What to know

critics consensus

With the three principal actors clearly having fun with their roles, Time After Time becomes an amusing, light-hearted fantasy lark. Read critic reviews

You might also like

Where to watch

Show all services

Rate And Review

User image

Verified

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)



  • You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Step 2 of 2

    How did you buy your ticket?

    Let's get your review verified.

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

    You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

  • User image

    Super Reviewer

    Rate this movie

    Oof, that was Rotten.

    Meh, it passed the time.

    It’s good – I’d recommend it.

    Awesome!

    So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

    What did you think of the movie? (optional)

  • How did you buy your ticket?

    • Fandango

    • AMCTheatres.com or AMC AppNew

    • Cinemark Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Regal Coming Soon

      We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

    • Theater box office or somewhere else

Time After Time Photos

Movie Info

H.G. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) has built a time machine, and he plans on using it to travel to a Utopian paradise in the future. But before he can, Jack the Ripper (David Warner), on the run from the police, uses it to escape and travel to 1979. Wells follows, and enlists the help of a bank teller named Amy (Mary Steenburgen) to catch Jack before he continues his killing spree. As they work together, Wells falls for Amy, even as she has a hard time believing his wild story of time travel.

Cast & Crew

David Warner
Jack the Ripper - John Leslie Stevenson
Laurie Main
Inspector Gregson
James Garrett
Edwards
Show all Cast & Crew

News & Interviews for Time After Time

Critic Reviews for Time After Time

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (4)

Audience Reviews for Time After Time

  • Jan 01, 2021
    It appears I have stumbled across another Twilight Zone-esque film. Once again this feels more like an extended episode of said show (or many similar shows) which isn't necessarily a bad thing but...it's hard to get away from thinking that. Twas directed by [i]Star Trek's[/i] Nicholas Meyer though, one of his earlier offerings, which I found intriguing. The Plot: It's pretty straight forward. Famous British science-fiction writer H.G. Wells has invented a time machine. Around the same time the notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper is on the loose in London. One evening as Wells entertains dinner guests police knock on the door. It appears the Ripper has struck again and might be in the vicinity. After some investigating it appears that one of Wells dinner guests could be the Ripper. But before you can say 'he's gonna escape in the time machine'...he escapes in the time machine. The Ripper sends himself into the distant future of 1979 and it now falls on Wells to go after him and bring him back to face justice. What follows is your typical out of time adventure as the British gentleman from 1893 must navigate San Francisco circa 1979 to find the hideous Victorian killer. Obviously despite the fact this film uses real historic people the story itself is completely fictional (duh). But I did like how Meyer fit this fantasy into a realistic timeline. I should quickly point out that Meyer's screenplay and this film is actually based on an actual book of the same name and year (1979). As I was saying, the film takes place in 1893, two years before Wells would actually write his famous time-travelling story in 1895. Thusly in this film Wells invents the time machine for real, has his chaotic adventure, and then follows it up by writing the story. As for the chaotic time-travelling adventure, well it's a tad predictable and tame really. Wells is portrayed by a young Malcolm McDowell who, unfortunately, doesn't really pull it off in my opinion. For starters he doesn't really look the part with an obviously fake moustache, blonde hair, and he's far too slim both in stature and face. Secondly he comes across as a complete drip frankly, not that I know anything about the real Wells as a young man but McDowell's performance felt so soft and timid. On the other hand there are plenty of nice little touches from McDowell such as examining surfaces made out of new materials (to him). Trying to work out how to open a car door. Trying to understand the difference in 1979 speech patterns etc...I like that he struggled to get along for a time and had to sell bits and pieces of his attire to raise cash for food. That felt like people had actually thought about this instead of some stupid easy get-out clause (like him meeting a hot girl straight away who just takes him in and looks after him). On the flip side the Ripper (David Warner) conveniently doesn't seem to have the same issues, that we see anyway. Maybe it's because he's the villain but things don't really seem to faze him as much. He seems more intent on continuing his killing streak in this new futuristic world. This was something that bugged me because why would he do that? I get that he's a psycho but he managed to escape from his murderous past and obvious eventual presumable capture and has given himself a fresh new start. Yet he gets straight back to killing again which would presumably land him right back in the same eventual outcome, capture and imprisonment. Many serial killers are supposed to be quite intelligent, apparently. Well this doesn't come across as a logical move to me, surely he'd be amazed by the future and wanting to discover more about that? I dunno. Time travel is of course a very hard subject to tackle because who knows how one might react to a whole new world with new inventions. Especially from someone in our distant past because with basic things (to us now) like plastics, travel, architecture, communication etc...would be mind-blowing to them. It might not be too bad for people in our present going forward because we would be more likely to adapt to greater technology, maybe. Have to mention the casting of Mary Steenburgen as Wells love interest here. In all honesty her performance isn't exactly ground-breaking but it's the circumstance that's interesting. In this film she plays a 20th-century woman who falls in love with a man from the past and eventually follows him back in time. In 1990 Steenburgen played a character from the past who falls in love with a man from the future and eventually follows him into the future ('Back to the Future III'). There are many things in this film that are quite quaint these days. The main factor of course being the distant future being 1979, one year after I was born. This naturally makes [b]everything[/b] incredibly dated to the point of hilarity whilst watching. The outfits David Warner wears in some scenes are priceless. The young girl wearing literal transparent trousers in front of Wells was bizarre as I've never seen that before myself. The fact that the US banks were happy to exchange British currency from the 1800's! Really?? All the cars and technology we see throughout the film. I also liked the obvious visual homage to the 1960's time machine with this film's time machine. Actually I thought this offering was better and had more of a sensible look really. This time machine actually had a little pod you sat in that would protect you from any possible dangerous effects of travelling through time. The fact the time machine in the old 1960's version was essentially an open sled always bugged me. So anyway the film predictably moves along and we watch the Ripper kill various women only to eventually kidnap Wells love interest in order to obtain a special key from him. Said key is one of two special functions on the time machine. This key stops the machine from automatically going back to its time of origin, which would result in any time traveller being stranded. Without said key the machine won't go at all, I think. Not really sure why anyone would build this function into your machine. The same could be said for the second key. Apparently when you remove this important key it sends the time traveller hurtling into time and space and unable to be saved. This was something I still can't quite get my head around. I assume you have to be in the machine for this to work, but I don't get how the removal of this key sends you into oblivion. And again, why would you build this into your machine?? Seems dangerous. Anywho overall this film is an enjoyable little time-travelling romp that any time-travelling TV series would be happy to showcase during its run. Admittedly this film would merely be seen as generic time-travelling filler for any TV series, I mean there's nothing ground-breaking here to be honest. It's a very simple story with a very simple outcome that could be retooled for any number of characters from any number of time periods. Think along the lines of 'Quantum Leap' I guess.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Oct 08, 2020
    A romantic comedy disguised with flourishes of sci-fi, H.G.Wells pursues Jack the Ripper to early 1980s San Francisco. As with all romances this one is all about the chemistry of the leads - of which there isn't very much really, with Steenburgen basically throwing herself at McDowell - though both are cute on their own. David Warner then carries the thing as the Ripper, a man quite happy in his own future.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 09, 2020
    Nicholas Meyer was and has been a gifted filmmaker. The man created two of the best Star Trek films and Time After Time fits the mould of his filmmaking style nicely. It's a funny film dressed as a thriller, with a giant splash of high concept. H.G Welles vs Jack the Ripper, who would've thought? The film is assisted by a great cast and they all add to the film. It's easy to dismiss this film based on the concept, but I was pleasantly surprised by the campy fun. This is a bona fide cult gem and I only wish more people invest in the premise. Strong film and one of those rare films that maintains the pacing. 09/03/2020
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Aug 29, 2011
    Jack the Ripper uses HG Wells time machine to do his thing in !970's San Francisco. Malcolm McDowell is actually the good guy for once!
    Sean G Super Reviewer

Time After Time Quotes

Movie & TV guides