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Timeline (2003)

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A group of archaeologists become trapped in the past when they go there to retrieve a friend. The group must survive in 14th century France before they can escape back to the 21st Century.


Richard Donner


Michael Crichton (novel), Jeff Maguire (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4,936 ( 259)



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Walker ... Chris Johnston
Frances O'Connor ... Kate Ericson
Gerard Butler ... Andre Marek
Billy Connolly ... Professor Johnston
David Thewlis ... Robert Doniger
Anna Friel ... Lady Claire
Neal McDonough ... Frank Gordon
Matt Craven ... Steven Kramer
Ethan Embry ... Josh Stern
Michael Sheen ... Lord Oliver
Lambert Wilson ... Lord Arnaut
Marton Csokas ... Sir William De Kere / William Decker
Rossif Sutherland ... François Dontelle
Steve Kahan ... Baker
David La Haye ... Arnaut's Deputy


A group of archaeologists and combat experts led by Paul Walker and Frances O'Connor use a "3-D fax machine" (so much for technobabble!) to time-travel back to France in 1357, in hopes of retrieving Walker's father and returning safely to the present. No such luck. Fending for themselves against marauding hordes of medieval French warriors at war with the invading British, these semi-intrepid travelers find their body count rising, and the deadline for their return home is rapidly approaching. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They had to travel into the past to save the future See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Paramount | UIP [France]




English | French

Release Date:

26 November 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Prisonniers du temps See more »

Filming Locations:

Harrington, Québec, Canada See more »


Box Office


$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,440,629, 30 November 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film makes many changes regarding Doniger's company and the time traveling device. In the novel, people and objects can be sent to any location and time, unlike the movie that they are "locked" to 1357 Castlegard. Also, Doniger himself is much darker, and actually it is hinted that unwanted or rogue employees can be given "markers", that could send them to places in time for them to die, such as Pompei or the great Kanto earthquake. See more »


When the team see the star chart images, taken in 14th Century France, they clearly show the constellations of Centaurus and the Southern Cross, not visible from France, now or 1357. See more »


Robert Doniger: Yeah, yeah, look. We need cultural experts, not scientists. My people simply don't know about the medieval world, or how to mingle with the locals, which is what we're gonna have to do, if we're going to find the professor and bring him back.
Marek: So that's it? We just step on that machine and wiz back to 1357?
See more »


References The Shining (1980) See more »


Just A Little Bad
Written and Performed by Vikkie Rae Jordan
Courtesy of Marc Ferrari/MasterSource
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Not bad... but only for those who don't know the book
13 December 2004 | by hm25332See all my reviews

As some of you might have noticed, the big crux of this film is the Michael Crichton novel it was based on. The book "Timeline" (or "Tijdlijn" in Dutch) is a very entertaining novel about the concept of traveling through time and a large company known as ITC trying to make money out of it. It packs a lot of action and tries to explain the issues surrounding time travel well enough. So anyone who read the book and liked it... SHOULD STAY THE HECK AWAY from this movie, because there's a big chance it turns out as a big disappointment.

Why? Because the movie tries to simplify the plot and put a big emphasis on action. Away with the part about ITC working on a way ter commercialize time travel. Let's just say they erm... discovered it by accident! Also throw out that part about speaking Old English and Aquitanian language in the 14th Century. Let's just say they all speak fluently English and/or French. In the book the only persons who could literally understand the people in 1357 were Marek and Edward Jones. The others had to use a special earpiece with a translator inside. But that's too difficult, so let's throw in someone else who DOES speak French. Oh and that storyline surrounding Lady Claire is much too complicated. Let's cut out Guy de Malagant (who tries to marry her in the book) and just make her Arnaut's sister. And whatever you do, don't let Chris get too close to her (in the book it was Chris who met Lady Claire first and falls in love with her, but she liked Marek more)

Then the characters: the talents of Billy Connolly (Edward Jones), David Thewlis (Robert Doniger) and Frances O'Connor (Kate Ericson) are totally wasted. And I refuse ter comment on Paul "2 Fast 2 Bloody Furious" Walker as Chris Johnston. Nondedju, what a bloody plank of an actor he is! I'm more satisfied with Gerard Butler as André Marek, although I didn't like the fact his nationality was changed (Marek was a Dutchman in the book). Also doing a good job more or less were Marton Csokas and Anna Friel. Friel is looking very good as Lady Claire and Csokas has far too less screen time to properly portray Robert De Kere (or Rob Deckard as called in the book).

Simplifying the plot of the book ter make it look good on screen actually made this film look bad. It might offer some entertainment if you never heard of the book, but if you read the book, then don't go see this movie!

Rating: 2/10 (It was pretty terrible)


The Path chosen is never a trampled Road

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