What do Groundhog Day, Twelve Monkeys, and The Time Traveler’s Wife have in common? Yes, exactly: They’d all be better with Nicholas Cage. But also: time travel! As we see in this flow chart, however, not all time-bending cinema approaches the concept in quite the same fashion.
The flow chart, created by a mysterious Tumblr user by the name of Mr. Dalliard, sorts films by their specific time travel device. Paycheck, FlashForward, and Next (Hey, Nic!) all fall into the “future sight” sub-branch of the “only information travels in time” category. Other streams concern causality loops, tangent universes, and Novikov’s self-consistency principle.
As he writes on his Tumblr, the author is aware of some omissions: “Mr. Dalliard appreciates the criticism as well, and is painfully aware that he might have failed to include your favourite motion picture into his flow diagram, although the comprehensiveness of that diagram has never been a goal of this humble man.” Maybe someone can go back in time a few weeks and get him to include Hot Tub Time Machine, my own personal favorite.