Science fiction movies release by the dozen every year, but only a handful of them are able to truly create an impression on the audience. ‘Back To The Future’, the 1985 science fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis, is one such film which has been able to conquer the imagination of filmgoers since the day it first released. The film takes us on a ride with teenager Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown, as they travel back and forth in time and find themselves in hilarious situations. Marty and Doc share a wonderful camaraderie despite their difference in age. Doc shares his revolutionary innovations with Marty regularly, even making him aware of the time machine he has invented using the plutonium he stole from Libyan terrorists. Their journey to the past takes an awry turn when Marty meets his parents when they were his age, and the younger version of his mother falls for him.
‘Back To The Future’ is replete with hilarious situations, amazing characters, and a well-constructed story which will take you to a dreamy world. The film was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and has left an indelible mark on science fiction filmmaking. If you loved this film and are looking for more movies that are thematically and stylistically similar, then you have come to the right place. Here is the list of best movies similar to ‘Back to the Future’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these movies like ‘Back to the Future’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
7. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves play the central characters of this fun-filled fantasy adventure movie directed by Stephen Herek. The story centers around the two eponymous characters, Billy and Ted, who go through academic problems at school while looking for opportunities to start a band. On meeting a time-traveling human from the future, Rufus (played by the legendary stand-up comedian George Carlin), the duo come to know that their band goes on to become the inspiration behind humans creating a perfect society for themselves. Feeling optimistic, they decide to use Rufus’ time machine to visit important points in history to solve their academic issues and concentrate on their music. ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ does a tremendous job of telling a wonderful story using cultural elements from both the present and the past. The time-traveling aspect serves as a major plot device, but takes nothing away from the wonderful characters created by writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon.
6. The Time Machine (1960)
The first famous work of literature regarding time travel is ‘The Time Machine’ written by the famous science-fiction novelist H.G. Wells. The book first gave us the prototype of a scientist coming up with a time-traveling machine and then going to different points in time and taking part in a number of adventures. The cinematic adaptation of the book was released in 1960, to both critical and commercial success. The film follows the life of a scientist called H. George Wells, who makes some rather shocking discoveries about the future of the human species by using his time machine and traveling to the distant future. Produced and directed by Goerge Pal, ‘The Time Machine’ is a brilliant piece of work, considering it was made way back in 1960. But don’t expect any philosophical depth in the film’s narrative; it is an out-and-out entertainer with children as its target audience.
5. Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ is a very unique science fiction film, which we can think of as a crossover between ‘Back To The Future’ and ‘Hangover‘. There are three central characters in the film – Adam, Nick, and Lou. None of their lives are really happy, with Lou being single and a party animal in his 40s. When Lou is recuperating after being hospitalized due to carbon monoxide poisoning, his friends take him to a resort where they have a gala time. Their fun is short-lived as they soon discover that one of the drinks they’ve had has transported them back in time. ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ is one of the funniest time travel movies of all time, and has a bunch of amazing characters who are so endearing that you’ll fall in love with them by the end of the film. Some of the things they indulge in are silly and melodramatic, but it never really affects the overall experience.
4. Time Bandits (1981)
Co-written, produced, and directed by Terry Gilliam, this 1981 film is heavily influenced by the legendary comedy group Monty Python. ‘Time Bandits’ centers around a young boy called Kevin who is fascinated by ancient history and is always eager for more knowledge. One fine day, Kevin is shocked when six dwarfs come out of his closet. They tell him that they’ve managed to come up with a chart which points out all the major ruptures in the fabric of time. These dwarves plan to use this map to travel to various points of time and steal treasures from there. Just like the Monty Python films, ‘Time Bandits’ clearly reflects the immense knowledge of its creator on a number of subjects including history, philosophy, literature, and his contemporary culture. Performances by Sean Connery, John Cleese, Shelley Duvall, and others are just on par with the brilliant writing of the film. The sets and the special effects used in the movie are spectacular as well, leaving the audience in awe of its inventiveness.
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3. Groundhog Day (1993)
‘Groundhog Day‘ is not a time travel movie per se, but in a similar fashion with ‘Back To The Future’, it focuses on reliving an aspect of the past which someone does not really want to witness. The film stars Bill Murray in the leading role as weatherman Phil Connors who goes to the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover their Groundhog Day festivities. On the second day of his stay, when he wakes up in the morning, Phil realizes that he is reliving the previous day itself. Puzzled, Phil tries numerous ways to understand what is actually going on and how he can get out of this time loop. The film depicts how he finally manages to come out of the loop after going through some hilarious and heart-wrenching situations. Murray’s wonderful performance, along with the brilliant writing, takes this film to a level that only very few comedies have managed to reach. The philosophical subtext about the drudgery of daily existence in today’s world is one of the major highlights of the film.
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2. Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009)
A hilarious comedy written by Gareth Carrivick, ‘FAQ About Time Travel’ stars Chris O’Dowd as the central character of Ray. He is a costumed tour guide who gets fired on account of scaring kids with his antics. Ray’s life suddenly takes a complete turn one day when he goes to a bar with his friends, Toby and Pete. There, they meet a time-traveling woman from the future who claims that she travels with an in-built time machine in her body and goes around fixing ruptures in time. It is with this woman that the three friends go on a journey across space and time. The film has some wonderful comedic moments and moves at a nice pace. There is a meta element to the story with two of the three friends being fans of science fiction themselves.
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1. Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
‘Safety Not Guaranteed’ is a critically acclaimed 2012 science fiction comedy directed by Colin Trevorrow (also known for his work in ‘Jurassic World‘). The film follows the adventures of three employees of a Seattle magazine—Jeff, Darius, and Arnau—who want to write a story on a man who claims to have found out the right way to conduct time travel. Their subject, Kenneth, had sent out a classified advertisement in a newspaper for a partner who would accompany him on his travels through time. When Jeff and company meet Kenneth, it is the man who baffles them more than the claims he makes. ‘Safety Not Guaranteed’ is a hilarious take on time travel movies, and boasts of a fabulous cast and a wildly entertaining story-line. All the characters are well fleshed out, with each one’s dialogue giving him/her an authentic voice.
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