12 Movies You Must Watch if You Love ‘Primer’

Primer, an intelligently conceived idea of Shane Caruth, delves into the concepts of time paradoxes. The film focusses on a narrative that is about the fact that there is no perfect way of changing your past. As time travellers, the protagonists try hard to change the course of events in their past, but only end up creating more mess, with one them caught in a time loop.

Primer received a positive reception from the critics and was praised for its scientific accuracies. The principles of time travel in the film are inspired by Feynman diagrams which postulates the interaction of elementary particles. Primer is about two Intellectual engineers Aaron and Abe accidentally inventing the time machine. As the two friends obsess over their creation, they discover the dark consequences of their actions. Here’s a list of movies similar to Primer that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these movies like Primer on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

12. The Terminator (1984)

The Terminator is directed by the gifted academy award-winning director James Cameron, one of the most influential and the greatest pioneer of modern science fiction films. The story explores the journey of a human soldier from the year 2029 who must protect a young woman named Sarah Conor from getting killed by a cybernatic assassin known as The Terminator. Kyle must protect Sarah because an artificial intelligence defense network known as Skynet will become self-aware in the near future and initiate a nuclear holocaust. Sarah’s son John will lead a resistance movement against Skynet and is the only person capable of ending Skynet’s reign once and for all.

The Terminator explores the concept of bootstrap paradox meaning the terminators only exist because Skynet is developed based on the technology left from the original Terminator and the grandfather paradox — the reason why John Connor sends back his own father to meet his mother so that he’s conceived. The traditional grandfather paradox is a time traveller going back to kill his grandfather so that he’s never born. The film also heavily focuses on the concept of existentialism.

Read More: Best Schizophrenia Movies of All Time

11. Flashpoint Paradox (2013)

Flashpoint is adapted from the best-selling world of Flashpoint comic’s issues, written by one of the best comic book writers out there today “Geoff Johns”. Johns is not only the chief content officer at DC comics, but he also serves as an advisor for the current DC cinematic universe movies.

Flashpoint explores the story of CCPD forensic scientist Barry Allen (the Flash) who travels back in time to save his mother who was murdered by the reverse flash and in doing so creates an alternate timeline where the Justice League never gets formed, Superman ends held hostage in a government facility since his escape pod arrived on earth, Thomas Wayne dons the cape and the cowl to avenge the death of his son Bruce (Wayne), shocked by the death of her son, Martha Wayne ends becoming a more sadistic ruthless, psychotic and a deranged version of the joker. Flashpoint also focuses on the conflict between the Amazons and the Atlanteans with Arthur curry threatening to use a weapon that could end the world.

The story explores the concept of an alternate timeline created due to the negligence and selfish interest of Barry messing with the space-time continuum so that he could save his mother. The story humanizes Barry and makes him more relatable than the previous versions of himself. Flashpoint benefitted itself from taking a darker violent approach. The tonal and narrative sagacity of the movie will keep the viewers engaged and introduce them to alternate versions of these celebrated American icons.

Read More: Movies Like Source Code

10. Time Machine (1960)

Time Machine, adapted from the groundbreaking H.G Wells novel of the same name, is considered the grandfather of all time travel films. The film predates the Star Wars era and is regarded as one of the best sci-fi movies of that period. The film is directed by George Pal, who is considered the father of fantasy and science fiction filmmaking.

Time Machine is a story about an inventor’s vision of an utopian society only to be disillusioned and disappointed to find out the evolution of humankind into two species the childlike Eloi and the underground dwelling Morlocks who feed on the Eloi. Time Machine received an Oscar for its time-lapse photographic effects exhibiting a rapidly changing vicinity as the time traveller journeys into the future. Time machine should be the first film in a chronology if one wishes to indulge himself in a time travel movie marathon.

Read More: Best Bullying Movies of All Time

9. The Jacket (2015)

The Jacket stars Academy award winning actor Adrian Brody, Kiera Knightly and Daniel Craig. What makes the Jacket more special is the muted colour palette used during the present and an over saturation of colour when the protagonist travels to the future. The film is ambitious and touches upon the subject of our dreaded painful memories and their repercussions on us. The movie received mixed response from the critics but the general audiences loved the film.

The Jacket is a story of a gulf war veteran Starks who survives a fatal bullet wound to the head and returns back home suffering from bouts of amnesia. He‘s accused of killing a police officer on duty , although he testifies there was someone else at scene but his pleas are ignored due to him suffering from amnesia. However Starks is found not guilty by reason of insanity and is incarcerated in a mental asylum under the care of Dr Thomas Becker. Starks is forced to undergo an unauthorized treatment and is injected with experimental drugs. Bound in a straightjacket Starks is placed in a morgue drawer in a form of sensory deprivation. While in his condition he is somehow able to travel 15 years into the future.

Read More: Movies Like Zero Dark Thirty

8. Looper (2012)

Looper is a story of contract killers working for crime syndicates to kill victims sent through time. A Looper is paid with silver bars strapped on to the victim and the final contract involves the contract killer himself sent through time to be killed by his younger self and paid in gold bars, thus ending his contract. Bruce Willis and Joseph Levitt Gordon are well cast and shine throughout the movie. Emily Blunt sounds convincing in her southern accent and delivers with what she’s given. Overall Looper is a thought-proving, dark and entertaining, and is quite different from the other time travel movies out there.

Read More: Best Nun Movies of All Time

7. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a cult classic which was released back in the late 1980’s and stars Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter who are hell bent on creating their own band “wild stallions”. Bill and Ted are slackers and they keep flunking their high school exams. They are warned that if they don’t get an A+ in history, they’d be expelled from school. Little do they know they are an inspiration to humanity in the year 2688 for their wisdom and music. A mysterious man from the future gives them a telephone booth to back in time to go bring back key historical figures to the present to show how humans have evolved so far.

The movie is doused with 80’s nostalgia and heavy metal music which makes it quite unique. The movie is often silly and goofy but it surely does satisfy you.

Read More: Movies Like Shutter Island

6. Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko, a critically acclaimed movie, is directed by Richard Kelly. It’s applauded for the story, tone and its unique time travel concept. The story focuses on a trouble teenager Donnie who is woken up and beckoned by a mysterious 6 foot figure in a monstrous rabbit costume who introduces himself as Frank and tells him that the world will end in 28 days 6 hours 42 minutes and 6 seconds. Donnie wakes up the next morning on a local golf course and finds out a jet engine has crashed into his bedroom upon his return. His older sister Elizabeth tells him the federal aviation agency is unaware of its origin.

The film’s tone is dark and its background score is quite frightening. With its dreamlike cinematography and special effect, the movie delves into time paradoxes.

Read More: Best Pregnancy Movies of All Time

5. 12 Monkeys (1995)

12 Monkeys released in 1995 and remains one of the best time travel movies of all time. The film is directed by Terry Gilliam based on a screenplay by David Peoples and Janet Peoples. The film was nominated for various categories at the Saturn awards and Brad Pitt won the Golden Globe award for his performance and was also nominated for the best supporting actor at the academy awards.

12 Monkeys is a dystopian neo noir film about a deadly virus that wipes out almost all of humanity in the year 1996, a prisoner living in a subterranean compound beneath the ruins of Philadelphia is selected and trained by scientists to send him back in time to help develop a cure and find the original virus released by the radical group known as the twelve monkeys.

Overall, the film is brilliant with an amazing storyline and striking visuals. The film is about causal loop theory where each event in the loop is one of the causes of the next event. It also deals in empirical paradoxes, which is the ability of more than one person to exist in a temporal location at the same time.

Read More: Movies Like Argo

4. Source Code (2011)

Source Code released in 2011 to favorable reviews from the critics. It made 147 million on a budget of 32 million. Source Code is story of a soldier who finds himself in someone else’s body, only to discover that he’s a part of an experimental government program to find the bomber of a commuter train. The film does a splendid job of exploring the time loop/temporal loop paradox where a person experiences the repetition of time periods and an alternate timeline.

Read More: Best Time Loop Movies of All Time

3. Groundhog Day (1993)

Groundhog Day is a 1993 American fantasy comedy directed by Harold Ramis. The film garnered positive reviews from the critics. In 2006, the film was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Groundhog day centers around Phil Connors, an arrogant Pittsburgh TV weatherman who during an assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania, finds himself caught in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again.

Read More: Best Hood Movies of All Time

2. Back To The Future trilogy (1985-1990)

Back to the Future trilogy remains on top of the film series written and directed by the visionary filmmaker “Robert Zemeckis” whose brilliance outshines every mediocre blockbusters especially marvel movies. The trilogy was nominated for five academy awards and winning one for the best sound editing.

The film’s exceptional use of humor and a narrative that focused specifically on the concept of alternate timeline created by the protagonists Marty and Doc Brown will not only cater to the general audiences but kids of all ages. Those who haven’t seen the film, what are you waiting for?

Read More: Best Robot Movies of All Time

1. Predestination (2014)

Predestination is a 2014 Australian science fiction thriller film written and directed by Michael and Peter Spierig and stars Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snooke and Noah Taylor. Predestination is one of the most unique time travel movies that will leave you petrified with its climax. Predestination, that deals in grand father paradox and the causal loop theory, is indeed a gift to every time travel enthusiast

With an astounding execution of a widely speculative theoretical phenomenon, adapted with so much sincerity and passion,  Predestination is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Predestination chronicles the life of a Temporal Agent sent on an intricate series of time-travel journeys designed to ensure the continuation of his law enforcement career for eternity. Now, on his final assignment, the Agent must pursue the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time.

Read More: Movies Like Donnie Darko

Add comment