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The Best Time Travel Movies Ever Made

List Criteria: Movies must have time travel in them.

List of the best movies about time machines and time travel. The idea of travelling through time has always had an innate appeal, and has found its way into nearly every art form known to man, so it's unsurprising that it's one of the largest and richest science-fiction sub-genres in film history. Films with time themes present a unique way to think about the wonders of the universe. Some of the earliest films about traveling through time were based on a series of popular science-fiction stories dealing with the topic, including adaptations of the classic novels "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" by Mark Twain and "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells (among others.)

Over the course of film history, time travel has found its way beyond just science-fiction movies and into just about every different kind of genre and storytelling style. Many of the most popular time travel movies of all time, in fact, are comedies, such as "Back to the F*ture," "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," "Army of Darkness" and "Hot Tub Time Machine." Other films have used time travel as a backdrop for romance (as in "Somewhere in Time" or "The Time Traveler's Wife"), mysteries (as in "Time After Time") and, of course, action filmmaking (as in James Cameron's "Terminator" films.)

What are the best time travel movies? This list seeks to answer that question.

Despite their differences in tone and presentation, most time travel films explore similar themes, or rely on consistent motifs and common ideas about what it means to travel through time. For example, many films explore the negative consequences associated with "changing the past" while traveling through time, implying that even a small difference in the past could have massive ramifications on how the f*ture develops. (This often goes hand-in-hand with the idea that humans running into their past counterparts could create a paradox that would rip apart the space-time continuum.) Other common themes in time travel stories include a person or group that serves as Time Overlords or controllers who maintain balance, or people who venture back in time hoping to stop bad things in the past from ever occurring. These are some of the best time travel films, but if you don't see your favorite, make sure to add it to this list of the best time travel films so it might soon become someone else's favorite.

The Best Time Travel Movies Ever Made Films
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  1. 1
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    • Actors: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Billy Zane + 46 more
    • Initial Release: 1985
    • Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
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    • Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Biehn + 42 more
    • Initial Release: 1984
    • Directed by: James Cameron
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    • Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton, Nikki Cox, Danny Cooksey + 57 more
    • Initial Release: 1991
    • Directed by: James Cameron
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    • Actors: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Michael Shannon, Harold Ramis, Chris Elliott + 54 more
    • Initial Release: 1993
    • Directed by: Harold Ramis
  5. 5
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    • Actors: Clint Eastwood, Michael J. Fox, Elisabeth Shue, Christopher Lloyd, Elijah Wood + 52 more
    • Initial Release: 1989
    • Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
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    • Actors: Keanu Reeves, George Carlin, Jane Wiedlin, Diane Franklin, Al Leong + 10 more
    • Initial Release: 1989
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    • Actors: Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer, Madeleine Stowe, Christopher Meloni + 78 more
    • Initial Release: 1995
    • Directed by: Terry Gilliam
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    • Actors: Charlton Heston, Linda Harrison, James Whitmore, Maurice Evans, Kim Hunter + 37 more
    • Initial Release: 1968
    • Directed by: Franklin J. Schaffner
  9. 9
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    • Actors: Michael J. Fox, Elisabeth Shue, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Mary Steenburgen + 49 more
    • Initial Release: 1990
    • Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
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    • Actors: Yvette Mimieux, Rod Taylor, Alan Young, Sebastian Cabot, Whit Bissell + 2 more
    • Initial Release: 1960
    • Directed by: George Pal
  11. 11
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    • Actors: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, Catherine Hicks, DeForest Kelley + 49 more
    • Initial Release: 1986
    • Directed by: Leonard Nimoy
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    • Actors: Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Logan Lerman, Eric Stoltz, Kevin Durand + 17 more
    • Initial Release: 2004
    • Directed by: J. Mackye Gruber, Eric Bress
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    • Actors: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Ward Bond, Gloria Grahame + 108 more
    • Initial Release: 1946
    • Directed by: Frank Capra
  14. 14
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    • Actors: Sean Connery, John Cleese, Ian Holm, Jim Broadbent, Michael Palin + 42 more
    • Initial Release: 1981
    • Directed by: Terry Gilliam
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    • Actors: Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Morrison, Winona Ryder, Chris Hemsworth, Tyler Perry + 163 more
    • Initial Release: 2009
    • Directed by: J.J. Abrams
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    • Actors: Patrick Stewart, James Cromwell, Alfre Woodard, Marina Sirtis, LeVar Burton + 47 more
    • Initial Release: 1996
    • Directed by: Jonathan Frakes
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    • Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright, Russell Peters + 13 more
    • Initial Release: 2011
    • Directed by: Duncan Jones
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    • Actors: Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Seth Rogen + 42 more
    • Initial Release: 2001
    • Directed by: Richard Kelly
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    • Actors: Bridget Fonda, Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Embeth Davidtz, Bill Moseley + 41 more
    • Initial Release: 1992
    • Directed by: Sam Raimi
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    • Actors: Reese Witherspoon, Paul Walker, Tobey Maguire, William H. Macy, Jeff Daniels + 49 more
    • Initial Release: 1998
    • Directed by: Gary Ross
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