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Beyond The Adam Project: 5 great time travel movies to watch

One of Netflix’s biggest movies of the year has finally arrived in the form of The Adam Project. Starring Ryan Reynolds as a time-traveling man who is forced to work with his younger self and his father to try and save the future, the Netflix original film is a loving homage to the sci-fi blockbusters of the 1980s and should offer enough action, humor, and heart to satisfy any genre lovers who decide to check it out.

Odds are, The Adam Project will also put its viewers in the mood to seek out other sci-fi flicks like it. Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of five great time travel movies that offer many of the same sci-fi pleasures as The Adam Project, all of which just so happen to be available to stream right now.

Flight of the Navigator (1986)

David Freeman (Joey Cramer) sits in an alien spaceship in Flight of the Navigator.
Disney, 1986

Where to stream: Disney+

Flight of the Navigator follows David Freeman (Joey Cramer), a young boy who gets knocked out after falling into a ravine only to wake up and discover that eight years have passed while he was unconscious. As he and the adults in his life try to uncover the truth of what has happened to him, David gradually comes to realize that his blackout may have something to do with an alien spaceship that has recently crash-landed on Earth.

Where Flight of the Navigator goes from there is best left unspoiled. While the film doesn’t quite boast the same cutting-edge effects that The Adam Project does, it more than makes up for that with its lighthearted tone and imaginative, childlike sense of wonder. It’s a film that feels deeply tied to The Adam Project, and both movies offer many of the same family-friendly sci-fi thrills.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)

Mr. Peabody and Sherman sit at the controls of the WABAC machine.
20th Century Fox, 2014

Where to stream: Netflix

Based on characters from The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends, Mr. Peabody & Sherman follows an intelligent, anthropomorphic dog named Hector J. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell) and his adopted human son, Sherman (voiced by Max Charles), as they embark on an adventure through time. Over the course of their journey, the duo crosses paths with a number of notable historical figures, including Leonardo da Vinci (voiced by Stanley Tucci) and King Tut (voiced by Zach Callison).

Boasting a tight 92-minute runtime, Mr. Peabody & Sherman is an endlessly entertaining and surprisingly clever sci-fi adventure film, one that’s elevated by its playful animation style and the hilarious voice performances given by its core cast members. Much like The Adam Project, it’s a charming and fun sci-fi comedy that’s suitable for the whole family.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

James McAvoy speaks with Patrick Stewart in 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past.
20th Century Fox, 2014

Where to stream: Disney+

Inspired by a Marvel Comics storyline of the same name, X-Men: Days of Future Past is a time-traveling superhero epic that manages to successfully bring together cast members from both Fox’s early 2000s X-Men movies and 2011’s X-Men: First Class. Set in a timeline where both humans and mutants have begun to live in fear of powerful robots known as Sentinels, the film follows Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) as he is sent back in time to try and prevent the future from turning into the apocalyptic dystopia he’s seen it become.

The film is narratively complex and surprisingly ambitious, but part of what makes watching X-Men: Days of Future Past such an exciting experience is seeing how well it pulls off even its biggest creative risks. It even features a moment when one character comes face-to-face with his future self, which makes it a perfect companion piece to a film like The Adam Project.

See You Yesterday (2019)

C.J. and Sebastian wear their time travel backpacks in See You Yesterday.
Linda Kallerus/Netflix

Where to stream: Netflix

Produced by Spike Lee, See You Yesterday follows a science prodigy named C.J. Walker ​​(Eden Duncan-Smith) whose life is turned upside down by the wrongful killing of her brother (Brian “Stro” Bradley) by a police officer. Intent on undoing the tragedy, C.J. and one of her friend (Dante Crichlow) use a pair of homemade time machines to travel into the past to try to prevent her brother’s death from ever happening.

One of Netflix’s most unique and underrated original movies, See You Yesterday is a much smaller film than The Adam Project, but that doesn’t stop it from reaching for the same emotions. In fact, the film manages to achieve the same wondrous feeling that The Adam Project does while also delivering some timely and insightful political and social commentary.

Looper (2012)

Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt face off a diner in Looper.
TriStar Pictures, 2012

Where to stream: Netflix

One of the most unique sci-fi films of the 2010s, Looper focuses on Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a hitman who works for a futuristic crime syndicate that routinely sends its enemies back in time so they can be killed and disposed of quietly. Things go sideways when Joe fails to kill an older version of himself (played by Bruce Willis) who gets sent back in time by his bosses.

The film is a stylish, inventive, and unpredictable time travel thriller. Similar to The Adam ProjectLooper revolves around one person’s fateful meeting with their older self, but it takes that plot point and uses it to tell a much darker, edgier story than viewers might expect. The film takes its characters on a surprisingly emotional and introspective journey, one that culminates in a confrontation that’ll keep you on your toes for the entirety of Looper’s twisty final 10 minutes.

The Adam Project is streaming now on Netflix.

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