20 time-travel movies better than 'Click,' ranked

These sci-fi films are all smart and complex, with no involvement from Adam Sandler whatsoever.

Fox Van Allen
Fox Van Allen is a Los Angeles-based writer for CBS Interactive covering technology, tech lifestyle and gaming topics for GameSpot, CNET, ZDNet and TechRepublic. He has previously worked as a news and feature writer for a number of other sites, including Techlicious, Tecca, WoW Insider (Joystiq) and Blizzard Watch. In his spare time, Fox is an amateur skydiver, retro gaming and arcade enthusiast, 8-bit pixel artist, podcaster and Twitch live streamer.
Fox Van Allen
1 of 21 Columbia Pictures

Adam Sandler won't ruin these 20 movies

In the 2006 time-travel film "Click," a magical remote control lets Adam Sandler fast-forward and rewind his life. The movie tugs on the heartstrings, but it's not very good. Pretty terrible, actually. Metacritic gave the movie a lowly score of 45.

If you're looking for a great time-travel movie, check out one of these, all of which have a better rating on Metacritic than this "ultra-formulaic...abomination."

2 of 21 Warner Home Video

Timecop (1994)

Metacritic score: 48

In the future year of 2004, a crooked US Senator (Ron Silver) time-travels to change the past and further his career. Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as the time-traveling government agent tasked with stopping him.

It's arguably Van Damme's best movie, though that's not saying much.

3 of 21 Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Back to the Future III (1990)

Metacritic score: 55

We here at CNET have deep nostalgic feelings for the "Back to the Future" franchise, but critics were very harsh on its Old West-themed third installment. Sorry, Doc.

4 of 21 Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Back to the Future II (1989)

Metacritic score: 57

Critics responded slightly better to "Back to the Future II," knocking its "hopelessly complicated premises" and "brand-name advertising." But aren't time-travel movies supposed to be really complicated?

5 of 21 New Line Cinema

The Last Mimzy (2007)

Metacritic score: 59

A future ecological disaster has altered the genetics of the human race. To fix the problem, a stuffed robot is sent into the past to collect the uncorrupted DNA from children...by drinking their tears.

Yes, this is a children's movie.

6 of 21 Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Deja Vu (2006)

Metacritic score: 59

To capture a domestic terrorist, Special Agent Douglas Carlin (Denzel Washington) is given access to technology that allows him to view roughly four days into the past. When it's revealed the tech can also send inanimate objects back in time, Carlin makes the controversial decision to meddle with the past and stop the bombing.

7 of 21 MGM/UA Entertainment Co

Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)

Metacritic score: 63

In this screwball comedy starring John Cusack and Rob Corddry, a malfunctioning time machine (built into a hot tub, naturally) sends a group of skiers back to the year 1986 to relive their youth.

Roger Ebert said the film "succeeds beyond any expectations suggested by the title."

8 of 21 Warner Bros. Pictures

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

Metacritic score: 66

A twice-thwarted Skynet once again sends a Terminator (Kristanna Loken) into the past -- this time to the year 2003 -- to kill members of the Human Resistance that the machines are at war with. John Connor (Nick Stahl) survives death with the help of Arnold Schwarzenegger, of course, but there's no happy ending at the end of this one.

9 of 21 Paramount Pictures

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

Metacritic score: 67

Earth is in chaos in the year 2286, when a probe that makes humpback whale noises enters the planet's orbit and disables the power grid. To save the day, the USS Enterprise travels to the year 1986 to capture a whale, bring it to the future, and answer the probe's call.

(It's not as dumb as it sounds, we promise.)

10 of 21 THINKFilm

Primer (2004)

Metacritic score: 68

This film, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, delves into the moral and philosophical dilemmas of time travel without dumbing down the concept. And indeed, things get incredibly complicated when a pair of young engineers, armed with the accidental discovery of time travel, change history.

11 of 21 Pinnacle Films/Stage 6 Films

Predestination (2015)

Metacritic score: 69

Without spoiling too much, this twist-heavy Australian film, starring Ethan Hawke, is about a time-traveling agent who gets caught up in the ultimate paradoxical time loop.

12 of 21 Warner Bros. Pictures

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Metacritic score: 71

After being doused in alien blood during a fierce battle in the year 2020, Bill Cage (Tom Cruise) gains the "Groundhog Day"-like ability to resurrect after death and relive the day he dies over and over again while retaining his memories.

13 of 21 Newmarket Films

Donnie Darko (2001)

Metacritic score: 71

In this 2001 cult classic, troubled teen Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) is tormented by a costumed man who warns the world will end in 28 days. Darko is pushed into committing crimes and researching time travel at the bunny's urging, even as those around Darko fret over his apparent descent into paranoid schizophrenia.

14 of 21 FilmDistrict

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

Metacritic score: 72

"Parks and Rec" star Aubrey Plaza appears in this romantic comedy based on a real-life classified ad seeking well-armed time travelers. She initially believes the ad to be a joke, but Plaza's character quickly bonds with the ad's writer over a shared desire to save loved ones from death.

15 of 21 Columbia Pictures

Groundhog Day (1993)

Metacritic score: 72

In this Bill Murray classic, an egotistical meteorologist tasked with covering Punxsutawney Phil finds himself trapped in a time loop, forcing him to relive Groundhog Day over and over again. Murray eventually uses his unlimited do-overs to benefit others and, ultimately, finds true love.

16 of 21 20th Century Fox

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Metacritic score: 74

In the year 2023, mutants face extinction at the hands of super-powered forces. Kitty Pryde sends Wolverine's consciousness 50 years into the past to change history and stop the Sentinel program from initiating.

17 of 21 Universal Pictures

12 Monkeys (1996)

Metacritic score: 74

After a terrorist's plague wipes out most of humanity, a handful of survivors from the year 2035 send James Cole (Bruce Willis) back to 1996 to stop it. Instead, Cole lands in the year 1990, where he is hospitalized in a mental institution alongside the supposed founder of the terrorist group (Brad Pitt).

18 of 21 TriStar Pictures

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Metacritic score: 75

After playing the bad guy in "The Terminator," Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as hero, of sorts: a T-800 reprogrammed to protect future Human Resistance leader John Connor (Edward Furlong) from a time-traveling robot assassin (Robert Patrick).

19 of 21 Orion Pictures

The Terminator (1984)

Metacritic score: 83

Schwarzenegger played the ultimate baddie -- a relentless machine from the year 2029, sent back to the year 1984, with the sole purpose of murdering Sarah Connor, future mother of a war hero.

20 of 21 TriStar Pictures/FilmDistrict

Looper (2012)

Metacritic score: 84

In this thriller, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a time-traveling hitman who must assassinate his older self (Bruce Willis). Willis, meanwhile, escapes death to save his future wife from being murdered.

21 of 21 Universal Pictures

Back to the Future (1985)

Metacritic score: 86

This is it: "Back to the Future" is the granddaddy of modern time-travel movies, and the best-rated film in the genre. It's the story of Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and his accidental trip 30 years into the past, where a romantic entanglement with his own mother begins to erase the existence of his entire family.

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