When Henry (Erik Estrin) and Claire (Rachel McAdams) become fast friends, they begin planning an escape for the rest of their lives. However, when Claire accidentally kills Henry with a shotgun, she must put their plans into motion before it is too late.
Henry, a librarian at the University of Chicago, suffers from a unique genetic disorder which makes him constantly go back and forth in time. On one such sojourn, he meets Claire (Rachel McAdams) and they both fall in love. However, the complexities and complications of any romantic relationship are multiplying exponentially by Henry's inability to stay in one place and time, forcing him and Claire to constantly be out of synch. When Claire accidentally kills Henry on the day of the wedding, she is arrested and sent to jail, but an unexpected visitor from the future stops her execution.
In an attempt to save Claire's life, Henry is forced to go back in time to solve her murder, which causes him and Claire to reunite as they try to put the pieces together. It isn't long before both of them discover that their spouses aren't who they say they are, and with Henry's skills at the bookkeeping table, the couple sets about trying to prove that the other spouse committed suicide to cover up their affair.
However, once their secret is revealed and Claire is revealed as the culprit, things don't seem all that great for them. Claire's husband, a man named William (Kevin Costner), has been devastated. The fact that she's now the suspect is the last thing on his mind, so he sends her to prison for her crimes. But Henry manages to get out of prison by finding his own way out…
So, what exactly does “Unbroken” have to do with time travel? In fact, time travel is central to the plot, as well as how Claire uses time travel to help solve her marriage problem.
Time travel has always fascinated me; it's the idea that people can alter history and affect the present and past. In this case, by going back in time to prevent your spouse from committing suicide, it provides you with a sort of protection.
In a story such as “Unbroken”, time travel is used as a way to help solve your own problems. That's what “Unbroken” is all about, using the past to solve your present, and to prevent future issues from coming up.
For example, in one scene, when Henry and Claire are driving down the freeway in their cars, they both notice a sign on a billboard advertising the upcoming Broadway musical “The King and I,” and when the billboard turns into a billboard promoting Claire's play “Happily Ever After,” Henry realizes that he has a chance to stop the marriage from coming apart before it gets worse. He decides to go back in time, but before he does, his wife calls to tell him that they should just “let it go,” and that there are no “rules” to prevent a marriage from breaking down.
Claire knows about time travel, and she knows how much time it has taken her to get to the point where she's been in the past, so that she decides that she'll change the past and fix the present before her husband commits suicide. The problem is, the only way that the marriage can be fixed is to go back in time, and undo the past – and that means that Claire will have to find herself back in the present to try to fix her marriage again.
She does this by using time travel to “undo” the actions of the previous time she was in the past, so that she can start all over and learn all of the things that she missed in the past. as a result of not having an understanding of time.
Claire then realizes that she can undo her own mistakes and learn all of her lessons without ever having to go back in time herself, which means that she doesn't have to go back and start over. That means that she can avoid all of the mistakes that she made in the past. – and her husband – made in the past. Without ever going back in time, Claire learns to love her husband, even if she can't forget what happened in the past.
After the credits, Claire realizes that she is more than able to save her marriage, and she becomes the time traveler woman that she always wanted to be. She goes back in time to prevent future marriages from coming to an end, and learns how to use time travel to change her own past so that she can stop future marriages from breaking down.