Advertisement

The best time-loop movies and shows to watch this Groundhog Day

bill murray groundhog day
"Groundhog Day."Columbia Pictures
  • Groundhog Day is celebrated each year on February 2.

  • The film "Groundhog Day" is about a weatherman who keeps waking up on February 2.

  • This spawned a whole genre of time-loop films in which someone relives a day.

In honor of the real Groundhog Day, you can choose to watch the original time-loop film, 1993's "Groundhog Day."

groundhog day
Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day."Columbia Pictures

In the film, Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell star as TV weatherman Phil Connors and his producer Rita Hanson, an antagonistic pair of coworkers who get sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the town's annual Groundhog Day celebration. Phil, a textbook misanthrope, resents being sent there, and his resentment grows as he wakes up each morning to the same day over and over again.

"Groundhog Day" has prompted much discussion over the years, including how long Phil was stuck inside the time loop (guesses range from a few weeks to "a lifetime"), and if the movie is a religious allegory. We can't say for sure, but we can say that "Groundhog Day" is a stone-cold classic.

"Groundhog Day" is streaming with AMC+.

Almost three decades later, Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti co-starred in "Palm Springs," a modern spin on the story.

palm springs
Cristin Milioti and Andy Samberg in "Palm Springs."Neon/Hulu

Samberg and Milioti play Nyles and Sarah, two guests at a wedding that takes place on November 9 in Palm Springs, California. Nyles' girlfriend is a close friend of the bride, who is also Sarah's younger sister.

Nyles and Sarah bond at the wedding reception, and after a night of fun, Sarah follows Nyles into a cave — and subsequently gets trapped inside a time loop with Nyles, who has been reliving November 9 for an undetermined amount of time. The two fall in love and viewers slowly learn more and more about their lives before the wedding.

We won't spoil what happens, but "Palm Springs" is a worthy successor to the "time-loop films" crown.

"Palm Springs" is streaming on Hulu.

The 2018 film "The Fare" added a Greek mythology component to a time-loop story.

the fare
Brinna Kelly and Gino Anthony Pesi in "The Fare."Epic Pictures

In "The Fare," a taxi driver keeps picking up the same passenger over and over again, only for her to disappear before he can drop her off — and he forgets her each time. That is, until he can briefly recall her name (Penny), and she tells him that the ride has happened at least 100 times before.

The film, which has a rare 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, takes a mythological turn once Harris (the driver) begins realizing that he's in a loop. From there, the story takes many twists and turns we won't spoil here.

"The Fare" is streaming on Tubi, Vudu, the Roku Channel, PLEX, and Prime Video.

The 2017 film "Happy Death Day" took the conceit to the horror-comedy genre, as Tree keeps reliving her birthday over and over again.

happy death day
Jessica Rothe in "Happy Death Day."Patti Perret/Universal Pictures

Jessica Rothe stars as Tree, a typical college student, who gets killed by a masked serial killer on the night of her birthday. However, instead of dying, she once again wakes up on the morning of her birthday.

In order to figure out who's behind the mask of her murderer, she enlists her friend Carter to help her avoid her inevitable death and save everyone from the killer — and perhaps become a better person along the way.

"Happy Death Day" is available to rent on Prime Video.

Tree once again gets trapped in a time loop in the 2019 sequel "Happy Death Day 2U."

happy death day 2u
Jessica Rothe and Israel Broussard in "Happy Death Day 2U."Michele K. Short/Universal Pictures

In the sequel to "Happy Death Day," Tree once again gets pulled into a time loop, but this time, she also gets knocked into a parallel universe in which her dead mother is alive and decides to stay in this reality.

Of course, this doesn't work, as this reality has its own version of the baby-face killer from the first film, forcing Tree and Carter to team up and figure out how to save everyone again.

"Happy Death Day 2U" is available to rent.

"Source Code" is about an Army pilot who is forced to relive the same eight minutes over and over to prevent a future terrorist attack.

source code 2011 movie
"Source Code."Summit Entertainment

In "Source Code," Jake Gyllenhaal plays Captain Colter Stevens, an Army pilot who is assigned to replay the last eight minutes before a bombing on a Chicago Metra train, so he can figure out who did it and why. Each time he dies and resets, he learns more and more about the crime, so the US government can prevent any similar future attacks.

One of the couple of twists is that Colter doesn't use his own body to figure this out — he essentially possesses the body of another man on the train, Sean, and bonds with Sean's friend Christina, played by Michelle Monaghan.

"Source Code" is streaming on Hulu.

"The Map of Tiny Perfect Things" is a teen movie version of the time loop.

map of tiny perfect things
Kyle Allen and Kathryn Newton in "The Map of Tiny Perfect Things."Amazon Studios

The film stars Kathryn Newton and Kyle Allen as two teenagers (Margaret and Mark) who discover that they're both trapped in a time loop, reliving the same day over and over.

In true teen rom-com fashion, it looks like the pair falls in love, while simultaneously trying to deal with their unique predicament — and figure out why Mark is a little more eager to escape than Margaret is.

"The Map of Tiny Perfect Things" is streaming on Prime Video.

Netflix took home its first Academy Award for best live-action short film in 2021 for "Two Distant Strangers."

two distant strangers netflix
Joey Badass and Zaria Simone in "Two Distant Strangers."Netflix

In "Two Distant Strangers," rapper Joey Badass plays graphic designer Jeter, who is trying to get home to his dog after a successful first date with Perri (Zaria Simone).

But every time, without fail, he's stopped and killed by a white police officer, Merk, for various (unfounded, racially motivated) reasons.

"Two Distant Strangers" is streaming on Netflix.

"The Obituary of Tunde Johnson" has a similar premise, but it's about a Black teenager who keeps reliving the day he was shot by a white police officer.

The Obituary of Tunde Johnson
"The Obituary of Tunde Johnson."Wolfe Releasing

Tunde (played by Steven Silver), a gay, Black high school student, keeps reliving the last day of his life over and over: moments with his closeted boyfriend Soren, fights with Soren's girlfriend (and Tunde's own best friend Marley, played by Nicola Peltz), and tragically, his death at the hands of the police.

"The Obituary of Tunde Johnson" is streaming on Hulu.

Tom Cruise starred in an action movie variant, "Edge of Tomorrow," in 2014.

The Edge of Tomorrow
Tom Cruise in "Edge of Tomorrow."Warner Bros.

"Edge of Tomorrow," also known as "Live Die Repeat," stars Cruise as Major William Cage, a member of the Armed Forces' media relations department, who gets sent to an active war zone to cover it. In this film's version of the future, an alien race called "Mimics" has invaded the Earth, and humanity has been fighting them ever since.

During a battle, Cage gets doused in one of the aliens' blood, and gains the ability to loop through time — he relives the battle over and over, resetting to the morning of the battle each time he dies, until Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), who previously had this power before she had a blood transfusion, figures out what Cage can do.

From there, the two team up to try and take down the Mimics once and for all.

"Edge of Tomorrow" is streaming on Hulu and Max.

Seven years later, Frank Grillo took the action up another notch with "Boss Level.'

frank grillo in boss level
Frank Grillo in "Boss Level."Hulu

"Boss Level" was released in 2021, though it feels like it's straight out of the '90s — especially due to its antagonist, played by Mel Gibson.

"Boss Level" starts with Grillo's character, Roy, already stuck in his time loop, evading multiple assassins trying to kill him before inevitably dying at their hand. In order to survive and take down the boss, Roy must train and practice beating the people who are out to get him, just like in a video game.

"Boss Level" is streaming on Hulu.

"See You Yesterday," a Netflix film, deals with a similar subject matter.

see you yesterday
Eden Duncan-Smith in "See You Yesterday."Netflix

In a small twist from the other time-loop movies on this list, "See You Yesterday" follows high schooler CJ Walker, who has successfully created a time machine that allows her and a friend, Sebastian, to go back in time.

CJ uses this technology to travel back in time to the same day over and over again in order to prevent the murder of her older brother, Calvin, by a police officer.

Produced by Spike Lee, "See You Yesterday" will leave you pondering time travel and its consequences for much longer than its runtime.

"See You Yesterday" is streaming on Netflix.

In "Before I Fall," a teenager realizes that to get out of a time loop, she has to become a better person.

before i fall
Zoey Deutch in "Before I Fall."Open Road Films

The 2017 film, based on the 2010 YA novel of the same name, focuses on Samantha Kingston (played by Zoey Deutch), a "popular" teenager who, after getting killed in a car crash with her friends, wakes up again and again on the day of the crash.

As the days progress, Samantha realizes that her friends aren't what they seem and that her boyfriend isn't the great guy she thinks he is.

While the ending of the film was a bit controversial, the way that Samantha learns what is actually important still resonates.

"Before I Fall" is streaming on Tubi, PLEX, and Freevee.

"Meet Cute" is a more intentional time-loop situation than other entries on this list, but it does involve reliving the same day over and over again.

Meet Cute
Pete Davidson and Kaley Cuoco in "Meet Cute."Peacock

In "Meet Cute," which was released in 2022, Kaley Cuoco stars as Sheila, a woman with depression who discovers a time machine inside her local nail salon and decides to relive the same first date with Gary (Pete Davidson) over and over again — in fact, she does it every day for almost a year.

It's more of a time loop of her own making since, in theory, she could stop whenever she wants to, but over the course of the movie, it becomes clear why Sheila doesn't want to move forward with her life.

"Meet Cute" is streaming on Peacock.

There have been a few different holiday variations in this genre, but the most famous is "Christmas Every Day."

christmas every day
Yvonne Zima and Erik von Detten in "Christmas Every Day."International Family Entertainment, Inc.

In 1996's ABC Family film "Christmas Every Day," based on the 1892 short story of the same name, Erik von Detten stars as Billy, a teenager who has a very Grinch-esque outlook on Christmas. To get him into the holiday spirit, his younger sister Sarah wishes it'd be Christmas every day. In order to get out of the time loop, Billy must learn the true meaning of Christmas.

The film was remade in 2006, titled "Christmas Do-Over," starring Jay Mohr and Daphne Zuniga as a divorced couple.

"Christmas Every Day" is available to watch on YouTube, while "Christmas Do-Over" is streaming on Prime Video and PLEX.

The 2017 Netflix movie "Naked" took a more straightforward comedic approach.

Naked movie starring Marlon Wayans Netflix
Marlon Wayans in "Naked."Netflix

In "Naked," Marlon Wayans' Rob wakes up on the morning of his wedding, naked in an elevator and far from the church where his wedding is taking place.

Instead of reliving a day, Rob keeps reliving the hour before his wedding, each time reappearing naked in the elevator. While this film has the equally rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, it might be worth your time — Google reviewers gave it a 3.8-star rating.

"Naked" is streaming on Netflix.

Netflix's "Russian Doll" is a series, but it excels at the "Groundhog Day" premise.

russian doll
Natasha Lyonne in "Russian Doll."Netflix

Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) keeps reliving her 36th birthday over and over again, only to die before figuring out why this is happening to her. Eventually, she meets Alan (Charlie Barnett) in an elevator — and she discovers he's been reliving the same day, too. Over the course of their loops, they become close friends and try to solve the mystery together.

In June 2019, "Russian Doll" was renewed for a second season, and it finally premiered in April 2022, with a more time-travel-focused storyline.

"Russian Doll" is streaming on Netflix.

"Looped" is a cartoon about Luc and Theo, two kids who keep reliving October 12.

looped
"Looped."DHX Media

"Looped" aired on Prime Video from 2016 to 2019. It followed best friends Luc and Theo, who get stuck in a time loop after an accident involving one of Theo's inventions lands them in a never-ending October 12 (one episode establishes it's been at least 4 years).

"Looped" is streaming on Prime Video.

For a bonus, try the "Remedial Chaos Theory" episode of "Community's" third season.

remedial chaos theory
Yvette Nicole Brown, Danny Pudi, Gillian Jacobs, Joe McHale, and Donald Glover in "Community."NBCUniversal Television Distribution

In the episode, the study group rolls a die to see who has to go downstairs and grab the pizzas that have been delivered.

The episode goes through what would happen in seven different timelines — that is, what would happen if each member of the group went downstairs to pick up the pizza. Classic "Community" hijinks ensue, and the episode has been called one of the all-time best episodes of the series.

"Community" is streaming on Hulu and Netflix.

Read the original article on Business Insider