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The Time Traveler's Wife Review Critics


Dave White Profile

I love you. See you later. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal

    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.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    A slog rather than the sweeping romance it aspires to be.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    German-born director Robert Schwentke ("Flightplan") keep things moving briskly enough so that the leaps in time mostly obscure the leaps in logic.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    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.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 15+

Tearjerker is too gloomy for tweens and younger teens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this tearjerker, though romantic, may prove too gloomy for tweens and younger teens. The central couple shares a powerful love, but their relationship is constantly tested, sometimes to the breaking point, and there are few moments of levity. Expect some nudity (though primarily in a non-sexual context), swearing ("s--t" is the strongest word used), and a few bloody, though not gory, scenes. There’s also discussion of heavy topics like free will, miscarriage, death, and losing a parent.

  • Families can talk about what keeps Clare and Henry connected despite all of their difficulties. Is their life together believable? Would Clare really stay with Henry when he's so unpredictable? How does their relationship compare to other movie pairings you've seen?
  • Does the film handle the topic of time travel believably (as much as is possible, that is)? Does it seem like a benefit or a curse?
  • If you've read the book, how do you think the movie compares? What are some of your favorite books-turned-movies?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Though parts of the film are quite gloomy, there’s an overall sense that life is full of meaning and love. Clare adores Henry as he is and not as she imagines him to be, which is admirable.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Clare and Henry are devoted to each other, despite the huge challenges they face. They do quarrel and pull away from each other at times, but inevitably, love wins out. Henry commits some petty crimes (stealing, breaking and entering, cheating) out of necessity due to his condition -- he doesn't shy away from doing these things, but it's clear that he wishes he didn't have to. You could argue that Henry manipulates Clare's life unfairly, but for the most part she doesn't seem to mind.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Early in the movie, there are some perilous/fiery scenes of an intense car accident. There's also some fistfighting (with some injuries), and a man is shot and is shown bleeding. Characters hunt with rifles. A woman bleeds heavily during a miscarriage. A man gets slapped after speaking harshly to a woman.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A couple gets in bed a few times and is shown passionately kissing and caressing each other; they later appear below the sheets with their shoulders bared -- when she gets out of bed, you see her naked from the rear (including buttocks). Several shots of Henry naked from behind/sideways, but the only sensitive body part shown is his buttocks. One scene shows Clare in the bath, but only her stomach and extremities are visible.

  • language false3

    Language: Language includes "s--t" (several times, often as a reaction to seeing Henry disappear for the first time...), "a--hole," "damn," "hell," "goddamn," "son of a bitch," and  "oh my God."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Two characters are chided for drinking too much, though both seem to recover/give it up. Some social drinking (wine, beer, etc.) by adults.