Six Time Travel Movies to Watch While in Quarantine

A good movie will draw you into the world it has created and make you feel part of it. So much so, that there’s a chance you’ll leave the theater after with a bit of an adrenaline rush. Maybe the latest Bond flick has you feeling like you can be the next 007. Maybe an over-the-top car chase has you pressing on the gas pedal and drifting like a pro. Maybe the story of a talented musician has you thinking you could pick up a guitar and strum a perfect rhythm.

Most of the time we’re left with wanting more. We want something similar, yet new at the same time. we don’t want to watch the same film again, we want to watch something that pairs nicely.

Here at ScreenAge Wasteland, we’ve selected six films that you should watch during quarantine if you’re in the mood for some time travel shenanigans.

The Infinite Man

In The Infinite Man, Dean (Josh McConville) is a scientist with an obsession for controlling the variables. So what does he do when his date with love of his life Lana (Hannah Marshall) doesnt go to plan? Of course he travels back in time to try and make it right, only to make matters worse. Densely packed into 85 minutes, this sci-fi romantic dramedy will have you reeling the whole way. And it delves deep enough into time paradoxes to leave plenty Of questions for multiple rewatches.

– Jacob Holmes

Time Bandits

The eighties were a golden era for kooky fantasy adventure films and director Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits (1981) is one of the best examples. Co-written by Gilliam and fellow Python Michael Palin, Time Bandits follows the adventures of Kevin, an eleven year old who discovers that there is a time portal in his bedroom.

One night, a band of dwarves tumble out of his wardrobe and almost immediately the group, including the adventurous Kevin, is forced to run from a rather displeased entity. Upon escaping through the portal, they land in the Napoleonic era where the dwarves explain that the entity was, in fact, the Supreme Being, whom they used to work for by repairing rips in the fabric of space-time. They had stolen the Supreme Being’s map of the space-time rifts, realizing that they could use the it to travel anywhere they wanted and gain enormous riches. Kevin then joins the dwarves on an adventure where the boundary between history and fairy tales are blurred.

Time Bandits is a quintessential Gilliam film, with his familiar style of design and direction on brilliant display. It’s also a funny film and the Python influences on the humor are obvious. In addition to being co-written by Gilliam and Palin, fellow Python John Cleese has a very funny scene as Robin Hood. Other stars along for the ride include Sean Connery as Greek king Agamemnon and Ian Holm as Napoleon. In all, Time Bandits stands as a very charming film and quite possibly one of Gilliam’s best. While certainly enjoyable by kids, it’s not a kid’s film. The humor and surreal elements have plenty to offer adults. Though I first watched it as a kid, my appreciation for it has only grown as I’ve matured. Spending a couple of hours with Kevin and his friends will likely be one of the highlights of your quarantine.

– DryButSoupy

12 Monkeys

If the 1980s were characterized by glitz and glamour, fast cars and palm trees, the 1990s were altogether a much drearier affair. In my memory, the 90s were forever cold and rainy. Which is weird, because I grew up in Texas. But that was the social climate. You would think the end of the Cold War – and mutually assured nuclear annihilation – would have given us all something to celebrate, but I guess practicing climbing under our desks as school children in the event the Russkies did decide to fire off a nuke or three left us all feeling a bit pessimistic.

12 Monkeys is like a cinematic representation of the 90s: Terry Gilliam’s film about a time traveling convict from a dystopian future is cold, drab, pessimistic (but somehow romantic), and maybe a little schizophrenic. But the time the credits roll, you may wish you were practicing duck and cover drills in Mrs. Smith’s class, but I guarantee you’ll be entertained. And maybe left thinking for a while after, too.

– Billy Dhalgren

See You Yesterday

Oh, how I wanted this film to be good. The ingredients are all there from a likeable leading duo, an interesting approach to time travel, and a reason to time travel. However, the final product feels half-baked. I can admire the film’s ending and its take on the cyclical nature of time, but the middle portion of the film just feels like it’s running around in circles. There is however a nice minute-long cameo by Michael J. Fox at the beginning of the film. So that alone is worth checking out, especially since he drops some Back to the Future dialogue. Overall, it’s a fun movie that doesn’t reinvent time travel that much, but offers enough new materials that makes it worth a watch on Netflix.

– Marmaduke Karlston

The Wave

So time travel is a bit of a spoiler when it comes to this film, but not enough of a spoiler that it ruins your experience. The Wave is a psychedelic drug fueled thrill ride that gives you little time to take a breath. The story follows Frank (Justin Long), a lawyer for an insurance company. After saving the company a huge chunk of change, Frank and his best friend Jeff (Donald Faison) go out on the town to celebrate. When Frank meets Theresa (Sheila Vand) at a bar and decides to go to a house party, things take a drastic turn. The Wave has moments where you can see the bigger lessons being taught to our heroes as we try to piece together the insanity that took place during that fateful night. Sit back, open your mind, and enjoy the incredible visuals that The Wave has to offer.

– Cody Legens

Hot Tub Time Machine

The obvious pick is Primer, but who wants to do all that thinking? Want to sit back and turn your brain off while watching a time travel movie? Then Hot Tub Time Machine is just for you! The title tells you all you need to know. It’s a silly comedy that is way better than it has any right to be. The basic premise is this … Four friends who are all stuck in a rut in their adulthood reconnect during a wild weekend at a ski resort to relive the good times of their youth. Hilarity ensues as they get time warped into the 80s. Together they must relive a weekend of their past and make sure everything goes the way it did originally. What could go wrong?

– King Alvarez

What time travel movies have you recently watched?