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Richard Donner

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About the Movie

Directing his first film since 1998's Lethal Weapon 4, Richard Donner helmed this big-budget adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel of the same name. Featuring a script by first-time screenwriter George Nolfi, Timeline begins in France in the near future. A group of students from Yale are there studying a medieval site, when their professor, played by Billy Connolly, mysteriously goes missing. To make matters more enigmatic, the students are then taken back to the United States by a shadowy technology company called ITC, led by Robert Doniger (David Thewlis). The eccentric Doniger explains that because of a machine that his company built, their professor is trapped in 14th century France. In order to rescue him, two of the students, Chris Hughes (Paul Walker) and Kate Erickson (Frances O'Connor), along with Andre Marek (Gerard Butler), an archeological site manager, must travel to France, circa 1357, amid archaic war, deadly diseases, and other unexpected pitfalls. Meanwhile, David Stern (Ethan Embry), a third student, stays behind to keep an eye on the shady Doniger.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 141
  • Fresh: 16
  • Rotten: 125
  • Average Rating: 3.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: Suggests a particularly wretched episode of Star Trek tricked out with fancy fireworks and weighed down with a score that grinds away like a cement mixer. – Stephen Holden, New York Times, Jul 16, 2008

Rotten: Yet another case of making time travel a messy ordeal rather than a load of fun, Timeline lacks the consistent tone, pace and point of view for either a science fiction thriller or medieval war adventure. – Robert Koehler, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Rotten: The direction by Richard Donner ... is usually a beat or two off, and the dialogue seems clumsily ad-libbed. – Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle, Jan 15, 2004

Rotten: An instant contender for cult status on the midnight-movie circuit, where lines like 'Do we look like quantum wormhole specialists?' will be given the respect they deserve. – Jack Mathews, New York Daily News, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Don't waste your time

This was probably the worst movie I've ever seen. If I could give it negative 3 stars I would. The acting, special effects, and plot were atrocious. You will be a better person if you don't see this movie.


Depending on if you read the book or not really will affect what you think of the movie. It was a great story, don't get me wrong. Like alot of stories that are produced into films, I didn't feel that any justice was done to the book if you have already read it. If you have not seen this yet, and have not read the book, then I would definatly recommend you seeing the movie. If you enjoy the movie, then you may want to take the time to read the book.

Buy the book - it was much better

Crichton's novel was much better, much more entertaining. I was surprised to see a movie adaptation at all as I didn't think we needed another "time-travel" movie. I was right.

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