Select Time Loop Movies And Why You Should (Re-)Watch Them


One of the best types of sci-fi movies is time loop movies because, when done correctly, they can twist your sense of reality, create interesting paradoxes, and make you question the concept of time itself.

However, this concept requires a certain type of movie to pull it off very well, but luckily, I have gathered the best time loop movies for you to watch!

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
  • Director: Doug Liman
  • Screenwriter: Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, based on the novel “All You Need Is Kill” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
  • Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton

Why You Should Watch it: Edge of Tomorrow is a unique take on the action film genre. It explores resilience, adaptability, and the human spirit in the fight against the alien invasion. Filmmakers and fans should watch it for its creative execution, engaging plot, and humor.

I watched this in a drive-in movie theatre; how’s that for a loop back in time?

About the film: We follow Major William Cage (Tom Cruise), who is thrown into a combat role against alien invaders and dies, only to awaken to relive the same day repeatedly.

With each loop, Cage gains combat skills and teams up with warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) to exploit this time loop to their advantage, seeking to identify and destroy the aliens’ power source. Through trial, death, and learning, they edge closer to saving humanity in this action-packed, time-bending narrative.

Happy Death Day (2017)

  • Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
  • Director: Christopher Landon
  • Screenwriter: Scott Lobdell
  • Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine

Why You Should Watch it: Happy Death Day is a great slasher horror movie and brings a new twist to the time loop genre by repeating the loop about the main character reliving their death.

It’s a great study for filmmakers who want to dip their toes in horror but don’t want to repeat (pun intended!) all the same tropes others have done.

This is a dark comedy, so there is a lot of dark humor. It is brutal and depressing, but if you can get past that, you will have a lot of fun watching this movie. If that bothers you, you may want to avoid watching this movie.

About the film: The general plot of the film is that a college student is hunted by a serial killer who wears a baby face mask, and she gets stuck in an endless loop until she can finally figure out how to save herself from her death.

As she is killed over and over in different ways, the mental stress begins to wear down on her, and she begins to despair that she will ever be able to put an end to this hell that she has found herself in.

Source Code (2011)

  • Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
  • Director: Duncan Jones
  • Screenwriter: Ben Ripley
  • Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga

Why You Should Watch it: Source Code is fast-paced, and it balances the action scenes with the frustration that often comes with time-loop films in a way that keeps you engaged.

The story is a lot of fun and introduces some cool technological concepts that make for an exciting time. It is also a creative and fresh spin on the time looper film genre that’s worth studying for filmmakers because everything occurs within the same eight-minute loop.

About the film: Colter (Jake Gyllenhaal) finds himself stuck in a time loop on a train. As part of an experimental government program, he is tasked with finding the identity of a train bomber.

The entire loop lasts eight minutes, which isn’t very long to accomplish such a task, so he has to go back multiple times and is repeatedly killed in various ways, from being blown up in the train explosion to being shot by the terrorist who is planting the bombs.

Looper (2012)

  • Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
  • Director: Rian Johnson
  • Screenwriter: Rian Johnson
  • Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt

Why You Should Watch it: Looper is one of the best action-based time-loop movies. The action scenes are beautifully done, and the film is very well put together. While the story can get convoluted at points, if you stick with it, everything will make sense; you just have to get past some of the more confusing moments.

About the film: A crime syndicate undertakes assassination missions by sending their killers called “Loopers” back in time to kill and dispose of the targets. This is because the future has become too safe, where undertaking criminal activities like this is extremely difficult due to technological advancements and police presence.

After the end of their contracts, the active loopers are killed, closing the loop forever. As you may have guessed, the entire movie focuses on this predicament.

Predestination (2014)

  • Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
  • Director: The Spierig Brothers (Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig)
  • Screenwriter: The Spierig Brothers, based on a story by Robert A. Heinlein
  • Starring: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor

Why You Should Watch it: Predestination is an interesting film with a more narrative-driven storytelling style than a fast-paced action flick. It gives it a more serious tone and creates tension that traditional action movies cannot accomplish very well. It’s a great movie for screenwriters to study.

Not only is the story a ton of fun to digest, but this movie also has a fair amount of trans representation, as one of the main characters is female-to-male transgender. While it is somewhat of a focal point of the movie, it isn’t used as the main plot device but to help support and build up one of the main characters, making the movie even better than it would have been otherwise. 

About the film: Predestination is about a secret agent who utilizes time travel in a sci-fi future for one last mission. He is tasked with hunting down and eliminating a criminal and planning an attack that could kill thousands of people if it successfully occurs.

He travels to the 1970s, where he works undercover as a bartender to uncover the killer’s identity. Most of the movie occurs as one of his customers begins to tell stories of his life and the various adventures that he has had.

Groundhog Day (1993)

  • Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
  • Director: Harold Ramis
  • Screenwriter: Danny Rubin, Harold Ramis
  • Starring: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott

Why You Should Watch It: Groundhog Day is one of the best movies on this list and has received such high praise for good reason. From having some of the greatest actors who put forth strong performances to the story it tells, this movie has everything you want in a great time-loop movie.

While the movie is a comedy, at its core, it is about a man who has little love for the world around him and learns to appreciate those in his life in a way he never had before.

Groundhog helped set the blueprint for time loop plots that many future movies use. It is a touching story that everyone should get the pleasure of watching at least once, and it is honestly a film that you will likely watch multiple times because it is that good.

About the film: Last but not least, on this list is the most famous time loop film of all time, Groundhog Day. Compared to many of the movies on this list, it is a much more lighthearted film, a romantic comedy instead of an action film.

Bill Murray plays a TV weatherman who goes to a small town to report on Groundhog Day, only for him to wind up in an infinite time loop that lasts for 24 hours before beginning again. While it sounds like a depressing concept, the film manages to keep it comedic and has a happy ending with a budding romance.

You might also like this article on how repetition is used in film.


Time loop movies can span many genres, allowing you to recommend them to almost anyone regardless of the type of film they enjoy watching.

If you liked these recommendations, check out The Best 1950s Sci-Fi Movies Every Filmmaker Should Know for more great science fiction-esque films!

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