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The Time Machine (2002)



Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 150
Fresh: 43 | Rotten: 107

This Machine has all the razzle-dazzles of modern special effects, but the movie takes a turn for the worst when it switches from a story about lost love to a confusing action-thriller.


Average Rating: 4.9/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 28

This Machine has all the razzle-dazzles of modern special effects, but the movie takes a turn for the worst when it switches from a story about lost love to a confusing action-thriller.



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Average Rating: 2.7/5
User Ratings: 171,168

My Rating

Movie Info

The classic science fiction novel by H.G. Wells becomes this big-budget adventure directed by the author's great-grandson Simon Wells. Guy Pearce stars as Alexander Hartdegen, a scientist, professor, and inventor in 1895 New York City who believes that time travel is possible. The sudden and unexpected death of his fiancée spurs Alexander to build a time machine, which he hopes to use in an effort to change the past. When he is unable to change the past, Alexander hurls himself more than 800,000


Science Fiction & Fantasy

John Logan

Jul 23, 2002


DreamWorks SKG - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (165) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (107) | DVD (27)

If H.G. Wells had a time machine and could take a look at his kin's reworked version, what would he say? 'It looks good, Sonny, but you missed the point.'

November 6, 2002 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of those staggeringly well-produced, joylessly extravagant pictures that keep whooshing you from one visual marvel to the next, hastily, emptily.

July 20, 2002 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If it's remembered at all, it will be as a time capsule of early-21st-century blockbuster cowardice and redundancy.

March 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

They gave The Time Machine a major overhaul and ended up with a clunker.

March 9, 2002
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In the new film, it's personal tragedy that provokes the journey, not social upheaval or even scientific curiosity -- which, predictably, makes for a story that's at once more familiar and less interesting.

March 9, 2002 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Amazingly stilted before accelerating into its exciting finish.

March 8, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A good movie based on H.G. Wells' classic novel.

December 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A loud annoying movie with poor directing and plot holes galore...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

The Time Machine is harmless, if ineffectual fun.

July 2, 2008 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

This remake of the 1960 sci-fi feature (based on Wells famous novel) fails to take advantage of the new technology to make the tale more effective.

January 9, 2007

Dishwater: 10, Wells: 0

April 6, 2006 Full Review Source:

If I had a time machine that could take me back only four hours, I'd take my nine dollars, find the original movie at a video store, and spend the rest on an In N'Out Burger.

March 19, 2003 Full Review Source:

...The computer-generated wizardry is certainly present and accounted for, even if the opportunity for social commentary or literary integrity has been left largely untapped.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

Entertaining, but missing a suitable point.

January 29, 2003 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

While this remake of the H.G. Wells' classic novel and 1960 film is indeed a stunning achievement in special effects, his great- grandson and director Simon Wells really needs to go back a year and get the sadly lacking script rewritten.

December 29, 2002 Full Review Source:

I found myself glancing at my timepiece about every ten minutes of the interminable 96-minute running time of this latest tragic remake of a classic genre picture.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Modern take on H.G. Wells's sci-fi classic has great special effects but isn't especially affecting.

November 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Netflix

This is a film to look at, not to feel --or care much-- about. It comes down to little more than another s/f flic.

October 21, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

This film is more interested in the flash and dazzle that emits from imaging computers than the ideas that inspired the story in the first place.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

A few pieces of the film buzz and whir; very little of it actually clicks. The thing just never gets off the ground.

September 18, 2002 Full Review Source:

A catatonic B-schlock-Indiana Jones-video game (trust me, the result is less interesting than it sounds).

August 26, 2002 Full Review

After 30 minutes you'll pray for your own Time Machine so you go back to 5 minutes before you decided to see this movie.

August 16, 2002 Full Review Source: 3BlackChicks Review
3BlackChicks Review

...a spectacular disappointment and a colossal waste of...time.

July 23, 2002
Movie Metropolis

I love the opening scenes of a wintry New York City in 1899. Cinematic poetry showcases the city's old-world charm before machines change nearly everything.

July 20, 2002 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Time Machine

Film full of potential, but is an awful train wreck, The Time Machine is one of those films that has an ambitious idea, but wastes it due to the fact that the script is lazily written, the cast though impressive just don't deliver anything great, and the film feels tiresome, strained and unimpressive. I really wanted to enjoy the film, and though the idea was good, the execution was poor. I really hated the finished film, and this a forgettable affair that is a pure waste of time. Don't go in expecting a wonderful film, everything here is over the top, poorly constructed and just doesn't have that spark to really make the story take off. As it is, it's a film that has an underdeveloped story that is quite boring despite its premise. There is never anything going on, on-screen to really make this film stand out. Save yourself the trouble, this isn't worth seeing. The film just wastes its potential and never takes off and what could have been a great film, ends up being a failed attempt at remaking a classic. This is lazy filmmaking, and it doesn't deliver anything entertaining to the viewer. I really was let down by this film, and it could have been an entertaining remake; however it just ends up being a failed film that isn't memorable whatsoever. Don't watch the film; you'll be glad you did. This one just doesn't thrill and its ideas never come to fruition due to its script limitations. Everything about the film feels out of place, and it ends up being a dull, boring, and overall stupid movie that just ends up being a total waste of film.
March 17, 2014
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

It's pretty cool that this was directed by HG Wells's Great-Grandson but also pretty shocking that he did such a bad job of it. The acting is terrible, most of the scenes look like bad copies of many other sci-fi films that came before and all what is great about the book is missing. I was impressed by many of the visuals but generally these moments are spoiled by rubbish editing, unnecessary action and a woeful script.
November 4, 2013

Super Reviewer

A simplistic yet entertaining adaptation of Wells' story that removes the smart social commentary and invests in action with little imagination. It has some problems but will be enough fun for time travel fans.
February 24, 2012

Super Reviewer

Great special effects, but as for the script and acting, well, it could surely have been a lot better. It's a shame how much potential is lost here, due to lazy writing. Because while the time traveling bits are pretty awesome, the storyline per se goes into B-movie territory. Had they skipped the parts with the Morlocks and Jeremy Irons in creepy make-up, it could have been a highly enjoyable experience. But due to said shortcomings, it's value never amounts to more than an average product of the sci-fi department. Worth the watch though, just for the nice visual treats.
March 15, 2011
Mike S

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • La Machine à explorer le temps - Time machine (FR)
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