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The Time Traveler's Wife

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

(No longer in theaters)
  • Rating: PG-13 — for thematic elements, brief disturbing images, nudity and sexuality
  • Director: Robert Schwentke   Cast: Rachel McAdams, Eric Bana, Ron Livingston, Jane McLean
  • Running Time: 108 minutes
  • Reader Rating:

    7 out of 10


    1 Reviews | Write a Review

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Drama, Romance, SciFi/Fantasy


Dede Gardner, Brad Grey, Brad Pitt, Nick Wechsler


Warner Bros. Pictures

Release Date

Aug 14, 2009

Release Notes


Official Website


As a sucker for time-travel romance (I’ve considered joining the dewy-eyed souls who make yearly pilgrimages to the lake where Christopher Reeve went loop-de-loop for Jane Seymour in Somewhere in Time), I’m over the moon about this movie, which smooths out the psychological dissonances in Audrey Niffenegger’s fine novel but is still an emotional workout. With no warning (though often when drunk or stressed), Eric Bana’s Henry is whisked back into the past or ahead to the future, which would be more fun if he knew where he was going and his clothes went with him. At age 40 or so, Henry leaps back in time and wins the heart of a girl named Clare, played by lovely Brooklynn Proulx, then Rachel McAdams. (It’s a measure of my affection for this film that I didn’t dwell on the standard implications of a naked fortyish man calling out from the bushes to a 6-year-old girl.) Ultimately, there’s no explanation for Henry’s gift beyond a “genetic abnormality,” and since he can’t alter the past—“butterfly effect” shmutterfly effect—the film is steeped in fatalism. It ends up evoking all our emotional waverings—the ways in which we abandon lovers to relive the past or anticipate the future, only sometimes connecting in the moment. Gracefully directed by Robert Schwentke, the film has a perfect performance by Bana, rangy and haunted, never at home in his body. The sole jarring note is Henry and Clare’s first dance at their wedding—to Broken Social Scene’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” I might have suggested, “Love Will Keep Us Together.”