From Groundhog Day to Palm Springs: The best time-looping films
James R | On 02, Feb 2022
OK, campers, rise and shine and don’t forget your booties, cause it’s cold out there… That’s right, woodchuck chuckers it’s Groundhog Day! Those words alone are enough to bring a smirk to any film fan’s face, as they mark the start of Harold Ramis’ flawless time-looping comedy. As 2nd February rolls around once again, and Americans look to see whether the woodchuck will predict the onset of spring or several more weeks of winter, on our side of the pond there’s no better way to celebrate Groundhog Day than by using it as an excuse to relive the Bill Murray-starring classic.
But what if Groundhog Day is starting to get, well, a bit repetitive? The good news is that the film is so influential that it’s inspired all manner of chronologically complex films, from action thrillers and sci-fi blockbusters to romantic comedies (chron-rom-coms, if you will), noir-tinged dramas and horror movies. There’s even a film that uses the device so ingeniously that to even place them in the same category would probably count as a spoiler.
So whatever mood you’re in, we’ve rounded up the best time-looping films and where you can stream them in the UK – and, if you’re after more time-hopping antics, check out our monthly Time Travel Thursday column, which travels through the never-ending vortex of time travel films included with Amazon Prime.
“This masterful comedy gets better every time you watch it.” Read our full review
“As sweet as it is cynical, this smart, funny, charming chron-rom-com is an absolute blast.” Read our full review
Edge of Tomorrow
“This underrated sci-fi is a rip-roaring blockbuster that’s definitely worth repeating.” Read our full review
Shane Carruth’s debut film, Primer, is a time travel flick made for barely any money at all. It took years to fit in the movie alongside everyone’s schedule, but what was lacking in practical means is more than made-up for with imagination and ambition. The result is one of the best modern sci-fi films and an intricately plotted piece of writing that demands to be watched twice – at least – if only to understand what the heck is going on.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things
“A charming cast and earnest script make this whimsical chron-rom-com a sweet, if aptly familiar, watch.” Read our full review
“Netflix’s lean sci-fi thriller is enjoyably smart and thrillingly unpredictable.” Read our full review
Time Loop (2020)
“Chaos ensues when a father and son accidentally invent a time machine in this entertaining, low budget thriller.” Read our full review
Redemption of a Rogue
“A son returns to his father in this delightfully wicked debut from playwright Philip Doherty.” Read our full review
Two Distant Strangers
“A time loop forces a man to relive a deadly confrontation with a cop in this Oscar-winning short film.” Read our full review
“Frank Grillo makes for a wonderfully gruff lead in this entertaining, action-packed time-loop thriller.” Read our full review
Before I Fall
“A sincere, moving spin on a familiar formula, anchored by a beautiful turn from rising star Zoey Deutch.” Read our full review
Infinitum: Subject Unknown
“This low-budget lockdown time loop thriller is an interesting, ambitious sci-fi exercise.” Read our full review
Time Freak (2018)
“Asa Butterfield plays a lovesick nerd who builds a time machine to save his relationship in this entertaining comedy.” Read our full review
Blood Punch (2015)
“Madellaine Paxson’s black comedy horror uses its Groundhog Day structure to capture cycles of abuse, addiction and violence.” Read our full review
The Infinite Man
“This low-budget chron-rom-com is an impressively calculated feature debut.” Read our full review
Last Train to Christmas
“Michael Sheen brings first-class gloss to this familiar time-hopping festive drama.” Read our full review
“A superb premise and a strong lead performance are the highlights of this engaging time travel mystery.” Read our full review