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Back to the Future (1985)

tomatometer

96

Average Rating: 8.6/10
Reviews Counted: 68
Fresh: 65 | Rotten: 3

Inventive, funny, and breathlessly constructed, Back to the Future is rousing a time-travel adventure with an unforgettable spirit.

82

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 2

Inventive, funny, and breathlessly constructed, Back to the Future is rousing a time-travel adventure with an unforgettable spirit.

audience

94

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 1,082,875

My Rating

Movie Info

Contemporary high schooler Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) doesn't have the most pleasant of lives. Browbeaten by his principal at school, Marty must also endure the acrimonious relationship between his nerdy father (Crispin Glover) and his lovely mother (Lea Thompson), who in turn suffer the bullying of middle-aged jerk Biff (Thomas F. Wilson), Marty's dad's supervisor. The one balm in Marty's life is his friendship with eccentric scientist Doc (Christopher Lloyd), who at present is working on a

Dec 17, 2002

Universal Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Back to the Future

January 31, 2014:
Back to the Future Musical in the Works
Great Scott!
August 17, 2011:
How Marty and Doc Brown First Met
After more than 25 years, the answer is revealed by "Back to the Future" co-writer Bob Gale. Or...

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All Critics (68) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (65) | Rotten (3) | DVD (31)

It isn't often that extremely clever moviemakers use their brains in the service of pure fun. But that's just what the people who made Back to the Future have done. This brilliant contraption of a film could become the hit of the summer.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's big, cartoonish and empty, with an interesting premise that is underdeveloped and overproduced.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Zemeckis and Gale... give us two priceless scenes in which the young time-traveler simply regards his parents-to-be with wonderment, delight and empathy. And we cannot help but share that emotion and relate it to our own lives.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The picture packs a wonderful wallop.

March 29, 2011 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Performances by the earnest Fox, the lunatic Lloyd, the deceptively passionate Lea Thompson, and, particularly, the bumbling-to-confident Glover, who runs away with the picture, merrily keep the ship sailing.

May 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Robert Zemeckis confronts the oedipal heart of the time-travel genre with this zestfully tasteless 1985 tale about a teenager (Michael J. Fox) who is projected back to 1955 and then must arrange the romance of his parents.

February 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (3)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The humour, the pathos, the tension - even the blooming soundtrack - all conspire to ensure that the tale of a teenager traveling back 30 years to ensure his parents meet and ultimately mate can, given its vintage, now be fairly described as a classic.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

Under the splendid direction of Robert Zemeckis, who also co-authored the screenplay with Bob Gale, Back to the Future is a joyous flight into the domain of a teen-ager`s fantasy.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Just sign on for the trip. Back to the Future offers the summer's most dazzling joyride.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

It's great fun most of the way and makes up in humor what it lacks in sense.

June 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

It was, is and always will be a true Hollywood classic.

July 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

The most commercially popular of 1985.

April 21, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Undeniably one of the greatest films of the 1980s and indeed, of all time, Back to the Future has endured so well because it walks that fine tightrope of managing to appeal to just about everyone...

February 16, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

'80s time-travel favorite has laughs, romance, action.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

an undeniably fun film, one whose clever plotting, memorable characters, and deft balance of both wistful nostalgia and celebration of the here and now deserves comparisons to The Wizard of Oz

October 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Back to the Future is one of the best popcorn movies ever made. It's ingenuity, time-traveling twist ups and wonderfully vibrant characters resonate in ways few films ever achieve.

October 25, 2010 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

It's a timeless joke that never gets old: One day you will grow up to be your parents and they'll have the last laugh. The innovation here was in telling the joke backwards.

October 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinemalogue.com
Cinemalogue.com

"Future" fandom resonates in the public imagination because it marries innocence with high-concept fun.

October 15, 2010 Full Review Source: indieWIRE
indieWIRE

A little more sophistication would have been no bad thing -- but a good script keeps it zipping along.

October 6, 2010 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Delightful and sophisticated to a degree beyond the dreams of today's movies in similar vein.

October 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Zemeckis' popcorn classic combines watertight scripting with broad but brilliant performances, all held together by Fox's stumbling charm.

September 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

The counter-Freudian drama is handled with easy wit and flair, like a Shakespearian disguise comedy, and it made a whopping star of Fox.

September 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

Audience Reviews for Back to the Future

Oh yes, an 80's classic that still is the talk of the town whenever words like best blockbuster flicks of all time are thrown into a conversation. Quite honestly, I remember seeing snippets of "Back to the Future" when I was younger, but never did I sit through from the opening scene to the ending credits. Finally in the year 2013, after 28 memorable years of movies, I can proudly say that I have finally seen one of the greatest blockbusters of all time.

28 years... it's really been that long? Undoubtedly, "Back to the Future" shows some age: Michael J. Fox is extremely young, the special effects look dated, and the camerawork isn't on the same caliber as today's standards. But those are only just minor complaints for an otherwise impeccably well-made film. What holds it up after the test of time? It's the interesting premise involving the paradox of time travel that still continues to be mimicked by multiple other Sci-fi flicks. Premise alone is nothing, but with effective drama, real tension, and entertaining narrative dips and dives, "Back to the Future" manages to be a well-rounded blockbuster movie. "Back to the Future" was and still is a one-of-a-kind.

With a new generation of film lovers coming our way, I'm afraid that "Back to the Future"'s gonna be forgotten in a pile of other movies that were directly influenced by "Back to the Future" itself. Don't let its age scare you. It is worth your time and is one of those few rare flicks that is rewatchable time and time again.
November 30, 2013
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

Smart, innovating and classical in every way. Robert Zemeckis' sci-fi adventure is filled with historical references that's constructive and filled with joy and laughter. Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd provide a masterful form of chemistry that is a rarity in film. 4.5/5
July 24, 2013
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

A highly entertaining time-travel film that perfectly balances comedy and drama. The characters are memorable and the story is suspenseful and hilarious. Also, great score by Alan Silvestri.
January 9, 2013
Market Man
Eric Shankle

Super Reviewer

    1. Marty McFly: He's a peeping tom!
    – Submitted by Jesse F (4 months ago)
    1. Bum: Crazy drunk drivers.
    – Submitted by Deven P (6 months ago)
    1. Dr. Emmett Brown: Roads? Where we're going we don't need... roads!
    – Submitted by Deven P (6 months ago)
    1. Biff Tannen: I'm going to get that son of a bitch.
    – Submitted by Matthew D (8 months ago)
    1. Lorraine Baines: He's an absolute dream!
    – Submitted by Chloe B (12 months ago)
    1. Dr. Emmett Brown: I'm sure in 1985 plutonium is in every corner drug store, but in 1955, its a little hard to come by! I'm sorry, but I'm afraid you're stuck here
    – Submitted by Kevin D (15 months ago)
View all quotes (75)

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Foreign Titles

  • Zurück in die Zukunft (DE)
  • Back to The Future (UK)
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