Movies – 10 Cool Time Loop Movies Ranked, According To IMDb
The “time loop” has become a popular time travel movie sub-genre. Usually defined as when a character, for some reason, relives a day or experience over and over again and must figure out what they need to do to escape it. The earliest use of this concept dates back to the 1941 short story “Doubled and Redoubled” by Malcolm Jameson.
Hollywood has used this concept numerous times for different genres with varying success. More recently, the popular TV show Russian Doll has employed a time loop premise. Here are ten of these time loop movies that fans of the setup should check out.
10 Naked – 5.4
A remake of a 2000 Swedish film, Naked stars Marlon Wayans as a non-committal man who has to relive the hour before his wedding over and over until he can make his way from the hotel to the church. The biggest problem is, he has to attempt to get there while being completely naked the whole time, every time.
The movie premiered on Netflix in 2017 and received very negative reviews, especially for its emphasis on lowbrow humor. It currently holds a 0% score on Rotten Tomatoes based on 8 reviews.
9 Premature – 5.8
Described as “Groundhog Day meets American Pie,” Premature follows a high school student reliving the day he loses his virginity over and over. When he attempts to lose it to his crush, he prematurely ejaculates and he wakes up reliving the same day over and over with the same result.
Ultimately, he realizes his true feelings for a different classmate and attempts to lose his virginity with her, breaking the loop. The film premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival but garnered mostly negative reviews.
8 Christmas Every Day – 6.4
Originally based on an 1892 short story about a girl who wishes to have Christmas every day, the story was adapted to match the then-recent hit Groundhog Day. Christmas Every Day revolves around Billy, a selfish teenager, forced to relive Christmas every day until he understands its true meaning.
The film premiered on The Family Channel in 1996 and has since become a perennial favorite, replaying every Christmas on each iteration of The Family Channel: Fox Family, then ABC Family, and now Free Form where it is also currently streaming.
7 Before I Fall – 6.5
Based on the YA book, Before I Fall stars Zoey Deutch as a popular teenager who starts reliving the same day over and over again following a car crash. Stuck in a time loop, she tries to change her ways and make a difference in the life of a girl she had bullied in the past.
The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was later released to theaters to mixed reviews, with much criticism directed toward its ending, but Zoey Deutch’s performance received high praise. The movie was also nominated for several Teen Choice Awards, winning one.
6 The Final Girls – 6.6
The Final Girls takes a unique twist on the time loop genre while also being a satire of the slasher genre. The movie transports a group of high school students into a 1980s slasher movie where they experience the movie’s 92-minute running time over and over, and having to relive its horrors and murders each time.
The Final Girls premiered at the South By Southwest Film Festival and critics praised it for its unique take on the slasher genre and its various tropes, as well as making clever use of the time loop concept.
5 Happy Death Day – 6.6
Blumhouse’s hit Happy Death Day revolves around a college student who keeps reliving the day a serial killer murdered her. Trapped in a time loop, she must try to figure out who is the person killing her.
The movie was a huge box office hit, grossing $125 million worldwide off a $4.8 million budget. Happy Death Day received mostly positive reviews for its time loop spin on the slasher genre and spawned a sequel Happy Death Day 2U in 2019.
4 Palm Springs – 7.4
Palm Springs takes the time loop concept into the romantic-comedy category when a bridesmaid, Sarah (Cristin Milioti), finds herself stuck in a time loop on the day of her sister’s wedding, where another guest, Nyles (Andy Samberg) has already been reliving the day for a very long time. While stuck in the loop, they fall in love. However, while Sarah wants to find a way out of the loop, Nyles wants to stay.
The movie premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival where it sold for a record $17,500,000.69 and premiered on Hulu later that summer where it was a huge streaming hit. Critics praised the film for its performances and for using the time loop concept as a metaphor for relationships and marriage.
3 Source Code – 7.5
Directed by Moon director (and David Bowie’s son) Duncan Jones, Source Code tells the story of an army pilot (Jake Gyllenhaal), who is sent into the body of a train passenger, where he must relive the last eight minutes of the person’s life in order to identify and prevent a terrorist from detonating a bomb aboard the train.
The film also premiered at the South By Southwest Film Festival, and when released in theaters, critics and audiences praised it, making Source Code a box office hit. Famed critic Roger Ebert, in his review, said it was “Confounding, exhilarating, challenging – the best movie seen so far in 2011.”
2 Edge Of Tomorrow – 7.9
Based on the Japanese light novel All You Need Is Kill, Edge Of Tomorrow revolves around an alien invasion wherein a public relations officer (Tom Cruise) who, after being forced into combat, is killed in battle, only to relive the same day and battle repeatedly. The movie received positive reviews from critics, but the box office was considered lukewarm.
When released on home media, the movie’s tagline “Live. Die. Repeat.” was rebranded as the movie’s title, leading to some confusion, however, the title in the movie itself remains the same. Despite its mediocre box office, home media sales were very good and now a sequel is in the works.
1 Groundhog Day – 8.0
Perhaps the benchmark for which all time loop movies are judged is the 1993 masterpiece, Groundhog Day. Directed by the late Harold Ramis, Bill Murray stars as Phil Connors, a weatherman who finds himself reliving Groundhog Day again and again. In living the day over and over, he ultimately becomes a better person.
The movie was a box-office hit and released to stellar reviews. Over time, audiences and scholars have found many philosophical and spiritual aspects to it, notably, its exploration of the five stages of grief, Buddhist teachings, and many Catholics view Phil’s time loop as purgatory and that he can only be freed by embracing selflessness. However, Ramis always maintained they “never intended it to be more than a good, heartfelt, and entertaining story.” Whatever the intention, audiences will be viewing Groundhog Day over and over again for years to come.
NEXT: 10 Best Movies & Shows About Time Travel, Ranked
James Bond: The 10 Most Expensive Movies In The Franchise, So Far
About The Author