The Best Time Travel Movies & TV Shows to Watch After 'Russian Doll'

Samantha Sutton | Feb 22, 2019 TV
The Best Time Travel Movies & TV Shows to Watch After 'Russian Doll'
Image: Netflix

Russian Doll photo
Netflix

By now, we've realized something: Netflix is pretty great at churning out the hits. The streaming service definitely knows how to create a must-watch TV show or movie, and each weekend, we casually sit down in front of our screen and scroll to until we find something new or we might've missed.

So far, we've gone through multiple seasons of Stranger Things and the oh-so-creepy Black Mirror. We simultaneously laughed and gasped at the craziness that occurred in Fyre, the Fyre Festival documentary, and, admittedly, we'll eat up anything that involves a murder mystery.

Right now, one of the shows that people can't seem to stop talking about is Russian Doll, which stars actress Natasha Lyonne. The premise here is simple, but, of course, extremely complicated for Natasha's character: On the day of her birthday party, Nadia ends up dying, but soon finds herself reliving that same night over and over again. Every time she kicks the bucket, she reemerges in front of a bathroom mirror at the beginning of the night, and she doesn't know why.

It's an interesting premise, and since it's a dark comedy, there are some seriously funny one-liners. But living on a time loop is nothing new, and once we were done watching (trust us -- it was definitely an over-too-soon, quick watch), we were ready to see some similar stuff.

So we put together a list of movies and series that deal with loops, time travel, and even Natasha herself (we'll always want more of those acting skills).

Happy binge-watching!

  • 'Lost'

    1

    Rated: TV-14

    This once ABC hit had enough flashbacks and flashforwards for three television shows. There were tons of time jumps that made Lost unforgettable. And should anyone be jonesing for the series, there's whispers Lost might get rebooted.

  • 'The Game'

    2

    Rated: R

    Probably the best follow-up after watching this show is to try to understand some of the references that Nadia makes. Shortly after she starts living her night on loop, she compares the experience to The Game and says she's Michael Douglas.

    In the movie, Michael's character is celebrating his birthday and decides to play an immersive, real-life game that is personalized for each person. When freaky stuff starts happening, it’s hard to tell what’s real or not, and how to make it all stop.

  • 'The Umbrella Academy'

    3

    Rated: TV-14

    *Slight spoilers ahead!*

    Those wanting to continue their Netflix binge should click on over to The Umbrella Academy. It's a show about a group of adopted siblings with superhuman abilities. While they don't live their lives on a loop, one of them does possess the power to travel through time. After getting stuck in the future for decades, he's finally made his way back to his siblings mere days before a catastrophic event.

    And now he's hoping to stop it.

  • 'Travelers'

    4

    Rated: TV-MA

    It seems as if Netflix has a slight obsession with all things time-related. The streaming service also has another original series -- which, yes, stars Will and Grace's Eric McCormack -- about future time travelers who have their consciousness transported into people's bodies from the modern day. The reason is to complete missions that will end up saving the world from catastrophic events.

  • 'Groundhog Day'

    5

    Rated: PG

    Probably the most famous time loop movie out there is Groundhog Day, so why not revisit it? The main character is a weatherman (Bill Murray, so, obviously this one's a comedy) who keeps reliving his day -- Groundhog day -- over and over again.

  • 'Happy Death Day'

    6

    Rated: PG-13

    Is there a connection between living on a time loop and birthdays? That's the theme of this film, too -- only instead of tripping down the stairs or crashing down in an elevator, the main character keeps getting murdered. She now has to figure out how to survive and continue on with her life (and also who her killer is).

    We should also mention this is a dark comedy.

  • 'Happy Death Day 2U'

    7

    Rated: PG-13

    As it turns out, it wasn't over! The same character who kept dying in the first film is once again experiencing a similar situation of reliving the day over --  only now, she's also living in an alternate universe and needs to sacrifice herself to save the lives of her friends.

  • 'Source Code'

    8

    Rated: PG-13

    If we're going to watch something about time loops, why not have it include little eye candy? Jake Gyllenhaal plays a military employee who, thanks to an experiment, finds himself living in someone else's body and having to figure out how to stop a bombing. The goal is to relive the day of the attack, find the bomber, and discover a way to prevent similar situations from happening. But the catch? He only has eight minutes each time.

  • 'Before I Fall'

    9

    Rated: PG-13

    Sometimes in these movies, when a people relive a day over and over again, they realize they need to change some part of their lives and become better people. That's the case for the popular high schooler in this film who keeps reliving the day of her death over and over again.

  • 'When We First Met'

    10

    Rated: TV-14

    Anyone who's ever wondered "What if?" will enjoy this Netflix Original which gives a guy a second chance at finding love. This movie focuses on a guy who stumbles upon a time machine (what luck!) and gets to relive the night that he met his dream girl, who eventually friend-zoned him and is currently engaged to someone else. Now, he gets to make her fall for him.

  • 'Timeless'

    11

    Rated: TV-14

    While it was recently canceled, Meghan Markle's friend, Abigail Spencer, was also on a show about reliving and altering the past -- only in this series, she's a time-traveling historian. And rather than saving herself, she's trying to save history in general, and in turn ends up meeting some pretty cool people during her adventures.

  • '11.22.63'

    12

    Rated: TV-MA

    This sci-fi mini-series starring James Franco is based on a book by Stephen King. It's about a man who gets the chance to travel back in time to prevent JFK from being assassinated. Unfortunately, it isn't easy, and he eventually learns that changing history comes with consequences.

  • 'Naked'

    13

    Rated: TV-14

    Marlon Wayans is playing Rob Anderson, a guy who's living out plenty of people's worst nightmares: waking up naked, in an elevator, on the day of his wedding. He's not sure how it happened, but he soon gets the chance to find out -- by traveling back in time and reliving the moment over and over again. 

  • 'Edge of Tomorrow'

    14

    Rated: PG-13 

    Emily Blunt? Tom Cruise? What a combo! Yes, this movie is a action-packed (Tom Cruise is starring in it, after all), and these two are battling against aliens. But the time loop makes it  intriguing as each time Tom's (formerly untrained) character dies in battle, he's sent back to that  same day, with increased skill and a deeper relationship with his partner (Emily).

  • 'The Butterfly Effect'

    15

    Rated: R

    Another original that focuses on someone going back in time in this film with Ashton Kutcher. He plays a man who went through periods of blacking out throughout his life and uses journals to remember. After he goes back to read what he wrote, he finds out that he can alter the future -- but, of course, that comes with a ton of consequences.

  • 'Déjà Vu'

    16

    Rated: PG-13 

    Yes, a lot of the time traveling/time loop movies revolve around military and secret agents, and this one is no different. Denzel Washington plays an ATF agent who gets the chance to use new technology to go back in time and prevent a ferry bombing.

  • 'Christmas Every Day'

    17

    Rated: N/A

    Is it all that surprising that Christmas is the theme of a time loop movie? Many wish that it was Christmas every day -- but, unfortunately, it's not ideal for young Billy (played by the throwback actor, Erik von Detten) who actually hates the holiday. The lesson he needs to learn? To find the joy and true meaning of Christmas. It's the only way to stop the loop. 

    (Amazingly, the full movie is on YouTube.)

  • 'Premonition'

    18

    Rated: PG-13 

    Sandra Bullock brings the suspense and the tears in this supernatural thriller, which tells the story of a woman whose husband dies in a car crash. While it's not technically a time loop, she starts living her days out of order -- one day, her husband is alive and well, but the next day could take place after his death. Of course, she's going to use this as an opportunity to try to save him.

  • 'Final Destination'

    19

    Rated: R

    Awaiting impending doom and death is no fun -- that's something Russian Doll's Nadia has to deal with, too. But in Final Destination, a teen essentially sees how he'll die through a premonition, and is then able to save his own life as well as those of his classmates. The only problem now is that they've messed with fate, and death is chasing them. (This is a lesson we'll learn over and over again, thanks to the many sequels.)

  • 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'

    20

    Rated: PG

    How could we talk about going back in time and not mention this classic example?! While it's only one part of this magical movie (and book, too), it's a big one as a Time-Turner necklace allows Hermione to take all the classes she wants to take, helps Harry save his own life, and allows Buckbeak and Sirius to make a swift getaway.

  • 'Orange Is the New Black'

    21

    Rated: TV-MA

    For those who are still wanting a little more of Natasha Lyonne, it's worth it to binge-watch (or re-binge-watch) her OG Netflix show, Orange Is the New Black. The prison life and the characters'  back stories get dark at points (although, so does the back story in Russian Doll), but Natasha's comedic timing and overall performance is still top-notch.

movies

More Slideshows