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Time—ravager of youth; spoiler of milk; humanity’s oldest and deadliest foe. Yet in films we can conquer time easily: running it forwards and backward, skipping into the future or past with a simple edit. Filmmakers constantly time travel, so it’s no coincidence that there are so many films where this trick becomes a plot conceit.
But unfortunately for their protagonists, the best time travel films often show us that time’s prison is inescapable. Even when these protagonists look like they’ve found a way out, from natural wormholes to heretical machines, their fates are usually shown to be predetermined: Often they end up stuck in time loops, or just dead. Time and death are close companions.
Of course, this chaos translates into mind-bending entertainment for the viewer, so without further ado, let us introduce our picks for the best time travel movies.
Terminator 1 and 2 are really quite different movies. In the first, Arnie—the terminator—is the bad guy. He’s sent back in time by our machine overlords to kill a woman who will give birth to a child that will …
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