Four Films to Mess with Your Sense of Déjà Vu

The new science fiction action movie Boss Level comes out this weekend. It stars Frank Grillo (Crossbones from the Marvel movies) and follows the plight of a former special forces member trapped in an unending gaming-style loop that results in his nasty death each time.

It sports an interesting supporting cast including Mel Gibson, Michelle Yeoh, Naomi Watts, and Ken Jeong, but the premise is what looks appealing to me. Check out the trailer.

The idea of that continual time loop is nothing new in movies, but somehow the idea always intrigues me. As a video game lover, I’m always wanting to find that little nuance that will help get me past that one level, beat the one boss, avoid falling down the damned abyss, and in one instance, literally jump a shark.

With many of us being stuck in a weirdly familiar rut of sameness for the past year or so, here are a few time-looping movies I recommend that range from rom-com, to horror, to science fiction, and mystery.

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Let’s see how much of these you can get through before your own head explodes in déjà vu madness, starting with a perennial favorite.

Groundhog Day (1993)

Leave it to the late Harold Ramis to give us a movie to watch at least once a year that works as a family film, a date night pick, or comedy quote-a-long with friends. Billy Murray plays weatherman Phil Connors who, for some reason, ends up living the same day (Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania) over and over again.  According to one site, WhatCulture.com, Phil lived through 33 years and 350 days of this getting it right. Here’s the trailer with a hint of thriller-style.

Happy Death Day (2017)

The premise is simple and very bloody. A college student relives the day she was murdered over and over again until she can discover who killed her. This horror movie comes from Blumhouse Productions, which has a thing for turning familiar stories from Fantasy Island to Freaky Friday into slashers. Why not give a Groundhog Day time loop a try?

There is a sequel, Happy Death Day 2U, that came out two years later, if you’re a glutton for punishment.

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

This futuristic war film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt actually feels pretty close to Boss Level in story line, but with a “soldiers vs. aliens” bonus. Cruise is a soldier who starts his day over — again and again — every time he is killed in action.

Source Code (2011)

If you haven’t seen this one, there are some spoilers involved, so I’ll keep with the basics. Jake Gyllenhaal is a soldier who has to go through the same 8-minute scenario over-and-over again to help find and stop a bomber on a commuter train.  This one had one of those endings where I felt weirdly satisfied with the outcome, but also a little messed up from a few of the big reveals.

Boss Level will be available on Hulu beginning March 5.

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