Back to the Future

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 78


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,093,982
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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 time machine. Accidentally zapped back into the 1950s, Marty inadvertently interferes with the budding romance of his now-teenaged parents. Our hero must now reunite his parents-to-be, lest he cease to exist in the 1980s. It won't be easy, especially with the loutish Biff, now also a teenager, complicating matters. Beyond its dazzling special effects, the best element of Back to the Future is the performance of Michael J. Fox, who finds himself in the quagmire of surviving the white-bread 1950s with a hip 1980s mindset. Back to the Future cemented the box-office bankability of both Fox and the film's director, Robert Zemeckis, who went on to helm two equally exhilarating sequels. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Michael J. Fox
as Marty McFly
Christopher Lloyd
as Dr. Emmett Brown
Crispin Glover
as George McFly
Lea Thompson
as Lorraine Baines
Thomas F. Wilson
as Biff Tannen
Claudia Wells
as Jennifer Parker
Marc McClure
as David McFly
Wendie Jo Sperber
as Linda McFly
George DiCenzo
as Sam Baines
James Tolkan
as Strickland
Frances Lee McCain
as Stella Baines
Harry Waters Jr.
as Marvin Berry
J.J. Cohen
as Skinhead
Donald Fullilove
as Goldie Wilson
Elsa Raven
as Clocktower Lady
Will Hare
as Pa Peabody
Ivy Bethune
as Ma Peabody
Jason Marin
as Sherman Peabody
Katherine Britton
as Peabody Daughter
Jason Hervey
as Milton Baines
Maia Brewton
as Sally Baines
Jeff O'Haco
as Terrorist Van Driver
Johnny Green
as Scooter Kid
Jamie Abbott
as Scooter Kid
Sachi Parker
as Bystander
Robert Krantz
as Bystander
Tommy Lee Thomas
as Starlighter
David Harold Brown
as Starlighter
Lloyd L. Tolbert
as Starlighter
Paul Hanson
as Pinhead
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Critic Reviews for Back to the Future

All Critics (78) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (75) | Rotten (3)

  • Zemeckis and Gale have cannily chosen the time periods, which are funny as much for their similarities (political and materalistic) as their contrasts (music, fashions, language).

    Oct 21, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Though it is hardly one of the greater flights of cinematic imagination to be seen since science fantasy reared its head as mass appeal material again, it would be virtually impossible not to enjoy it in some way or another.

    Oct 21, 2015 | Full Review…

    Derek Malcolm

    Top Critic
  • Every bit as classy, clever and cockle-warming as it was 30 years ago.

    Oct 20, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Kids and parents alike are gonna dig this wonderful fantasy.

    Jul 7, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Zemeckis and Gale have given the movie a core of feeling that makes real claims on us. For all its comedy, Back to the Future is about a kid coming to terms with his parents' inadequacies, a moment familiar to everyone, and the fulcrum in growing up.

    Jun 23, 2015 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Jun 26, 2013 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Back to the Future

  • Jun 20, 2016
    A summer blockbuster popcorn adventure not to be missed. This movie is a classic. Marty McFly is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean and has to ensure his parents still meet so he can eventually be born. This movie is great. So happy that Marty was recast and given to Michael J. Fox. Words really don't do this film justice, you just need to see it. Great adventure with perfect blend of comedy and excitement. Will be interesting to see how this current generation reacts to this film as the 80s seem so long go for them.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 05, 2016
    Back to the Future is one of the best films of the 80s and all-time! Featuring iconic lines, creativity, thrills and fun! 1.21 Gigawatts!
    Mr N Super Reviewer
  • Nov 17, 2015
    "Back To The Future" is an entertaining Action/Sci-Fi/Comedy movie. "Back To The Future" has great acting mostly from "Michael J. Fox" and "Christopher Lloyd". "Back To The Future" has an amazing plot and script. Every minute of "Back To The Future" is exciting, not one scene is dull or boring. "Back To The Future" has pretty good music to go with the scenes. I would recommend you watch "Back To The Future" if you like funny Action/Sci-Fi's. And I give it a 9/10.
    Steve G Super Reviewer
  • Oct 18, 2015
    An epic movie, part of a timeless series. A true movie classic that never ages.
    Ian W Super Reviewer

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