Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009) Poster

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A big surprise and in a good way
TheLittleSongbird2 August 2010
I was not sure about this film at first. Don't get me wrong, I like comedy(when it's done right of course) especially ones from the '70s, '80s and '90s, but when it is done wrong it's awful. But I was fearing whether it would be anything like the Friedberg-Seltzer spoof movies which I hated, detested even. After seeing mixed reviews and the above average IMDb rating, I decided to give it a chance.

And I am glad I did, because I thought it was a good movie, not outstanding, but it was funny and smart even with its problems and limitations. Admittedly, Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel is low-budget, but it doesn't look completely slip-shod. The story is original and well structured, when the film started though I was like "oh dear" but as the film got going it got better, while the writing was funny, smart and tongue-in-cheek. The direction is competent, the music is good and the pacing I had little problem with either. The acting is spirited, especially with Chris O'Dowd and Marc Wooton who both show a lot of spontaneous boyish charm that make their characters appealing. I agree in some ways the characters border on stereotypical but the acting and writing is enough to not make it matter that much. Anna Farris starts off a little stiff but once she gets into the film and her role she gets better. Even the title was funny and amusing.

Overall, I liked it. It is not the best movie I have ever seen, but it was funny and smart and it was refreshing to see something that was actually funny.(Friedberg and Seltzer take notes) 8/10 Bethany Cox
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SnoopyStyle29 August 2019
Ray (Chris O'Dowd) is a time travel enthusiast and gets fired from his dead end job. His drinking buddies Toby and Pete are also nerds and they discuss sci-fi pop culture at their local bar. Ray tells the boys that beautiful time traveler Cassie (Anna Faris) introduced herself to him. They don't believe him but Pete sees something after going to the washroom. The bad guys are called Editors who are deleting famous figures after their greatest achievements.

This starts with an interesting premise. The guys are low key funny. At some point, I lose the thread of the situation. The chaos becomes unknowable. It's hard to follow any rules. The simple FAQ is probably what the F is happening in any of the scenes. Without knowing the rules, it becomes a series of random wacky incidents. It has no stakes. It only has the wacky which is pretty fun for a little while.
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Shh, do not mention Doctor Who!
Prismark1025 September 2014
I reckon at one point Nick Frost and Simon Pegg were considered for the lead roles with Edgar Wright mooted as a director.

However the film starts as three guys in a pub talking about time travel when one of them is fired from his job. Ray (Chris O'Dowd), Toby (Marc Wootton) and Pete (Dean Lennox Kelly) are out in the pub going through beers, crisps and moaning about life as well as talking science fiction but strangely no mention of Doctor Who.

A trip to the toilet for one of them leads to some sort of time leak where the trio go back and forth along a time-line that could lead to danger. Anna Faris plays Cassie a woman from the future whose job is to repair these time leaks.

The film is rather fun, the three leads play well together, they are not irritating and there is a mixture of comedy with some danger and drama. Faris mixes well with the trio and there is some substance with the science fiction elements of the story.
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Enjoyable science fiction comedy
Tweekums5 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Opening like a science fiction film with poor special effects we are introduced to protagonist Ray; it looks like he is about to lead an assault on some alien planet... in fact he is terrifying a group of children on a theme park ride! Not surprisingly he is given the sack. Later he goes to the pub with his friends Pete and Toby. Here strange things start to happen although Ray doesn't realise it at first; he is obsessed with time travel so when he bumps into Cassie, a woman claiming to be from the future, he naturally assumes his friends put her up to it. It becomes clear that something is really wrong when Pete returns from the toilet and finds himself in the future... a rather disturbing future where everybody in the pub, including a bearded version of himself, is dead! He retraces his steps and manages to get back to where his own time and tells the others... naturally they don't believe him so they all go to the toilets and repeat his actions; this time they end up half an hour in the past... He talks to Cassie again telling her that he believes her and she says she can fix the problem. Before the night is out they will travel to several different time periods, become globally famous, and confront somebody who is determined to kill them!.

While this short low budget film is by no means a classic it is a lot of fun. It plays with the genre tropes without mocking them... the creators clearly know it will be science fiction fans that watch this so don't want to insult them! There are plenty of nods to other sci-fi films and stories that should give fans a knowing smile. Not all the laughs require knowledge of the genre... you don't need to be a sci-fi buff to laugh as Peter sings 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' while going to the toilet! While it was obviously made on a low budget and the effects are a bit ropey it is still worth watching as the cast do a good job with the material and the story is actually quite good. If you just want a laugh this is well worth watching and if you are a science fiction fan wanting a laugh it would be a shame to miss it.
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A pleasant surprise!
Gordon-1115 September 2009
This film is about three mates talking about time travel in a pub. They ended up doing some actual time travelling much to their surprise.

Most time travel films do not make sense or have serious plot holes, but this plot is great. The story is creative, clever and well written. It keeps me interested and engaged throughout the film. The three mates are authentic and unpretentious, just like real characters we meet on a daily basis. This enhances the attraction of the film, making it even more engaging.

Full length films under 80 minutes usually are bad, but "Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel" is a pleasant exception! I really enjoyed watching "Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel", and I would recommend it to my friends without hesitation.
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Tolerable sitcom scifi
neil-4761 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is essentially a feature length episode of a British TV sitcom, the only thing being that the sitcom never actually existed.

The movie is amusing rather than funny - the wry humour had me smiling most of the way through.

The film also achieves the Red Dwarf trick of mixing genuine science fiction with everyday common or garden Brits up to their everyday common or garden lives. These lives are especially common or garden, given that the majority of the action takes place in the local pub.

The three main characters are, to be frank, typical sitcom characters - broadly drawn losers - but are well played within their stereotyping. The two time-travelling women from the other side of the Atlantic don't easily sit with the overall British pub vibe, but that's not wholly a bad thing.

This is not a great film by any stretch of the imagination - it is rather a slight film - but, within its limitations, it is quite enjoyable.
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Some good sci-fi fun.
deloudelouvain28 January 2020
I wanted to watch a sci-fi comedy and that's exactly what I got with Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel. The humor in this British movie is simple but effective, I had my share of laughs so I can't complain. The story couldn't be more sci-fi, time travelling is a good subject to create a good story as you have many options where to go to, and it created also some good comical scenes between the three main characters played by Chris O'Dowd, Marc Wootton and Dean Lennox Kelly. The acting isn't award winning but good enough for these kind of movies. The special effects are lame though, don't expect anything fancy, but than again it's not really necessary in this movie, the story and the comedy are enough to keep you entertained.
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Low budget fun
bowmanblue26 July 2016
Ignoring Anna Faris' part in 'Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel' it's basically fair to say that the film was made with no major stars and even less of a budget. To claim that it's predictable may be a little unfair, but it probably won't surprise you too much. But that's not to say that it's not worth watching.

Three British losers go to the pub and inadvertently get stuck in a time loop that will – no doubt – destroy life on the planet unless it's fixed. And, if you've seen the front cover, you may have read the tagline 'Shaun of the Dead meets Dr Who.' Yes, that's about it. I could almost leave the review there. That's pretty much all you need to know about it. It has the 'low budget' feel of an old (yes, not even the recent post-Christopher Eccelston) Dr Who interwoven with the lovable rogue kind of lads we rooted for in Shaun's zombie rom-com.

In short, it relies on script over anything else. And the script isn't that bad. I've watched it twice now and, although nothing in it really made me laugh for a long time, there are enough chuckles in the banter between the three guys to make it worth watching. Plus if you're a fellow nerd (that's me, too – although the film points out that the 'n-word' is a way of keep us 'imagineers' down!) you'll probably get the multiple references to numerous science fiction films (Aliens and Flash Gordon being the two most notably ones).

The acting is what you'd expect from three likable losers, although the 'love plot' when Anna Faris comes into it seems a little forced.

Overall, if you like sci-fi, if you like script-driven humour over special effects and are forgiving on the 'made-for-TV' feel to the movie, then give it a go. It's the definition of 'cheap and cheerful' and it should just raise enough smiles to make it worth your while.
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Not All Questions Are Anwered But That Doesn't Seem To Matter
Chrysanthepop3 March 2011
Given a refreshing title like 'Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel', I was expecting some entertainment on the lines of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'. However, this movie just did not match up to expectation. It starts off well and the chat of the three friends in the bar felt a little overstretched. The initial time travelling sequences were quite funny until it became repetitive and tiring. While the story isn't exactly original, the references to other films and literature made me smile. Chris O'Dowd does a decent job while Marc Wootton and Dean Lennox Kelly are adequate. Anna Faris is sadly wasted. Her screen time is limited and she isn't given much to do but her presence is definitely charming. Meredith MacNeill springs a surprise as the time machine villainess and she is laugh-out-loud funny. The visual effects are impressive and the cinematography is excellent. It's not a classic but a decent enough watch for one-time viewing.
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Entertaining and Fresh Time Travel
tabuno12 January 2019
31 July 2016. Nowadays it's pretty hard to develop a quality and intriguing time travel movie with all the plots and variations that have been produced over time. Yet it seems that screenwriter Jamie Mathieson has succeeded to putting together a series of scenes that seems to extend the time paradox into an even more entertaining and captivating experience. This mostly light and humorous look at the mind twisting concept almost succeeds in its depiction of time travel. The only flaw perhaps is its slow pacing at the beginning and set up along with a somehow a lagging moments during the movie. Yet the superb use of new and freshly shot material and comic dialogue that comes just at the right movies really puts a bright shine over almost the entire movie. Well worth taking a look.
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Delightfully Entertaining
The-Sarkologist19 August 2020
Warning: Spoilers
One could be mistaken for thinking that this is an Edgar Wright film, but no, it's not. I guess his distinctive style is missing, though the way the plot turns out one would be forgiven for thinking otherwise. In fact, it is pretty clever because the entire film takes place in a single location, though one should point out that the time period does tend to change, though it is unclear to what extent they are travelling.

Well, the film is about three friends, one of them who lost his job as an amusement park ride operator because he took his job just a little too seriously. So, they end up in a pub talking, two of them are really into science fiction, and the other not so much. Well, he goes to the toilet and walks out to discover everybody in the pub is dead, and when he notices that he is lying dead there as well, he realises that he has time travelled.

There is also this lady who apparently works for some agency that is supposed to prevent time leaks, and she is also attempting to track down these people called editors who seek to remove famous people from the world just after their greatest works. One of the cool things about this time cop is that every time she appears her hairstyle is different, though I suspect that that has a lot to do with pointing out that she is travelling in time, and that her appearances, while only a couple of minutes for us, might be months for her. Still, I thought it was pretty clever.

Yeah, this does seem to be one of those films that has really gone under the radar, and in fact it is pretty hard to find as well. I only discovered it because IMDB recommended it to me, which suggests that this site does have some good things about it. I definitely enjoyed this one, and while it might not have the distinctiveness that an Edgar Wright film might have, it certainly does show some inspiration from them.
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Goofy spoof
digitalbeachbum5 March 2021
OK. So if you are time travelling nerd, and you nitpick time travel movies, then this movie isn't for you. It is supposed to be a joke, but even in this production they get time travel wrong. I will be honest, I couldn't watch it all the way through. I had to stop watching it because of the fallacies even in the jokes.
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O'Dowd drives
Polaris_DiB27 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I am an unapologetic fanboy of all things time travel, so this movie is pretty much written and directed for people just like me. Chris O'Dowd, the guy who plays Roy from the hilarious television series The IT Crowd, leads as Ray, a recently fired entertainment park worker who, depressed from his bad day, goes with his two coworker friends to pub to sit and debate his favorite topic: time travel. Lo and behold, in short order things start getting awkward as a time traveller named Cassie (played by Anna Faris) appears, and then an actual time travel hole is found in none other than the pisser, from which comedy and paradox ensues.

Any fresh perspective on time travel here? Not really. But from there, you get O'Dowd's lovable nerdiness and fascination as Ray, along with his cute romance with Cassie, as his friends much more begrudgingly try to hold on to their senses and figure the whole conundrum out. Best is Pete, the cynic nonbeliever who, as some sort of cosmic joke, ends up getting the worst of the travelling and becomes a paranoid survivalist. Allusions to other time travel movies are everywhere, including probably my favorite, a moment when the three discover that they are going to be important and famous historical figures, and trying to figure out what they will do to deserve it, one says, "Maybe we start a band..." and then the three of them think about it and decide that's ridiculous.

What really goes for this movie in the long run is O'Dowd's character's utter wide-eyed excitement and dedication to experiencing this thing that he's dreamed so much about, and how it ultimately drives along all of the characters as they tag along for the ride. It's a fantasy fulfillment movie for the nerd in all of us who just wants to see what the future's like, giant murderous ants or no, and O'Dowd is particularly good for the role because he is sort of like the Michael Cera form of humor where the actor probably has more familiarity with the character than just acting, and is relatable on that level. His role here, in the IT Crowd, and in The Boat that Rocked are all essentially the same, but that character is the always relatable underdog who, whether self-conscious or no, loves what he loves and wants to share it with other people.

However, I do not believe "Imagineers" is going to stick.

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Solid time travel film
dar041710 October 2019
Fun sci-fi film with a small budget and some funny actors but the story drags a lot.
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Shaun of the Dead for sci-fi fans....
Rob_Taylor31 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
At least, that's what it struck me as. Not plagiarism, mind, just a treatment whereby ordinary blokes find humour in a difficult situation. In SotD, it was a zombie apocalypse. Here we have our heroes thrust into a time travel conundrum.

And the script is well-written. The trio of heroes get glimpses of events in their futures which make little sense initially, only coming clear as those events unfold for real. It's quite cleverly done, in fact.

The cast are not what you'd call well known. Anna Faris is by the far the most accomplished to date but this does not detract, only enhances the movie.

It's a low budget production, but for all that, it delivers what it promises - humour and laughs - the whole way through. I suspect rather like SotD the particularly Britishness of the humour might not travel well across the Atlantic, but who knows.

At the cinema it did rather poorly thanks to an almost complete lack of marketing and publicity. No one knew what the Hell it was about or who was in it. This is a real shame, because the movie deserves far more recognition than it has received. For example, this is probably only the fifteenth review of the movie, written in December, for a movie released in April the same year. Go figure.

In any event, if you liked SotD, you should like this. It's not as funny, but it doesn't get tedious and it keeps you smiling all the way through. Worth your time if you can find it.
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Enjoyable Brit Sci-Fi comedy...
ajs-108 August 2010
This is a British made film, actually a co-production between BBC films, Dog Lamp Films and HBO Films, but made here in the UK. I saw it mentioned last year on TV and thought it was one I would never see as it didn't make it to any of my local cinemas. But thanks to it being a BBC co-production, it aired in TV this week and I'm really glad I got to finally see it.

Three friends, Ray, Toby and Pete work at an amusement park. Ray has just been sacked from his job after making his depiction of life in the Space Corps to a bunch of kids a little bit too realistic. He is a bit of a sci-fi geek and is really into the concept of time travel. Toby, also a bit of a geek, is an aspiring writer and is always jotting down ideas in a black book he always carries with him. Pete is just an ordinary guy out with his mates. After work they decide to go to the cinema and then on to the pub. They were not impressed with the film they saw and decide to write a letter to Hollywood on the back of one of the pages from Toby's book. With glasses empty, Ray is volunteered to get a round in. He goes through to the next room where he meets Cassie, a girl who claims to be from the future. She has come back to fix a hole in time. Ray initially treats this chance meeting as a joke, but things are about to get very serious for the three friends.

Obviously made on a very small budget with most of the action centred on the pub, but nonetheless a very well made film. Quite a short film at only 83 minutes, but this, to me, was just about the right length. Decent performances all around, so honourable mentions must go out to; Chris O'Dowd as Ray, Marc Wootton as Toby, Dean Lennox Kelly as Pete, Anna Faris as Cassie and Meredith MacNeill as Millie.

As a bit of a fan of Sci-Fi I really enjoyed this film. I found it clever and witty and it put me in mind of the great British TV comedy 'Red Dwarf', although it's not set in space. A nicely written script with likable characters and not too many clichés, to me, (and I'll probably get slagged off for this) even better than 'Shaun of the Dead' (shock!).

I read that the director, Gareth Carrivick sadly died earlier this year from Leukaemia. He had worked in TV on many shows I have enjoyed over the years, particularly comedy and I think this was a good one to finish on, nice work sir! Recommended.

My score: 7.4/10
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Recommended for All Imagineers
itamarscomix23 October 2012
FAQ About Time Travel has that unique charm of a very low-budget film made by people truly committed to the subject matter. It's obvious that this is not a studio-conceived film made to cash in on current trends or appeal to a wide audience; this is a film made by nerds for nerds - or "imagineers". In contrast to the hit show "The Big Bang Theory" which is devoted to portraying fans of science fiction and science enthusiasts as socially inept, borderline autistic, insufferable jerks, for the entertainment of the general public, FAQ presents these people in a much more realistic and affectionate light, and the film is really enjoyable for anyone who has been called a nerd by society. It shoots references to science fiction film and literature, twisting and playing with ideas explored in the genre many times before, and so its appeal is probably limited to fans of the genre, but for them it's highly recommended.
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British sitcom drama
Rob-O-Cop5 October 2009
a pleasantly entertaining British sitcom drama style event. Nothing too spectacular but a pleasant enough way to pass the time. Anna Farris is jarringly wooden against the British cast members as is Canadian Meredith MacNeill. I don't know why any non British were present in a British set drama but there presence came across as token, perhaps placed to get an American market and then the whole slippery slop of dumbing down the content raises its ugly head. This could have been more edgy, and I've just guessed why it wasn't.

Chris O'Dowd plays himself, again, but luckily he's always worth a watch. He's got a great delivery which I'm not tired of yet having watched him in IT Crowd and FM.
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I like the idea and concept of this movie
osj25075 January 2016
The delivery of that wasn't all that though. What always work for these British comedies are the humor part and the small games and plays they make, so if you like British sitcoms or films like Shaun of the dead this is a good one for you.

It has some great fun moments, but it doesn't really stick together and the wide open ending really didn't do it for me, they could have ended it by them just strolling nice and easy down the road.

I guess I would have wanted more, not that it could or should explain the conundrum that time travel, or parallel universes might have/hold or the paradoxes of it all (well it kind of gives a few obvious hints of those), but it could have been more.
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A smart and very funny take on the science-fiction genre.
Otoboke21 October 2009
Ray (Chris O'Dowd), Toby (Marc Wootton) and Pete (Dean Lennox Kelly) are out in the pub for the night, going through their usual rounds of beer, crisps and complaints about general things including movies, music and their dead-end lives in general. Well, they think they're facing a brick wall, but really things are about to get a little sci-fi—or, science fiction, if you're picky about that sort of thing. You see, when one of the guys goes into the toilet, he discovers that there's a "time-leak" somewhere within that causes them to leap back and forth along a timeline that risks all of them destroying the entire universe as they know it. Sound really nerdy? Well, it is. Except, it's not pedantic nerdy, but actually smart, witty and engagingly imaginer (don't ask). The resulting movie is one that excels in both situation and character comedy, whilst also telling a really good story to boot—while there are flaws in the entire design (most of which occur in the later stages as things get more and more complicated) Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel is a short, but sweet take on the science-fiction comedy that knows how to strike up a laugh or two, but not at the expense of story or character.

Even though just about one of the three central actors has had major exposure on British TV and more recently, cinema, the performances are pitch-perfect. Striking a firm balance between realism and expertly timed gags, Dowd, Wootton and Kelly provide the movie with enough charm and "boy humour" to prevent the movie from sinking in a pile of convoluted, unfunny esoteric nonsense. Rather, the light-hearted presence of the three allows the feature to breathe with a sense of personality; while the film deals largely with two eccentric nerds and one slightly less nerdy partner in crime; these guys aren't your typical silver screen cutout stereotypes usually afforded to such personas. Instead, director Gareth Carrivick strives to maintain a sense of realism about his movie which permeates throughout.

Rather surprisingly this manifests itself not just in the characters, but in the hammy, sci-fi plot itself which involves the three jumping around time and avoiding bumping into themselves—thus avoiding deadly paradoxes. The extent to which writer Jamie Mathieson goes to avoid even the sternest of science-fiction nerds from having a fit over Grandfather Paradoxes and erroneous Chaos Theory debauchery is extremely welcome and really helps pad out the story even more than it is. Indeed, it could be argued that even though there are numerous timelines opened throughout the course of the movie, no real conflicts or holes are created at least until the final ten minutes. From here, things to get a little bit shifty for the sake of providing an ending that will please the average audience member, but even a little wink and a nod throughout this conclusion helps keep the movie's narrative in place. What results is a story that's not only refreshing through its willingness to go weird on you, but also through the sheer fact that weird never overcomes the viewer's suspension of belief.

In the end, FAQ About Time Travel does just about enough to strike a firm balance between story (which some will argue is king), character and silliness to ensure that your average viewer will be catered to. And while it isn't very likely that you will be blown away by the feature nor will it be emblazoned on your memory, the experience that is offers no matter how temporal, does well to entertain there and now. With some spot on performances and a tight script, Frequently Asked Questions is a smart and very funny take on the science-fiction genre that mixes situation with character humour effectively.

  • A review by Jamie Robert Ward (
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A great time travel movie
Pukeonthestreet11 February 2020
If you haven't seen this do yourself a favor and watch it. It's readily available.
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Can't get enough of boring sitcom stereotypes and harmless, "charming" humor? You'll love this movie.
krachtm16 March 2011
Despite throwing around heady concepts (chaos theory, which is essentially defined as "the law of unintended consequences") and big words ("anachronistically"), this movie is actually quite short on either science or science fiction. It's basically just a light-hearted fantasy-comedy aimed at nerds (excuse me -- make that "people on the autistic spectrum"). In fact, the ridiculous pandering to their audience was a bit of a turn-off to me. There were so many homages and outright, explicit pop culture references that I found the whole thing rather tedious. I seem to be in the extreme minority here, as most people found that to be one of the best parts of the movie. Strangely, the most common complaints -- that of the acting and budget -- didn't bother me at all. I'm honestly not sure what these people are complaining about, because, to me, neither seemed to be nearly so annoying as the script. The directing was a little bit uneven, with the pacing being a bit slow and ponderous in the first half (which is where most of the problems with the film lie, in my opinion), while the second half is actually quite a bit better, with some semblance of story starting to take shape. And then it ends. Boom. I was like, "Wait, that's it? That's all? It was just starting to get good, and they end it?" I was left feeling rather unfulfilled, like there was only 15-20 minutes of actual good content, plus a whole bunch of filler (constant, unending homages, frequent film references, running gags, and revisiting the same scene several times, from slightly different points of view). In the end, this could have made a really good YouTube video or short film, if stripped of some of the more tedious elements. Or they could have actually made a compelling film, instead of constantly referencing their favorite movies...

Harsh? Perhaps so, but I'm not feeling particularly forgiving today. Despite that, I still give it a 6/10, because the second half of the movie really does make up for a lot of the tediousness of the first half.
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It's an okay time killer
saraccan4 March 2019
It could be used as a good example for how to make a somewhat decent science fiction movie with a limited budget. But other than that it doesn't really have an original concept or a complex timeline for a time travel movie.

3 friends end up in a time travel conundrum while having some drinks at the bar.
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the title
alexzhivkov3 April 2021
The only thing I have an issue with is the title. No freaking relevance in the whole movie. I didn't like the ending too. Everything was so good until the very end, where the American BS came on the surface. These aside, it's one of the best movies.
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A poor movie in the Dr Who vein
iantrader26 July 2018
This has had some rave reviews which just goes to prove that you can't please all of the people all of the time. No pun intended! Or may it was.

It's a small-time - ha! - British movie written by one person (who has written for Dr Who so perhaps that says it all). You can't help but wonder if a second pair of eyes would have helped - other than the director's.

It's ultimately about three 'blokes', two in particular who are not the brightest. Yes, cue hilarious comedy!

Or not.

The plot is fairly straight forward although the journey is convoluted with multiple time trips causing chaos and confusion for the characters. The writer must have used a spreadsheet to keep track so clever and well done there. However, it all seems rather over-played.

So no, I didn't find it funny or original or particularly well done.

It scores because it's time travel and we do need more time travel movies - although preferably good ones - and, of course, it features Anna Faris although occasionally she does seem like a fish out of water.

Ah well. Perhaps next time...
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