12 Essential Time Travel Movies You Should Watch After Seeing The Adam Project
The Adam Project, the new family-centric time travel adventure from director Shawn Levy, became part of our timeline when it premiered on Netflix on March 11th. Ryan Reynolds plays Adam Reed, a future time-traveling fighter pilot who crashes into the past (our 2022) and connects with his 12-year-old self to save the future. Confused?
It all makes sense, but more importantly, the movie made us revisit the past and think about all the fantastic time travel movies that have been made available to kids and adults alike. If after watching The Adam ProjectIf you’re in love with the idea of time travel and want to watch more of it in your future, we’ve got a purse of equally interesting films with the genre that are bound to fire the imagination to even greater heights.
1. 13 Ongoing 30
Jennifer Garner nails the “teenager in an adult body” vibe that’s so necessary to sell the charm of this wish-fulfillment comedy. She plays a nerdy 13-year-old who desperately wants to be part of the popular mob, but gets tricked by them instead. After a desperate birthday wish to be “30, flirt and prosper”, she wakes up 17 years in the future, exactly as she hoped. Garner’s unbridled but clumsy enthusiasm gangrene is a sight to behold. It’s also a film that appeals to children who will totally have the fantasy of being an adult, and to adults who can nostalgically appreciate the realities of adulthood and the hard knocks suffered along the way.
2. Back to the future
Back to the Future remains a standout title in the genre thanks to Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and the cast’s pitch-perfect performances. That’s why we buy the absurd and conceptual premise of a DeLorean turned into a time machine. Maybe kids react so well to the movie because the script does such an effective job of explaining the twisty, paradoxical concept and it doesn’t appeal to audiences of all ages. Young viewers get the stakes, the weirdness of Marty’s crushing mother, and the almost cartoonish charm of Lloyd’s Doc Brown. It’s a perfect entry point title for the time travel genre. If you like this one, wait until you see what else.
3. The Bill and Ted Trilogy
The Hot Guys of Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter) and “Ted” Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves) are making time travel for the masses, and we are eternally grateful to them. The two valley besties have a lot of air between their ears, but a lot of heart beating in their chest. Without a doubt, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) is the best of the trilogy but there are plenty of charms to be had in the three episodes of their adventures through time. There’s also a bespoke appeal to younger audiences, which can be seen in the less-than-stellar students and somewhat floundering young men. And then the third episode crosses the generation gap by including their daughters, which brings the whole premise into the present and gives the guys an arc that earns them an “Excellent!”
4. Click on
Adam Sandler is the poster child for arrested development, which is stitched into 90% of his film projects, which is why Click on is a natural fit. He plays Michael Newman, an overworked family man who gets beaten up at work and sees his family life suffer. Instead of making life-altering choices, he uses a magic remote control to fast-forward through tough times, time-hopping in his life to the best times until he’s forced to deal with the repercussions of its avoidance. Sandler makes comedy accessible to all ages and it’s a fun concept to play, until it gets a little dark near the end. But there’s a strong moral to the story about being present and not disappearing inside the breast tube when you can take control of your life.
5. Flight of the Navigator
Old school Walt Disney title from 1986, it tells the adventures of David Freeman, 12 (Joey Cramer), an average child who gets abducted by aliens and is taken eight years into the future. His family thinks he just disappeared, but David was taken to the planet Phaelon and given a brain full of extraterrestrial information and knowledge. It’s a little dated today, but it certainly hits the nostalgia buttons for Gen-Xers and captures that Amblin ethos of kids being able to do amazing things.
6. Futurama: Bender’s big score
After disappearing from the Fox lineup, Futurama was resurrected (the first time) in 2007 as a series of four direct-to-video films, beginning with Bender’s big score. The complicated plot has Bender (John DiMaggio) get involved with a group of crooks who use the morally compromised robot to steal the treasures of history through time. Due to paradoxes and multiple Fryes (Billy West), the whole adventure ends in a cliffhanger tear in the fabric of space. Ridiculous, but as is the case with the show, still science-minded if not still completely solid.
7. The girl who crossed time
This 2006 animated sequel to the book of the same name looks a bit like the teenage version of groundhog day. Young Makoto Konno discovers she has the power to “time jump” with a tattoo that lets her know how many times she is allowed to time jump. It ends up being a touching romance and a clever story about choice and fate. Often positively compared to the works of Studio Ghibli, The girl who crossed time is now considered a modern anime classic.
8. groundhog day
“Phil? Phil Conners? I thought it was you!” If you know Harold Ramis’ classic time-loop comedy groundhog day, then you know that quote perfectly sums up the spirit of hilarity and misery inherent in the film. Bill Murray plays Phil Connors, a cocky local weatherman who covers Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. What should be a one-day stay in the small town ends up becoming an endless repetition of that one day for Phil, as he desperately tries to break the cycle and return home. Sincere and stupid, groundhog day delivers a poignant lesson in kindness, self-improvement, and never letting a groundhog drive.
9.Star Trek IV: The Journey Home
Even if you don’t like star trek, this 1986 installment featuring the original crew on the big screen is easily the most accessible movie of them all. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy are at their comedic best, and the story is more resonant than ever as future Starfleet heroes travel back in time to retrieve humpback whales needed to solve a crisis. Younger viewers will get the green message (and marvel at the old technology of the time), while older viewers can appreciate the chemistry and very hiking messages to its narrative core.
ten. Mr. Peabody and Sherman
The former heroes of the small screen The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends hit the big screen in 2014 for a computer-animated adventure starring the brilliant Peabody and his time machine. Today’s kids are probably unfamiliar with the old, hand-drawn Mr. Peabody and Sherman cartoons, but this film introduced the egg-headed duo to a new generation without losing the charm of the original 1960s cartoon. The time jump is also a great way to introduce some history into a child’s brain without the pain of textbooks.
11. Meet the Robinsons
Based on the book, A day with Wilbur Robinson, this CG-animated adaptation from Walt Disney Animation has two pint-sized time travelers who have trouble with their inventions. Lewis, 12, meets his match with 13-year-old Wilbur Robinson, who says he’s a cop from the future. A twisty adventure that also functions as a great introduction to the genre, it appeals with the complexity of the premise and the ridiculousness of their impact over time.
12. bandits of time
A perfect blend of Terry Gilliam’s British absurdism and timeless adventure, bandits of time was the entry point for many Gen-Xers into British comedy with an all-star cast of Monty Python alumni and the likes of Sean Connery, Ian Holm and Ralph Richardson. It’s sometimes a little too busy to follow, but its story-loving hero Kevin (Craig Warnock) is a great character for young viewers, while adults will enjoy the fun on a whole new level. Plus, it all comes down to a toaster oven and that’s about as cool as it gets.