Time travel is one of the most popular tropes in movie history, having been used to create taut thrillers, unflinching horrors and poignant dramas for nearly a century now.
Over the last few years in particular, time travel movies have become more popular than ever, with various directors from around the world using it to weave together complex tales of identity, futuristic wars, superheroes, the end of the world and romance.
Not all of them are very good, though. Many time-bending movies over the years – be them mindless action flicks like the recent Tomorrow War or uninspired comedies like When We First Met – have made the fatal flaw of focussing too much on the time travel aspect of the story rather than the emotion or character at the film’s core, leaving the movie an unfocussed, forced shambles.
For this list, we’re steering clear of the let-downs and shifting focus to some of the best time travel movies on other. This isn’t a definitive list by any means, but one which attempts to tackle the genre from various different angles, including rom-coms, sci-fi thrillers and time-loop classics.
With that in mind, here are 10 great movies about time travel you just have to see…
One of the best X-Men films on offer, Days of Future Past used a great time travel technique to effectively re-write the entire series and erase the events of the previous films.
In a dystopian future where the Sentinels have been programmed to hunt down and kill all mutants, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent back to the 1970s to change the world before it’s too late.
Relying heavily on its all-star cast – which also includes James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Evan Peters, Elliot Page and Jennifer Lawrence – the dark and innovative sequel is bursting with exceptional fan service, rich character development and a genuinely unpredictable second half.
From Jackman’s typically inspired performance and the final farewell of some of the franchise’s most dependable mainstays, to the emotional finale and the inventive world-building, Days of Future Past isn’t just one of the best X-Men films, but a brilliant sci-fi time travel flick in its own right.