IMDb > The Time Traveler's Wife (2009) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
The Time Traveler's Wife
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guide
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
The Time Traveler's Wife More at IMDbPro »

Write review
Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 1 of 24:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [Next]
Index 240 reviews in total 

254 out of 309 people found the following review useful:

It's about life long metaphors, not the science.

Author: snickers797 from United States
14 August 2009

Something I often find bothersome in 'time travel fiction' is that there is usually a large chunk of the storytelling dedicated to the tedium of explaining 'how' time travel works, particularly when time travel is merely a device to aid the storytelling. We don't really need to know the science behind it because, simply put, science can neither logically explain its paradoxical nature, nor prove or dispute its possibility. "The Time Traveler's Wife" never makes pretenses to the science behind it, rather it centers its focus on the story.

At the heart of this film is a love story and the complexities that people bring to their relationships. What I liked most was its metaphorical allusion to the distance in relationships and how the important people in our lives stay with us even after they are gone. The scenes between Henry and young Clare were especially moving because they took literally the notion of feeling like you have known someone your whole life. It's kind of like when you share stories from your past with friends and significant others, retelling them time and again until your experiences are indistinguishable from theirs, except in the case of Henry and Clare, the experiences are real if not linear.

Just go and watch it. Decide for yourself if you like it. Just don't dwell too much on the technicalities. After all, Scientific Theorists have been slamming their heads against the wall on the matter of time travel for centuries. Take the story for what it is and enjoy the ride.

Was the above review useful to you?

213 out of 272 people found the following review useful:

Not The Book, But A Great Movie

Author: audiojoe99 from United Kingdom
15 August 2009

8 times and counting. That's how many times I've read the book. The episodic structure of the novel is such that it's easy to dip in and out of, even if you're reading other things. You can quite easily spend an hour or a day with Henry and Claire whenever you wish.

When I found out that they were making a movie of the book, my initial reaction was how? There's far too much to cram into a two hour movie. Surely they'd be better making a mini- series?

The fact is, that they leave a lot of things out of the movie. Characters who you'd assume would be quite important are given very little screen time, or excised completely. Also, the ending of the novel isn't used, only the spirit of the ending. The book's ending was filmed, however, so maybe it'll turn up as a DVD extra for all the purists out there.

You know what though? The movie is great. It's perfectly cast, and instead of concentrating on every minute detail that made the book a joy to read, it concentrates solely on the boy- meets-girl-out-of-time concept, and plays out a love story over an evening-sized slice of time.

Lots of people have complained that their favourite part from the book isn't in it (Rachel's disastrous first date with another man and Henry's revenge for it, The Gomez situation, Ingrid, Christmas at Meadowlark etc) but really, there is enough in this movie to sustain it and to give any newcomers to the story a decent enough reason to run off and read the book to fill in the blanks. Those people especially are in for a treat, as while the movie does have it's moments of high drama, there is a noticeable lack of darkness, which the book has in spades. Also kudos must go to Bruce Joel Rubin for the writing of a brand new scene featuring a time travelling Henry and his mother on a subway train, which slotted in perfectly to the TTW world.

Rachel McAdams makes a stunning Claire, her scenes revolving around the pregnancy issues they have are completely believable and heartfelt. Early reports suggested Eric Bana wasn't up to snuff in his performance of Henry. I can only assume those reviewers had been watching a very rough cut, as I thought he was fantastic. Special mention also to Arliss Howard as Henry's dad, and Stephen Tobolowsky as Kendrick, who both go to demonstrate how scenes can be stolen with very limited screen time.

For everyone who's going in expecting the book, lower your expectations. It isn't the book. What it is, is a condensed version of the main love story from the book, played out perfectly with respect for the text. I enjoyed the movie immensely, and am looking forward to seeing it again. If I want the book, I'll read the book. My imagination is perfectly capable of providing me with the visuals I need. However, from now on, if I want to spend the evening with the DeTambles and let someone else do the work, I'll be watching the movie.

Was the above review useful to you?

177 out of 231 people found the following review useful:

Great adaptation, great casting, great romance.

Author: lyds-2 from United Kingdom
14 August 2009

I was a massive fan of the book and had been following the production of this movie for a long time anticipating the release date. I had set my expectations pretty low so as to not be disappointed and decided to just enjoy the film for what it was.

I was overjoyed by how true to the book the film stayed, only varying in a few unimportant places, the film dared to be as heart breaking and sad as the book and did not feel the need to justify the logistics of the time travel instead choosing to summarise it in the first scene.(People who feel this was not explained do not have the imagination needed to fully enjoy this film).

The ageing of Eric Bana's character was seamless and it was easy to tell whether he was a younger or older version of Henry and Rachel McAdams brought out the inner frustrations of Claire's character with a great sensitivity showing the difficulties of the relationship.

Overall, this film was not a let down to a lover of the book, I enjoyed it as an extension of the story of Henry and Claire and found the emotions real and well developed. A definite must-see for all fans and those who haven't read the book but who just enjoy a good love story!

Was the above review useful to you?

111 out of 171 people found the following review useful:

loved it

Author: tarotwitch0 from United States
13 August 2009

I had read the book three times when it first came out, so I was excited when I got tickets to an advance screening. I was just hoping they didn't ruin the book. I know films can't be like the books, so I carefully did not re-read it.

They did an awesome job with the film. They captured the story, the flavor, the essence of the book, even if they did have to leave some things out. I loved the girls playing Alba.

There was laughing at the funny parts and some crying at the sad. My sister loved it. She had no intentions of reading it and only went because I had tickets. She was sniffly when we left and now has the book.

Notice to guys who like blow em ups. This is a romantic chick flick! Though the one guy I had talked to in line was crying as we left. He did say he loved it.

I would have given it a nine if some of the scenes hadn't been filmed in the dark like a lot of Hollywood.

Was the above review useful to you?

72 out of 107 people found the following review useful:

A magical tale that brings a classical theme back to the big screen.

Author: lagergren168 from United States
18 August 2009

"The Time Traveler's Wife" is a heart-warming love story, and will keep you entertained until the final credits appear. The performances are superb, the pacing is fantastic, and the emotional sensation you experience is easily worth the price of admission.

I recommend anyone looking for a unique love story to see this film. Paying homage to memorable classic such as; "Somewhere in Time" and "It's a Wonderful Life,"it will easily be something that should find a home in your living room shelves.

It emits a cinematic glow that hasn't been seen in years while cleverly conveying an educational message;

"Never let go of the one you love, and cherish him/her always."

Don't let this sparkling gem pass you by...

Was the above review useful to you?

63 out of 95 people found the following review useful:

Terrific performances and chemistry from Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana keep the movie afloat

Author: TcH3rNo from United States
16 August 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife is a romantic drama directed by Robert Schwentke, adapted from Audrey Niffenegger's bestseller of the same name. Adapting a novel with complex elements and undertones to the silver screen is a daunting task and director Robert Schwentke struggled to compromise between satisfying readers of the novel and making the movie accessible to people unfamiliar with the book. Overall, the movie has some significant directing and screen writing flaws but does make for an unpretentious and above-average romantic tragedy thanks to its two compelling leads.

Sypnosis: The Time Traveler's Wife is the time-defying love story of Henry DeTamble (Eric Bana) and Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams). Henry is a librarian afflicted with a genetic disease that causes him to travel through time more or less randomly. Henry's random and unpredictable escapades are often dangerous, terrifying and sometimes life-threatening ordeals because he ends up buck-naked and starving in unknown places and times. For those reasons, Henry keeps himself in top physical shape and taught "himself" all type of survival skills such as pick-pocketing, street fighting, or picking locks. After a random while, he always goes back to his "present" but is largely unable to affect his future. At age 28, he meets 20-yr old Clare Abshire. He doesn't know her but she has known him since she was 6 and has been waiting for him all her life and will do so the rest of her life...

The main weaknesses of the movie can be traced back to trying to fit the book into 107 minutes. Director Robert Schwentke and screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin appeared a bit over-matched and took the path of least resistance, oversimplifying the plot and characters. The book was a bit confusing at times because of its particular narrative structure and the movie inherits the same problem. Screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin made some compromises to keep the movie from becoming excessively long or inaccessible to its PG-13 audience. The main events and characters of the book were translated to the big screen although non-essential characters such as Kimi or Ingrid were completely omitted and the ending was slightly altered (and I liked it). The supporting characters are a mere passing thoughts, the key relationship between Clare and Gomez is one-dimensional. Even the two main characters, Henry and Clare, are under-developed. Ideally, the direction of the movie should have been given to a director with better credentials, and the movie extended up to 140 minutes to develop the characters fully and take advantage of the terrific cast.

Despite those shortcomings, The Time Traveler's Wife is one of those movies you can't help but like. It is at heart a simple star-crossed love story with a refreshing sci-fi twist that touches on universal themes such as fate/free will, true love, and loss. A story that focused on the depth of the characters' love, not its showiness. Their will to move forward and enjoy every minute they have with each other before Henry's impending fate. This meant more close-up shots and a deeper and more realistic exploration of what it means to be Henry and Clare. The movie succeeds in moving the audience thanks in big part to moving performances from the two leads, who surrendered themselves fully to the premise of the novel.

The Time Traveler's Wife features the graceful Rachel McAdams as the title character. Most will have missed her terrific performance in the 2008 indie the Lucky Ones and this puts her back on the radar for mainstream audiences. Beside matching the description of Clare in the book, McAdams has an unusual ability to make her characters feel real against all odds. Overcoming an underwritten character, she carries the emotional weight of the movie and was luminous portraying Clare's spirit and unyielding love for Henry's despite being riddled with some terrible lines once again. Will someone give Rachel McAdams a meatier role for God's sake??? Eric Bana was a big surprise, exceeding my expectations and making for a very solid Henry. Although he does not fit the physical description of the book (Henry is more runner than football player) Bana's Henry was tormented, introverted, poignant, and more importantly, had considerable chemistry with his co-star. The only issue I had was that Henry was mostly a one-note character. The supporting cast was solid albeit given very little opportunity to be memorable. Gomez (Ron Livingstone) was a pivotal character in the book but merely a passing thought in the movie. Jane McLean as Charisse, Arliss Howard as Henry's father, Stephen Tobolowsky as Dr. Kendrick all did a fine job with the small parts they had.

The cinematography has a beautiful stark and cold quality to it which reinforce the tragic nature of the movie. The movie was beautifully shot by Florian Ballhaus and is the strongest attribute of the movie behind its leads. The crafty camera-work using motion and placement selection gave a particular tone to his scenes and Schwentke used that to his advantage in the film, giving the movie a light touch of fantasy. He created a nice immersing atmosphere that really highlighted Clare and Henry's impending fate. The CGI effects of Henry's time traveling are unspectacular but first rate while the overused musical score was melancholic, adding to the tragic tone of the movie.

Enjoy the Time Traveler's Wife for what it is: an endearing love story with an unusual sci-fi premise. It may not be exactly like the book, it may have been darker and heavier on the sci-fi, and it may have been so much more with better direction. Even so, the premise of the story, and the perfectly-cast leads make this movie well-worth the ride and will keep your imagination lingering long afterward.

B+: Boasting terrific performances and chemistry from Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana, the Time Traveler's Wife has some flaws but is a charming, endearing and bittersweet romantic drama nonetheless.

Was the above review useful to you?

42 out of 59 people found the following review useful:

Nicholas Sparks channels Rod Serling

Author: J_Trex from Philadelphia
2 September 2009

This was much better than expected. The premise seemed far-fetched, to put it mildly. But the movie worked on a number of different levels based on the screenplay, directing, beautiful cinematography, and acting, not just of the always captivating Rachel McAdams, but also the much underrated Eric Bana as the co-lead, and the rest of the supporting cast.

The basic plot is Eric Bana (Henry) is afflicted with being involuntarily sent through time. He has no control about the time or places where he is sent. At some point, he meets with Rachel McAdams (Clare), drops in and out of her life, they fall in love and marry. However, as one can easily imagine, the downsides of involuntary time travel takes its toll. The movie could have easily have spun out of control and ended up a total mess, but the movie actually works quite nicely.

The plot could be a collaborative effort of the late Rod Serling (of Twilight Zone fame) with bizarre, science fiction type plots and Nicholas Sparks, the author of countless sticky sweet love stories (i.e. – "The Notebook").

I liked this movie, but I realize this might not be everybody's cup of tea. I would say stick with it & you'll be glad you didn't give up & go see "Halloween II" across the hall (as I was tempted to do). I've seen them both. Believe me when I say "Time Traveler" is the better of the two.

Was the above review useful to you?

75 out of 129 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly good movie! A great date movie!

Author: ArthurMausser from United States
14 August 2009

When I entered this one, I thought it would be another Kate Hudson/Matthew McConaughey, Richard Gere/Julia Roberts,Diane Lane, wuvvy-duvvey-cutesy-wootsy boring predictable love movie.

I was completely wrong. We've all seen movies that involve time travel and this one is near the top.

It shows the reality of a relationship between two individuals who have to deal with the negative effects of time travel in a close relationship.

This movie had me near tears at the end, which is truly sad since I haven't cried since the movie Beaches.

The only thing I didn't like about this movie was that I found myself trying to figure out this mans time travel and if it made sense. There are a few loose ends left untied.

Other than that, the two leads were solid and the movie is entertaining. I wouldn't rush out to see it, but it is definitely worth renting.

Was the above review useful to you?

43 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

Holding On...

Author: jon.h.ochiai ( from Los Angeles, CA
15 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

On a cold winter's night Clare (Rachel McAdams) confesses to her husband Henry (Eric Bana), "I wouldn't change a second of our life together." McAdams and Bana are both beautiful and amazing in Director Robert Schwentke's "The Time Traveler's Wife" based on the bestselling novel by Audrey Niffenegger. "The Time Traveler's Wife" adapted by screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin is a bitter sweet and strange love story. It is not perfect; although, it ends perfectly. There is a timeless and yearning quality that engages in "The Time Traveler's Wife". However, Schwentke and Rubin might have leveraged sharper emotional arcs at particular narrative points. During the course of their lives, Clare and Henry experience tragedy and joy. In spite of this, Rachel McAdams is stunning. I am in love with her. Bana is powerful and moving.

In a heartbreaking scene Clare (McAdams) tells Henry (Bana), "Do you think I wanted this life?" Time Traveler Henry indiscriminately vanishes to different places in time and space. Interesting to that end, this seems to follow "The Terminator" rule: Henry can only travel through time naked. Also interesting to note that Bana as Henry is a muscular 6'3", which makes finding clothes that fit wherever he arrives difficult. I digress. The point is McAdams captures both Clare's humanity and angst. She embodies an authenticity in Clare. Eric Bana displays a strength and gentleness. His Henry travels to the future and meets his lovely 10 year old daughter Alba (amazing Hailey McCann). He gazes upon Alba with such love when she says, "I love you Daddy!" Underlying it all, "The Time Traveler's Wife" is about legacy and everlasting love. So regardless of some clumsy repetitive narrative loops and circular logic, McAdams and Bana make you care about their love story.

We first see 6 year old Henry (good Alex Ferris) singing with his mom Annette (beautiful and strong Michelle Nolden) in a car. Tragedy befalls, and Henry's Time Traveler abilities are revealed—also by the grown up Henry (Bana). But for Henry this seems more curse than gift. Then one day Clare sees Henry in a Chicago library, and says, "It's you!" Apparently, older Henry has been visiting Clare since she was 6 years old. She says that he seems to keep visiting the same places. Henry replies, "Yeah. It's like gravity." Clare has been in love with Henry her entire life.

It turns out that Henry has a genetic defect that is the cause of his time travel. To that end he seeks out, and finally convinces the bewildered Dr. Kendrick (solid Stephen Tobolowsky) of his plight. But what does this foreshadow about Clare and Henry having a family and their life together? Director Schwentke sort of telegraphs the painful narrative twist. Then he recovers and resolves perfectly and eloquently as Henry regrets, "I can't stay…" Ultimately, "The Time Traveler's Wife" is about life—its joy, fragility, and mortality. Things just happen, not necessarily for a reason. And if you take a chance and find the love of your life, then it is life worth having lived. I loved "The Time Traveler's Life".

Was the above review useful to you?

40 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

What Benjamin Button Wanted To Be

Author: RichardSRussell-1 from United States
15 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Time Traveler's Wife (PG-13, 1:46) — SF, 2nd string, original, OSIT romantics

This is the movie that Benjamin Button aspired to be. It's the tale of an unusual man, a man who does not experience time the way everybody else does, and of the woman who loves him anyway. Unlike Button, their sheer humanity and love of life make us actually care. Clearly SF, The Time Traveler's Wife has none of the superficiality of character all too common to the genre; indeed, it's as sincere and genuine a love story as you'll ever find in the movies.

The "time traveler" is not the unnamed Edwardian Era protagonist of H. G. Wells's The Time Machine. In fact, this one has a name — Henry DeTamble — and he lives in some vaguely contemporary time period. As the movie opens, we seem him at age 6, happily singing "Jingle Bells" while riding in a car driven by his mother thru a driving rainstorm. Their car gets clipped, Henry gets banged up a bit, and the shock triggers his 1st time jump. Mere seconds later, he returns to the side of the road and watches horrified as his mother, frantically twisting around to search the back seat for her suddenly missing son, fails to see the big truck bearing down on her. And moments after that, his future self (Eric Bana) arrives to assure him that things will get better.

It is left to the viewer to imagine how Henry must have felt about his own role in his mother's death. We learn that he doesn't have much control over when he will dematerialize, except that it often seems to be triggered by stress or excitement, so we can imagine the effect this would have on his love life. And he's sometimes gone for weeks at a time with no believable excuse, so this gives us a clue about his job security.

Thus it's no surprise that he's a bit of a mess when, working his Chicago job as a research librarian, he's approached by Clare Abshire, a woman he's never seen before, who professes that she's been in love with him for decades — and that it's been mutual. How messed up is he? Well, he's standing there with Rachel McAdams — OMG! Rachel McAdams!! — aiming that beautiful smile and those big eyes right at him, and he's trying to find excuses to back away. Fortunately for him and the story, she manages to overcome his hesitation.

We learn a very few things about time traveling. Henry can travel to times outside of his own lifetime, but most often he shows up at times and places that occur on his own personal lifeline thru the 4-dimensional space-time monobloc. It's only his body that makes the trip, which means that usually his 1st task on arrival is finding clothes. There's apparently a genetic (not mechanical or quantum) basis for his ability (or affliction), and this leads him to seek aid from Dr. David Kendrick. In a moment reminiscent of transparent aluminum, Henry informs Dr. Kendrick that future scientists will know him as the inventor of the phrase "chrono displacement"; the few other paradoxes are equally subtle.

But the movie isn't so much about time travel as it is about Henry and Clare's profound and enduring love for each other under trying circumstances. Not since Christopher Reeve pined away forlornly for Jane Seymour in Somewhere in Time (1980, haunting theme by John Barry) has this theme been done so well in SF.

Henry, Clare, and their star-crossed relationship take up most of the screen time. But, like a diamond set off by smaller jewels, McAdams and Bana are surrounded by exquisite little gems from the supporting performers, notably Brooklynn Proulx as young Clare and the McCann sisters, Hailey and Tatum, as their dotter Alba at ages 10 and 5.

No film is perfect, and this one isn't either, but I have to single out one niggling detail that kept distracting me thruout this movie and most other ones that Eric Bana has appeared in. It's this: Somebody should introduce the guy to either a razor or the concept of a beard. I don't care how devoted Rachel McAdams is to you, if you look like you're always coming off a perpetual hangover, it's gonna wear off.

Was the above review useful to you?

Page 1 of 24:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [Next]

Add another review

Related Links

Plot summary Plot synopsis Ratings
Awards External reviews Parents Guide
Official site Plot keywords Main details
Your user reviews Your vote history