‘Omni Loop’ Review — Ayo Edebiri’s Sci-Fi ‘Groundhog Day’ Riff Stuns

Estimated read time 6 min read

The Big Picture

  • Omni Loop
    delves deep into existential questions, utilizing its sci-fi premise as a means of reflection.
  • Both Mary-Louise Parker and Ayo Edebiri are great in even just the smallest conversation scenes.
  • The film culminates in a poignant and unexpected ending that offers profound truths and emotional resonance.

What is it that draws us to the “time loop” movie? Is it so we can see someone initiate chaos in the world without fear of consequence as they can always reset? Is it to grapple with what it means to be alive when you find yourself going through the motions of the same window of time over and over? In films like the classic Groundhog Day, which remains the enduring reference point that we all have in what is essentially a subgenre, or the recent Palm Springs, a needle between the two is thread. Omni Loop is not one of those films, but that makes it all the more worth taking in as it guides you on a journey into the self just as it does time.

Omni Loop (2024)

A woman from Miami, Florida decides to solve time travel in order to go back and be the person she always intended to.

Release Date March 13, 2024

Director Bernardo Britto

Runtime 107 Minutes

Main Genre Sci-Fi

Writers Bernardo Britto

The latest from writer-director Bernardo Britto, who was previously a staff writer on the sublime series Los Espookys that was taken too soon, as well as the 2016 feature Jacqueline Argentine, is a more melancholic work of reflection that hits home when you least expect it to. Starring Mary-Louise Parker and Ayo Edebiri as two strangers who are brought together across time, it ends up being less about solving what it is that is going on than it is about embracing the things that make life worth living wherever you can find them.

What Is ‘Omni Loop’ About?

At the center of Omni Loop is Zoya (Parker) who has discovered she has a unique medical condition. Specifically, there is a black hole that is growing larger and larger in her chest. In a week’s time, doctors believe that it will kill her. Zoya receives this news with surprisingly little reaction because she has already heard it at least dozens, if not hundreds, of times. Her husband and daughter are devastated, struggling to support her in this time, though they are fully unaware of the real pain she is experiencing. Each time she reaches the end of this week, she pops a pill from a bottle she mysteriously received when she was younger and travels back to the moment she gets the terminal diagnosis to live it all again.

She seems to have resigned herself to this existence until she meets the young Paula (Edebiri) who is studying quantum mechanics and may just be someone Zoya can work with to figure a way out. Still, as one attempt bleeds into another, the two will eventually have to confront more existential questions about what they are doing it all for and what will happen if they fail. Oh, and there is a person so small you can’t even see them in a box who, in addition to helping the duo in their pursuit of answers, also provides its most poetic visual.

Omni Loop film would make a great double feature with last year’s Linoleum in how it uses its sci-fi premise as a jumping-off point to explore far more expansive and existential ideas. As Zoya and Paula try to make sense of this time travel phenomenon, there is an increasing sense that they are drawn to getting answers so they don’t have to ask the harder questions about the paths their own lives have taken. In these moments, Parker and Edebiri are both perfect scene partners to just watch talk together. The film is well-edited in how it stitches moments in time together to convey the dread that comes from days repeating, but there is something just as beautiful about seeing it all slow down for more emotionally raw reflections to come tumbling out. Even as there is a desire to know more about the interiority of Paula, Edebiri gives one of her best performances to date that puts it up there alongside The Bear.

In many ways, she is the key to the whole thing working as she pushes the story into more emotional and evocative directions. One moment following a question she asks then culminates in a haunting visual as we see what it is like when Zoya leaves and the people in that timeline seem to carry on without her. Edebiri is still just as funny as she has ever been, with even just her facial expressions as she gets new pieces of information proving to be hilarious, but she also provides the push the film needs as it draws towards its end.

‘Omni Loop’ Builds to a Spectacular Ending

A poster for SXSW 2024. Image via SXSW

What proves to be the most unexpected, yet joyous part of the experience is how it brings into focus its greatest emotional beats right before it draws to a close. Even when the middle stretch of the film can start to get a bit repetitive as it stumbles around for answers, both in ways that are very much intended and others that feel less so, all is forgiven when it takes a step back to find the brilliant truths that were staring at us the whole time. Without giving anything away, it feels like an echo of the underappreciated film About Time, which similarly used time travel as a way to eventually tease out what it is that makes life worth living.

In these moments of realization, Parker’s performance is a real gift just as Zoya receives a fitting one herself. It is something that recontextualizes everything, providing one joyous final truth just as it rips your heart out. Sometimes, in film and in life, the greatest gifts are the ones you don’t expect yet were there all along. Omni Loop is this in beautiful, bittersweet action. As it loops back one more time, you’ll wish you could run it all back again.

Omni Loop 2024 Film SXSW Promo Image

Omni Loop (2024)


Omni Loop is a sublime sci-fi movie that uses its time travel premise as a jumping-off point to explore more existential ideas.


  • Mary-Louise Parker and Ayo Edebiri are each great, proving to be perfect scene partners just as the latter pushes the film forward.
  • While well-edited in how it stitches together moments in time, it is just as beautiful when it all slows day for more emotionally raw reflections.
  • The ending ties everything together perfectly, revealing how the greatest gifts can come from the places you least expect them to be.


  • The middle stretch can get a little repetitive beyond the ways that are intentional.

Omni Loop had its World Premiere at the 2024 SXSW Film & TV Festival.