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Timeline (2003)



Average Rating: 3.7/10
Reviews Counted: 139
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 123

This incoherently plotted addition to the time-travel genre looks and sounds cheesy.


Average Rating: 3.5/10
Critic Reviews: 37
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 32

This incoherently plotted addition to the time-travel genre looks and sounds cheesy.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 56,356

My Rating

Movie Info

Directing his first film since 1998's Lethal Weapon 4, Richard Donner helmed this big-budget adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel of the same name. Featuring a script by first-time screenwriter George Nolfi, Timeline begins in France in the near future. A group of students from Yale are there studying a medieval site, when their professor, played by Billy Connolly, mysteriously goes missing. To make matters more enigmatic, the students are then taken back to the United States by a shadowy

Apr 13, 2004


Paramount Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Timeline

November 5, 2008:
Michael Crichton Passes Away (1942-2008)
Best-selling author, screenwriter, and director Michael Crichton has passed away at the age of 66....
March 2, 2006:
Critical Consensus: A Swinging "Party," A Sweet and Sour "16"
This week's wide releases will take us on a journey. We'll walk a couple blocks ("16...


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All Critics (139) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (123) | DVD (23)

This big-budget adventure is based on a recent Michael Crichton thriller, though its premise is too stale to instill the sense of wonder critical to great sci-fi.

November 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Yet another case of making time travel a messy ordeal rather than a load of fun, Timeline lacks the consistent tone, pace and point of view for either a science fiction thriller or medieval war adventure.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

C'est la 'B'! Timeline is crudely written, haphazardly acted, and improbably fun.

December 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's like Back to the Future without the laughs.

December 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Time travels, but it sure doesn't fly by in this debacle.

November 26, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Resembles a Star Trek episode by way of Scooby-Doo.

November 26, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Weakly entertaining Middle Ages fantasy.

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

A competent cast keeps this eccentric time travel movie (based on a Michael Crichton novel) amusing if far from successful.

May 10, 2009 Full Review Source:

Timeline takes the most ridiculous movie plot ever and multiplies it by ten.

November 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

In Michael Crichton's oeuvre, this is more The 13th Warrior than Westworld. Silly larks for young boys with liberal parents.

November 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4 of the least effective Crichton adaptations to date.

October 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

It's all a bit too near fetched to be a great movie, it's still fun.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

If only I could go back in time to convince myself not to watch this ludicrous time travel yarn which 'faxes' a group of uninteresting characters back to the 1300s to screw up the space-time continuum.

December 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

It is just bland and easily forgettable.

November 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page
Sci-Fi Movie Page

It comes up short in both plot and quality.

July 5, 2005 Full Review Source:

At two hours and even with the rushed feel it still feels overly long and worst of all -- cheap.

March 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Dark Horizons
Dark Horizons

Jeff Maguire, in adapting Crichton's novel, clearly had trouble explaining all the nuances of the story with the constraints of a Hollywood time limit.

September 20, 2004
Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)

With the exception of the original "Jurassic Park", films based on Crichton's novels have been not only unsuccessful but horrendously awful.

July 11, 2004 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

This offers a mystifying look at the future with a mind-bending twist.

May 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Entertainment Spectrum
Entertainment Spectrum

Timeline is offensively bad.

April 7, 2004 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

As the romantic lead, Paul Walker would be a stiff in any century...

February 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

About as impressive as rival gangs of Renaissance Pleasure Faire geeks launching bottle rockets and flaming rolls of toilet paper at each other.

February 21, 2004 Full Review Source:

Linha do Tempo não é dos melhores livros de Chrichton - mas, ainda assim, é bem mais satisfatório do que esta adaptação pouco inspirada.

February 11, 2004
Cinema em Cena

If you're looking for a decent action flick, Timeline should fit the bill.

February 7, 2004 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Timeline

I like time travel movies, but this one leaves a bit to be desired. Usually when I watch a time travel movie, I imagine how cool it would be to be in their place - to find out some lost history or to be the wise character (with all your future knowledge), but it would not have been fun to live back in 1357.
April 9, 2013

Super Reviewer

Some archaeologists realise their dream and get to travel back in time, only things don't go as well as they'd've hoped. With a loud music score and lots of running and chasing going on I had the impression that Donner barely tries to hide that one is actually watching an old silent movie serial updated with modern gee whiz technology. Soooo dumb I was almost insulted.
September 5, 2012

Super Reviewer

When a group of archaeologists are sent back to the past to locate their missing mentor they are caught up in the seige of the castle they were excavating during the hundred years war. Timeline was on the receiving end of a critical savaging upon its release but I can't for the life of me see why. It's predictable, corny and the plot is about as plausible as Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure, but it's a Hollywood family friendly adventure so of course it is. Richard Donner has proved time and again he is more than capable of producing entertaining, tongue in cheek light entertainment and Michael Crichton's story is just more of his usual brand of theme-park-meets-history that goes down so well the rest of the time. The set pieces are fun, the swashbuckling well executed and the characters are all perfectly likable (with the possible exception of the gratuitous yank sleepwalked by Paul Walker). A perfectly servicable if forgettable family adventure that's no worse than many others of its ilk; if you liked A Knight's Tale, you'll probably like this too.
September 30, 2010
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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