Entertainment

25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock  

Ranker Film
1.5k votes 152 voters 7.2k views 68 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
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
3
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 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
4
Don't Let Go is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
David Oyelowo, Storm Reid, Byron Mann
Don’t Let Go is a 2019 American supernatural thriller film directed by Jacob Aaron Estes. After the demise of a man's (David Oyelowo) family, he receives a phone call from his deceased niece.
5
The First Purge is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Y'Lan Noel, Lex Scott Davis, Joivan Wade
The First Purge is a 2018 American dystopian action horror film directed by Gerard McMurray, and the fourth installment in the series. To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of ...more
6
Apollo 13 is listed (or ranked) 6 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
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
8
Ferris Bueller's Day Off is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
Elysium is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Alice Braga
Elysium is a 2013 American dystopian science fiction action thriller film written, directed, and co-produced by Neill Blomkamp, and starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Alice Braga and Sharlto ...more
10
Airplane! is listed (or ranked) 10 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
11
Inception is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
The Martian is listed (or ranked) 12 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
13
Mile 22 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Mark Wahlberg, John Malkovich, Lauren Cohan
Mile 22 is a 2018 American action thriller film directed by Peter Berg. An elite American intelligence officer (Mark Wahlberg), aided by a top-secret tactical command unit, tries to smuggle a ...more
14
The Guilty is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 25+ Great Movies That Have a Ticking Clock
Jakob Cedergren, Jessica Dinnage, Johan Olsen
The Guilty is a 2018 Danish thriller film directed by Gustav Möller. A police officer (Jakob Cedergren) assigned alarm dispatch duty enters a race against time when he answers an emergency ...more
15
WarGames is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventu... is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
48 Hours is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
The Day After Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
Harry Potter and the Prisoner ... is listed (or ranked) 20 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
21
12 Monkeys is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Lear... is listed (or ranked) 22 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
23
Escape from New York is listed (or ranked) 23 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
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
25
Outbreak is listed (or ranked) 25 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