Entertainment

25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock 

Ranker Film
1.8k votes 176 voters 8.3k views 69 items

Tick, tock, tick, tock – just the sound of a ticking clock generates anxiety, but when lives are on the line, it creates great entertainment. The top race against the clock movies put characters' lives on the line with the added pressure of meeting a life-or-death deadline. This is a list of countdown movies featuring everything from Labyrinth to Apollo 13 to Back to the Future.

What movies will you find on this list of the best ticking clock films? If you're a fan of action flicks, you might vote Terminator 2: Judgment Day has to the top. In this captivating sequel, the past, present and future converge as the T-800 Terminator protects John Connor from a future enemy. The Running Man – which also stars Arnold Schwarzenegger – is another good race against the clock movie. Keanu Reeves faced a ticking clock and a racing bus in the 1994 film Speed. Other good movies featured on this top countdown films list include The Ring, Run Lola Run, and The Manchurian Candidate.

Which countdown movie deserves the top spot on this list? Help us decide by giving your favorites a thumbs up and add any great titles that are missing.

list ordered by
1
Back to the Future is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson
Back to the Future is a 1985 American science fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into ...more

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2
Speed is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper
Speed is a 1994 American action film directed by Jan de Bont in his feature film directorial debut. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton, and Jeff Daniels. A ...more

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3
Terminator 2: Judgment D... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 American science fiction action thriller film written, produced and directed by James Cameron. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert ...more

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4
Apollo 13 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Tom Hanks, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ed Harris
Apollo 13 is a 1995 American historical docudrama film directed by Ron Howard. The film stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris. The screenplay by William Broyles, ...more

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5
Ferris Bueller's Day Off... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Siersha 2 added
Charlie Sheen, Matthew Broderick, Jeffrey Jones
Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 American comedy film written, produced and directed by John Hughes. The film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller, who skips school and spends the day in ...more

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6
Inception is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard
Inception is a 2010 science fiction thriller film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan. The film stars a large ensemble cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph ...more

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7
Taken is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace
Taken is a 2008 French action thriller film directed by Pierre Morel. A former CIA operative (Liam Neeson) sets about tracking down his teenage daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) and her best friend ...more

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8
Airplane! is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Siersha 2 added
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Leslie Nielsen, Ethel Merman
Airplane! is a 1980 American satirical disaster comedy film directed and written by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker and released by Paramount Pictures. It stars Robert Hays and ...more

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9
The Martian is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig
The Martian is a 2015 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, based on the novel by Andy Weir. An astronaut (Matt Damon) becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him gone, and must ...more

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10
The Day After Tomorrow ... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Emmy Rossum, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid
The Day After Tomorrow is a 2004 American climate fiction-disaster film co-written, directed, and produced by Roland Emmerich and starring Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ian Holm, Emmy Rossum, ...more

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11
Bill & Ted's Excelle... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Siersha 2 added
Keanu Reeves, George Carlin, Jane Wiedlin
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is a 1989 American science fiction comedy buddy film and the first film in the Bill & Ted franchise in which two slackers travel through time to assemble ...more

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12
WarGames is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Matthew Broderick, William H. Macy, Ally Sheedy
WarGames is a 1983 American science-fiction film written by Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes and directed by John Badham. The film stars Matthew Broderick, Dabney Coleman, John Wood, and ...more

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13
12 Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Siersha 2 added
Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer
12 Monkeys, also known as Twelve Monkeys, is a 1995 American science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam, inspired by Chris Marker's 1962 short film La Jetée, and starring Bruce ...more

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14
Escape from New York is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Jamie Lee Curtis, Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine
Escape from New York is a 1981 American science fiction action film co-written, co-scored, and directed by John Carpenter. The film is set in a then near-future 1997 in a distopian United States ...more

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15
Harry Potter and the Pri... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Meg Jones added
Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Gary Oldman
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a 2004 fantasy film directed by Alfonso Cuarón and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. ...more

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16
48 Hours is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, James Remar
48 Hours is an American documentary/news magazine television series that airs on CBS. The series has been broadcast on the network since January 19, 1988. The program airs Saturdays at 10:00 ...more

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17
Outbreak is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Siersha 2 added
Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman
Outbreak is a 1995 American medical disaster film directed by Wolfgang Petersen and based on Richard Preston's non-fiction book The Hot Zone. The film stars Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, and ...more

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18
Source Code is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga
Source Code is a 2011 science fiction film directed by Duncan Jones, written by Ben Ripley, and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, and Jeffrey Wright. The film had its ...more

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19
Dr. Strangelove or: How ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Siersha 2 added
James Earl Jones, Peter Sellers, George C. Scott
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, more commonly known as Dr. Strangelove, is a 1964 political satire black comedy film that satirizes fears of a nuclear ...more

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20
The Ring is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Naomi Watts, Pauley Perrette, Brian Cox
The Ring is a 2002 American psychological horror film directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts. It is a remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film Ring, which was based on the novel Ring ...more

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21
Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Siersha 2 added
June Foray, Mike Douglas, Verna Felton
Cinderella is a 1950 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures. Based on the fairy tale "Cendrillon" by Charles Perrault, it is ...more

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22
Phone Booth is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Siersha 2 added
Katie Holmes, Colin Farrell, Jared Leto
Phone Booth is a 2002 American psychological thriller film about a man who is held hostage in a telephone booth by a sniper. It stars Colin Farrell, Forest Whitaker, Katie Holmes, Radha Mitchell ...more
23
The Quick and the Dead ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Siersha 2 added
Leonardo DiCaprio, Sharon Stone, Russell Crowe
This film is a 1995 western film directed by Sam Raimi and starring Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio. The story focuses on "The Lady", a gunfighter who ...more

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24
Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, Frank Oz
Labyrinth is a 1986 British-American musical adventure fantasy film directed by Jim Henson, executive produced by George Lucas and based upon conceptual designs by Brian Froud. The film stars ...more

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25
The Man Who Knew Too Muc... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Siersha 2 added
James Stewart, Doris Day, Alfred Hitchcock
The Man Who Knew Too Much is a 1956 suspense thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring James Stewart and Doris Day. The film is a somewhat altered remake in widescreen VistaVision and ...more

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