Created by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig, Predestination is a terrific sci-fi movie. If you’re chasing movies like Predestination that will blow your mind then our list of movies should surely be of help. In this film, the talented Ethan Hawke plays a time-travelling agent – assigned his final assignment before retirement. His job is to go back and prevent a bomb attack in New York in 1975. Sarah Snook plays the role of an unmarried mother in this movie. The movie’s bizarre and intertwined nature of story-telling develops a unique experience for the viewers. The film masters the espionage and the circular narrative of man’s inevitable fate.
List of Movies Like Predestination
- 12 Monkeys
- La Jetée
- Deja Vu
- Source Code
- The Butterfly Effect
- Donnie Darko
1. 12 Monkeys (1995)
Starring Bruce Willis, 12 Monkeys is a sci-fi/thriller directed by Terry Gillian. The movie follows a very similar predestination paradox – the journey of James Cole (Bruce Willis), a prisoner in the 2030s, who is recruited as a time traveller to go back to the 1990s on a mission to get information about a plague that is about to wipe out the majority of life on earth.
When he arrives at the wrong moment in the past, Cole is arrested and incarcerated at a mental hospital where he meets Jeffery Goines (played by Brad Pitt), a mental patient. Determined to save the world from its fate, Cole finds himself travelling back and forth in time, discovering unfathomable secrets. If you have not seen 12 Monkeys yet, it’s one the best movies like Predestination that you can watch.
2. La Jetée (1962)
La Jetée is quite truly the blueprint of such circular narrative, time travel stories of an individual’s destiny intertwined with the rest of the world. Constructed almost entirely from still photos in black and white, the film tells the story of a post-nuclear war experiment involving the time travel of a man.
Watch the film here:
La Jetée is considered one of the greatest experimental films of all time. Cultural theorists, artists and film-goers alike have praised this short film. And while I can go on and on about its brilliant elements of filmmaking that have quite literally inspired all-time-travel films that followed -in some way or the other. I will highly request to watch this masterpiece if you are a fan of cinema and love watching films like Predestination.
3. Arrival (2016)
Arrival is a creation of the brilliant director Denis Villeneuve and is considered one of the best science-fiction movies of all time. Arrival perfects everything any Sci-fi movie hopes to deliver. The movie is based on a short story called ‘Story of Your Life’ by Ted Chiang, which primarily deals with searching for the reason the alien crafts have arrived and what they want from Earth.
Arrival incorporates skilful non-linear elements of story-telling with a soundtrack and visuals that speak a deeper truth of human communication and how bound by time our memories tend to be. Amy Adams’ performance is quite stunning here. If you’re searching for movies like Predestination, I’m sure you’ll love Arrival. Check out more movies like Arrival.
4. Looper (2012)
Looper sets itself in the near future with a fresh take on the assassin action genre where time travel exists but is available only to those who are able to buy it on the black market. The mob eliminates people by sending their targets in the past, where a hitman ‘looper’ waits to eliminate the person. Joe (Gordon-Levitt) is one such great hitman. One day, his bosses decide to eliminate him by sending his future self (Bruce Willis) back in time to kill him. (Sounds very familiar, doesn’t it?)
The movie explores a number of the same hypothetical concepts as Predestination and chiefly shares its fixation on paradoxes. For many, it was Emily Blunt’s noteworthy performance that gave the film an emotional impact. Looper is the kind of movie where one watch won’t be enough, surely, watch it if you are in search of films like Predestination.
5. Deja Vu (2006)
Denzel Washington takes on the role of an ATF agent Doug Carlin who is assigned by his top-secret team to capture a wanted man – a terrorist who is responsible for a ferry bombing that killed 100s of people. With the help of advanced technology, Doug is able to fold time four days backwards and track the footsteps of the wanted man —just as he plans to kill a woman.
This is a great movie with a thrilling storyline. Deja Vu is a must-watch, especially if you are a person who enjoys looking into convoluted conspiracies tied in together with time travel theories. Though the film only narrowly touches on the time travel concepts, mixed with drama, crime and theoretical sci-fi problems, make it a great choice for time travel movies like Predestination.
6. Tenet (2020)
Who isn’t a fan of a talented director like Christopher Nolan? However, while his 2020 project Tenet was highly anticipated by fans, it went underappreciated upon its release. Tenet is a science fiction spy movie that centres around an unnamed protagonist. He is a CIA operative recruited by a secret organisation called Tenet. Nolan introduces the concept of time travel through the eyes of the protagonist when he is briefed about specific bullets that move backwards in time.
The protagonist understands the manipulation of the flow of time so he can prevent an attack from the future, which threatens to annihilate the present. The plot of Tenet is more complex and complicated in comparison to other films in this genre; after all, it’s been said that it took 5 years for Nolan to write the screenplay! Tenet is an excellent option for movies similar to Predestination.
7. Source Code (2011)
This nail-biting sci-fi thriller called Source Code looks at a Helicopter Pilot, Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) as he experiences the last few minutes in the life of Sean Fentress, a man who died in a commuter train explosion. Now it’s Colter’s mission to learn more about the situation and the bomber to prevent the catastrophe.
Source Code is a well-written and well-executed gripping film. And without spoiling the movie, you will be pretty shocked by what uncovers. The movie’s sound effects and cinematography are quite stunning. Suppose you just watched sci-fi movies like Predestination, then you’ll be quite pleased with this one.
8. The Butterfly Effect (2004)
The Butterfly Effect movie is based on the idea that even the smallest changes have unusual effects on complex systems like life. Ashton Kutcher plays the main character Ewan Trebon. A college student, Trebon experiences incredibly painful headaches all throughout his life which often lead to blackouts. Ewan discovers that while he is unconscious he can travel in time and change the reality for people close to him who have gone through traumatic events.
However, it is discovered that the changes he makes to previous events drastically turn the present into chaos, leading him to experience terrifying alternate realities. The time-warping illusions of this sci-fi movie are executed well. If you want to watch movies similar to Predestination, The Butterfly Effect is worth a watch.
9. Donnie Darko (2001)
The film follows the titular teenage character Donnie Darko (played by young Jake Gyllenhaal), as he encounters a Rabbit-headed figure called Frank, who informs him that the world will end in 28 days. Donnie Darko has become a cult classic. Drawn from Director Kelly’s own experiences of anxieties as a teenager.
Frank proceeds to encourage Donnie to commit crimes by convincing him that there will be no repercussions for his actions. Donnie, not often the most relatable character, proves to be an iconic, fearless, badass martyr. The distinctive fantasy and nightmare of the uncertain experiences in an apocalyptic world set this movie apart from its counterparts. The second Jake film in this list and another great choice for movies like Predestination.
10. Transcendence (2014)
Transcendence follows a scientist whose obsession with AI takes on a dangerous turn when his consciousness gets uploaded onto the program. The main character’s obsession becomes a threat to the rest of humanity when he reveals his darker motives.
This film definitely thought-provoking about what the future of AI has in store for us. Transcendence is an ambitious blend of fact and fiction; the dystopian-edged take will make for a great watch if you are interested in thrilling sci-fi cautionary films like Predestination.
Here are a few time-travel movies like Predestination that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- Ad Astra
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons
- Men In Black