a race against time to get the DeLorean fixed and Marty back to the present day. Ultimately, even as a sequel, Back to the Future Part III is brilliant.

Content Note: This film is rated PG with moderate profanity, mild sensuality, nudity, and violence.

#6: MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (2011)

midnight in paris; romantic time travel movies

‘ You’re in love with a fantasy.’ ‘I’m in love with you.’

Woody Allen does it again, giving us a spellbinding movie with sophisticated and witty characters. He portrays Paris in a way that will make you want to go there and explore.

Winner of an Oscar, Midnight in Paris follows Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachel McAdams) on vacation in Paris, where he wishes to move after they marry.

However, his wife-to-be doesn’t see the magic of the city, hoping to settle in America instead. In the meantime, Gil struggles to write his first novel and takes a strange late-night stroll through Paris, getting an invite to a party that includes guests such as Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Gertrude, and many others who frequented the famous salon of Stein.

It is up to the audience to decide if this is time travel or just the fantasy of a desperate writer who is in love with the golden era of the ’20s. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie because it gave a glimpse of how some of my favorite writers would interact.

This is what other genres cannot do, transport and introduce characters and figures who we would love to meet. This charming film will have you falling in love with the characters and the dialogue.

The superb acting by Wilson portrays an awe-struck, enthusiastic writer who meets his heroes. There is no real story to follow, but rather more events that unfold and how the characters react to them. But life is like this sometimes: we don’t know where things are going until later on.

Content Note: This film is rated 12A  in the UK and PG-13 in the U.S. for mild profanity, sensuality, and nudity.

#7: 13 GOING ON 30 (2004)

13 Going on 30

13 Going on 30 is a reverse-coming-of-age time travel romantic comedy. Jenna (Jennifer Garner) makes a wish on her thirteenth birthday, wanting to be older after going through an embarrassing ordeal.

Jenna wishes to make her older, and it is fulfilled magically. She wakes up the next day to find she is weeks from her thirtieth birthday, has a dream job as a magazine editor, a car, and a very attractive boyfriend.

Everything that anyone could want, but she is still not happy, which pushes the story toward what she truly desires.

This approach is always fun to watch, including hilarious scenes where the protagonist tries to understand the new circumstances and her new body. I admit it’s nothing new in terms of what we can expect, but Garner portrays the character’s innocence and naivete so well.

We see beautiful shots of New York City, which will make you want to book your flight and get over there. However, the surprise in this movie is Mark Ruffalo, who plays Matt, the high school best friend.

Seeing him in this role will be new and a fresh take for fans of the Marvel world. One of the best moments in the movie is the Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’ dance which will leave you astounded and get you on your feet.

Content Note: This film is rated 12A in the UK and PG-13 in the U.S. for mild profanity and suggestive content.

#8: WINTER’S TALE (2014)

Winter's Tale - Romantic Time Travel Movies

Winter’s Tale is set in 1895 on the streets of New York and is based on the novel of the same name. Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) is a seasoned thief who enters the home of Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay). Beverly catches him in the act.

They both fall in love, and she tells Peter a story about how everyone is born with a miracle inside them. This is the theme for the whole movie so keep this in mind while watching.

The movie boasts a lot of big stars: Russell Crowe, Will Smith, and William Hurt, who all play fantastical characters brilliantly. The story jumps to modern times showing us Peter again. But he has amnesia, setting the story for the rest of the movie. The search for his memories and lost story.

Romance like this is always beautiful to watch, even though the audience and characters know it will not be the happy ending we all hope for.

Fans of Downton Abbey will recognize Findlay as Lady Sybil Crawley, carrying off the character of Beverly competently, with a timeless beauty that is only enhanced because we know the fate of the character.

Farrell is exquisite as always, playing his role as an Irish thief so convincingly. There are many twists and turns to keep you entertained during the second half, which is worth the effort.

Content Note: This film is rated 12A in the UK and PG-13 in the U.S. for violence and sensuality.

#9: IF ONLY (2004)

If Only

If Only uses the winning formula that led Groundhog Day (1993) to success, where the day is on repeat. We have Samantha (Jennifer Love Hewitt) and Ian (Paul Nichols), who are a typical couple, showing the relationship and fights.

Tragedy strikes when Samantha has a car accident leaving a heartbroken and grief-stricken Ian. But fate gives him another chance to back in time to try and change events. He lives the same day again and, like any sensible hero, tries to alter the events leading up to her accident.

It’s a sweet story showing the importance of cherishing the people close to you. The film further makes you wonder about how you would react in this situation. Would you be able to change anything?

The story moves at a good pace, keeping audiences on edge as to whether Ian will succeed. Very beautiful moments occur between the two as Ian knows what will come.

He tries his hardest to make everything perfect (and take notes, guys – ahem, ahem). Tissues may be needed; you have been warned.

Content Note: This film is rated PG-13 for some sensual material.

#10: KATE & LEOPOLD (2001)

kate and leopold - Romantic Time Travel Movies

‘I’m not very good with men.’ ‘ Perhaps you haven’t found the right one.’

This time travel romance movie captures everyone’s heart because Leopold (Hugh Jackman) comes from 1876 and has a romantic, classic approach to love.

He has purity dripping from every glance and every word he speaks. It would make any girl fall head over heels for the chivalrous Leopold.

So, what chance does Kate (Meg Ryan) have? Leopold needs to marry someone for wealth, with a dwindling purse and big dreams to pursue. He enters a portal transporting him to modern times. This blows him away to see the sights and progress.

He meets Kate, a market researcher who is cynical but ambitious. They get close but inevitable differences arise, and he returns back to his time.

Kate & Leopold also provides well-written comedic scenes with Kate’s brother, an actor assuming Leopold is deep in character. For fans of epic romantic movies from the ’90s, this 2001 film is equally awesome. Plus, any fan of Jackman will enjoy seeing him in this swoony role.

Content Note: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language.

Did you find one of your favorite movies about time travel and love? If you had the chance to have one of these romances, which one would it be?

Top Photo Credit: Somewhere in Time (Universal Pictures)

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Book lover – reader and writer. Being a bookworm from an early age introduced me to all wonderful worlds, travelling from Narnia to Hogwarts. This became my hobby and passion leading me to pursue avenues where I can write not just for my enjoyment but also to progress my career. Some of my current obsessions include K-dramas, all things period - any BBC original adaptation. I am currently reading Dan Brown's new novel as well as "All men are Mortal" and re-reading "North and South" because you can never read enough about Mr.Thornton and Margaret!

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12 thoughts on “10 Romantic Time Travel Movies to Binge Watch: I’ll Love You to the End of Time”

Found some new ones for my list, so thanks! I love Hugh Jackson in Kate and Leopold – he plays it so straight it makes the whole thing so much funnier.

Though I haven’t seen it in a while now, I remember that I liked “Lake House,” and I just started to watch “About Time” last night. It’s nothing like I expected, but so far I quite like it! 🙂

Man, Rachel McAdams is all about that time travel life!

Oh, I hoped I’d find a new romantic time travel movie to add to my watched list, but I’m afraid I’ve already seen them all. Lovely curated list, tho!

A long time ago there lived a scientist who would hardly ever venture outside. His life was a lonely one, with long days of research and experiments. It was his ambition to create a potion to see into the future. He had over years collected hundreds of herbs and combined them in various ways until eventually, he was on the brink of a breakthrough…

Where am I able to find the remainder of this story? One mustn’t dangle a carrot expecting no one to bite! Rachel

All these are lovely —- another good one is “1994 Timecop” with Jean-Claude Van Damme and Mia Sara — thriller & romance

I can’t seem to find the movie which was based on a short story “ Christopher Frame “ a photo restorer who time travels ,.falls in love and stays there , tried to lookup but there is no information about it ,I can’t remember the name of the movie or episode either for the love of God ,If anyone knows about it please let me know ,thanks

Another outstanding time travel movie is the 1998 Hallmark Hall of Fame production “The Love Letter”, starring Campbell Scott and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Aired in the late 90s, it’s about an engaged civil war buff who finds hidden letters in an old desk which were written by an unmarried woman in 1863. He is compelled to respond to her and even though he lives in the late 20th century she receives his letters and they begin a correspondence through time. This obviously causes a big problem for his life with his fiance. It’s an excellent movie based on a short story by Jack Finney. Finney is the author of two great time travel novels, Time And Again and From Time to Time.

Hi Everybody, I read through the candidates for best time travel romance, all of which I have seen. I agree with your choices, but not exactly in that order. Although they were all great movies, it is “Somewhere in Time” that takes the number one spot. I was happy to see that at least you gave them the 3rd spot, but, in reality, it was the one movie that expressed so beautifully the concept that love transcends time and in the end, true love brings them together as they slip off into eternity.

There is one more movie to which I would give honorable mention. That is the 1979 movie “Time After Time” where the prolific writer HG Wells pursues Jack the Ripper into the future where Hubert (Malcolm Mcdowell) meets Mary Steenburgen and falls in love. This is another great movie. Thanks, DAD

Hi Dad! I agree with you that Somewhere in Time is the best time-travel romance movie. 🙂 Such a beautiful film!

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The 20 best time-travel movies – ranked!

As Adam Driver accidentally winds up 65m years ago , facing not just dinosaurs but an asteroid, we count down the best films about going backwards, or forwards, through the ages

20. Timecop (1994)

Regardless of what anyone says, I believe in my heart that Timecop was greenlit because someone showed a studio executive a picture of Jean-Claude Van Damme and said the word “Timecop” out loud, at which point they had to throw a script together as quickly as possible. Nothing about Timecop makes sense. It is the most 90s film ever made.

19. Tenet (2020)

I have to be careful here, because Tenet might not be a time-travel movie. Certainly time passes in it and some of the people are going backwards in time in it. But I’ve seen this movie twice now, and it mainly just seems to be about people mumbling everything, except for Kenneth Branagh, who gets to shout very loudly three times. Anyway, here it is.

18. Cavegirl (1985)

Finally, a film that uses time-travel for the correct reason; to allow a horny 1980s high school student to go back to prehistory so that he can convince a smoking hot, bikini-wearing cavegirl to have it off with him. You will note I’ve ranked this above Tenet .

17. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

Heather Graham and Mike Myers in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.

Weird to think that Austin Powers was originally a fish-out-of-water comedy, in which the promiscuous titular character had to navigate the (then) uptight world of the 1990s. That all fell apart for the sequel, where Powers was sent back to the 60s to shout his catchphrases at people who actually appreciated them. That makes it a time-travel movie, right?

16. The Butterfly Effect (2004)

God, this film. In summary: Ashton Kutcher plays a man who experiences blackouts, only to learn some years later that he can travel back in time and inhabit his younger self’s mind during the blackouts. But in doing so, he unleashes a world of unintended consequences. He becomes a murderer and loses limbs. Seek out the director’s cut if you can, because it ends with Kutcher’s character deliberately strangling himself in the womb with his umbilical cord. No, really.

15. The Tomorrow War (2021)

Wherein Chris Pratt is drafted into a war that takes place 26 years later, because the invading aliens have already killed all the soldiers who were alive at the time. It’s a great premise for a film – we all pay the price for the actions of other generations – let down by a truly confusing ending. Admit it, you forgot this film even existed, even though it cost $200m to make and only came out 18 months ago.

14. The Time Travelers (1964)

A 1964 movie made on the cheap with genuinely terrible effects, The Time Travelers is about a group of scientists who travel to the future, fight some mutants and then return. What sets it apart, though, is its crazed ending. The film ends with the scientists venturing into the distant future, whereupon the film plays through again, faster and faster and faster until it cuts away to a still of the galaxy. Are they trapped in a loop? Is free will an illusion? Did the producers just run out of money? We may never know.

13. The Adam Project (2022)

A buddy movie where the buddies are the same person … Walker Scobell and Ryan Reynolds in The Adam Project.

In which a young boy’s life is turned upside down when he is visited by an older version of himself from the future. The good news? He grows up to be a fighter pilot. The bad news? He also grows up to have all the cadences and surface-level snarky patter of Ryan Reynolds. What follows is a buddy movie where the two buddies are the same person.

12. Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

So seminal that it was namechecked in Avengers: Endgame . A flat-out comedy that primarily exists to allow a bunch of middle-aged men to act like teenagers, Hot Tub Time Machine is a film about an enchanted Jacuzzi that sends people back to the mid-1980s. Possibly a bit too bawdy for its own good, there’s a hint of a message about the unreliability of nostalgia here.

11. Flight of the Navigator (1986)

This family film involves a young boy who goes missing in a Fort Lauderdale ravine, only to show up eight years later having not aged. There are UFOs and rubbery little creatures and whatnot, but there’s a real emotional wallop to the moment when the boy realises that the world has moved on without him, right down to the scene (that plays out like a horror movie) where the boy realises that his parents have become unrecognisably ancient, even though they are probably only in their early 40s.

10. Primer (2004)

Some see Shane Carruth’s Primer as the gold standard of what a time-travel film should be. It’s the sort of movie that seems unnervingly realistic, from the down-at-heel engineers to the unshowy nature of time travel itself, where people in effect just get in and out of some boxes. Almost entirely unwilling to explain itself, for years Primer fans have come to rely on a series of graphs and charts to figure out what the film actually is.

9. Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

A time-travel movie that may or may not have any actual time-travel in it, Colin Trevorrow’s Safety Not Guaranteed is a delicate wonder of a thing. A man places an ad in a magazine asking for a time-travel companion – “Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before” – and the respondents slowly come to realise that all is not quite as it seems.

8. Planet of the Apes (1968)

Maurice Evans and Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes.

If you haven’t seen Planet of the Apes, then the fact that I’ve put it on a list of time-travel movies is probably quite a heavy spoiler, and for that I’m sorry. But what a reveal this is – what seems at first like a silly movie about Charlton Heston being persecuted by some monkeys quickly becomes something darker and much more sinister. That new Adam Driver movie probably could have achieved something similar, if it hadn’t blabbed its big secret in the trailer.

7. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Endgame is a lot, so much so that it is effectively a time-travel movie bookended by two entirely separate movies. And, yes, it takes a lot of liberties with time-travel, from Tony Stark’s “Huh, I did it” invention to the lazy referencing of other time-travel movies as a shorthand for what the characters can do. Nevertheless, when they get to it, the film nails it. The Battle of New York is the obvious highlight, with Captain America fighting Captain America and the Hulk embarrassed by his unreconstructed former self, but the heart of the film really comes when Tony meets his father as a man and learns to let go of the past.

6. Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar is also a lot. But at its core is a simple ethical quandary: would you try to save the world if it meant missing your children’s entire lives? Matthew McConaughey has to touch down on a planet during a space trip. The problem is that every hour he spends there is equal to seven years on Earth. Is the trip important enough for him to miss seeing the wonder of his children grow into adults? Technically, if you want to be fussy about this, Interstellar is a time dilation movie rather than a time-travel movie. But it gets a pass, largely because McConaughey sells the agony of the moment so beautifully.

5. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

A hilarious example of predestination … George Carlin, Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

There are times when Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure feels like it was written by a toddler off his face on pop. But that’s a deliberate ploy, a way to camouflage all the careful rigour that underpins the script. The lead characters are initially reluctant to embark on their time-travel adventure, until they’re visited by versions of themselves from the near future who compel them to do it; a beautiful and hilarious example of predestination in action. Extra points are awarded thanks to the film’s total lack of interest in consequences. Swiping Abraham Lincoln and Napoleon from their respective eras has no bearing on world history whatsoever, which is probably quite lucky.

4. Looper (2012)

One problem with time-travel movies is that the rules always need to be explained upfront. In lesser hands, this can lead to all manner of clunky, stilted exposition. But when Rian Johnson dabbled in the genre with Looper , he gave us a masterclass in “show, don’t tell”. The sequence where poor Paul Dano’s character is tortured at two different points in time simultaneously, with the older version following instructions carved into the younger version’s arm, is arguably one of the most inventive uses of time-travel in the entire history of cinema. All that plus this is Bruce Willis’s last truly great performance.

Bruce Willis as Joe in Looper.

3. The Terminator (1984)/Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

The lure of the first two Terminator movies were the killer robots running around murdering everyone. But they were very smartly built around a framework of pure time-travel. We only see the future in brief flashes, but what’s important is the present. It is very, very important that Kyle Reese (a guy from the future) has sex with Sarah Connor (a woman from the present), because only that will save humanity as we know it. It’s a hell of a pickup line, but the device also elevates what could have simply been a shonky B-movie into the realm of the classics.

2. Idiocracy (2006)

The smartest time-travel movies use the device as a mirror, telling us more about the times we live in now than the times the characters visit. Enter Idiocracy, Mike Judge’s stinging satire about modern times. An average person is cryogenically frozen and wakes up in the future, shocked to discover that the global IQ has fallen off a cliff in the intervening years. Surrounded by aggressive stupidity, he single-handedly saves the US from famine by suggesting that they use water – and not an electrolyte drink – to grow crops. We are conservatively 15 years from this happening in real life.

1. Back to the Future (1985)/Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Prescient … Michael J Fox and the Hoverboard Girls in Back to the Future Part II.

The only conceivable first choice. The first two Back to the Future films (the third, which is basically just a western, is far less imaginative) have come to define time-travel as a genre. They deliver a complex set of hard sci-fi rules about what can and cannot happen during time-travel and – miraculously – manage to do it in a way that kids can understand. Good music, cool clothes, a million catchphrases and, in the case of the second film, an unnervingly prescient prediction of how Donald Trump would turn out. Just perfect.

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If You Love Time-Travel Movies, You’ll Love the Ethan Hawke–Starring Predestination

Portrait of David Edelstein

If you’re a twisty-time-travel-movie junkie like me, you’ll turn loop-de-loops over the Spierig Brothers’ Predestination , in which “temporal agent” Ethan Hawke jumps among different periods doing … something … It’s not clear until the last minute of the film, and “clear” in this context is still a trifle murky. But if time-travel is your thing, you learn to shrug off inconsistencies. You debate chicken-egg questions over drinks or dope and mull over all the permutations. You graph it. You wish like hell you had a time machine. You savor every discombobulating, ludicrous, thrilling second of Predestination .

Orienting you at all would constitute a spoiler, but it can be said that there’s a semi-coherent first scene in which Hawke shoots at someone or gets shot at by someone and appears to be partially incinerated in an explosion; that he undergoes futuristic plastic surgery; and that he wants to jump back in time — risking his sanity, which bends under the stress of too many temporal jumps — to capture a mad bomber dubbed “the Fizzler” before 1975, when he or she is destined to kill thousands of people. It can be said that he comes into contact with a mordant, rather pretty young man at a bar who tells him a long, long story (with flashbacks) involving an orphanage, a top-secret intelligence agency partly overseen by cryptic Noah Taylor, a broken heart, and a sex change. Hawke asks him if he has a purpose in life, and he says, “I’m workin’ on it.”

It can also be said that to solve the mystery of how these events all began would require a thorough understanding of Einstein, Hawking, and the Big Bang. I’m guessing even Robert Heinlein — whose story All You Zombies this is based on — had trouble grokking everything. Thank heaven he never let that stop him from writing a good yarn.

Hawke plays it low-key, solemn, enigmatic, his emotions kept in check for a Reason to Be Named Later. He throws the movie to his principal co-star, a mesmerizing, redheaded Aussie actress named Sarah Snook whom I didn’t know before but sure do now — and will know, I trust, until the end of time. She’s playing a thoroughly out-of-sync, alienated person. Her rhythms are slow, wobbly. She barely makes eye contact with her co-stars. Those eyes are in any case encased behind a pair of cheekbones that seem to be putting out a force field of grief. What’s eating her?

Don’t expect car chases or crowd scenes. The Spierigs — German boys, Michael and Peter (they made Daybreakers ) — keep things moody and intimate. This is a deeply solipsistic movie, but how deep is something you’ll need to find out for yourself.

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Movie Reviews

This 'time,' supernatural love story falls flat.

Bob Mondello 2010

Bob Mondello

love and time travel movie review

Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) learns from his father (Bill Nighy) that he has the ability to travel back and forth through time, a power Tim uses in his pursuit of love. Murray Close/Universal Pictures hide caption

Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) learns from his father (Bill Nighy) that he has the ability to travel back and forth through time, a power Tim uses in his pursuit of love.

  • Director: Richard Curtis
  • Genre: Romantic Comedy
  • Running Time: 123 minutes

Rated R for language and some sexual content.

With: Domhnall Gleeson , Rachel McAdams , Bill Nighy

There's a phrase in French — " L'esprit de l'escalier ," meaning "staircase wit" — for that moment when you've lost an argument and are walking away, and waaay too late, think of the perfect comeback. If you could just rewind your life a few minutes, you'd win the argument.

That's pretty much the setup in the new British comedy About Time .

We meet shy, young Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) as he's making a total mess of an opportunity to kiss a girl on New Year's Eve. But the next day, his father (Bill Nighy) tells him a family secret: The men in the family can travel back in time. All they have to do is head into a closet, close their eyes, clench their fists and think about a moment in their lives that could have gone better.

So Tim tries it, heading back to New Year's Eve, and things go better.

"It's going to be a complicated year," Tim says. "It's going to be a complicated life," his father corrects.

love and time travel movie review

Time travel doesn't make Tim's relationship with Mary (Rachel McAdams) perfect so much as it washes over the imperfect bits that make it intriguing. Murray Close/Universal Pictures hide caption

Time travel doesn't make Tim's relationship with Mary (Rachel McAdams) perfect so much as it washes over the imperfect bits that make it intriguing.

True enough. Writer-director Richard Curtis — who wrote Love Actually , Four Weddings and a Funeral , Bridget Jones's Diary and Notting Hill — does complicated pretty well at this point. Tim soon meets the girl of his dreams and blows the encounter completely, but after a few tries he manages to pull himself together.

All those Curtis films mentioned above feature Hugh Grant, and while this one doesn't, Gleeson is a decent stand-in. His one true love is played by Rachel McAdams, who must be getting tired of smiling sweetly as all her leading men keep getting do-overs — four years ago in The Time Traveler's Wife , two years ago in Woody Allen's decade-warping Midnight in Paris , and now here. She, meanwhile, has to cope with real life.

One thing you realize as the film goes on is that time travel isn't terribly useful for the romantic bits. Romantic comedy is all about awkwardness and bad timing, and if you can basically eliminate those by popping into a closet, there's no tension after a while. So the story gets bland, and with Curtis being a competent but not an especially exciting director, About Time becomes a case of the bland leading the bland.

If only he could go back and try again.

love and time travel movie review

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'The Greatest Hits': Music turns on the time travel in charming love story

Story of a woman torn between two lovers — one of them dead — lands in just the right place..

Anytime Harriet (Lucy Boynton) hears a song she shared with her late boyfriend, she time-travels back to that moment in "The Greatest Hits."

Any time Harriet (Lucy Boynton) hears a song she shared with her late boyfriend, she time-travels back to that moment in “The Greatest Hits.”

Searchlight Pictures

The first rule of time-travel movies is there are no plausible rules of time-travel movies. Whether it’s “Slaughterhouse-Five” or “Back to the Future,” “Time After Time” or “Looper,” “Somewhere in Time” or “The Terminator,” it doesn’t matter how much exposition we get, or whether there’s some kind of geeky “flux capacitor” explanation. We just have to go with it and see where the story takes us. If we care enough about the characters and their journey, we buy into it.

So it goes with writer-director Ned Benson’s sun-dappled Los Angeles time-travel romance “The Greatest Hits,” which takes a big pretty swing in the genre with a sentimental premise that might have you rolling your eyes — but only if you’re a COLD-HEARTED CYNIC WHO DOESN’T BELIEVE IN LOVE. (Just kidding. As far as you know.)

When we meet Lucy Boynton’s Harriet in present day, she’s a troubled soul who is still in deep mourning two years after her movie-star handsome boyfriend Max (David Corenswet, star of next year’s “Superman”) was killed in a car accident. Thing is, Harriet can’t really move on, because every time she hears a song attached to a memory of Max, she’s rocketed back in time to that moment and can stay there only as long as the duration of the tune. (Where’s the uncut version of “Autobahn” by Kraftwerk when you need it!)

Harriet’s apartment is filled with albums marked “Tested” and “Untested.” Sometimes she travels back in time by choice and tries to manipulate events; on other occasions, when she’s out in public and a time-triggering song plays on a car radio or in a coffee shop, well, that’s problematic, as it sends Harriet into spasms and causes her to pass out. Harriet wears noise-canceling headphones, and she works in a library to minimize the risk of an unplanned journey, but you can’t control the music everywhere you go.

With needle drops from an eclectic mix that includes Jamie xx, Roxy Music, Nelly Furtado and Technotronic setting the pace, “The Greatest Hits” introduces a number of familiar character tropes, including Austin Crute’s Morris, who is Harriet’s gay best friend and exists mainly to advise and support her and happens to be a DJ, which feels almost too on point, and Retta as the wise and caring group therapy leader, Dr. Evelyn Bartlett.

The sensitive and cutely awkward David (Justin H. Min), who recently lost both his parents and manages their charmingly dusty antiques store, develops a real crush on Harriet, though when she tells him about the Hunky Dead Boyfriend and the time-travel thing, he has his doubts. (Boynton infuses Harriet with such loveliness and charm that we believe David might stick around despite her crazy story.)

The script from writer-director Benson takes some interesting turns. We want Harriet to be reunited with Max, but dang it, what about David?

Just when you think “The Greatest Hits” has painted itself into a corner, the script finds a way and the story lands in just the right place. I could see myself going back and watching it again, even though I know exactly how it will all play out. Hey! Sort of like in a time travel movie.

dear-abby-12880069-e1420416724734-524.jpg

‘The Greatest Hits’ Tells the Most Original Time Travel Story in Years

Premiering at SXSW before its Hulu debut April 12, the time travel-centric love story combines great music with genuine romance—and reinvigorates a stale genre.

Coleman Spilde

Coleman Spilde

Entertainment Critic

Justin H. Min and Lucy Boynton in THE GREATEST HITS

Merie Weismiller Wallace

At this point, time travel movies are as commonplace as reality dating shows. They’re everywhere, and that ubiquity has diluted their initial novelty. How can you make something truly different than what another person made before when the concept has been milked dry? The answer: You can’t. The only remaining option is to construct it with more integrity than most do. Only then can you make something that doesn’t feel like a carbon copy, yanked from an assembly line.

Writer-director Ned Benson’s latest film, The Greatest Hits —which premiered at SXSW on March 14 and will be released in a limited theatrical window on April 5 before landing on Hulu on April 12—is the rare time travel movie that doesn’t feel like it’s arrived from the factory. It barely feels like part of that genre at all, which is largely why Benson’s first film since 2014 avoids most of the snares that have debilitated other, superficially similar works. Looping through spacetime is merely a supplementary plot point to a story that’s really about how easily grief can be triggered, and why it can sometimes feel so good to sit in that cloud of painful sorrow for just a little longer. Benson’s film is a crafty yet subtle inversion of a stale genre. It moves the viewer and gets out while it’s ahead, aiming for maximum emotional impact over any flashy, absurd striving.

While The Greatest Hits is certainly not at the level of something like, say, Arrival when it comes to the ingeniousness of its plotting, it has a stirring scope that feels similar to Denis Villeneuve’s 2016 masterpiece. Think of this film as Arrival for the caffeine-dependent Coachella crowd; if that doesn’t pique your interest, I’m not sure what will. The movie finds Harriet (Lucy Boynton), a young music producer-turned-librarian, fiddling through her rows of vinyl records, looking for the next one to throw onto her turntable. Some are marked with slips that say “TESTED,” while a timeline of dates sits drawn on her wall, with sticky notes of scrawled-out messages taped up below each year.

Harriet is looking for Max (David Corenswet), or, more specifically, she’s looking for the song that was playing just before Max died. It's been a much trickier endeavor than she imagined, but since Harriet has already found the track that was on the radio when she and Max were hit by a car almost two years prior, it’s worth a shot. If she could discover the right one, maybe she could change their fate, and Max would still be alive and next to her, thumbing through their extensive wax collection on a Sunday afternoon.

Yes, listening to the right music can transport Harriet back in time, to a moment in her life with Max when a song was playing. Her trips only last for the duration of the track, making her mission even more difficult. What’s more, Harriet suffers debilitating neurological episodes every time she hears one of these songs while not in the safety of her own home. She falls to the ground and passes out, until her past self either shuts the music off or rides out the tune to its conclusion. It’s a good thing that wearing noise-canceling, over-ear headphones is a common practice for commuters in 2024—but just in case, Harriet has taken extra precautions to ensure that she won’t be triggered in an inconvenient space. If only triggers were subject to our whim, and not we to theirs.

Benson is fully aware that The Greatest Hits can’t dance around its preposterous concept, so he wisely leans into it, suggesting that Harriet’s experiences may just be the result of the brief coma she fell into after the crash with Max. Strangely, melding neurological anomalies with the ability to travel through time makes his film feel more realistic, which is further aided by Benson’s delicate, empathetic character writing. Harriet is a woman who wants to save her boyfriend, yes, but sometimes she just wants to see him again. Even a minute or two reunited with the love of your life can be enough to go on, and Benson understands that, as humans, we’re all a little masochistic. We willingly listen to songs that remind us of someone, or watch movies that will make us cry. We choose to consume art in a way that hurts us, because that pain is what makes the art so beautiful. Nothing can evoke a tapestry of emotions like the opening notes of a song that means something to you.

Boynton is as game for this irrational premise as Benson is, developing Harriet and the way she handles loss into a character that feels utterly familiar. Her emotions aren’t outsized, but they are pervasive. The grief is always there, and some days are better than others. It’s why she regularly attends a local support group led by a licensed psychiatrist (Retta, in a lovely, small performance), even if she doesn’t participate. It’s there where Harriet meets David (Justin H. Min), a sweet and similarly grief-stricken man who also has a penchant for vinyl. Their quick connection is organic, even when it needs to happen fast in a 96-minute movie. It’s almost as if they’ve met before.

As skilled as Benson’s compassionate script is his choice of needle drops to accompany the film, and the work of its music supervisor to make those audio cues happen. The Greatest Hits earns its title, unassumingly throwing out cuts from Beach House, Peggy Lee, Jamie XX, and more. Even using a leaked Lana Del Rey song that went so viral on TikTok that she properly released it on streaming somehow doesn’t feel cringey. Speaking of streaming, it’s best not to think about that aspect too hard. Why doesn’t Harriet just stream songs to speed up her journey to save Max, you ask? Uh, ever heard of being a romantic ? She’s a music producer with a pretty normal level of arrogance; of course, the warmth of vinyl will be the only thing that can push her into the past. As hard as the good folks at Dolby try, even Apple Music Spatial Audio hasn’t been able to bend the space-time continuum.

The idea of using musical triggers to recall grief and send someone back to a moment in time is a clever one, luminously executed in Benson’s film. Watching the film and feeling a true connection to this genre for the first time in a long time makes it all the more surprising that someone else hasn’t already done this story. But other filmmakers are trying too hard to find new ways into this rote concept, and often make a mess of themselves in the attempt. The Greatest Hits weaves us through Harriet’s experiences gradually, ensuring that its viewers won’t need a deeper scientific explanation if the emotional impact of the film’s story is compelling enough.

Benson’s confident script and enchanting, modest direction ensure that The Greatest Hits doesn’t bite off more than it can chew. It’s a movie with scope and ambition but not ego. Its humble nature keeps Benson’s characters from feeling pretentious in their love for deep-cut music and rare vinyl. The film celebrates these types of adoration without exalting them, and the diffident types of audiophiles who move about Harriet’s universe charm their way into a viewer’s heart. That resonance is so supremely critical to a time travel film. This genre hinges on forging an emotional connection to its audience. That relationship is what makes trekking through space and time a necessary experimentation with fate, and not an exhausting record that’s stuck on repeat.

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love and time travel movie review

10 Best Changes to the 'Lord of the Rings' Movies

Since it was first published in 1954, The Lord of the Rings has reigned as the undisputed king of fantasy novels and has served as the foundation for the modern fantasy genre. Written by Professor J. R. R. Tolkien , it chronicles the Third Age of Middle Earth, where a band of heroes must venture forth to save the land from the Dark Lord, Sauron (Alan Howard), by destroying his Ring, which contains a large quantity of his soul and power. From 2001 to 2003, director Peter Jackson adapted the story into three films, which continue to dominate popular culture thanks to their impressive effects, stellar acting, and powerful cinematography.

All that said, Jackson and his crew had to make many changes to the original books to make the story work for the realm of film. Tolkien's fans and scholars are divided on many of these changes, but a few of them aren't too damaging to the story.

Replacing Erkenbrand with Eomer

Replace an inconsequential characters with one who matters.

With the death of Theoden's son ( Bernard Hill ), Theodred, his nephew, Eromer ( Karl Urban ), is to be the next king of Rohan. The film sadly reduces his role from the book and cuts out many moments of comradery between him, Aragorn ( Viggo Mortensen ), and Gimli ( John Rhys-Davies ). However, they do give him a rather powerful moment when he arrives with reinforcements at the Battle of Helm's Deep, replacing the book-only character of Erkenbrand.

The main reason for Eomer to be the one to arrive is because he was exiled by Theoden's traitorous advisor, Grima Wormtongue ( Brad Dourif ). Despite this, he continues to fight for his uncle and country by rallying riders to fight against the marauding orcs that cross their border. While it would have been nice to see his interactions with the main characters, his arrival at the end of the battle, and his decision to remain loyal to his uncle, do a good job of highlighting why he is worthy of the throne.

The Warg Attack

An additional action scene with drama and comedy.

To protect the people of Rohan from the armies of the fallen wizard Saruman ( Sir Christopher Lee ), King Theoden commands them to head to the fortress of Helms Deep. Unfortunately, Saruman is informed of this by Grima Wormtongue. He decides to unleash a hunting party of orcs riding giant wolves called wargs, which ambush Theoden's people on the road.

This attack doesn't happen in the book, but it's honestly one of the film's more memorable action scenes . It's a brutal cavalry battle against enemies where both the mount and the rider are equally deadly, and it ends with Aragorn falling off a cliff and getting temporarily separated from the group. There are also a few moments of levity in the battle with Gimli, who gets buried beneath corpses while trying to be a badass.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Release Date December 18, 2002

Director Peter Jackson

Cast Bruce Allpress, Sala Baker, John Bach, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom

Rating PG-13

Runtime 179 minutes

Genres Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Gandalf Doesn't Want to Go to Moria

Swapping character motivations for drama.

When the Fellowship departs from Rivendell, there is some debate among the group as to which path to take to get to Mordor. They initially try to cross the mountain Caradhras , only to be defeated by Saruman's magic. The group's wizard, Gandalf the Grey ( Sir Ian McKellen ), then suggests that they travel through the old dwarven kingdom of Moria.

In the film, it is Gimli who insists that they travel through Moria, with Gandalf refusing until there is no other choice. This change was likely done to emphasize the danger of Moria and built up to the reveal of the Balrog. Speaking of the Balrog, its reveal was a surprise for everyone in the book, but in the movie, both Gandalf and Saruman are aware of its existence, which feeds into Gandalf's fears.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Release Date December 19, 2001

Cast Alan Howard, Sean Astin, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Sean Bean, Andy Serkis, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom

Runtime 178 minutes

Genres Drama, Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Arwen's Expanded Roll

More screen time for the sake of a love story.

The daughter of Lord Elrond ( Hugo Weaving ) of Rivendell, Arwen ( Liv Tyler ) is in love with Aragorn, to the point where she is willing to give up her immortal life as an elf for a mortal one with him. Because Arwen is in Rivendell, she doesn't do much in the books outside of making Aragorn's royal standard. For the film, Jackson and Co decided to give Arwen an expanded role so that they could add a romantic subplot to the film.

For the most part, Arwen's story is harmless and focuses on her debate between remaining on Middle Earth for Aragorn or leaving with the elves to never know the pain of loss. Ultimately, she chooses to stay, as while a mortal life will have loss, it can also have life and joy. She is also introduced earlier than her book counterpart when she comes to help an injured Frodo Baggins ( Elija Wood ) get to her father before he succumbs to his wounds.

Lighting the Beacons

One of the most epic moments in cinema.

As the armies of Mordor prepare to attack the capital city of Gondor, Minas Tirith, Gandalf and the hobbit Peregrine Took ( Billy Boyd ) arrive in the city to lend aid. Unfortunately, they find that the steward, Denethor ( John Noble ), has given into despair and madness following the loss of his eldest son, Boromir ( Sean Bean ). To ensure the city survives, Gandalf sends Pipin to light the beacons to call for aid from Rohan, but this is a film-only situation.

In the book, the Beacons call Gondor's army, and Rohan is summoned by a rider bearing a red arrow. Denethor is also a bit more capable in the book and has already lit the beacons before Gandalf and Pipin arrive. This change ends up working because it helps to sell the idea of hope being rekindled among the kingdoms of men, and is told through some truly gorgeous footage of the mountains accompanied by Howard Shore's score.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Release Date December 17, 2003

Cast Alexandra Astin, Noel Appleby, David Aston, John Bach, Sean Astin, Sean Bean

Runtime 201 minutes

Sam and Frodo's Conflict

Last minute drama that builds up gollum.

While traveling to Mordor, Frodo and his friend, Sam ( Sean Astin ) force the ring's previous owner, Gollum ( Andy Serkis ), to lead them into Mordor through hidden pathways. Though Frodo wants to believe Gollum can be redeemed, Sam never trusts him and keeps a constant vigil to make sure he doesn't try anything. Unfortunately, Gollum drives a wedge between the friends by disposing of their food and framing Sam, which prompts an exhausted Frodo to banish him from the group.

For the film, this scene works because it helps to show Gollum's devious nature and adds another wrinkle to this final leg of the journey. It's heartbreaking to see Frodo so consumed by the dark thoughts of the ring that he views Sam as an enemy. It also helps to show why Gollum is such a dangerous foe: though not physically threatening, his time as a slave to the ring means that he knows how to play on other's obsessions to bring out their worst qualities.

The Shards of Narsil

Changing their location for aragorn's story.

During the final battle against Sauron in the Second Age, the king of Gondor, Isildur, defeated Sauron by cutting the One Ring from his hand using the shards of his father's sword, Narsil . Following his death, Narsil's shards were passed down through his bloodline, eventually landing in the possession of Aragorn. When Aragorn joins the Fellowship, the sword is reforged into Anduril, the Flame of the West.

Jackson decided to separate Aragorn from Narsil, with the shards being kept on display in Rivendell. The sword also isn't reforged until The Return of the King , where it is symbolically presented to Aragorn to show the culmination of his journey from ranger to king. It also, admittedly, might look silly if, in the film, Aragorn tried fighting his enemies with a broken sword before the quest began.

Frodo and Gollum's Final Fight for the Ring

Turning the ring's greatest defence into its means of destruction.

After a climactic journey to bring the ring to Mount Doom, Frodo finally succumbs to its corrupting influence and refuses to destroy it. At that moment, Gollum ambushes him and bites off his finger, claiming the ring for himself before losing his footing and falling with it into the magma. However, Jackson decided to have Frodo try one last time for the ring and knock Gollum off the ledge as the two struggled.

This change is a small one, but it adds a lot to the overall narrative. The biggest addition is that it gives Frodo a more active role in the ring's destruction, rather than it being because Gollum was clumsy. Plus, having the two fight for the Ring shows its greatest defense is ultimately the very thing that caused its destruction.

Aragorn's Character Arc

A reluctant hero works better for film.

As the only living descendant of Isildur, Aragorn, son of Arathorn, is the rightful king of Gondor. He was kept hidden and raised among the Dunedai Rangers for most of his life, and he actively works towards reclaiming his throne by taking the fight to the forces of evil. In the films, however, Jackson and the writers gave Aragorn more flaws, such as doubting if he was worthy of his birthright.

While it can be debated if this change was better or worse than Tolkien's version of Aragorn, it works better for a film trilogy . Giving Aragorn self-doubt gives him a flaw to overcome, and makes many of the scenes where he chooses to fight and die alongside his fellow men have more emotional weight. By the time he is finally crowned after Sauron's defeat, it feels like he truly went through Hell and back to get to this moment.

Boromir's Death

More time to show his highs and lows.

Perhaps the most tragic member of the Fellowship is Boromir , the eldest son of Denethor, steward of Gondor. Worn down by his countrymen giving their lives as the bulwark against the forces of Mordor, he suggests using the ring against Sauron, and when rejected, he decides to join the Fellowship to see it destroyed. Unfortunately, he succumbs to the ring's temptation and tries to take it from Frodo, then gives his life protecting the hobbits Merry and Pippin from Uruk Hai.

Thanks to the film not being married to one character's point of view, audiences see Boromir during the final moments of his life, fighting valiantly until the end, even as his body is riddled with arrows. His final moment with Aragorn is heartbreaking, thanks in no small part to Bean's phenomenal performance. He parts with Aragorn in friendship, finally calling him "my king" after rejecting the idea of a king of Gondor at the Council of Elrond.

Watch on Max

NEXT: The 10 Longest Peter Jackson Movies, Ranked

10 Best Changes to the 'Lord of the Rings' Movies

The 10 Best Time-Travel K-Dramas, Ranked

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

Time traveling is a popular plot device that has been used across various genres, from science fiction to romance, in movies and TV shows like Back to the Future , Looper , and Outlander . This intriguing concept has also become a popular theme in Korean dramas. As K-dramas continue to captivate audiences worldwide, viewers are diving into the rich archives of past productions — unearthing hidden time-traveling K-drama gems that showcase a refreshing take on a popular trope .

Many historical dramas explore this concept in depth, oftentimes bringing a modern character to a more conservative past. These are also, more often than not, romance stories with a bit of mystery involved. Many times, time-traveling K-dramas incorporate a lot of humor and comedy, as one character (or multiple) exists in a timeline that they don't belong in. They don't know the ins and the outs, and that sets up for comedic scenarios. From the romantic fantasy of Splash Splash Love to the mystifying plot of Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo , each K-drama brings a different perspective to time traveling as a concept.

10 'The Great Doctor' (2012)

Created by kim young-hyun and park sang-yeon.

The Great Doctor takes place during the Goryeo Dynasty. An attack is launched on King Gongmin ( Ryu Deok-hwan ) and Queen Noguk ( Park Se-young ) one night, and it’s up to Captain Choi Young ( Lee Min Ho ) and his guards to protect them both. However, Queen Noguk is gravely injured, and no doctor in the Goryeo Dynasty is capable of saving her. The King then commands his guards to go find the doctor from the Kingdom of Heaven. When a portal opens up, it turns out that the Kingdom of Heaven is actually the modern era of Korea. Choi Young then finds a plastic surgeon – Eun Soo ( Kim Hee-Sun ) – and brings her back to his era, where she is trapped serving King Gongmin with no way to return home.

A must-see medical K-drama , The Great Doctor has a slow start, but it builds up quickly as the show progresses . A romance, forbidden by time itself, ignites between Choi Young and Eun-Soo , and viewers will be rooting for them and praying for a happy ending. The show also includes fantastical elements, such as extraordinary powers and magic.

Watch on Kocowa

9 'Tomorrow With You' (2017)

Created by heo sung-hye.

Yoo So-Joon ( Lee Je-Hoon ) is a CEO who has time-traveling abilities. Any time he uses the subway, he can travel into the future. Meanwhile, Ma-Rin ( Shin Min-A ) is a photographer trying to make ends meet after an unsuccessful career in the entertainment industry. Unbeknownst to her, So-Joon discovers when Ma-Rin is about to get into an accident, so he tries to save her, though he comes off weird and awkward. However, intentions aside, their fates become intertwined.

The concept of Tomorrow With You is interesting, and it’s rarely explored in time-traveling K-dramas. Usually, characters time travel unintentionally by supernatural means. But in So-Joon’s case, he decides when he wants to time travel . The romance will definitely grow on the viewers as they grow invested in the connection between Ma-Rin and So-Joon.

Watch on Roku

8 'Queen and I' (2012)

Created by song jae-jung.

Queen and I joins the ranks of Love in the Moonlight as an excellent historical K-drama due to its enthralling story. It follows two protagonists, Kim Boong-Do ( Ji Hyun-Woo ) and Choi Hee-Jin ( Yoo In-Na ), in their respective timelines. Hee-Jin is an actress in modern-day Korea, while Boong-Do is a scholar from the Joseon Dynasty. After almost being assassinated, Boong-Do ends up in present-day Korea on Hee-Jin’s film set. He soon learns that he is able to teleport back and forth in time, and the more time he spends with Hee-Jin, the more he falls in love with her, as she does with him.

Many time-traveling K-dramas focus on a prince and a lowly maiden — however, in rare cases like Queen and I and The Great Doctor , the cast consists of lower-ranking characters , like a scholar. There are plenty of comedic moments in the K-drama that make it worth watching, and viewers who love romantic comedies, heartfelt stories, and time-traveling will love this drama.

Watch on Tubi

7 'Familiar Wife' (2018)

Created by yang hee-seung.

Cha Joo-Hyuk ( Ji-Sung ) is a married man with two kids of his own. The problem is, he loathes his wife, and he has a negative outlook on life. Life at home is not perfect, and neither is his work life. He lives a somewhat miserable life, from his perspective. Life for Joo-Hyuk changes, however, after he visits a toll booth and puts 1000 won in it. He loses control of his car as it drives on his own, and he wakes up in the past, back before he got married. He shortly learns after traveling back and forth in time that he can change it if he so desires. And that is what he does — he alters his path by making deliberate choices to end up where he wants to be and wakes up in the present time with a new wife, Hye-Won ( Kang Han-na ).

Familiar Wife is a K-drama that is heartfelt, focusing on the idea that if one could change their life willingly, would they ? Most time-traveling K-dramas start off with a funny introduction, where characters are confused or startled by the sudden change in atmosphere and era. However, Familiar Wife starts off rather dark, making the viewer feel uncomfortable or miserable due to the realism incorporated. But such is necessary in order to provide a meaningful K-drama, which is what Familiar Wife grows to be.

6 'Splash Splash Love' (2015)

Created by kim ji-hyun and song jae-jung.

Jang Dan-Bi ( Kim Seul-Gi ) is a high schooler preparing to take entrance exams, which will ultimately decide the fate of her future. The problem is, she is bad at math, and she doesn’t know what she wants for her future. When the day comes, Dan-Bi becomes too overwhelmed and runs off. She sits on a bench all by herself, praying for a different life, when suddenly she hears drums coming from a rain puddle. She examines it and falls in, finding herself in the Joseon period. There, she is hired by the King to train him in mathematics, among other things.

Splash Splash Love is a very fun show that has all the defining characteristics of K-drama , which means it's focused on the characters. Taking place in the Joseon period, the main characters of Splash Splash Love , Dan-Bi and Prince Lee Do (Yoon Doo-Joon), are a fun pair that play off each other very well! Viewers will appreciate the common tropes: a woman disguises herself as a man, the prince falls for the maiden, a jealous queen , and a quiet bodyguard. It’s short and sweet, and any fan of K-dramas will love this one.

5 'Rooftop Prince' (2012)

Created by lee hee-myung.

Crown Prince Lee Gak ( Park Yoochun ), from the Joseon era, wakes up in the middle of the night as he finds his wife, the Crown Princess ( Jeong Yu-Mi ), dead in the lake. Many assume that she tripped and fell into the pond, but Lee Gak knows – with the help of three special advisors – that she was murdered. While an investigation is underway, Rooftop Prince cuts to the present time, following Park-Ha ( Han Ji-Min ) as she travels back to Korea to meet with her blood father with whom she lost connection after her stepsister abandoned her and ignored her pleas for help. Then four Joseon men are then transported to the present time after being chased by masked assassins and jumping off a cliff. From there, Lee Gak and his crew learn to live in the modern world while trying to go back to the Joseon period.

Rooftop Prince is full of K-drama tropes that fans know and love. It deals with amnesia–attained by Park-Ha after an accident, and she finds herself unable to answer why she was separated from her family. Rooftop Prince also deals with evil, second-female leads, goofy scenarios, and gimmicky love triangles. It’s also a unique drama where characters jump to the present time as opposed to past eras , which is always refreshing to watch in a time-traveling K-drama. Anyone looking for mystery in their time-traveling K-dramas will enjoy this classic.

4 'The King: Eternal Monarch' (2020)

Created by kim eun-sook.

In modern-day Korea, there exist two parallel universes. One universe follows the everyday life of modern-day Seoul, where there are prime ministers and presidents. However, in the other universe, Korea is still run by a monarchy, though it exists under present-day advancements. One day, in an alternate reality of Korea, a young prince by the name of Lee Gon ( Lee Min-Ho ) watches his father be murdered by an Uncle, and he is next until a mysterious stranger saves him. Meanwhile, in present-day Korea, a detective by the name of Tae-Eul ( Kim Go-Eun ) investigates that same man – Lee Gon’s uncle – who shows up covered in blood. Years go by for Lee Gon, and he grows into a King who searches for the person who saved him. He travels to the parallel universe of present-day Korea through a portal, and he meets his savior, Tae-Eul.

Initially, the Netflix K-drama The King: Eternal Monarch might be a little confusing. It deals a lot with parallel universes, and the information can be overwhelming and confusing at first , considering this is one of the first times – if not the only time – that a K-drama explores a universe where modern-day Korea is still ruled under a monarchy. But the slow build-up is well worth the wait, as a romance is ignited between the two leads. It’s a K-drama with a unique twist that viewers will enjoy and appreciate.

Watch on Netflix

3 'Tunnel' (2017)

Created by lee eun-mi and choi jin-hee.

Unlike most time-traveling K-dramas that focus on historical eras, Tunnel i s a K-drama that takes place in a fairly recent time period. Detective Gwang-Ho ( Choi Jin Hyuk ) is investigating a string of murders in 1985 involving young women, and upon chasing the suspect through a tunnel, Gwang-Ho loses sight of the perpetrator. He is then knocked out by getting hit in the head. Gwang-Ho then wakes up and discovers soon after that he is no longer in 1985, but rather, thirty years in the future.

Tunnel is a thriller K-Drama that differs from a lot of time-traveling shows. The romance is a subplot to the main plot and doesn’t exist for the most part. Rather, Tunnel focuses on familial love . The murder plot is an exciting bonus that will keep viewers and fans on their feet as they try to determine who the serial killer is and how Gwang-Ho will return to the time he belongs in.

2 'Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo' (2016)

Created by tong hua.

Make-up artist Ha-Jin ( IU ) has just broken up with her boyfriend after catching him cheating on her with her best friend. Stuck in a slump, Ha-Jin sits out on a pier, drinking, when she sees a child drowning. She jumps in to save the child, and just as she swims to the surface after doing so, she is mysteriously pulled back down into the water. She then awakes in a hot water spring where several men are bathing. To her surprise, she finds out that she is in the Goryeo Dynasty, and the men she met were the Princes. She also eventually learns that she is no longer Ha-Jin but a woman named Hae-Soo who knows the princes well. With no way back home, Hae-Soo has to learn how to live in the Goryeo Dynasty and stay alive.

Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo is another fun K-drama that plays around with the concept of body-switching as opposed to teleporting into a different era . It includes several male leads that the viewer will fall in love with and several love triangles that viewers will love. Not to mention, the show has its dramatic moments that will have viewers on the verge of tears. Buy on Amazon

1 'Mr. Queen' (2020)

Created by park kye-ok.

Jang Bong-Hwan ( Choi Jin Hyuk ) is one of the youngest chefs at Blue House, with a dream to become the first chef who “feeds the strongest.” He has a perfectionist, self-centered nature, and because of his insanely high ego, he mishandles a meal prepared specially for the Chinese Ambassador. This results in Bong-Hwan being chased by Seoul police, and he falls head-first into a pool of water. Upon waking, he learns that he is no longer Bong-Hwan, but rather Princess Kim So-Yong of the Joseon period.

Not only is Mr. Queen a classic time travel K-drama that many viewers will fall in love with, but it also includes the infamous body-switching trope seen in many classics, such as Secret Garden . This K-drama is filled with mystery as viewers are left to uncover the secret behind the attempted murder of So-Yong and the controversies behind her character. Mr. Queen is a worthwhile watch filled with lots of humor, provided excellently by the narration of Choi Jin Hyuk.

NEXT: The Best Heartwarming K-Dramas On Netflix Right Now

Movie Reviews

Tv/streaming, collections, great movies, chaz's journal, contributors.

love and time travel movie review

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"I'm inside my head," Murphy ( Karl Glusman ), a humorless young man in lust, says at one point in "Love," French provocateur Gaspar Noé's sexually-explicit drama about romance and, well, being inside your head. "Love" unsentimentally depicts Murphy's affair with Electra ( Aomi Muyock ) as a series of flashbacks, showing us all the information we need through the lens of Murphy's present-day emotions. But because Noé wants viewers to see Murphy's memories as a womb-like retreat, the first thing that impresses viewers about present-day Murphy is his petulance, expressed immediately through Glusman's flat, affect-less voiceover narration voice. Murphy may be concerned with his romantic feelings for Electra, but he's also a brat who blames his wife Omi ( Klara Kristin ) for his loveless marriage. "Love" is accordingly a prickly consideration of a past-tense sexual relationship from the perspective of a present-tense relationship that's well past its expiration date. Think of "Love" as a time travel movie, but about really sad young people you probably wouldn't want to hang out with in real life. 

In "Love," Murphy essentially relives a past life. He is not however in control of his emotions, so his memories are fragmented, and out of order. He recalls Electra because her mother calls him, giving him a sentimental oasis to cling to in order to escape his life with Omi. Still, in flashbacks, we see how Murphy's relationship with Omi ironically started because of Electra, and how Electra and Murphy's relationship was always a co-dependent one. He, a film student with posters of "Saló," and "Story of O" hanging ostentatiously on his bedroom wall, jealously obsesses over her. But eventually she, an aspiring painter, reveals that she's just as concerned with being protected. They form an unhealthy relationship that expresses itself through violent outbursts, and copious sex scenes that range from genuinely sexy to mechanically frantic. So while Electra accuses Murphy of being a bright young man who doesn't know what love is, she's just as impulsive.

Since Noé ("Enter the Void," " Irreversible ") wants to steep viewers in Murphy's confused emotions, the experience of watching "Love" can sometimes be more frustrating than thinking about the meaning of "Love" while you watch the film. In fact, "Love"  probably only works if you see it as a paradoxically over-determined work of and about sensuality. Noé uses 3-D photography but also never stops reminding viewers that they are outside of the frame, as he directly acknowledges in one scene where an erect penis thrusts directly at the camera before ejaculating CGI semen. You can't watch this movie and ever really forget that you're watching a movie, as is reinforced by the film's elliptically-structured plot, droning soundtrack and periodic mid-scene black-out cuts. That's because Murphy is, like some of Noé's previous blank slate heroes, a character who remembers himself at his most frustratingly vacant. 

Murphy thinks he knows it all, but is unfailingly clueless, as we see when he first meets Electra, and blurts out " What's the meaning of life? " and she quickly responds in kind: " Love. " Noé's movie is about characters who want to stay nestled in the past, as is evidenced by his frequent use of reddish-brown camera filters, and symmetrical frames-within-camera-frames compositions. "Love" is about an angry, sulking character who think he wants to make a "sentimental" romance featuring sex, but is ultimately incapable (and essentially uninterested) of seeing outside of himself. 

But what's it like to actually watch "Love"? This is a movie where non-professional actors and unsimulated sex scenes constantly encourage viewers to form a bond of alienation, instead of a bond of sympathy, with Murphy. That may sound pretentious, but Noé knows exactly the type of effect he wants to achieve, and he mostly gets it. His biggest gamble is the use of first-time actors to elicit complex emotions. But he builds a complex relationship between Murphy and his viewers throughout the movie, one that speaks louder than the unmoving, shrill line-readings from all three of the film's principle characters. 

The film's sex scenes are similarly mannered, mournful and distractingly graphic. But they're not just endurance tests, or frustrating slogs either. Noé wants you to see sex as a cocoon, so he genuinely tries to show you what attracts his young characters to each other. His earnest objectification of actors' bodies is, in that sense, often compelling. We look at bodies in motion, and see them as body parts first, and then people trying to get lost in each other, to give each other pleasure, and to remain lost in sensations that will always remain mysterious to anyone who isn't experiencing them first-hand. "Love" may not always be enjoyable, but it leaves an abiding mark.

Simon Abrams

Simon Abrams

Simon Abrams is a native New Yorker and freelance film critic whose work has been featured in  The New York Times ,  Vanity Fair ,  The Village Voice,  and elsewhere.

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Film credits.

Love movie poster

Love (2015)

135 minutes

Aomi Muyock as Electra

Karl Glusman as Murphy

Klara Kristin as Omi

Juan Saavedra as Julio

Gaspar Noé as Noé - Art Gallery Owner (as Jean Couteau)

Vincent Maraval as Lieutenant Castel

Benoît Debie as Yuyo

Ugo Fox as Gaspar

Cinematographer

  • Benoît Debie
  • Denis Bedlow

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Critics are calling Luca Guadagnino's sexy tennis drama 'Challengers' the 'horniest movie of the year'

  • The reviews for Luca Guadagnino's new movie "Challengers" are in. 
  • The drama about a former tennis prodigy caught in a love triangle has a 92% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Critics say the film is stylish, the performances are gripping, and the score is exhilarating.

Insider Today

Luca Guadagnino's latest film " Challengers " has finally arrived — and critics can't get enough of the sexy tennis drama.

The movie stars Zendaya as Tashi Duncan, a tennis prodigy who becomes a coach after a severe on-court injury forces her to abandon her dream of going pro. Tashi's past and present collide years later at a lower-tier challenger tournament leading up to the US Open , where her husband, Art Donaldson (Mike Faist), and her ex-boyfriend, Patrick Zweig (Josh O'Connor) — who are also former best friends and doubles partners— compete against each other.

At the time of this article's publication, "Challengers" has a critics score of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes , with people praising Guadagnino's direction, Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor's pulsating score , and the mesmerizing performances of the main trio of actors. Here's a rundown of the reviews.

Director Luca Guadagnino films the tennis sequences in stylish and inventive ways, aided by cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom.

love and time travel movie review

"The tennis is shot with formidable emotional urgency." — Clarisse Loughrey, The Independent

"Guadagnino, for his part, treats what could be a visually straightforward relationship/sports drama as a laboratory, where he tinkers with unlikely ways to communicate action and emotion on screen. — Tasha Robinson, Polygon

"Cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom's nimble shooting style brings excitement to the matches, inventively switching up the angles to bolster the energy. And the intoxication of his camera with the leads' physicality is entirely contagious." — David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

"Guadagnino frames his three actors in many close-ups and medium shots where their eyes and the way they ogle each other tell the story. In return, Sayombhu Mukdeeprom's camera ogles the actors' bodies, capturing every flicker of light in their eyes, every trembling lip and sweaty brow. All of this makes for a movie high on sexual heat, something not seen much in contemporary American cinema." — Murtada Elfadl, AV Club

Zendaya, Mike Faist, and Josh O'Connor deliver undeniable chemistry and star-making performances.

love and time travel movie review

"Like seeing a well-balanced team dominate in triples, the film is a true three-hander, with everyone performing at the top of their game." — Rocco T. Thompson, Slant magazine

"That script is a terrific three-course meal for Faist and O'Connor. They get to trade off face and heel roles from scene to scene and era to era, as Art and Patrick help and hurt each other in equal measure. But it's an absolute smorgasbord for Zendaya, who even in starring roles has never been given this much room to stretch." — Tasha Robinson, Polygon

"All three lead actors carry themselves like movie stars." — Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com

"Zendaya, O'Connor, and Faist play off each other charmingly, particularly in the flashbacks when their characters are younger. Those scenes are lively and jocular and the three actors bring into them combustible chemistry." — Murtada Elfadl, AV Club

"Zendaya is the linchpin. Her work here, on the heels of 'Dune: Part Two,' cements her status as a born Movie Star. She moves with the decisive ferocity of a warrior on the court and the floating grace of a ballerina elsewhere." — David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

"The trio of actors all share a crackling chemistry, but the electricity between O'Connor and Faist is strongest. Both men engage in passionate scenes with Zendaya, making out in intense close-ups and tearing clothes off with palpable want. But none of those more physical scenes sear with the level of heat that O'Connor and Faist create with a mere shared glance." — Maureen Lee Lenker, Entertainment Weekly

Justin Kuritzkes' screenplay vacillates between different time periods, mirroring the back-and-forth nature of tennis.

love and time travel movie review

"Justin Kuritzkes's twisty script leaves us guessing as the trio's mind games wreak havoc on each other and the audience all at once." — Maureen Lee Lenker, Entertainment Weekly

"What keeps the movie humming is the skill with which Kuritzkes' script draws out the complications in the trio's relationships." — David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

"Constructed like a tennis competition, Justin Kuritzkes' screenplay ricochets back and forth through time, asking us to pivot our brains the way audiences do at the movie's opening challenger match." — Peter Debruge, Variety

"​​Kuritzkes' script nimbly leaps back and forth between their teens and 20s and the present, never missing a beat to put them — and us — through the emotional wringer. And as these three flirt, fumble, fuck, and break each others' hearts, 'Challenger's' tantalizes with its ambush of raw emotions and gnarled repressions." — Kristy Puchko, Mashable

Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor's rousing techno and electronica score drives the action forward, on and off the court.

love and time travel movie review

"One of the best surprises turns out to be the soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, a propulsive techno score that does a lot of the work to keep the tennis scenes moving." — Caryn James, BBC

"'Challengers's' simple conceit, thrillingly executed, is that every conversation is a tennis match, and every tennis match is a sex scene. The film's galvanizing score, by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, unifies both." — Clarisse Loughrey, The Independent

"Propelling the on-court action is Reznor and Ross's score, bringing a level of bombast to the sports action that at times threatens to overwhelm the action, without ever actually proving distracting." — Liz Shannon Miller, Consequence

"The electronic, staccato rhythm mimics the rapid back-and-forth of tennis while also catapulting us into a sound that is inherently sexy in the ways it evokes the hypnotic trance of a dance club." — Maureen Lee Lenker, Entertainment Weekly

There aren't any explicit sex scenes, but "Challengers" is still incredibly sexy.

love and time travel movie review

"There are no explicit sex scenes or orgasms on screen, and yet this is the horniest movie of the year." — Mireia Mullor, Digital Spy

"The promotional materials for 'Challengers' make it out to be slightly more erotically charged than what we actually get on screen; there's certainly sexual content, but it's not as explicit as you'd expect, and it's all very rooted in these characters and their relationships..." — Liz Shannon Miller, Consequence

"Those hoping for a threesome throwdown might initially be disappointed here, as there is no literal group sex — neither on screen nor implied offscreen. However, using tennis as a metaphor, every grunt, groan, and drip of sweat (all of which are generously dispersed) has a sexual implication." — Kristy Puchko, Mashable

"There isn't an inch of nudity apart from some extras in the locker room showers, and yet Guadagnino shoots the climactic match with a stylistic vulgarity that suggests what sports might look like if Brazzers suddenly took over for ESPN." — David Ehrlich, IndieWire

"Challengers" is tantalizing and entertaining, regardless of how familiar you are with the rules of tennis.

love and time travel movie review

"Moment by moment, line by line and scene by scene, 'Challengers' delivers sexiness and laughs, intrigue and resentment, and Guadagnino's signature is there in the intensity, the closeups and the music stabs." — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

"Smart, seductive and bristling with sexual tension, 'Challengers' is arguably Luca Guadagnino's most purely pleasurable film to date; it's certainly his lightest and most playful." — David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

"Behind every high-speed volley and smashed racket courses raw emotion, resulting in the steamiest (and funniest) sports-centric love triangle since 'Bull Durham.' With some romantic movies, you'd do well to pack tissues. In the case of 'Challengers,' bring a towel. It's that rare film where you'll work up a sweat just from spectating." — Peter Debruge, Variety

"Anchored by three arresting performances and playfully experimental direction, 'Challengers' is fresh, exhilarating, and energetic." — Maureen Lee Lenker, Entertainment Weekly

love and time travel movie review

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Movie Review | ‘The Greatest Hits’

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Subscriber only, time travel-by-song hook is catchy in fantasy-romance.

Lucy Boynton's Harriet and Justin H. Min's David share a moment in a scene from "The Greatest Hits." (Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures)

Ned Benson appreciates how music and memory can become intertwined — how music can bring you back to a certain place, time or — perhaps most importantly — person.

The idea for “The Greatest Hits” — a fairly melodic fantasy-romance film written and directed by Benson that had its premiere last month at the South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, saw a limited theatrical release last week and debuts this week on Hulu — dates to 2008, when Benson read neurologist Oliver Sacks’ “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain.” According to the production notes for the Searchlight Pictures release, the first draft of the screenplay followed the next year, with Benson picking back up with the project during the pandemic.

In Benson’s occasionally magical tale, Harriet (Lucy Boynton) is still grieving the loss of her boyfriend two years after his death. However, Harriet regularly encounters Max (David Corenswet), briefly traveling back in time when she hears a song from their shared existence and being able to interact with him in a now-altered moment from the past.

Lucy Boynton's Harriet uses music to travel back in time to interact with her late boyfriend, David Corenswet's Max, in "The Greatest Hits." (Merie Weismiller Wallace photo/Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures)

We learn that Harriet has been attempting to use these time-bending moments to change what is to come.

“Hon,” she says after arriving back in the passenger seat of a car he’s driving, “I have seen what happens next, and I need you to listen to me: Please, please take the next right.”

“That’s right,” he says dismissively but at the same time lovingly, “you can see the future. I forgot who I was dealing with. You should have said something.”

“I have,” she says. “So many times.”

Lucy Boynton stars as a grieving woman in "The Greatest Hits." (Merie Weismiller Wallace photo/Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures)

He keeps going straight and another vehicle slams into his side of the car.

Lucy Boynton’s Harriet uses music to travel back in time to interact with her late boyfriend, David Corenswet’s Max, in “The Greatest Hits.” (Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures)

This seemingly supernatural predicament — it is, of course, possible she’s suffering from a mental condition — not only is psychologically draining and keeping her from moving on, but it’s also downright physically dangerous. Lucy seizes and passes out whenever and wherever she hears one of these songs, so the one-time future music producer has taken a job at a library and wears big headphones everywhere she goes to block out outside noise in the name of safety.

Nonetheless, she also spends time at home, going through records — via the music-listening setup she’s inherited from Max, including a record player, hi-fi speakers and a coveted but ill-fated used chair — to find the song that may allow to give her the future she desperately desires.

Her life is further complicated when she meets David (Justin H. Min), who takes an immediate interest in Harriet upon meeting her in a grief support group, the former dealing with the loss of his parents. He, too, is a music lover, and soon the two are having a flirtatious argument about who gets to buy a rare Roxy Music vinyl at the endangered record store where her best friend, Morris (Austin Crute), is DJing on this night,

Morris loves Harriet but also is quite tired of her wallowing in the past, both figuratively and literally, and encourages her to try to have something with David.

David, meanwhile, is understandably perplexed when Harriet lets him into her world, gradually revealing what is going on with her.

Benson, who shares a story-by credit on 2021’s “Black Widow” and is the writer-director of 2014’s “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,” walks a fine line with “The Greatest Hits,” encouraging the viewer to both want Harriet to be with the kind David while also not necessarily giving up on saving Max, who is never shown to be anything but a decent fellow himself.

And, at least for a while, it’s tough to envision how “The Greatest Hits” will end, even after Harriet concludes exactly how her particular brand of time travel works.

The film is anchored by the performance of Boyton (“Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Chevalier”), who makes us root for Harriet both when she’s sad and when she’s experiencing a mix of excitement and guilt as things develop with David. She has chemistry both with Min (“The Umbrella Academy”) and Corenswet, with whom she shared the screen in the TV series “The Politician.”

(If Corenswet’s name is ringing a bell, it’s likely because he’s been cast in writer-director James Gunn’s highly anticipated “Superman,” recently renamed from “Superman: Legacy” and planned for a 2025 release. We see nothing here to suggest he will prove to be at least a solid choice.)

The lone area where “The Greatest Hits” lets us down is its all-important music. Mileage will vary with this, of course, but, to our ears, so many of the songs chosen by Benson, music supervisor Mary Ramos and DJ Harvey, a music consultant, are relatively bland and uninteresting. Obviously, different folks adore different music, but it’s hard to imagine some of the songs featured would delight audiophiles Harriet and Morris, and you can’t help but wonder if the project’s budget for music were only so robust.

(For the record, we have no issue with the use of 2009 pop hit “I’m Like a Bird” by Nelly Furtado, who appears briefly in “The Greatest Hits.”)

Still, as a love letter to the power of music — as well as to Los Angeles, where the movie was shot entirely on location — “The Greatest Hits” is well worth a spin.

“The Greatest Hits” is rated PG-13 for drug use, strong language and suggestive material. Runtime: 1 hour, 34 minutes.

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Taylor Swift Has Given Fans a Lot. Is It Finally Too Much?

Swift has been inescapable over the last year. With the release of “The Tortured Poets Department,” her latest (very long) album, some seem to finally be feeling fatigued.

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Taylor Swift, on a platform, surrounded by men in suits.

By Matt Stevens and Shivani Gonzalez

Four new studio albums. Four rerecorded albums, too. A $1 billion oxygen-sucking world tour with a concert movie to match. And, of course, one very high-profile relationship that spilled over into the Super Bowl .

For some, the constant deluge that has peaked in the past year is starting to add up to a new (and previously unthinkable) feeling: Taylor Swift fatigue.

And it is a feeling that has only solidified online in the days following the release of “The Tortured Poets Department,” which morphed from a 16-song album into a 31-song, two-hour epic just hours after its release .

Many critics (including The New York Times’s own) have suggested that the album was overstuffed — simply not her best. And critiques of the music have now opened a sliver of space for a wider round of complaint unlike any Swift has faced over her prolific and world-conquering recent run.

“It’s almost like if you produce too much… too fast… in a brazen attempt to completely saturate and dominate a market rather than having something important or even halfway interesting to say… the art suffers!” Chris Murphy, a staff writer at Vanity Fair, posted on X .

Which is not to say nobody listened to the album; far from it. Spotify said “Poets,” which was released on Friday, became the most-streamed album in a single day with more than 300 million streams .

And of course, many of Swift’s most ardent fans, known as “Swifties,” loved her 11th album or, at least, have decided to air any reservations in private conversations. The first days of the album’s release have been greeted with the usual lyrical dissections for key allusions hidden within the songs, attention to every word that few other artists receive.

But others, including some self-identified Swift fans, have freely admitted frustration. Fans and critics alike have contended that Swift’s lyrics have become a tad verbose and that the tracks on this latest album — many of them breakup songs — sounded a whole lot like others she has already put out . The internet has also provided an almost unlimited supply of jokes about the length of the album .

Some admonished Swift for selling so many versions of “Poets” only to double its size after those orders were in, part of a cynically corporate rollout . (Care for the CD , vinyl or the Phantom Clear vinyl ?) The Daily Mail cobbled together what it deemed “The 10 WORST lyrics in Taylor Swift’s new album — ranked!”

For its part, Reductress , the satirical women’s magazine, offered a post titled “Woman Doing Her Best to Like New Taylor Swift Album Lest She Face the Consequences.”

Those who dare to publicly criticize Swift are acutely aware of the potential for backlash. Murphy, the Vanity Fair writer, made a dark joke about it . At least one X user who posted a lengthy thread eviscerating Swift, the album and its rollout took the post private after it got more than three million views. Paste Magazine opted not to put a byline on its harsh review of Swift’s album, citing safety concerns for the writer.

In an unusual twist, even Swift herself is widely viewed as admonishing her most militant defenders in one particular song on the new album, “But Daddy I Love Him.” Some contingents of Swift’s fanbase strongly disapproved of her brief relationship with Matty Healy of the 1975 and appear to now be bristling at the amount of record real estate Healy consumes on the latest album .

Weird, complicated times in Taylor land.

“It might be a tough few days for the fanbase,” Nathan Hubbard, a co-host of the Ringer podcast, “ Every Single Album ,” wrote in a social media thread about “Poets” on Friday . “They’ll hear some valid criticism they aren’t used to (if the critics dare), and for many they’ll have to reconcile their own truth that this isn’t their favorite, while still rightly celebrating it and supporting her.”

Indeed, grinding through the 31-song double album after midnight had felt like “a hostage situation,” Hubbard wrote.

On a new podcast episode, which was released over the weekend, Hubbard and his co-host, Nora Princiotti, were among those who pointed out that while the album may be imperfect, Swift simply may have needed to purge herself of the songs on “Poets” to process a turbulent time in her life.

Princiotti said she enjoyed much of the album and was careful to stipulate that “Poets” did contain several “special songs.”

But she also allowed for some “tough love.”

“Musically, I do not really hear anything new,” she said, adding that Swift “could have done a little bit more self editing.”

“I don’t think the fact that this is a double-album that is more than two hours in length serves what’s good about it,” Princiotti said. “And I think that for the second album in a row, I’m still sort of left going, ‘OK, where do we go from here?’”

Princiotti ultimately graded “Poets” a “B.” And in the world of her podcast and universe of Taylor Swift, Princiotti acknowledged — that might have been an all-time low.

An earlier version of this article misstated the title of Taylor Swift’s new album. It is “The Tortured Poets Department,” not “The Tortured Poets Society.”

How we handle corrections

Matt Stevens writes about arts and culture news for The Times. More about Matt Stevens

Shivani Gonzalez is a news assistant at The Times who writes a weekly TV column and contributes to a variety of sections. More about Shivani Gonzalez

Inside the World of Taylor Swift

A Triumph at the Grammys: Taylor Swift made history  by winning her fourth album of the year at the 2024 edition of the awards, an event that saw women take many of the top awards .

‘The T ortured Poets Department’: Poets reacted to Swift’s new album name , weighing in on the pertinent question: What do the tortured poets think ?  

In the Public Eye: The budding romance between Swift and the football player Travis Kelce created a monocultural vortex that reached its apex  at the Super Bowl in Las Vegas. Ahead of kickoff, we revisited some key moments in their relationship .

Politics (Taylor’s Version): After months of anticipation, Swift made her first foray into the 2024 election for Super Tuesday with a bipartisan message on Instagram . The singer, who some believe has enough influence  to affect the result of the election , has yet to endorse a presidential candidate.

Conspiracy Theories: In recent months, conspiracy theories about Swift and her relationship with Kelce have proliferated , largely driven by supporters of former President Donald Trump . The pop star's fans are shaking them off .

Norman (IV) (2019)

  • User Reviews
  • some kind of logic - eg. if you do this in the past, it does this in the future
  • logical characters that make normal decisions. Not always sensible but at least understandable
  • let's start with the logic. What was the beginning all about? Other than the apple, this seems like a lot of time and money spent for nothing. Then the flashbacks (or flashforwards) - how did going out in the rain affect the future? I don't see the link. How did just opening the front door and making a woman think you are a complete wierdo change the future?
  • next the decisions made by the characters. Wow, where do I start?

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Love's Travel Stop

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The Great: 1) For me the long awaited easy off and on Northbound 101 Loves Travel center is open! 2) They have some hit and run healthy choices of grab and run food choices! 3) Brand new bathrooms! The not ready for prime time: 1) The gas pumps not open yet. 2) Wendy's fast food not open yet either. What a great location when transiting the Northbound 101, before all the multiple direction choices that you may choose to be traveling.

Some healthy choices to grab and go, Love it.

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IMAGES

  1. Love and Time Travel

    love and time travel movie review

  2. Love and Time Travel DVD

    love and time travel movie review

  3. 10 Time Travel Movies to Binge Watch: I'll Love You to the End of Time

    love and time travel movie review

  4. Watch Love and Time Travel (2016) Full Movie Free Online

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  5. 10 Time Travel Movies to Binge Watch: I'll Love You to the End of Time

    love and time travel movie review

  6. Love and Time Travel

    love and time travel movie review

VIDEO

  1. 📚 Reading 007

  2. Top 5 Romantic Time Travel Movies

  3. ऐसी कहानी कभी ना देखी होगी

  4. 20 Time Travelers That Will Convince You It's Real

  5. My review on Timeline

  6. #travel

COMMENTS

  1. Love and Time Travel

    Love and Time Travel 2016 1 hr. 29 min. Romance Comedy Drama List Reviews A socially isolated barista's routine is thrown into chaos when he begins to connect with his future consciousness through ...

  2. Love and Time Travel (2016)

    Love and Time Travel: Directed by Hayden J. Weal. With Nick Blake, Bonnie Bryant, Colleen Cleary, Abby Damen. When emotionally isolated barista Dan Duncombe starts receiving strange messages on the inside of his bedroom window, he is forced to become involved with the lives of the people around him ... and by changing their lives, he changes his own.

  3. Love and Time Travel (2016)

    10/10. Completely satisfying. cberkman-898-331858 20 February 2018. I rarely write reviews of films, but this one is a gem worth recommending. Yes, it's probably a low budget indie film from New Zealand, but the acting is sufficient with the performance of the main character very solid.

  4. 10 Time Travel Movies to Binge Watch: I'll Love You to the End of Time

    13 Going on 30 is a reverse-coming-of-age time travel romantic comedy. Jenna (Jennifer Garner) makes a wish on her thirteenth birthday, wanting to be older after going through an embarrassing ordeal. Jenna wishes to make her older, and it is fulfilled magically.

  5. 12 Best Time Travel Romance Movies, Ranked

    As a romance movie, Midnight in Paris offers multiple romantic interests, each with its own qualities and individual purposes. From Inez's (McAdams) 21st-century realism, to Adriana's ( Marion ...

  6. Love and Time Travel (2016)

    Synopsis. When emotionally isolated barista Dan Duncombe starts receiving strange messages on the inside of his bedroom window, he is forced to become involved with the lives of the people around ...

  7. Love and Time Travel

    Verified Audience. No All Critics reviews for Love and Time Travel. Rotten Tomatoes, home of the Tomatometer, is the most trusted measurement of quality for Movies & TV. The definitive site for ...

  8. Movie Review

    Movie Review - 'About Time' - The film, from writer-director Richard Curtis (Love Actually) is a romantic comedy with a twist — a protagonist with the gift of time travel. Domhnall Gleeson ...

  9. The 23 best time travel movies of all time

    Edge of Tomorrow (2014) Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in 'Edge of Tomorrow.'. David James/Warner Bros. Time loop movies need some incredible editing in order to really succeed, and Doug Liman 's ...

  10. About Time

    Rated: 7/10 • Apr 6, 2023. Mar 21, 2023. Oct 3, 2022. When Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) is 21, his father (Bill Nighy) tells him a secret: The men in their family can travel through time ...

  11. The 15 Best Time Travel Movies of All...Time

    4. Primer (2004) Shoestring budget indie film, Primer, which acts as a no-frills psychological thought experiment about the accidental discovery of time travel, is one of the most cerebral takes ...

  12. The 20 best time-travel movies

    14. The Time Travelers (1964) A 1964 movie made on the cheap with genuinely terrible effects, The Time Travelers is about a group of scientists who travel to the future, fight some mutants and ...

  13. Top 100 Time Travel Movies

    Rate. 87 Metascore. Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown. Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover.

  14. If You Love Time-Travel Movies, You'll Love the Ethan Hawke ...

    Hawke plays it low-key, solemn, enigmatic, his emotions kept in check for a Reason to Be Named Later. He throws the movie to his principal co-star, a mesmerizing, redheaded Aussie actress named ...

  15. Movie Review

    Movie Review - 'About Time' - About Time, written and directed by Richard Curtis (Love Actually), follows a young man looking for love — with a little help from time-travel. NPR's Bob Mondello ...

  16. Watch Love And Time Travel

    Love And Time Travel. When emotionally isolated barista Dan Duncombe starts receiving strange messages on the inside of his bedroom window, he is forced to become involved with the lives of the people around him - and he soon discovers a web of relationships that unites them all. By helping them connect with each other, he comes to understand ...

  17. Amazon.com: Customer reviews: Love And Time Travel

    I loved its film. I was initially attracted by its title, Love and *Time Travel,* but it is not a time travel movie. What it is, is a poignant, mysteriously entangled love story spanning generations. The main characters are totally believable and relatable. The supporting cast, appropriately enigmatic. The cinematography and ocean locations are ...

  18. 'The Greatest Hits': Music turns on the time travel in charming love

    Story of a woman torn between two lovers — one of them dead — lands in just the right place. Any time Harriet (Lucy Boynton) hears a song she shared with her late boyfriend, she time-travels ...

  19. 'The Greatest Hits' Review SXSW: The Most Original Time Travel Story in

    The Greatest Hits earns its title, unassumingly throwing out cuts from Beach House, Peggy Lee, Jamie XX, and more. Even using a leaked Lana Del Rey song that went so viral on TikTok that she ...

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  21. 10 Best Time-Travel K-Dramas, Ranked

    Time traveling is a popular plot device that has been used across various genres, from science fiction to romance, in movies and TV shows like Back to the Future, Looper, and Outlander.This ...

  22. Love movie review & film summary (2015)

    This is a movie where non-professional actors and unsimulated sex scenes constantly encourage viewers to form a bond of alienation, instead of a bond of sympathy, with Murphy. That may sound pretentious, but Noé knows exactly the type of effect he wants to achieve, and he mostly gets it. His biggest gamble is the use of first-time actors to ...

  23. SPACE and TIME TRAVEL Romantic Movies

    PG | 103 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance. A Chicago playwright uses self-hypnosis to travel back in time and meet the actress whose vintage portrait hangs in a grand hotel. Director: Jeannot Szwarc | Stars: Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, Christopher Plummer, Teresa Wright. Votes: 32,504 | Gross: $9.71M.

  24. Love Destiny The Movie Review: Goofy Time Travel and a Love That's Just

    At 2 hours 45 minutes, Love Destiny The Movie might feel a bit too much as some scenes go on for too long. However, for the most part, it's fun to watch, especially because the characters are so dramatic, and most of the time, it's ridiculous. There's a scene where Bhop's mother drinks wine for the first time, her reaction is just so ...

  25. 'Challengers': What Critics Are Saying About the Tennis Movie

    The reviews for Luca Guadagnino's new movie "Challengers" are in. The drama about a former tennis prodigy caught in a love triangle has a 92% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.

  26. Movie Review

    Lucy Boynton's Harriet uses music to travel back in time to interact with her late boyfriend, David Corenswet's Max, in "The Greatest Hits." (Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures)

  27. On 'The Tortured Poets Department,' Taylor Swift Could Use an Editor

    Over 16 songs (and a second LP), the pop superstar litigates her recent romances. But the themes, and familiar sonic backdrops, generate diminishing returns.

  28. Taylor Swift Has Given Fans a Lot. Is It Finally Too Much?

    Four new studio albums. Four rerecorded albums, too. A $1 billion oxygen-sucking world tour with a concert movie to match. And, of course, one very high-profile relationship that spilled over into ...

  29. Norman (2019)

    Ok I'm happy to write the first review for this movie. So essentially you have Norman, trapped in the present day trying to travel back to the future of 2085. ... Let me start by saying I LOVE time travel movies. I have probably watched them all at least 3 times. The main things I demand in your basic time travel movie are; some kind of logic ...

  30. LOVE'S TRAVEL STOP

    3 reviews and 15 photos of LOVE'S TRAVEL STOP "The Great: 1) For me the long awaited easy off and on Northbound 101 Loves Travel center is open! 2) They have some hit and run healthy choices of grab and run food choices! 3) Brand new bathrooms! The not ready for prime time: 1) The gas pumps not open yet. 2) Wendy's fast food not open yet either.