5 Classic Time Travel Movies You Should Watch

by Staff & Contributors

Time travel movies are always a joy to watch. Not only are you given the chance to go back in time through movies, but there is also a sense of adventure. A multitude of movies was created using this concept.

Time travel is technically impossible. You just can’t go to your nearest watch repair shop and buy watch hand supplies and other clock parts and expect to create a time machine of your own. However, it is so much fun to imagine yourself going back in time.

This is why a lot of time-travel movies were created. Some have even become classics in their own right.  Here are 5 Classic Time Travel movies that you should watch.


  • Back to the Future movie series (1985-1990)

The Back to the Future franchise is one of the most beloved time travel films of all time. In many ways, it is the movie that started it all. It’s what made the time travel trope a major draw. Directed and produced by the legendary Steven Spielberg, the movie series follows the adventures of Marty Macfly and Dr. Emmet Brown as they travel through time, and create a better future for themselves. The series comprises 3 films that have become iconic over the years.


  • Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

Hot Tub Time Machine is not like other time travel movies. First and foremost it is a comedy. Secondly, it does not take itself that seriously. The movie follows the exploits of life long friends Adam Yates, Nick Webber- Agnew, and Lou Dorchen.

The three friends are in their 40’s and they hate their lives. Adam just got dumped by his girlfriend, Nick is a henpecked husband with a dead-end job and Lou is a penniless party boy, who can’t seem to grow up. After Lou almost dies from carbon monoxide poisoning, the three friends go to the Kodiak Ski Resort, With Adam’s teenage nephew Jacob in tow.

While the foursome relaxes in the hotel hot tub, they accidentally douse the controls with an illegal Russian drink called Chernobyl. The next day, they soon find themselves in 1986 in their teenage bodies. In order to get back to their own time and bodies, they must enact what they did during that specific day. This is easier said than done though. Hot Tub Time Machine is a fun and comedic twist of the time-traveling trope.


  • Time Machine (2002)

The 2002 version of The Time Machine is a great remake. Although the film received mixed reviews, it has been nominated for an Academy Award for makeup. The story follows the time-traveling adventure of  Dr. Alexander Hartdegen, a Columbia University Professor who loses his fiancee to a robber. Determined to save her, Alexander builds a time machine to go back in time. He succeeds and goes back to the exact moment that she dies.

Sadly though, he cannot save her because she is destined to die that day. Frustrated, he goes into the future for a way to solve his dilemma. This sets specific events into action that sends him into a dystopian future.

His time machine is damaged, and he is trapped in a future where he can’t even get more advanced parts for his time machine. Even worse, he must now face the wrath of the Morlocks, a subterranean race of subhumans. Time Machine is an epic time traveling romp, that could be considered a classic in the near future.


  • Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a pop culture icon of the 1980s. The film begins in the very distant future of 2688, where humanity lives in a utopian society. This is all because of the two great ones Bill S.Preston Esq, and Theodore “Ted” Logan. In order to ensure the existence of this ideal existence, the leaders send Rufus, one of the citizens to go back in time. He is tasked to protect the young versions of the two elders. Rufus goes back in time and soon finds the two. They are nothing like their future selves. They are dimwitted members of a rock band and are struggling to finish a history assignment.

In order to convince the two teenagers, Rufus demonstrates the power of the Time Machine. The trio soon travels to the past and meets historical figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte. However, their adventure is turned upside down when the two are left to their own devices in the time machine. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a classic and has helped to launch the career of a young Keanu Reeves.


  • The Terminator (1984)

The Terminator is one of the most iconic Sci-Fi action movies of all time and has helped launch the legendary career of a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. The story follows a young woman named Sarah Connor, who is destined to give birth to the great John Connor.

He is a hero who will save mankind from the rule of renegade machines in the future. In order to safeguard Sarah Connor, John sends one of his most trusted soldiers back in time to ensure her safety. The machines are privy to this information though and they soon send a cyborg assassin to kill her.

The assassin is disguised as a human being and has only one objective. To kill Sarah Connor, and prevent John Connor from ever existing. A cat and mouse hunt soon ensues, with the future of the human race hanging in the balance. The Terminator is the very first film of an iconic franchise that is still relevant to this day.



The time travel concept has been around for quite a while. It is a great concept that many filmmakers have used over the years. Some would even say, that the time travel concept is overplayed. However, there are some movies that have become true classics in every sense of the word. With this short list of movies, you’ll see what constitutes a truly great time travel movie.

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