12. Edge of Tomorrow
If the time traveling shenanigans in Terminator weren’t enough to satisfy you, then you may want to check out Edge of Tomorrow. This 2014 military science fiction movie gets plenty twisty and turny thanks to a series of plot developments that end up being a sort of Groundhog Day from hell.
Also, you get to see Tom Cruise play someone who’s deeply out of his element, which is more satisfying than you might think. He stars as Major William “Bill” Cage, previously a public affairs officer with a cushy position and absolutely no combat experience. When he balks at covering a dangerous assault, his commanding officer demotes him and places Cage in a squad bound for the assault. It’s practically a death sentence, except Cage ends up covered in alien blood that somehow places him in a repeating time loop. Every time Cage dies, he resets to his first few moments in his new squad.
But, we’re really not here to talk about his character. Instead, we’re here to discuss Sergeant Rita Vrataski, played by Emily Blunt. Vrataski is a soldier in an army fighting the vicious alien mimics. The human forces have one only a single victory, at Verdun in northwestern France. Vrataski has somehow become an unwilling poster child for this win, even to the point where she’s referred to as the “Angel of Verdun”.
However, Vrataski is no flowery, modest angel. She is a soldier, through and through, and one with considerable training at that. While Cage is stuck flailing in his repeating time loop, she manages to catch on and trains him. Without Vrataski, in all of her various iterations, humanity would be doomed.