Since today is Groundhog Day, we are reminded of that Bill Murray movie everywhere we turn. It's like this has happened before ...every February second since 1993. Our occasional sense of deja vu draws us to time travel movies like Groundhog Day that play the same scenes over and over again, with small differences that advance the story. Why do we love these movies? Because we all have regrets, and we'd all love to get a do-over, to get it right for once. When we screw up, a time loop gives us another chance.
The wealth of time loop stories out there testifies to the resonance of the idea. It's a great high concept hook: time loops raise big questions of choice and fate from the get-go and they pull philosophical complexity out of the most banal scenes. A time loop can turn repeating events into puzzles with infinite solutions, or into set-ups with numerous punchlines. The idea of a time loop is so irresistible that we'll probably keep seeing it crop up again and again in pop culture with new twists for as long as we live.
And while Groundhog Day is the most familiar time loop movie, it is far from the only one. Explore plenty of other such films in the post at Digg.