Before Christopher Nolan drops the bomb that is Tenet over our heads, we need to get ourselves prepped on the concept of time travel. We know how complicated Tenet might be. The trailer itself has confirmed that. But we might find some understanding of the concept of time travel if we take a look at these movies that explore the domain in detail. Presenting – 10 Mind-Bending Time Thrillers to help you get ready for Nolan’s Tenet!!
Time Lapse might be the least known entry on this list. It does not have an ensemble cast. It also does not possess a large enough production budget. But what it lacks in star power and special effects, it more than makes up for in a rather unconventional but powerful storyline. Three friends, who are very close to each other, realize that their next-door neighbor harbors a deep dark secret. When he goes missing, the trio enters into his apartment and realizes that their mystery neighbor actually had a camera that can take pictures of the future. The three friends try to use the time camera to take snaps of them-selves since the camera is set to take a snap at a set point in time. So they use the snaps to communicate to their past selves and change the timeline. Time Lapse is full of twists and turns and the ending is reasoning enough for you to take a look at it. Trust us, you will not be disappointed. If you like classic Nolan Twists, you will love this movie.
Any movie that has Denzel Washington is worth a watch. If the movie has Denzel Washington as well as time travel, then you should definitely give it a try. Denzel Washington plays Doug, a law enforcement official who joins hands with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to try and stop a mass bombing from happening. That is a little hard to do when the domestic terrorist attack has already taken place. Luckily the FBI has a secret project that lets them tap into a wormhole to look into the past. Using this tech, the FBI and Doug intend to catch the perpetrator. Things gradually go out of hand when Doug realizes that the culprit is also responsible for the death of a woman he knows. So he uses that same wormhole to return back in time and stop the terrorist attack from happening in the first place as well as save the woman.
What if the ability to see the future becomes an actual reality and the Government gets its hands on them? Will they use it to stop the crimes from happening or will they use it to incarcerate potential criminals? That is the subject of Minority Report, a movie starring Tom Cruise that is based on a famous short story written by popular Science Fiction Writer Philip K dick. Tom Cruise plays Chief John Anderton, the head of the pre-cog division that catches and imprisons potential criminals. When one vision shows that he is him-self going to commit a murder in the future, a frantic cat and mouse chase begins between him and the authorities where Tom Cruise’s character is forced to find how and why he ended up in this precarious position in the first place.
You think Interstellar was mind-bending? Trust us you will rip the hair out of your scalp once you see Primer – probably the most mind-bending time travel movie to ever exist. Primer takes the concept of time travel, which Hollywood had as of then only romanticized till then, and turns it upside down. It shows that time travel is not a simple, linear phenomenon. It is incredibly complex and mind-bending. Abe and Aaron are two genius inventors that create and sell technology with the help of their two other friends – Robert and Phillip. They accidentally invent time travel technology. Abe uses the same concept to build a machine that is able to transport a person back and forth in time. All hell soon breaks loose as both the creators start obsessing over their creation. Primer is a classic example of Man Playing God and paying a heavy price.
Edge of Tomorrow
This Tome Cruise Starrer science fiction movie has a pretty tried and tested premise. Groundhog Day and Happy Death Day have already used the “one man living the same day over and over again” backdrop! But Edge of Tomorrow mixes it with amazingly incredible science fiction action. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt play two veteran soldiers that are part of Earth’s last stand against a group of alien invaders that can use time travel technology to turn the tide of war every time they see the tables turning. Tom Cruise’s character gets the ability to relive the same day over and over again. Cruise’ character – William Cage, becomes a master of the game, and every time he comes back from the dead, he is a little better prepared than what he was the previous time. Edge of Tomorrow is full of action and a strong as well as engaging premise.
Tenet and 12 Monkeys have something in common. In both the movies, we see a rather broken man being used by larger organizations as human weapons to prevent the end of the World from taking place. Where 12 Monkeys diverts is the way the end of the World happens. A powerful virus with tremendous abilities to mutate every time a vaccine is prepared turns the world into a mass grave. Almost all of humanity perishes to the virus. The Virus was initially released by a mysterious terrorist group called the 12 Monkeys, the effects of which, humanity faces in the future. Luckily humanity has advanced enough to develop time travel technology. They then send a convict to the past in a bid to stop the 12 Monkeys group from releasing the virus. There is also a massive twist in the end that will leave you gasping for air.
Source Code is another retelling of a story that has been already told from the point of view of Déjà vu. But that does not mean it is a cheap knock off though. Source Code is a fresh take on time travel storylines. Like in Tenet, the government is trying to stop something really bad from happening in Source Code. They take the help of a US Army Soldier that goes by the name Colter Stevens. He is initiated into the Source Code Program – a powerful A.I driven simulation that allows Colter to relive the last few minutes of a train bombing. Colter realizes that he is merely a lab rat and the agency he is working for is just using him for his skills and he will quickly be dispatched. He is also in a race against time to stop the train bomber.
The Butterfly Effect
A small change in the past leads to a bigger, ripple effect change in the future. That is the very logic of the phenomenon known as the Butterfly Effect, which states that even the smallest of diversions can lead to dramatic changes over a period of time and/or space. Evan is a child who suffers from severe headaches and migraines. Evan later realizes that these headaches are not a curse but actually a gift. Evan has the ability to go back and forth in time to possess his past-self via the help of old photographs. He repeatedly changes the past and comes to find out that the more he changes the past, the darker his future becomes.
Another movie featuring Jake Gyllenhaal, this movie is equal parts psychedelic and mind-bending. Donnie, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, is a rather shy and awkward teenager. He makes friends with a shady guy who always wears a bunny costume called Frank. Everybody tells Donnie that Frank does not exist since nobody can see him. Donnie still sees Frank as clear as the light of Day. Frank has a surprise in store for Donnie. Frank states that the world is going to end in 28 Days, 6 Hours, 42 Minutes, and 12 seconds. As time passes by, Donnie realizes Frank might be telling the truth.
Predestination is not a movie for the weak-willed. The only reason we say it is because its plot is so thought, dense, and complicated than many might lose interest mid-way. But if you manage to stick through to the very end of the movie, you will see a mother of all twists that will reaffirm your faith that Hollywood still has hope left. A temporal agent that is tasked with taking care of anomalies is given his last assignment – travel back to 1975 and prevent a bombing from happening in New York. The chase for the bomber ends up shattering all bounds of time, space, and reality.