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The Time Machine (2002)

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Hoping to alter the events of the past, a 19th century inventor instead travels 800,000 years into the future, where he finds humankind divided into two warring races.


Simon Wells


H.G. Wells (novel), David Duncan (earlier screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2,696 ( 642)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Guy Pearce ... Alexander Hartdegen
Mark Addy ... David Philby
Phyllida Law ... Mrs. Watchit
Sienna Guillory ... Emma
Laura Kirk ... Flower Seller
Josh Stamberg ... Motorist
John W. Momrow John W. Momrow ... Fifth Avenue Carriage Driver
Max Baker ... Robber
Jeffrey M. Meyer Jeffrey M. Meyer ... Central Park Carriage Driver
Jeremy Irons ... Über-Morlock
Alan Young ... Flower Store Worker
Myndy Crist ... Jogger
Connie Ray ... Teacher
Orlando Jones ... Vox
Lennie Loftin ... Soldier #1


Based on the classic sci-fi novel by H.G. Wells, scientist and inventor, Alexander Hartdegen, is determined to prove that time travel is possible. His determination is turned to desperation by a personal tragedy that now drives him to want to change the past. Testing his theories with a time machine of his own invention, Hartdegen is hurtled 800,000 years into the future, where he discovers that mankind has divided into the hunter - and the hunted. Written by Tim1370

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Be Careful What You Wish For See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

8 March 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La máquina del tiempo See more »

Filming Locations:

Albany, New York, USA See more »


Box Office


$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,610,437, 10 March 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$56,684,819, 19 May 2002

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Vox's license number is 114: number that Stanley Kubrick used in many of his films. See more »


In the Eloi's time, the ruins of the library still have clearly visible, sharply incised inscriptions. Such carvings erode significantly after several hundred, or at most, several thousand years; after 800,000 years they should have been illegible, due to erosion from rain or wind, or (if they had been buried) chemical reactions in the soil. See more »


David Philby: A professor from Columbia University should not be corresponding with a crazy German book keeper.
Alexander Hartdegen: He's a patent clerk, not a book keeper, and I think Mister Einstein needs all the support I can give him.
See more »


Featured in Troldspejlet: Episode #27.12 (2002) See more »


Sweet Rosie O'Grady
Written by Maude Nugent (as Maude Nugent Jerome)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Simon Wells Spits on his Grandpa's Grave
29 July 2003 | by StenSee all my reviews

H.G. Wells is spinning. No doubt about it.

Really, this would have been a decent sci-fi/adventure movie, if it hadn't been based on a classic novel and directed by the author's grandson. I kept hearing about how this would be the definitive version of the novel. What resulted was a pathetic and simpleminded bastardization.

The novel is a great sci-fi story but what a lot of people miss when they read it (probably because they read it when they're very young) is that it's overflowing with social commentary. The Eloi and Morlocks are a satire of the class distinctions of Victorian England, and the overall message of the film is that EVERYTHING DECAYS AND DEGENERATES, a satiric jab at Victorian complacency and their belief that their civilization would last forever. There's no love story, no romance with a beautiful Eloi woman....in the novel, the Eloi are 3-foot-tall childlike beings with a mental capacity not far above that of an animal. The Time Traveler does befriend an Eloi woman but it's clear he thinks of her more like a pet, and anyway she's killed before the novel ends.

This movie first tries to give us a totally stupid backstory as to "why he wants to travel through time." The treacly romance and the Lessons He Must Learn are enough to make film fans vomit.

The journey into the future is punctuated by a future disaster. OK, not bad, but it would have had more punch if we had been allowed to see that mankind just generally degenerates, as in the book. More a reflection of the times, I guess, as the George Pal version had a nuclear war take place.

The general story? Ugh. A total misrepresentation of the novel. The Eloi are too competent and warlike. The Morlocks are too intelligent. The UberMorlock is an embarrassment, and there's no setup. He just shows up in time to be killed. Yawn.

Samantha Mumba does OK. Guy Pearce is one of my favorites but he often seems confused and in pain. (Reportedly he broke a rib while filming this.) He also looks unhealthy and overly thin, as if he had been ill for a long time before making this.

A sad, sorry film version of one of the world's classics. H. G. Wells deserves better....MUCH better.

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