The Time Traveler's Wife (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)



Critic Consensus: Though it may satisfy fans of the novel, The Time Traveler's Wife's plot contrivances and illogical narrative hamper its big screen effectiveness.

Movie Info

A Chicago librarian suffers from a rare genetic disorder that sends him hurtling through time whenever he is under extreme duress; despite the fact that he vanishes at inordinately frequent and lengthy intervals, he attempts to build a stable future with the beautiful young heiress he loves. Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams star in this dramatic fantasy, which is directed by Robert Schwentke and based on the best-selling book by author Audrey Niffenegger. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovimore
Rating: PG-13 (for thematic elements, brief disturbing images, nudity and sexuality)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Bruce Joel Rubin, Jeremy Leven
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 9, 2010
Box Office: $63.4M
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


Eric Bana
as Henry
Arliss Howard
as Richard DeTamble
Stephen Tobolowsky
as Dr. David Kendrick
Jane McLean
as Charisse
Brooklynn Proulx
as Young Clare
Michelle Nolden
as Annette DeTamble
Alex Ferris
as Henry at Age 6
Esther Jun
as Waitress
Katherine Trowell
as Hospital Receptionis...
Carly Street
as Librarian
Brooklyn Proulx
as Young Clare
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Time Traveler's Wife

Critic Reviews for The Time Traveler's Wife

All Critics (158) | Top Critics (40)

That the actors can pull off such Oprah-friendly, sci-fi-inflected sap and keep straight faces is the most fantastic thing about this loopy love story.

Full Review… | November 18, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

The Time Traveler's Wife is a chick flick all around, and fans of the chick flick genre are going to eat this movie up.

Full Review… | July 21, 2012
7M Pictures

Actually, In Time's not that bad. It's just not that good, either.

Full Review… | October 27, 2011
Sci-Fi Weekly

The movie also introduces the concept of time-traveling fetuses, yet we're never treated to this in any visual way.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011

As it stands, The Time Traveler's Wife is decent evening's entertainment with an intriguing enough premise and some strong heart tugging to keep the women happy and the men from getting too bored.

Full Review… | March 21, 2011

A great leading couple and an interesting concept make The Time Traveler's Wife a romance worth remembering for its normality.

Full Review… | October 29, 2010

Audience Reviews for The Time Traveler's Wife


Based on some chick-lit that I bet I'll never read, this is the story of a Chicago librarian named Henry who, thanks to a genetic condition, inexplicably and uncontrollably travels through time, especially during moments of duress.

Since he can't control the frequency or duration of his trips, Henry tries to avoid getting all that close to anyone...until he meets Clare- an artist and heiress who captures his heart. Despite the complications his condition brings, the two try to carry on a relationship, and make the most the most of what moments they get to share together.

I'm not a fan of chick flicks, but a straight male coworker of mine who is, told me I might like this one, mostly because of the time travel/fantasy element. This is a romantic film, and it has it's emotional/tearjerker moments, but it's less sappy and more humorous than it seems. That the script was written by the same guy who scripted Ghost is probably one of the reasons why I ended up liking this, as the two are similar, and that it a genre film I admittedly enjoy.

The cast are solid, and play it serious. Bana and McAdams are very likable, and Livingston had some good moments too. As much as I enjoyed the two leads, I think it would have been nice to see how this would have worked had they cast the book's author's choices of Adrien Brody and Lauren Ambrose.

The film deals with the expected time travel issues by not really dealing with them or giving much of an explanation. I liked that. Sometimes you don't need an explanation. I mean, it's romantic fantasy, not romantic realism. It also is decently well shot, has fitting music, and managed to get me a little misty-eyed.

All in all, a flawed, but still decently creative and clever film. I'm not big on romance, but they won me over with fine acting and an intriguing premise, so good job.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


Eh... not as cracked up as I thought it would be. The premise is better than the movie itself.

Wildaly M

Super Reviewer


I liked it. Mind you, I have not read the book. It is hard not to feel for Clare who loves a guy who trips in and out of her life - sometimes older, sometimes younger. One of the failings though is that it feels like the times he time travels away from Clare's life are set up to make the movie more interesting - not any regular or random intervals.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

The Time Traveler's Wife Quotes

Henry: I never wanted anything in my life that I couldn't stand losing. But it's too late for that.
– Submitted by Mildred M (4 months ago)
Clare: What, you think that I wanted this life... this husband that disappears without any kind of warning? Do you think anyone would want that? Who would want that?
Henry: You have a choice.
Clare: I never had a choice.
– Submitted by Michelle R (4 years ago)
Henry: I can't stay.
Clare: I know.
– Submitted by Michelle R (4 years ago)
Clare: Is your wife a time traveler?
Henry: No. No, thank God.
– Submitted by Chris P (5 years ago)

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