Movies are time machines. They can take us thousands of years into the past, or bring us far into the future. And they can bridge the gap between past and future in the literal blink of an eye thanks to the magic of editing. From a certain perspective, every single cut in every single movie is like a passive form of time travel.
So you could consider the list that follows a catalogue of the greatest feats of time travel in history. But really it is a collection of 15 of the best examples of time jumps in movies, where the camera cuts (or dissolves, or fades to black) in one moment and then in an instant we are transported to another place in time.
Such time jumps can be jarring, shocking, emotionally devastating, or utterly hilarious. In a few cases, these time jumps may only span a handful of years. In others, great filmmakers find a way to send us careening from the dawn of history to the outer reaches of hereafter. Whatever their directors’ (and editors’) intent, however far the moments in time they bridge, these movies showcase the power of film at its very best.
The Best Time Jumps in Movie History
These movies make sudden leaps forward in time to brilliant dramatic or comedic effect.
The Best Third Films in Movie Trilogies
These movies achieved the difficult task of finishing a great trilogy in superb fashion.