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Top 10 Deja Vu Movies To See On Groundhog Day

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands

What if you could do it all over again? For this list, we’ll be looking at movies in which characters revisit or relive the same moment, day or period of time . . . or at least feel as if they are. This can be the result of actual time travel, or more of a mental feeling of deja vu. Our list includes “Back to the Future Part II” (1989), “Source Code” (2011), “Happy Death Day” (2017), “Run Lola Run” (1998), “Before I Fall” (2017), and more! Join WatchMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Deja Vu Movies.

Check out the voting page for this list and add your picks: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Movie+Deja+Vu


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Script written by Michael Wynands

Top 10 Deja Vu Movies

What if you could do it all over again? These films have a few ideas! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Deja Vu Movies.

For this list, we’ll be looking at movies in which characters revisit or relive the same moment, day or period of time . . . or at least feel as if they are. This can be the result of actual time travel, or more of a mental feeling of deja vu.

Consider yourself warned, there will be spoilers.

#10: “Back to the Future Part II” (1989)

In the second chapter of this beloved trilogy, Doc and Marty visit the future to stop his son from making a grave mistake, only for Marty to make one of his own - buying a sports almanac to bring home with him. Unfortunately, Biff gets his hands on it, and after stealing the DeLorean, he travels back to 1955 to help his younger self get rich, thus drastically changing the future. One of the coolest parts of this film is when Marty revisits the same events he altered in the first film. He needs to get the almanac from Biff without undermining all the good work he did on his previous visit. Nobody said time travel was easy, McFly!

#9: “Before I Fall” (2017)

In this moving teen drama, we follow mean high schooler Samantha Kingston on February 12th, dubbed “Cupid Day” at her school. Sam plans to lose her virginity to her boyfriend that night; unfortunately, the day doesn’t exactly go as planned, ending in far more dramatic fashion. Then, Sam wakes up to discover that it’s Cupid Day again. What first seemed like a dream soon reveals itself to be a time loop from which Sam finds herself helpless to escape. As she repeatedly relives the day however, she learns a lot about herself and the way she’s hurt those around her, including her classmate, Juliet and longtime friend, Kent. We won’t give away Sam’s redemptive fate, but have a tissue handy.

#8: “Happy Death Day” (2017)

Teen slasher horror flicks come and go, but unfortunately far too few of them have anything particularly interesting or memorable to contribute to the genre. Every now and then however, a horror film like this one comes along that not only delivers the scares, but a compelling premise too. “Happy Death Day” features a time-loop, through which our hero, college student Tree, murdered on her birthday, tries to identify and avoid her killer . . . while suffering countless memorable deaths in the process. It’s a (literally) sharp, self-aware film with plenty to say about horror, further elevated by a rock solid performance by Jessica Rothe. We can’t wait to see where they take the sequel.

#7: “Timecrimes” (2007)

A passion project of Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo, who directed, wrote and co-stars in this complex thriller, “Timecrimes” (or, “Los Cronocrímenes”) tells the story of Héctor, a man stuck in, yep, a time loop. Things get pretty complicated pretty quickly, as each time Hector goes back in time, he effectively creates a duplicate of himself. The film begins with Hector trying to escape a killer, but he soon finds himself becoming that killer, pursuing the other versions of himself. It’s a convoluted film, and at times you may find yourself reeling as you try to keep track of all of its moving parts, but it’s a lot of fun, and sure to satisfy any fans of stylish, cerebral sci-fi.

#6: "Primer” (2004)

Many consider this low budget deja vu movie by Shane Carruth to be one of the most meticulously planned out time travel stories ever crafted. “Primer” follows two engineers, Aaron and Abe, who dive deep into the tech and discover a time-looping effect that allows them to profit off of same-day stock trading. When they realize that their seemingly perfect plan is yielding unexpected consequences, however, they soon find that it’s far more difficult to undo the effects of time travel than they ever could have imagined. It’s the sort of film you have to rewatch a few times to really understand (which seems appropriate), but it’s brilliant.

#5: “Source Code” (2011)

Directed by noted film auteur Duncan Jones and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, “Source Code” is another complex exploration of time travel. Captain Colter Stevens, a U.S. Army pilot is tasked with operating an experimental device that allows him to not only live out the last 8 minutes of the life of another person, but control that person’s actions, effectively creating alternate timelines. His mission? Stop a train bomber. For Stevens, this is understandably exhausting, and as he begins to learn more about the specifics of the device and his body, a more personal narrative develops, adding to the already tense and compelling sci-fi premise.

#4: “Run Lola Run” (1998)

In this beautiful, unique, exhilarating and exhausting German thriller, Franka Potente plays the titular Lola, a young woman who must secure 100,000 German Marks (or, around 56,000 US dollars) within twenty minutes or her criminal boyfriend Manni will be killed. The film revolves around the concepts of fate, destiny and self-determination, while also exploring how small actions and differences of as little as 30 seconds can drastically alter the course of one’s life. Over the course of the film’s (literal) running time, Lola relives those 20 minutes three times, each version playing out very differently, not only for Lola, but for the people she interacts with as well. It was nominated for dozens of awards, winning many, including the Audience Award at Sundance.

#3: “Edge of Tomorrow” (2014)

Based on the Japanese YA ‘light novel’ “All You Need Is Kill”, “Edge of Tomorrow” is set in a world in which humanity wages war against an invading alien race, the Mimics. Tom Cruise plays William Cage, an army officer working in media relations, who is forced into combat by a superior. After killing a Mimic on the battlefield, the blood of the alien seemingly kills him, only for Cage to suddenly wake up, having jumped back to the previous morning. Trapped in a loop, video game-style, Cage begins training and learning from each battle, before crafting a plan to secure a major victory. It’s a thrilling ride further elevated by great performances from both Cruise and Emily Blunt.

#2: “Memento” (2000)

Christopher Nolan has established himself as one of the most prominent and influential directors of the 21st century, crafting some of the most memorable films of the past few decades. Though more than one of his movies could be considered gamechangers, “Memento” remains the film that really put him on the map and, depending on who you ask, is perhaps his best. This deja vu psychological thriller is a meticulous exercise in nonlinear narrative, told across two overlapping timelines, following a man with anterograde amnesia and can’t form new memories, trying to track down his wife’s murderer. It’s fascinating, challenging, utterly unique and works on so many levels.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions

“50 First Dates” (2004)

“About Time” (2013)

“Triangle” (2009)

#1: “Groundhog Day” (1993)

It’s fair to say that many of the time-looping films on this list likely never would have been made had it not been for this hilarious, heartwarming and admittedly groundbreaking comedy. Directed by and co-written by the legendary Harold Ramis, and starring Bill Murray, “Groundhog Day” follows TV weatherman Phil Connors, who finds himself reliving February 2nd, Groundhog Day, over and over again. It’s widely considered one of the best comedies ever made; and while it may not be quite as complex as some of the other deja vu films discussed today, its enduring influence cannot be overstated. If there’s one deja vu film we’d want to be stuck watching day after day, it’s “Groundhog Day”.


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