The Time Traveler's Wife


Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 31
  2. Negative: 5 out of 31
Watch On
  1. Gracefully directed by Robert Schwentke, the film has a perfect performance by Bana, rangy and haunted, never at home in his body.
  2. 75
    The book is richer, but this is a solid, endearing telling of the same essential story, and is well worth the price of admission for those who appreciate romantic fantasy.
  3. 75
    The movie is slightly more sappy, and the characters are necessarily less fleshed out than they are in Audrey Niffenegger's dazzling novel, but neither shortcoming detracts from the film's appeal.
  4. It would really help to get into the right frame of mind before seeing The Time Traveler's Wife, because viewed from some angles - maybe most angles - the movie is ridiculous.
  5. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    May not make a lick of sense, but it does make for fairly irresistible nonsense.
  6. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    What makes The Time Traveler's Wife work as drama, though, and certainly better than it might have, is an unhesitating emotional commitment on the part of the actors (and Schwentke).
  7. Bana and McAdams are sweet together, with matching dimples and starry eyes, and we grow eager to see them remain in the same place. In the end, that's all there is to the movie, really. It's a time-travel fantasy in search of a cozy love seat.
  8. 63
    The warmth of the actors makes it surprisingly tender, considering the premise that is blatantly absurd. If you allow yourself to think for one moment of the paradoxes, contradictions and logical difficulties involved, you will be lost. The movie supports no objective thought.
  9. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    At its best, The Time Traveler’s Wife does suggest the preciousness of a life that’s too often beyond our control. At its worst, it’s more than a little nuts.
  10. German-born director Robert Schwentke ("Flightplan") keep things moving briskly enough so that the leaps in time mostly obscure the leaps in logic.
  11. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    It's soppy enough to suit the requirements of the weepie genre...But the movie also has an aching solidity that allows you to surrender to its cuddly-creepy feelings without hating yourself in the morning.
  12. Reviewed by: Liz Beardsworth
    Competent and well-cast, but it crams too much into the runtime and loses the elegance of the novel.
  13. 50
    It might be a solid hook if we thought their love was grand. Instead, it's kind of creepy.
  14. A syrupy and extraordinarily ridiculous adaptation.
  15. The emotions and crises feel pre-sanded, smooth to the point of blandness.
  16. The Time Traveler's Wife slips the romance cards into a stacked deck – read 'em if you will, but no need to weep.
  17. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    When the film's fate rests on the alchemy of its stars, you really don't want to get that wrong. But here, chemistry is a problem, and it proves a significant one.
  18. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    A slog rather than the sweeping romance it aspires to be.
  19. 50
    Screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin won an Oscar for "Ghost" (1990), a pleasant, moderately thoughtful weepie that this movie closely resembles.
  20. 50
    Although it's supposed to be supremely romantic, there's no daring in it, no go-for-broke passion. It's a nice little movie about romantic compulsion, just big enough to fit in a teacup.
  21. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    There's something curiously off about The Time Traveler's Wife.
  22. “Caution: Contents may induce brain bleed.” That is, if you think too hard on the logic and mechanics of its time-travel conceit.
  23. 42
    The story is still mostly fabulous, and its novelty helps carry the film, but this still comes across like a poor high-school stage version: sincere and kind of sweet, but endlessly clumsy.
  24. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Will disappoint anyone looking for transport from a movie--being a time traveler's wife, it turns out, is mostly a drag.
  25. Often ridiculous, awkward, unsatisfying and dour melodramatic adaptation.
  26. Reviewed by: Joanne Kaufman
    The movie moves at such an agonizingly stately pace that by the end, side effects be damned, Henry's time-traveling gene starts to look mighty appealing.
  27. 38
    The movie doesn't really begin or end. Whether the lights have just gone down or the credits have begun to roll, things are pretty much the same for Henry.
  28. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    McAdams glows, as always, but Bana looks drained: I guess all that time-shifting leaves its mark on the complexion as well as the soul.
  29. 25
    I'd watch the vibrant Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana in anything, but The Time Traveler's Wife is pushing it.
  30. The cozy sentimentality in The Time Traveler's Wife is the only thing that grounds it. Mostly it's just featherheaded.
  31. They miss by a mile – or should I say, a light-year.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 126 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 34
  2. Negative: 4 out of 34
  1. Dec 18, 2010
    Though it does not quite live up to the book, The Time Traveller's Wife is a heartfelt and emotional movie. Sadly lacking the feeling of HenryThough it does not quite live up to the book, The Time Traveller's Wife is a heartfelt and emotional movie. Sadly lacking the feeling of Henry and Clare's deep relationship that the book conveys it is still a brilliant movie. Those parts that were missed did not leave gaping holes in the plot. It is an incredibly moving film and unless you have a heart of stone you will be crying your eyes out the whole way through. Full Review »
  2. Ssmith
    Feb 3, 2010
    I loved this movie; the beautiful direction, the acting, the story.
  3. BillyS
    Sep 11, 2009
    Eric Bana travels back and forth from time to time in his life over and over and over again, I'd like to travel back to right before I Eric Bana travels back and forth from time to time in his life over and over and over again, I'd like to travel back to right before I paid for the ticket! Seriously. Full Review »