In late 2009, 3 Arts Productions purchased the rights to the novel and sold a spec script to the American studio Warner Bros.. The studio produced the film with the involvement of 3 Arts, the novel's publisher Viz Media, and Australian production company Village Roadshow. Filming began in late 2012, taking place in England at Leavesden Studios outside London, and other locations such as Trafalgar Square and Saunton Sands. Nine companies handled the visual effects.
The film was released in theaters on the weekend of May 30, 2014 in 28 territories, including the United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, Spain, and Indonesia. On the weekend of June 6, 2014 it was released in 36 additional territories, including North America (United States and Canada), Australia, China, and Russia. The film grossed over $370 million in theaters worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics.
In 2015, an extraterrestrial race called the Mimics have taken over Continental Europe. Five years later, the United Defense Force has only managed one victory, at Verdun, but has managed to hold the Mimics at the English Channel. In Britain, General Brigham, head of the UDF, orders Major William Cage, a public affairs officer with no combat experience, to cover the next day's massive assault on France. Cage objects to the dangerous assignment and threatens to put the blame on Brigham if the landing fails. Brigham orders the arrest of Cage, who is tasered when he attempts to escape. He awakes in handcuffs at Heathrow Airport. He has been demoted to private, labeled a deserter, and assigned to J Squad, under the command of Master Sergeant Farell.
The invasion proves to be a trap. Cage, despite his inexperience, manages to kill an unusually large Mimic with explosives and dies covered with its blood. He wakes up and finds himself back at Heathrow the previous morning. No one believes his story that the invasion is doomed. Cage repeats the loop of dying on the beach and waking at Heathrow over and over again, becoming more competent in combat and learning to predict what happens. In one loop, he encounters the famous Sergeant Rita Vrataski (the "Angel of Verdun") during the invasion. When she sees he knows the movements of an attacking Mimic in advance, she tells him to locate her the next time he "wakes up"; they both perish in an explosion.
When Cage next awakens, he finds Vrataski. She takes him to Dr. Carter, an expert in Mimic biology. Carter explains that the Mimics are a hive mind: if an "Alpha" is killed, the hive queen, the "Omega", turns time back a day, thus giving the Mimics a seemingly unbeatable advantage. Cage "hijacked" their ability by being doused in Alpha blood. Vrataski had herself gained this ability at Verdun, but lost it by receiving a blood transfusion after being wounded. She tells Cage that they must destroy the Omega.
Over many, many loops, Vrataski trains Cage to fight better. Frustrated by his continued failures, he retreats to London, but discovers the Mimics will attack there after defeating the invasion force. After having a vision of the Omega at a dam in Germany (which Carter said meant that the Omega was trying to locate him) Cage and Vrataski spend many loops figuring out how to get to the dam. Cage comes to know Vrataski, who is humorless and only interested in defeating the Mimics, having lost her loved one to them. Upon reaching a point where she dies whatever they do, Cage decides to hunt the Omega alone. When he reaches the dam, he discovers that it is a trap. Ambushed by an Alpha and another Mimic, Cage drowns himself before the Alpha can bleed him out and destroy his ability to reset time.
Cage and Vrataski infiltrate the UK Ministry of Defence to obtain a prototype built by Carter that can locate the Omega. Cage finally persuades General Brigham to give him the device, though his men then try to capture them. Cage discovers the Omega is under the Louvre Pyramid in Paris. However, Cage is captured and seriously injured. He wakes up in a hospital to find he has been given a transfusion.
Vrataski frees Cage. They recruit J Squad to help destroy the Omega before the invasion begins. They fly to Paris, where the other soldiers sacrifice themselves so Cage and Vrataski can get into the Louvre. Just before luring away an Alpha standing between them and the submerged Omega, Vrataski kisses Cage to thank him for getting her as far as he did. The Alpha kills Vrataski and mortally wounds Cage, but he manages to drop a belt of grenades, killing the Omega.
The dying Cage floats down through the water into the Omega's blood. He awakens en route to his first meeting with Brigham. Brigham announces on TV that Mimic activity has ceased following a mysterious energy surge in Paris. Cage goes to Heathrow to find Vrataski. She greets him rudely, just like in previous loops, to his amusement.
Edge of Tomorrow received critical acclaim. Critics praised the humor, the aliens' design, the performances of Cruise and Blunt, and the time-loop premise's ability to remain fresh. However, some critics had issues with the film's conclusion. Based on 279 reviews, review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 91% of critics gave the film a positive review, with a rating average of 7.5 out of 10. The website's critical consensus reads: "Gripping, well-acted, funny, and clever, Edge of Tomorrow offers entertaining proof that Tom Cruise is still more than capable of shouldering the weight of a blockbuster action thriller." Another aggregator Metacritic surveyed 43 critics and assessed 35 reviews as positive and eight as mixed, with none negative. Based on the reviews, it gave the film a score of 71 out of 100, which it said indicated "generally favorable reviews".
Justin Chang of Variety called Edge of Tomorrow "a cleverly crafted and propulsively executed sci-fi thriller", saying that the film was director Doug Liman's best since The Bourne Identity (2002). Chang said that the screenwriters, with the assistance of the editors, "tell their story in a breezy narrative shorthand (and at times, sleight-of-hand), transforming what must surely be an unbelievably tedious gauntlet for our hero into a deft, playful and continually involving viewing experience". Regarding the relationship between Cruise and Blunt's characters, Chang said "Liman handles it with a pleasing lightness of touch that extends to the proceedings as a whole." He also commended the visual effects of the "expertly designed Mimics" as well as Dion Beebe's cinematography.
Todd McCarthy, writing for The Hollywood Reporter, said the film was "a narratively ambitious sci-fi actioner" that "takes a relatively playful attitude toward the familiar battle tropes". McCarthy said that, despite the humor, he found the time loop premise "tedious" and that "the final stretch becomes dramatically unconvincing and visually murky". However, he also called the effects "exciting, convincing and gritty" and applauded Gleeson and Paxton in their supporting roles. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review, considering the film "a star-driven mass-market entertainment that's smart, exciting and unexpected while not stinting on genre satisfactions" that broke a string of "cookie-cutter, been-there blockbusters".
Edge of Tomorrow was listed on 23 critics' top ten lists of movies of 2014 (out of 201 evaluated).
In an interview with Collider, McQuarrie said that Cruise had an idea for a sequel, and that the concept is "locked and loaded". In April 2016, Doug Liman had signed on to direct the sequel, while Race screenwriters Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse will write the script for the film. In October 2016, Liman stated that the film would "revolutionize how people make sequels", and went on to say that the story is "much better than the original film" and that it's "a sequel that's a prequel".
- An alternative, darker ending was considered for the film as follows: As they approach Paris in the drop-ship, Cage briefs the soldiers that they must not kill an Alpha or it will cause a time loop and "we'll be right back here having this conversation, and we won't even know it." During fighting, one of the soldiers gets separated, then confronts and kills an Alpha. The audience sees the Omega reset the day and witnesses the same conversation as before about not killing an Alpha, but then an attack starts and the audience knows that the Mimics have the upper hand as the movie ends. The actual released movie has scenes in the drop-ship where the soldiers are reviewing Cage's warning and one says "Do not kill an Alpha or we'll never even know we had this conversation and they'll know we're coming". Also, when the Mimics begin firing on the ship, somebody yells "They know we're coming, Cage!" These scenes were probably filmed for the alternate ending.
- The film was released in the U.S. on June 6, 2014, the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion during World War II. The film shares many similarities to the attack on Normandy Beach. Uniquely, it premiered in two sequential events, designed to mirror the D-Day landings within the exact timeline of the historic event. The premieres experienced comparible déjà vu of weather conditions, starting near 6:00 a.m. GMT in an IMAX theater in London.
- After the film's box-office failure in the U.S., (it still managed to turn a profit worldwide), its marketing strategy was changed slightly for its DVD release. In this case, on the front of the video box, the film's tagline was emphasized heavily, with the title "Edge of Tomorrow" in small text at the very bottom of the case. As a result of this packaging, it gives the illusion that the film's title is "Live Die Repeat." Warner Bros. maintained that the title of the film had not been changed and that "Live Die Repeat" was only a tagline, yet this appears in front of "Edge of Tomorrow" not just on the cover, but on the spine of the packaging and even on the discs. The rental company Red Box has the film listed under the letter "L" in its kiosks, and all online retailers have the digital streaming version titled "Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow."