Everyone and their mother knows about time travel movies like Back to the Future and Avengers: Endgame, but what about the underrated time travel movies? It's a sci-fi subgenre with plenty of room to maneuver; there have been virtually countless time travel movies since the dawn of filmmaking. Some films fare better than others - the less said about 2002's The Time Machine, the better - but we're here to focus on some of the hidden gems and/or underrated films of the genre.
From low-budget gems like Primer and Timecrimes to big-budget blockbusters like Men in Black 3 and Deja Vu. From comedies to anime to the foreign arthouse, time travel keeps reliably cropping up. There's a lot of room to maneuver in this particular subgenre, so get ready to dive deep. Remember to vote up your favorite underrated films about time travel.
- Photo: Stage 6 Films
Based on Robert A. Heinlein's 1959 short story, "'—All You Zombies—'", 2014's Predestination struggled to make back its minuscule budget of $5 million at the box office upon release and that is a crying shame. Starring Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook, Predestination is a heady sci-fi thriller that's a bit hard to pin down. It's hard to sum up all of its twists and turns in the limited space here, but suffice it to say, Predestination is a hell of a trip.
This is a film that demands rewatching in order to decode what it's trying to say with its themes on gender and fate, and even then it can be difficult to decipher at times. But that's okay! The journey is fun enough to make it all work. As Richard Roeper said in his review, "As soon as the credits rolled on Predestination, I wanted to watch it again. It was even more of a mind-dance the second time around."Worth your time?
- Photo: Sony Pictures Releasing
Men in Black will forever remain a '90s classic and, well, the less said about Men in Black II, the better, but Men in Black 3 has quickly become an underrated movie - even though it grossed a monstrous $624 million at the worldwide box office. The sci-fi threequel follows Will Smith's Agent J as he goes back in time to team up with Agent K's younger self to save the world from evil aliens.
Josh Brolin is delightful as he does his best young Tommy Lee Jones impression as Agent K, and Jemaine Clement is just tons of fun as the villain, Boris the Animal. Is it a bit derivative of the first two? Yes, but sometimes you're just in the mood for some popcorn comfort food and Men in Black 3 is certainly that. Besides, it's much better than 2019's soft reboot, Men in Black: International.Worth your time?
- Photo: Magnet Releasing
It's certainly very shocking that a film called Timecrimes has something to do with time travel. But let's just focus on that title for a second, here. Timecrimes? That is an awesome title for a movie! And Timecrimes itself is a saucy little low-budget thriller. The Spanish film tells the story of a man who becomes part of a time loop thanks to an experimental time travel machine. That's not all, as he also must stop his other selves (who exist in the same plane of existence thanks to the time travel) from continuing to exist.
It's a bit much to wrap your head around, but it all makes sense when you're watching it. Made for under $3 million, Timecrimes is an effective little thriller that you can't help but admire. And if that English-language remake ever actually gets off the ground, perhaps the original will find a bigger audience than it did upon release back in 2007.Worth your time?
- Photo: Well Go USA
Some time travel films are light and breezy, meant to delight fans both young and old with capricious tales of science fiction. Synchronic is not one of these films. Unless stories about cancer and missing children are "light and breezy" to you. Alas, Synchronic remains a criminally underseen film from Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (who are absolutely perfect choices to direct episodes of Disney+ MCU show Moon Knight).
New Orleans paramedics Steve and Dennis, played by Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan, become embroiled in a weird mystery surrounding Dennis's missing daughter and a new drug that somehow causes its users to travel in time. Benson and Moorhead manage to keep everything dark and moody despite the odd premise of the film, and it ends up being a ride worth taking.Worth your time?