From mind-boggling thrillers to tear-jerking romcoms, discover The Next Hour’s selection of time-telling stories, changing your perception on the ticking clock.
The concept of the passage of time has captivated movie-goers and creators for decades. Cult classics such as Back To The Future and Groundhog Day are beloved silver screen favourites, but here is a list of our top 6 lesser-known movies about time, for the next time you don’t know what to watch.
About Time (2013)
Forget The Notebook and Sleepless In Seattle—About Time is one of the best romantic comedies out there. Starring Domhnall Gleeson from the Harry Potter series and romantic comedy veteran Rachel McAdams, the 2013 film tells the tale of the fragility of love and life and how one moment can forever change the course of a person’s life. Set in the United Kingdom, 21-year-old Tim Lake endures an unusual coming of age as he is made aware of his inherited ability to time travel. The film depicts Tim’s struggles and joys as he learns about his gift and its unfortunate side effects. Despite the Sci-Fiction angle, About Time manages to forgo the futuristic hooplah that is often a given for films about time travel. Instead, it leans on its heartbreakingly good one-liners. Bonus: Love, Actually star Bill Nighy plays Tim’s father.
In Time (2011)
Time is money, no literally. In the dystopian world of the 2011 action film In Time, inhabitants do not age past 25. Each person sports a ticking clock on their arm that counts down how much longer they have to live. The catch? The wealthy can afford to buy more time while the poor are left to die young. Justin Timberlake plays the main character named Will Salas, a man trying to clear his name after wrongly being accused of murder. Will crosses paths with a wealthy heiress named Sylvia Weis played by Amanda Seyfried, and takes her hostage in effort to buy himself some more time. From there, a love affair and Robinhood tale emerges. The film is full of action, not so subtle social commentary and glorious eye candy.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Are you feeling nostalgic for a life you never had? Midnight in Paris is a fantastical film that stars Owen Wilson as Gil, a burnt-out screenwriter who, while on a trip to Paris, transports back to the 1920s every day at midnight. During his peculiar trips back in time, Gil befriends famous figures such as Gertrude Stein and Salvador Dali. Gil discovers romance, inspiration and most importantly, a new, timeless perspective on life.
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Sh*gged Me (1999)
The Spy Who Sh*gged Me is the beloved second film in the James Bond parody series with fantastic fashion and politically incorrect characters. Mike Meyers wrote and produced the entire Austin Powers trilogy while simultaneously playing 80% of the roles—including lead Austin Powers. Powers travels back in time in hopes of deterring Dr Evil from stealing his mojo. The boundaries of rationality are shamelessly thrown into the wind, and rather than attempting to explain the unexplainable, special agent Basil breaks the fourth wall and implores the audience not to ask any questions and just enjoy themselves. Most simply put, it’s a movie about time travel that takes the piss out of movies about time travel.
Set in a future where the earth has become inhabitable, the film’s protagonist, played by Matthew McConaughey, is a NASA pilot given the near-impossible task of finding an alternative planet in another galaxy. As Basil said, it’s best if the audience doesn’t ask any questions. Christopher Nolan submerges his audience into scientific concepts regarding gravity and the relativity of time. The film is vastly entertaining but be prepared for a headache.
Palm Springs (2020)
The 2020 film starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti broke the Sundance Film Festival record for the most expensive streaming deal ever. The existential romantic comedy falls into the Ground Hog Day archetype, where the main characters are stuck in a perpetual time loop. Nyles and Sarah, who are guests at the same wedding, are inexplicably linked together when they are forced to relive the same 24 hours over and over again. It’s an enemy to lovers tale set in Palm Springs, California, with beautiful cinematography and razor-sharp wit one would expect from a Lonely Island production.