To commemorate the release of the deliriously stupid “Hot Tub Time Machine,” here are some of the most memorable excursions into Einsteinian paradox from cinema history. Ranging from the sublime (Richard Kelly’s mysterious cult hit “Donnie Darko”) to the ridiculous (“Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”), from huge hits like the “Terminator” and “Back to the Future” series to leaden flops like “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and from the deadly serious to the gleefully comic, these movies illustrate the central paradox of time travel: Go back far enough, and your mom was really hot.
We’ve excerpted blurbs from the relevant Salon reviews (where available) or borrowed comments from one of our favorite outside critics, Roger Ebert. — Andrew O’Hehir
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