3. The Romantic Drama – About Time (2013)
The time travelling romantic drama hit its peak in the mid to late 2000s when The Lake House, Kate & Leopold, The Time Traveler’s Wife and About Time were all released, but About Time is our choice for this entry because it hits all of those romantic drama beats, getting you to laugh, to feel and later to cry even despite the absurd (and ever-present) time-hopping at the centre of its narrative.
The Lake House is arguably the most subtle of the films mentioned above regarding the use of time travel, but all are a particular brand of schlock that is bound to get anyone interested in a bit of bonkers “fulfill your destiny and love someone across space and time” feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
Coming from Bridget Jones’ Diary screenwriter and Love Actually director Richard Curtis, it is perhaps obvious what you’re in for with About Time, but that only adds to the comfort this film can bring, making for a time travel movie worth all of the unlimited love and drama it’s wrapped up in.
Recommended for you: Rachel McAdams: The Time-Traveller’s Wife
4. The Comedy – Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
For pure time travelling comedy, you need look no further than Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the tale of two dumbass teens traversing time to complete a history assignment.
Starring a young Keanu Reeves, Bill & Ted is the kind of teen comedy that much of the film industry sought to replicate in the early 2000s with the likes of American Pie and Dude, Where’s My Car?, itself picking up from the teen come-dramas of the 80s and adding a time travelling spin for extra comedic value.
While that shouldn’t work, it actually does – there’s a reason a third Bill & Ted movie is on its way in 2020.
This film is iconic and still funny over thirty years later, and it even features a starring performance from everyone’s favourite person Keanu Reeves. What more could you want?
Honourable mention: Austin Powers – The Spy Who Shagged Me
5. The Horror – Army of Darkness (1992)
Army of Darkness was the third movie in Sam Raimi’s incredibly funny and equally as gory horror series that stemmed from his micro-budget mega-success The Evil Dead (released in 1981), and this time sent hero Ash (played as ever by Bruce Campbell) back to 1300 A.D. to fight an army of the undead.
The true quality of Army of Darkness lies in how it is just as iconic and quotable as the other two films in the trilogy, and how Ash’s accidental transportation to a century long-since passed was presented with the same irreverence Sam Raimi has made a career out of.
This is a horror created more to get you laughing than it is to give you chills, but the special effects are typically gory, the one-liners sharp as a tack and the direction on point as always, Army of Darkness not only being unique as a time travel movie but as a horror movie too; an excellent jumping in point for those wanting to explore time travel in cinema without all of the sci-fi trimmings.
Given the wide range of effective ways time travel has been used in movies over the decades, we’re sure there are many more films with less sci-fi elements that are begging to be given a platform, so why don’t you let us know about them in the comments? While you’re there, make sure to follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest film news and more articles like this one.