This request comes from a friend of mine. She heard about a movie where a person could flip a switch on a box, wait a few hours, then get inside the box to travel back to the moment when they switched the box on. This means that when a man turns the box on, he would immediately see a slightly older version of himself leave the box.

A time traveler could turn the box on, check the stock market and lottery numbers, and then go back in time a few hours to buy stocks or buy a lottery ticket.

She believes this movie was made within the last few years. She has not seen the movie, but only heard somebody describe it to her.

Can anybody help my friend by identifying the story?

  • 6
    Could it be Primer
    – moopet
    May 21, 2017 at 20:16
  • 31
    please note: identifying the movie may lead to your friend watching the movie, which may lead to your friend trying to figure out the movie, which is the opposite of helping.
    – KutuluMike
    May 21, 2017 at 20:47
  • 5
    Was the box bigger on the inside by any chance?
    – Machavity
    May 22, 2017 at 2:05
  • 3
    @Machavity - lol. Yes, every single part of this question fits season 1 of Doctor Who.
    – Valorum
    May 22, 2017 at 11:21
  • 1
    @KutuluMike: You may be amused to find this May 22, 2017 at 19:41

2 Answers 2


This sounds an awful lot like Primer. The protagonists of the film invent a box-like time machine. When turned on, it allows the user to return to the moment that the box was activated.

On several occasions a user sees themselves leaving the facility where the box is stored.

You may find this simple chart helpful when trying to work out what's going on.

  • 1
    You could also include the handy graphic from Wikipedia. May 21, 2017 at 20:23
  • I just showed the Wikipedia entry to my friend. She believes this is the movie that somebody described to her. Thanks.
    – RichS
    May 21, 2017 at 20:25
  • 23
    this xkcd comic (the lowest row in particular) may also come in handy.
    – KutuluMike
    May 21, 2017 at 20:48
  • 1
    Wow, music's way too loud in that trailer. May 22, 2017 at 11:16
  • 1
    @BoundaryImposition - I don't think it was ever intended to be subjected to the kind of intense scrutiny that it has been.
    – Valorum
    May 22, 2017 at 11:20

The movie is Source Code, the 2011 movie.

  • 9
    Source Code was nothing like what the OP described. May 22, 2017 at 13:06
  • 6
    Can you please fill in a reason for why this matches the movie that the OP is looking for?
    – Mithical
    May 22, 2017 at 13:22
  • Don't bother; it doesn't. May 22, 2017 at 19:41

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