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The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)



Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 158
Fresh: 59 | Rotten: 99

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


Average Rating: 4.7/10
Critic Reviews: 41
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 30

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



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 981,965

My Rating

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, Rovi

Feb 9, 2010


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All Critics (159) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (59) | Rotten (99) | DVD (7)

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.

November 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie moves fast, as though to distract you from these shortcomings and the nearly total absence of logic.

August 21, 2009 Full Review Source: MSN Movies
MSN Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Buy the book.

August 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Richard | Comments (6)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I'm over the moon about this movie, which smooths out the psychological dissonances in Audrey Niffenegger's fine novel but is still an emotional workout.

August 17, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Some fans of the book might enjoy seeing these two soul mates brought to life on the big screen, but for everyone else the interpretation seems forced and at times inconsistent.

August 17, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I thought really very little in the film worked.

August 17, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 21, 2012 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

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

October 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Weekly | Comment (1)
Sci-Fi Weekly

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

April 4, 2011 Full Review Source:

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.

March 21, 2011 Full Review Source:

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

October 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Moviedex

It's beautifully crafted and endearingly old-fashioned all the way; an alluring soap opera for those who like to dive into the deep end of the syrup pool.

June 2, 2010 Full Review Source:

You can constantly feel The Time Traveler's Wife reaching for emotional depth, yet it never gets there.

February 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

With a dash of Benjamin Button and Back to the Future, this existential travelogue with supersized erotic separation anxiety issues, may leave viewers not in the mood for long distance time travel, simply with a case of lingering jet lag.

February 6, 2010 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

I kept doing what every fantasy should never allow one to do--question it every step of the way.

February 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

While the script could have done more to exploit Bana's sense of humour, it does profit from his directness. There are no false heroics.

November 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Sure to hit the spot for anyone with an appetite for sweet, unselfconscious romantic fantasy.

November 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Daily Telegraph (Australia)

Bana and McAdams do share a pleasant chemistry, but can never quite trump the dull and earnest nature of the material they are working with here.

November 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Herald Sun (Australia)

This is undoubtedly Bana's best American performance and you can genuinely believe in Bana and McAdams as lovers who give the story its emotion.

November 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Courier Mail (Australia)
Courier Mail (Australia)

A graceful, elegant love story, that carefully avoids quasi-science, time travelling philosophy or mills and boon style passionate embraces, focussing instead on the means by which two truly star crossed lovers cope with their unique lives together.

November 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Unknown2

I don't think the book is a masterpiece but the film is just plain disappointing.

November 4, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

Without any notion of what type of film it wants to be, The Time Traveller's Wife is neither funny nor charming, moving nor romantic.

November 4, 2009 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

The Time Traveller's Wife makes for an enjoyable enough movie experience, if all you are after is a few tears, a nice romance and a frequently naked Eric Bana; but viewers unfamiliar with the novel might be left wondering what all the fuss was about.

November 3, 2009 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

It's a complex and often confusing story as the two key characters weave in and out of different time zones, but somehow it works; no doubt due to terrific performances by Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana

October 31, 2009 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

O cineasta se sai bem ao desenvolver seus personagens e a trama sem permitir que a possibilidade do excesso de aš˙car afunde o projeto.

October 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

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.
April 27, 2013
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Eh... not as cracked up as I thought it would be. The premise is better than the movie itself.
May 30, 2012

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.
April 18, 2012

Super Reviewer

Really nice book! Really nice movie!! Chick flick heaven...I liked this. It was lovely, romantic, sad, beautiful, touching.
October 10, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. 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?
    2. Henry: You have a choice.
    3. Clare: I never had a choice.
    – Submitted by Michelle R (2 years ago)
    1. Henry: I can't stay.
    2. Clare: I know.
    – Submitted by Michelle R (2 years ago)
    1. Clare: Is your wife a time traveler?
    2. Henry: No. No, thank God.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Richard DeTamble: If you traveled back to then, why couldn't you have stopped her from getting into that goddamn car?
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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