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Movies you need to watch next if you loved Tenet

Tenet, Christopher Nolan's latest blockbuster, is currently one of the most buzz-worthy movies in theaters. It's also one of the first major releases since movie theaters reopened, after they had been on a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With its unconventional usage of time travel being one of the film's primary appeals, the film has already become quite popular, especially among sci-fi and thriller fans. 

Of course, Tenet is not the first film to explore the concept of time loops, so viewers who walk away from the film ready to jump into other time-travel movies will have many options open to them. However, not every sci-fi movie involving this trope has done it coherently, so weeding out the ones that compare well to Nolan's spy thriller — while, at the same time, narrowing these down to the films that genuinely bring something different to the table — can be tricky. However, for Tenet fans eager to find their next time loop binge, the following films have enough of an overlap that, if you enjoyed Nolan's newest production, they are probably worth checking out. 

Triangle (2009) features plenty of twists and turns

Like Tenet, there are time loops in Triangle, a 2009 thriller filled with plenty of twists and turns that are sure to keep audiences guessing. 

Compared to Tenet, where the fate of the world is arguably at stake, Triangle's plot is comparatively grounded: It focuses on a group of people who are trapped with a killer on an ocean liner. The main character, Jess (Melissa George) eventually realizes that she's stuck in a repeating pattern, where every time her fellow passengers are killed, time rewinds and brings the group back to the beginning of the loop. The film, written and directed by Christopher Smith, has several of the components that have made Tenet so successful, including an unpredictable plot, violence that's actually important to the story, and a shocking ending, as as Screen Rant assesses, that will leave viewers talking for quite some time. 

Doppelgangers also play an important role in Triangle, which further complicates the wild ride this film takes audiences on.

Timecrimes (2007) is an underappreciated mystery

Timecrimes (also known as Los Cronocrímenes), like Triangle, features evil doubles and time loops. 

The main character, Hector (Karra Elejalde) unknowingly stumbles into a time machine and winds up recreating the series of events that brought him to the device in the first place: he finds a dead body, and then he's attacked by a masked stranger. Hector works with a scientist in an effort to break the loop, but that's where the plot thickens. Another one of Hector's doubles goes back in time, hoping to stop his counterpart. From there, the film is a game of cat and mouse between different versions of the same person, who are each trying to break this vicious cycle. 

Timecrimes might not be as layered as Tenet, or even some of the other films on this list. But it still offers viewers a compelling mystery, especially when you factor in the movie's low budget. Plus, there's also plenty of dark humor to complement the deadly story unfolding on the screen.

Revisit a hilarious classic with Groundhog Day (1993)

The immortal nineties film Groundhog Day might just be the most famous time loop movie of all time. It's quite different from Tenet, considering its comedic tone and its closed loop, but no time travel film marathon would be complete without it. 

While Tenet's Protagonist (John David Washington) and other characters in Nolan's film can change the loop and create iterations, the pattern in Groundhog Day is consistent: Phil Connors (Bill Murray) goes to sleep one night, and experiences that day's events the exact same way the next day. After he realizes that he alone is stuck in the loop, Connors has some fun with his situation because, no matter what he does, he'll wake up the next morning as if nothing happened. He binge eats, has one night stands, and even manipulates the loop to his advantage. Things spiral downhill, though, and Connors' frustration at being stuck in the loop eventually leads him to some dark places, but ultimately, he uses his knowledge of the pattern to help people. 

Groundhog Day offers a wholesome message, in the midst of some classic shenanigans from Murray, so while it's tonally unlike Tenet, it's worth watching if you liked the latter's exploration of time travel.

Happy Death Day (2017) breaths new life into the horror genre

Compared to Groundhog Day, the 2017 slasher movie Happy Death Day is at the other end of the spectrum. Director Christopher Landon's film places Theresa "Tree" Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) in a situation that sounds like the one seen in Groundhog Day, as she finds that the previous day's events are repeating themselves — but the catalyst of this loop comes when Gelbman is killed by a masked murderer.  Gelbman then tries to break the loop and, by extension, save her own life. But her actions always end with her death, so the loop begins again. Like Connors, she tries to use the loop to her advantage, particularly as she attempts to identify the perpetrator. From here, Scott Lobdell's script packs a few more twists into this fresh concept, making for what is definitely a must-see movie for horror fans, and Tenet fans alike. 

Back when it came out, Happy Death Day flew under the radar, but the film's combination of time manipulation, dark comedy and horror, with an intriguing mystery at the crux of it all, is worth checking out.