Time travel movies are among the most difficult to pull off of any genre; the tendency for time paradoxes and temporal anomalies to creep into the story is extremely high, and even the films that engage knowingly with these ideas usually end up imbued with more than a few logical issues.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of most of the films on this list, and I am generally able to look past time logic leaps because most of the time we wouldn’t have a very entertaining film without them, but there’s no questioning that the more pernickity of us love to pick apart time travel logic as though we’re experts on it…

Whether aware of their own paradoxes or not, here are 10 movies that, for all of their efforts, couldn’t get time travel right…



10. Back To The Future

Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future is a fantastic sci-fi film about one young man, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) who after accidentally being sent from 1988 to 1955, has to ensure that his parents fall in love or risk erasing his own existence.

There’s one key issue with both his parents, Lorraine (Lea Thomspon) and George (Crispin Glover) meeting Marty so often; would they not be supremely weirded out when Marty grows up to look a lot like “Calvin Klein”, as he calls himself? Wouldn’t George at least think that Lorraine might have been knocking boots with him?

While it’s permissible that Marty only appeared in a snapshot of their lives, he significantly altered them enough that one imagines they would remember what he looked like. In addition to this, Marty ends up playing Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode”, which would in effect inspire Chuck to write the song in the first place; would the kids at the dance not remember this? Also, when the Calvin Klein clothing range eventually comes out, doesn’t anyone remember him?

The film gets away with it because it’s so damn charming, but still, these issues raise some taxing questions, especially the first point.

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This article was first posted on March 29, 2013