Timeline (2003)


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


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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 technology company called ITC, led by Robert Doniger (David Thewlis). The eccentric Doniger explains that because of a machine that his company built, their professor is trapped in 14th century France. In order to rescue him, two of the students, Chris Hughes (Paul Walker) and Kate Erickson (Frances O'Connor), along with Andre Marek (Gerard Butler), an archeological site manager, must travel to France, circa 1357, amid archaic war, deadly diseases, and other unexpected pitfalls. Meanwhile, David Stern (Ethan Embry), a third student, stays behind to keep an eye on the shady Doniger. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi

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Paul Walker
as Chris Johnston
Gerard Butler
as Andre Marek
Billy Connolly
as Professeur Johnston
David Thewlis
as Robert Doniger
Anna Friel
as Lady Claire
Neal McDonough
as Frank Gordon
Matt Craven
as Steven Kramer
Ethan Embry
as Josh Stern
Michael Sheen
as Lord Oliver
Lambert Wilson
as Arnaut de Cervole
Rossif Sutherland
as Francois Dontelle
David La Haye
as Arnaut's Deputy
Richard Zeman
as Oliver's Lieutenant
Patrick Sabongui
as Jimmy Gomez
Mike Chute
as Bill Baretto
Paul Tuerpé
as News Reporter
Cas Anvar
as E.R. Doctor
Stéphanie Biddle
as E.R. Doctor
Lois Dellar
as E.R. Nurse
Lynne Adams
as E.R. Doctor
Christian Tessier
as MRI Technician
Millie Tresierra
as Undergraduate
Amy Sloan
as Undergraduate
Ryan J. Wulff
as Undergraduate
Christian Paul
as Archaeologist
Marian Collier
as Archaeologist
Edward J. Rosen
as Archaeologist
Kathryn Stanleigh
as Doniger's Secretary
Stephen Liska
as ITC Tech
Bruce Ramsay
as ITC Tech
Hilary Porter
as ITC Prep Room Nurse
Marie-Josee D'Amours
as Lord Oliver's Wife
Alicia Wininger
as Lord Oliver's Daughter
Luke Letourneau
as Lord Oliver's Son
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News & Interviews for Timeline

Critic Reviews for Timeline

All Critics (142) | Top Critics (37)

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.

Nov 5, 2008 | Full Review…

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.

Oct 18, 2008
Top Critic

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

Dec 2, 2003 | Full Review…
Village Voice
Top Critic

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

Dec 1, 2003

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

Nov 26, 2003

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

Nov 26, 2003

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.

Red Lats
Red Lats

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.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

A pretty forgettable film that goes nowhere fast.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

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.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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