Hollywood has a long-standing fascination with the concept of time travel. We've seen the effects of time travel play out in everything from sci-fi thrillers to comedies to romantic dramas. As Alice travels through time in 'Alice Through the Looking Glass,' let's join her on a time-traveling movie journey.
Back to the Future (1985)
Who can forget the classic adventure of Marty McFly, the intrepid teen traveler who speeds back to 1955 in a time-traveling DeLorean (88 miles per hour!)? His mission? Make sure his parents hook up to ensure he exists in the Huey Lewis-loving '80s. With the help of our favorite mad scientist, Doc Brown, Marty's journey succeeds time and time again.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
'T2' took some core elements of the first film and gave them the bigger-budget treatment. In one of the best sequels ever made, Ah-nuld is the protector Terminator sent back to watch over young John Connor. It was a crowning achievement for all involved, especially director James Cameron.
12 Monkeys (1995)
The year is 2035, and the world has been destroyed by a lethal virus. How to remedy the situation? Call Bruce Willis, cast here as a convict sent back to the '90s to figure out where things went wrong. With the aid of Madeleine Stowe's lovely psychiatrist, Willis tracks down a group of revolutionists called the Twelve Monkeys, headed by Brad Pitt in his loopiest (yet Oscar-nominated) film role to date.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
This underrated time bender starred Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, both excellent as soldiers fighting an alien army. As they get caught in a time loop that forces them to fight to the death -- every day -- they get ever closer to defeating the enemy. Did we mention it's surprisingly funny, too?
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
Need to waste an hour and a half having good old-fashioned dumb '80s movie fun? With his portrayal of Ted "Theodore" Logan, Keanu Reeves forever etched his persona into time-travel movie history. He and pal Bill S. Preston Esq. (Alex Winter) have a most excellent adventure through the ages, gathering figures from Billy the Kid to Socrates to Abraham Lincoln in their quest to pass their history exam.
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Charlton Heston is an ace astronaut who crash lands on a planet where apes rule, and humans are mere heathen simpletons. The sci-fi landmark features one of the ultimate twist endings ever.
Groundhog Day (1993)
Unique in the annals of time-travel movies is the great Bill Murray comedy 'Groundhog Day,' which served comeuppance to Murray's smart-aleck news anchor by having him relive Groundhog Day over and over. To what end, besides amusing us? The guy's not going anywhere until he gets life right.
Time After Time (1979)
This hugely entertaining movie stars Malcom McDowell as H.G. Wells, who not only wrote about a time machine, but also owns one. He must use it to travel into the future and stop Jack the Ripper.
Time Bandits (1981)
Every kid who's dreamed of time travel will want to check out this adventure that has a young Brit joining up with a band of dwarves who've stolen a map of the universe's time holes from their supreme being. Also look out for the original 007, Sean Connery, cast here as King Agamemnon.
Want to know how to make a great time travel movie on a low budget? Check out 'Primer,' a $7,000 film about guys who build a time-travel machine in a storage garage, and then deal with all the moral and pardoxical issues that come with it. Creepy and totally fascinating, the film won the Grand Jury prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.
Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
When the director of ‘The Godfather’ and ‘Apocalypse Now’ tackles time travel, you know the results are worth watching. Francis Ford Coppola focused on the emotional rather than technical aspects of time travel in this story of an unhappily married woman (Kathleen Turner) who suddenly finds herself back in high school -- armed with the knowledge of what the future will bring.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
Some of the best ‘Star Trek’ episodes have involved Starfleet heroes traveling to Earth's past to set right some wrong, and the same held true for this film sequel. ‘Star Trek IV’ sees Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and the 'Enterprise' crew venture back to the 20th century to prevent the extinction of the humpback whale and avoid angering its intergalactic cousins.
One would assume that if time travel were ever invented, the government would need to carefully safeguard and regulate the technology. And if there's someone better qualified than Jean-Claude Van Damme to guard a time machine, we'd like to meet him/her. This time-spanning action movie remains one of Van Damme's best and most ambitious films.
This sci-fi action movie made us believe that Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis share the same DNA. Gordon-Levitt plays a hit man tasked with executing prisoners sent back through time. Complications arise when his latest would-be victim turns out to be his older self (Willis). ‘Looper’ is so slick and engaging, it's no surprise that its director, Rian Johnson, was tapped to helm 'Star Wars: Episode VIII.'