TIFF 2012: time travel movies

With ’Looper’ opening the festival tonight, here’s a look at 5 noteworthy films that do the genre justice
Sonya Bell
Bruce Willis in 'Looper'

You just have to love a genre that can produce a movie called Hot Tub Time Machine. Two time travel movies are screening at TIFF 2012. Looper, starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, depicts future time travel as illegal and only available on the black market – perfect for mob kills (It’s gala premiere is on September 6).  In the Japanese film Thermae Romae, which premieres on the 8th, an ancient Roman architect slips back and forth between ancient Rome and modern day Japan.

Here are five movies that do the wonders of time travel justice.

5)  Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure: Keanu Reeves. The 1980s. This comedic double trip back in time is just as outrageous as the whole decade. Panned at the time, it’s now a cult classic.

4)  The Terminator: Speaking of the outrageous 1980s. This Arnold Schwarzenegger blockbuster launched the career of director James Cameron. It’s non-stop action, from 2029 back to 1984, had audiences clinging to Schwarzenegger’s promise that he’d be back (three times, so far).

3)  Groundhog Day: Bill Murray’s time loop movie was such a monumental moment in time travel film, its title is now a pop culture reference understood even by those who have never watched Murray spend years reliving the same day.

2)  It’s a Wonderful Life: No Christmas season is complete without this classic Jimmy Stewart film, where he sees the world without him in it and gives us a wholesome message for the holidays.

1)  Back to the Future: There was clearly no better decade for time travel adventure than the 1980s. Michael J. Fox’s hilarious misadventures back in his parents’ high school days cemented his own career in Hollywood and produced not only one of the best time travel movies of the 1980s, but one of its best movies, period.