Akin to Groundhog Day: the best movies about a day that repeats itself

February 2, also known as Groundhog Day, is coming soon. Until recently, not many people even in the United States knew about the existence of such a special date. But that all changed with the release of Groundhog Day, a classic comedy that regularly makes it to the best-of-the-best lists.

Groundhog Day popularized a plot device known as a time loop. This is when the protagonist is “stuck” in one day and has to constantly live it over and over again. This plot turned out to be very successful, because it works surprisingly well for light comedies, action movies, and horror films. Today, we’re going to talk about the best movies whose characters find themselves in a time loop.

Palm Springs

What is the movie about?

Stuck in a time loop, two wedding guests start an affair, living the same day over and over again.

What makes it interesting?

Usually, the plot of movies about time loops is based on the fact that only the protagonist finds himself in it, while the people around him are unsuspecting. But the creators of Palm Springs thought about the question: what if the protagonist of such a story suddenly had a companion?

A still from the Palm Springs movie

And I must say, it worked out just right. Palm Springs is based on the juxtaposition of two characters. On the one hand, we have the main character, Niles, played by Andy Samberg, who has spent countless days in a time loop and has come to terms with the fact that he will never get out of it. On the other hand, there’s Sarah, played by Christin Milioti. She has just been caught in the loop, doesn’t understand what is happening to her, and, unlike Niles, who decided to go with the flow, is trying to break the cycle.

Their interaction gives rise to many funny situations, which make the movie not an attempt to produce a modernized version of Groundhog Day, but a completely self-sufficient creation. Andy Samberg and Christine Milioti have done a great job with their characters, making you really want them to succeed. The movie also features J.K. Simmons in a small but very funny role.

Happy Death Day

What is the movie about?

It’s Tri Gelbman’s birthday. Unfortunately, someone kills the heroine of the event. However, fate presents the birthday girl with an unexpected gift — a reserve of lives. And now the girl has a chance to track down her killer, because this day will be repeated over and over again.

What makes it interesting?

Happy Death Day clearly demonstrates that a plot with a recurring day is great not only for romantic comedies and action movies, but also for slashers. However, don’t get scared beforehand. Although Happy Death Day does feature a maniac, the movie is far from being a serious horror film. The authors of the film relied on black humor rather than violence or bloody scenes.


A still from the Happy Death Day movie

Happy Death Day, of course, owes much of its success to the actress who played the lead role, Jessica Roth. She perfectly fits the image of a crazy, daring, but at the same time quite charming heroine who manages to look at herself from the outside and become better thanks to what happened.

In 2019, the film received a sequel. It largely copies the formula of the first film, which is why it got much more restrained reaction than the original. But, despite being somewhat secondary, the sequel has some good jokes that make it worth watching.

Edge of Tomorrow

What is the movie about?

A race of aliens is attacking the Earth. Even the combined forces of the entire planet cannot resist them. Major William Cage dies in battle, but the impossible happens — he gets caught in a time loop. Time and time again, he finds himself in the same battle, fighting and dying over and over again. And each repeated battle brings him closer to figuring out how to defeat the enemy.

What makes it interesting?

If you’ve ever wondered what you’d get if you combined the setting of Groundhog Day with the novel Starship Troopers, director Doug Liman gave you the answer with Edge of Tomorrow (2014), which is considered one of the best sci-fi action movies of the past decade.

A still from the Edge of Tomorrow movie

The popularity of Edge of Tomorrow is due to several factors. First, the movie boasts a large scale, amazing special effects and design. Secondly, despite the overall seriousness of the plot, the film also has a bit of humor, which helps to catch your breath between the battle scenes. And thirdly, On the Edge of the Future is characterized by surprisingly well-developed characters.

Tom Cruise plays the lead role in the Edge of Tomorrow movie. It is no secret that Tom Cruise usually plays Tom Cruise in his films. But in Edge of Tomorrow, he appeared in a rather atypical image. The main character of the film, Bill Cage, is not a brave warrior ready to defeat everyone and everything. He is a rather cowardly man who is frankly afraid to go to the frontline. Throughout the story, we follow the evolution of his character and see how he gradually turns from a coward into a hero, ready to sacrifice himself for the sake of victory.

Another significant bonus of the film is Rita Vrataski played by Emily Blunt, who, by the way, has a very good chance of winning an Oscar this year. She is brave, determined and ready to do anything to achieve her goal. But under this outward mask of courage lies a completely different person who once lost everything and now keeps a distance from the outside world so as not to experience the pain of loss anymore.

By combining all these elements, director Doug Liman has given us one of the best examples of action fiction in the last decade, which fully justifies all its high praise.

Source Code

What is the movie about?

As a result of a secret experiment, a soldier named Coulter finds himself in the body of an unknown man who died in a train accident. Coulter is forced to relive the death of another man over and over again until he realizes who is responsible for what happened.

What makes it interesting?

Source Code differs from the other films in our selection in that its protagonist is not accidentally forced to relive the same events over and over again. He is a participant in a secret military program, chosen to find a terrorist. The only thing is that the hero himself doesn’t remember anything about it.


A still from the Source Code movie

That is why there are two detective lines in Source Code. The protagonist is simultaneously trying to find out who blew up the train, and at the same time trying to figure out how he got into the program and what happened to him.

Another important feature of the plot is that the protagonist’s time in the time loop is limited to eight minutes, after which he has to start from the beginning every time. This technique helps to significantly increase the dynamism of the story. If we add to this the traditionally very convincing acting of Jake Gyllenhaal and a good supporting cast of Vera Farmiga, Michelle Monaghan and Jeffrey Wright, we have one of the best thrillers about recurring events.

Boss Level

What is the movie about?

Roy, a former Special Forces officer, starts his every day by fighting off all kinds of killers. And each time Roy invariably dies and finds himself back in the same day. One day, he learns that his ex-wife, who was involved in secret research, is dead. Roy decides to find out the cause of her death, and at the same time figure out how to get out of the time loop himself.

What makes it interesting?

Unlike all the previous films, Boss Level can be definitely called a B-movie. The movie can’t boast of any big budget, and its creators don’t hide the fact that the plot of their film is a mix of the Groundhog Day script and video game aesthetics.


A still from the Boss Level movie

But, despite all this, or rather because of it, they made a surprisingly pleasant movie. Yes, Boss Level is not a movie that opens up new horizons and claims for any awards. But we should admit that it is quite good entertainment. The movie has some pretty inventive action scenes and a lot of black humor.

Another bonus is the lead actor, Frank Grillo. The B-movie star is really organic in this role. He was accompanied by Mel Gibson, who played the role of the main villain, whom Roy must defeat in order to finally break out of the noose.

Groundhog Day

What is the movie about?

Television commentator Phil Connors arrives in a small town in Pennsylvania to report on the Groundhog Day celebrations. But time played a cruel joke on him: it just stopped. Now Phil’s calendar has the same date on it — February 2 — and he can’t get out of it.

What makes it interesting?

Of course, our selection would be incomplete without the “hero” of our occasion — the original Groundhog Day. Talking about why this movie is considered great is probably the same as trying to explain the popularity of The Lord of the Rings or, say, the second Terminator. Everyone seems to understand it perfectly well.


A still from the Groundhog Day movie

Groundhog Day has long since become real popular, and watching it on February 2 is as much a tradition as watching Harry Potter on New Year’s Eve. The movie is filled with a lot of gags and has long been quoted. It is also one of the best roles in the career of the charming Bill Murray, without whom this movie would never have achieved its greatness.

So, if for some reason you haven’t seen Groundhog Day, we recommend that you fix it as soon as possible. Despite the fact that last year the movie celebrated its thirtieth birthday, it hasn’t lost its charm and is still able to give you an hour and a half of great mood.