18 of the best time-loop movies and shows to watch this Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day is celebrated each year on February 2.
The film "Groundhog Day" is about a weatherman who keeps waking up on February 2.
This spawned a whole genre of time-loop films in which someone relives a day.
In honor of the real Groundhog Day, you can choose to watch the original time-loop film, 1993's "Groundhog Day."
In the film, Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell star as TV weatherman Phil Connors and his producer Rita Hanson, an antagonistic pair of coworkers who get sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the town's annual Groundhog Day celebration. Phil, a textbook misanthrope, resents being sent there, and his resentment grows as he wakes up each morning to the same day over and over again.
"Groundhog Day" has prompted much discussion over the years, including how long Phil was stuck inside the time loop (guesses range from a few weeks to "a lifetime"), and if the movie is a religious allegory. We can't say for sure, but we can say that "Groundhog Day" is a stone-cold classic.
"Groundhog Day" is streaming with AMC+. Watch the trailer here.
Almost three decades later, Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti co-starred in "Palm Springs," a modern spin on the story.
Samberg and Milioti play Nyles and Sarah, two guests at a wedding that takes place on November 9 in Palm Springs, California. Nyles' girlfriend is a close friend of the bride, who is also Sarah's younger sister.
Nyles and Sarah bond at the wedding reception, and after a night of fun, Sarah follows Nyles into a cave — and subsequently gets trapped inside a time loop with Nyles, who has been reliving November 9 for an undetermined amount of time. The two fall in love and viewers slowly learn more and more about their lives before the wedding.
We won't spoil what happens, but "Palm Springs" is a worthy successor to the "time-loop films" crown.
"Palm Springs" is streaming on Hulu. Watch the trailer here.
The 2018 film "The Fare" added a Greek mythology component to a time-loop story.
In "The Fare," a taxi driver keeps picking up the same passenger over and over again, only for her to disappear before he can drop her off — and he forgets her each time. That is, until he can briefly recall her name (Penny), and she tells him that the ride has happened at least 100 times before.
The film, which has a rare 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, takes a mythological turn once Harris (the driver) begins realizing that he's in a loop. From there, the story takes many twists and turns we won't spoil here.
"The Fare" is streaming on Tubi and Prime Video. Watch the trailer here.
The 2017 film "Happy Death Day" took the conceit to the horror-comedy genre, as Tree keeps reliving her birthday over and over again.
Jessica Rothe stars as Tree, a typical college student, who gets killed by a masked serial killer on the night of her birthday. However, instead of dying, she once again wakes up on the morning of her birthday. In order to figure out who's behind the mask of her murderer, she enlists her friend Carter to help her avoid her inevitable death and save everyone from the killer — and perhaps become a better person along the way.
"Happy Death Day" is streaming on FXNOW. Watch the trailer here.
Tree once again gets trapped in a time loop in the 2019 sequel "Happy Death Day 2U."
In the sequel to "Happy Death Day," Tree once again gets pulled into a time loop, but this time, she also gets knocked into a parallel universe in which her dead mother is alive and decides to stay in this reality.
Of course, this doesn't work, as this reality has its own version of the baby-face killer from the first film, forcing Tree and Carter to team up and figure out how save everyone again.
"Happy Death Day 2U" is available to rent. Watch the trailer here.
"Source Code" is about an Army pilot who is forced to relive the same eight minutes over and over to prevent a future terrorist attack.
In "Source Code," Jake Gyllenhaal plays Captain Colter Stevens, an Army pilot who is assigned to replay the last eight minutes before a bombing on a Chicago Metra train, so he can figure out who did it and why. Each time he dies and resets, he learns more and more about the crime, so the US government can prevent any similar future attacks.
One of the couple of twists is that Colter doesn't use his own body to figure this out — he essentially possesses the body of another man on the train, Sean, and bonds with Sean's friend Christina, played by Michelle Monaghan.
"Source Code" is streaming on Showtime. Watch the trailer here.
"The Map of Tiny Perfect Things" is a teen movie version of the time loop.
The film stars Kathryn Newton and Kyle Allen as two teenagers (Margaret and Mark) who discover that they're both trapped in a time loop, reliving the same day over and over. In true teen rom-com fashion, it looks like the pair falls in love, while simultaneously trying to deal with their unique predicament — and figure out why Mark is a little more eager to escape than Margaret is.
"The Map of Tiny Perfect Things" is streaming on Prime Video. Watch the trailer here.
Netflix took home its first Academy Award for best live action short film in 2021 for "Two Distant Strangers."
In "Two Distant Strangers," rapper Joey Badass plays graphic designer Jeter, who is trying to get home to his dog after a successful first date with Perri (Zaria Simone). But every time, without fail, he's stopped and killed by a white police officer, Merk, for various (unfounded, racially motivated) reasons.
"Two Distant Strangers" is streaming on Netflix. Watch the trailer here.
"The Obituary of Tunde Johnson" has a similar premise, but it's about a Black teenager who keeps reliving the day he was shot by a white police officer.
Tunde (played by Steven Silver), a gay, Black high school student, keeps reliving the last day of his life over and over: moments with his closeted boyfriend Soren, fights with Soren's girlfriend (and Tunde's own best friend Marley, played by Nicola Peltz), and tragically, his death at the hands of the police.
"The Obituary of Tunde Johnson" is streaming on Hulu. Watch the trailer here.
Tom Cruise starred in an action movie variant, "Edge of Tomorrow," in 2014.
"Edge of Tomorrow," also known as "Live Die Repeat," stars Cruise as Major William Cage, a member of the Armed Forces' media relations department, who gets sent to an active warzone to cover it. In this film's version of the future, an alien race called "Mimics" have invaded the Earth, and humanity has been fighting them ever since.
During a battle, Cage gets doused in one of the aliens' blood, and gains the ability to loop through time — he relives the battle over and over, resetting to the morning of the battle each time he dies, until Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), who previously had this power before she had a blood transfusion, figures out what Cage can do. From there, the two team up to try and take down the Mimics once and for all.
"Edge of Tomorrow" is available to rent. Watch the trailer here.
Seven years later, Frank Grillo took the action up another notch with "Boss Level.'
"Boss Level" was released in 2021, though it feels like it's straight out of the '90s — especially due to its antagonist, played by Mel Gibson.
"Boss Level" starts with Grillo's character, Roy, already stuck in his time loop, evading multiple assassins trying to kill him before inevitably dying at their hand. In order to survive and take down the boss, Roy must train and practice beating the people who are out to get him, just like in a video game.
"Boss Level" is streaming on Hulu. Watch the trailer here.
"See You Yesterday," also a Netflix film, deals with similar subject matter.
In a small twist from the other time-loop movies on this list, "See You Yesterday" follows high schooler CJ Walker, who has successfully created a time machine that allows her and a friend, Sebastian, to go back in time.
CJ uses this technology to travel back in time to the same day over and over again in order to prevent the murder of her older brother, Calvin, by a police officer. Produced by Spike Lee, "See You Yesterday" will leave you pondering time travel and its consequences for much longer than its runtime.
"See You Yesterday" is streaming on Netflix. Watch the trailer here.
In "Before I Fall," a teenager realizes that, to get out of a time loop, she has to become a better person.
The 2017 film, based on the 2010 YA novel of the same name, focuses on Samantha Kingston (played by Zoey Deutch), a "popular" teenager who, after getting killed in a car crash with all of her friends, wakes up again and again on the day of the crash.
As the days progress, Samantha realizes that her friends aren't what they seem, and that her boyfriend isn't the great guy she thinks he is.
While the ending of the film was a bit controversial, the way that Samantha learns what is actually important still resonates.
"Before I Fall" is streaming on HBO Max. Watch the trailer here.
There have been a few different holiday variations on this genre, but the most famous is "Christmas Every Day."
In 1996's ABC Family film "Christmas Every Day," based on the 1892 short story of the same name, Erik von Detten stars as a Billy, a teenager who has a very Grinch-esque outlook on Christmas. To get him into the holiday spirit, his younger sister Sarah wishes it'd be Christmas every day. In order to get out of the time loop, Billy must learn the true meaning of Christmas.
The film was remade in 2006, titled "Christmas Do-Over," starring Jay Mohr and Daphne Zuniga as a divorced couple.
"Christmas Every Day" is available to watch on YouTube, while "Christmas Do-Over" is streaming on Prime Video. Watch the trailer here.
The 2017 Netflix "Naked" took a more straightforward comedic approach.
In "Naked," Marlon Wayans' Rob wakes up on the morning of his wedding, naked in an elevator and far from the church his wedding takes place at.
Instead of reliving a day, Rob keeps reliving the hour before his wedding, each time reappearing naked in the elevator. While this film has the equally rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, it might be worth your time — Google reviewers gave it a 4.1 star rating.
"Naked" is streaming on Netflix. Watch the trailer here.
In 2022, Peacock released the original movie "Meet Cute" starring Pete Davidson
In another time-loop romantic comedy, NBC released the Peacock Original "Meet Cute" in 2022, starring Kaley Cuoco as Sheila and Pete Davidson as Gary.
The pair go on an initial date and Sheila later stumbles upon a time machine, and replays the night of the date over and over again to create the perfect night. She ultimately goes further into the past to tweak Gary's life trajectory.
The movie scored a 58% on Rotten Tomatoes, receiving mixed reviews.
Netflix's "Russian Doll" is a series, but it excels at the "Groundhog Day" premise.
Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) keeps reliving her 36th birthday over and over again, only to die before figuring out why this is happening to her. Eventually, she meets Alan (Charlie Barnett) in an elevator — and she discovers he's been reliving the same day, too. Over the course of their loops, they become close friends and try to solve the mystery together.
In June 2019, "Russian Doll" was renewed for a second season, and it finally premiered in April 2022, with a more time travel-focused story.
"Russian Doll" is streaming on Netflix. Watch the trailer here.
"Looped" is a cartoon focusing on Luc and Theo, two kids who keep reliving October 12.
"Looped" aired on Prime Video from 2016 to 2019. It followed best friends Luc and Theo, who get stuck in a time loop after an accident involving one of Theo's inventions lands them in a never-ending October 12 (one episode establishes it's been at least 4 years).
"Looped" is streaming on Prime Video. Watch the theme song here.
For a bonus piece of content, try the "Remedial Chaos Theory" episode of "Community's" third season.
In the episode, the study group rolls a die to see who has to go downstairs and grab the pizzas that have been delivered.
The episode goes through what would happen in seven different timelines — that is, what would happen if each member of the group went downstairs to pick up the pizza. Classic "Community" hijinks ensue, and the episode has been called one of the all-time best episodes of the series.
"Community" is streaming on Hulu and Netflix. Watch one of the timelines here.
Read the original article on Insider