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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.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 139
- Fresh: 16
- Rotten: 123
- Average Rating: 3.7/10
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.
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.
Rotten: The direction by Richard Donner ... is usually a beat or two off, and the dialogue seems clumsily ad-libbed.
Rotten: This is not just a 'B-movie' -- it's a B-movie that fails to entertain on any level.
Okay, let's be fair! This was a great movie!!!
Okay, folks haven't given this movie decent ratings. Maybe they're expecting too much. The book from which the movie is taken is written by Michael Chrichton, whose books all read like screenplays ready for their first reading by cardboard cut-out characters. So what! The premise of the film is very smart. The acting is great. And the production values are great! And anything with Gerard Butler in it is worth its weight in gold--just to see Gerard Butler! It's got it all: a neat plot involving time travel, a romance, and the bad guys get it in the end. What more do you want? I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and recommend it for anyone wanting to watch a FUN ACTION PACKED ADVENTURE WITH A SCI-FI TWIST.
Not Bad - Better than most...
Too many review a movie by comparing it to the book. The two medias will never produce comparable results. I have both read the book and seen the movie (in that order). It's not the best movie ever made, but certainly not the worst. It fulfills the first commandment about movies - it entertains.
Both the movie and the book are AWESOME
I cannot see how anyone would say that the movie does not do the book justice. They are different, nobody can deny that. But what I found so special about the movie, the ease with which I was drawn in and not let go, well, that was the same as the book. So how can the movie not have done the book justice?