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Back to the Future

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This film has been preserved in the National Film Registry in 2007.

Back to the Future
Back to the Future poster.jpg
"When this baby hits 88 miles per hour, you're gonna see some serious shit." -Doc Brown
Genre: Comedy Adventure
Directed By: Robert Zemeckis
Produced By: Bob Gale
Neil Canton
Written By: Robert Zemeckis
Bob Gale
Starring: Michael J. Fox
Christopher Lloyd
Lea Thompson
Crispin Glover
Cinematography: Dean Cundey
Distributed By: Universal Pictures
Release Date: July 3, 1985
Runtime: 116 minutes
Country: United States
Budget: $19 million
Box Office: $388.8 million
Franchise: Back to the Future
Sequel: Back to the Future Part II

Back to the Future is a 1985 American science fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis, and written by Zemeckis and Bob Gale. It stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, and Thomas F. Wilson. Set in 1985, the story follows Marty McFly (Fox), a teenager accidentally sent back to 1955 in a time-traveling DeLorean automobile built by his eccentric scientist friend Doctor Emmett "Doc" Brown (Lloyd). Trapped in the past, Marty inadvertently prevents his future parents' meeting—threatening his existence—and is forced to reconcile the pair and somehow get back to the future.

Back to the Future was a critical and commercial success, earning $381.1 million to become the highest-grossing film of 1985 worldwide. Critics praised the story, comedy, and the cast—particularly Fox, Lloyd, Thompson, and Glover. It received multiple award nominations and won an Academy Award, Saturn Awards, and a Hugo Award. Its theme song, "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News, was a significant success globally.

In the years since its release, Back to the Future has grown in esteem and is now considered to be one of the greatest films of all time. In 2007, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry. The film was followed by two sequels, Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Back to the Future Part III (1990). With its effect on popular culture and a dedicated fan following, Back to the Future launched a multimedia franchise. This includes an animated television series, video games, comic books, board games, clothing, music, books, food, toys, collectibles, and theme park rides. Its enduring popularity has led to numerous books about its production, documentaries, and commercials.


In 1985, small-town California teen Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is thrown back into 1955 when an experiment by his eccentric scientist friend Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) goes awry. Traveling through time in a modified DeLorean car, Marty encounters young versions of his parents (Crispin Glover, Lea Thompson), and must make sure that they fall in love or he'll cease to exist. Even more dauntingly, Marty has to return to his own time and save the life of Doc Brown.

Why It Reaches 88 Miles Per Hour

  1. It's one of those rare films where nearly everything works.
  2. The movie presents a clever and well-written story focused on time travels for comedy purposes that still don't affect the sci-fi/fantasy feeling of the movie. It's perhaps the best movie focused on time travel.
  3. The concept of traveling back in time is extremely creative gives very interesting topics such as: What it would be like to meet your own parents when they were younger?
  4. An awesome protagonist duo by Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd who have excellent chemistry.
  5. Marty McFly and Doctor Brown are two of the most iconic characters ever.
    • They even inspired the titular characters from Rick and Morty!
  6. Fantastic direction from Robert Zemeckis.
  7. Iconic Poster design.
  8. A lot of funny dialogue, like:
    • "GREAT SCOTT!"
    • "1.21 GIGAWATTS!"
    • "Roads? Where we're going we don't need, roads"
  9. Plenty of memorable and iconic moments:
    • The opening scene where Marty gets launched by his guitar rock due to the extremely loud sound.
    • Doc and Marty testing the DeLorean for the first time.
    • The skateboard chase.
    • Marty playing Johnny B. Goode at the school dance, one of the movie's highlights.
    • And of course, the extremely tense clock tower sequence which is without a doubt one of the greatest movie climaxes of all time.
  10. A pretty good choice for the actors who portray very their interesting characters. Thomas F. Wilson especially plays a great villain with Biff Tannen, but the movie also offers good performances by Crispin Glover as George McFly and Lea Thompson as Lorraine McFly.
  11. It features the DeLorean time machine which became an iconic vehicle in the movie industry and a pop culture icon.
  12. Memorable musical score by Alan Silvestri with two highlights:
  13. It's one of the most memorable 80s movies.

Bad Qualities

  1. Big Plot Hole: How come Marty's parents don't recognize him in the future as the guy who set them up when they were young? One could argue that a long time has passed, but Marty was essential in their relationship.
  2. This film seriously stretches out its PG rating with their level of content. Aside from one of the leads being gunned down near the beginning, (this gets retconned and undone by later events, but still) there's also Marty's plan to get George and Lorraine together at the dance which involves him faking a rape attempt on his own mother, which was then broken up by a real rape attempt from Biff. Not to mention the potential incest young Lorraine gives to her future son Marty. This is a family movie, right?
  3. Principal Strickland can sometimes be unlikeable when it comes to treating students as "slackers", but it's understandable to teach them that lesson for their troubles. In a deleted scene, he doesn't help George from getting locked at the payphone and only tells him the lesson about "slackers" and leaves.
  4. Mark Dixon is just like Biff Tannen who uses a "kick me" paper on George's back. In the deleted scene, he locks George with a trident while he was calling in the payphone booth.
  5. Some of the special effects have become obvious as time went on.
  6. Misleading title: The title depicts "future", but Marty and Doc Brown time travels to the past. The same thing in Back to the Future: Part III where it does not time travel to the future, but rather in the past.


Back to the Future was critically acclaimed by critics, and audiences alike, it was praised for the story, comedy, and the cast—particularly Fox, Lloyd, Thompson, and Glover. Rotten Tomatoes assesses a 96% approval rating from the aggregated reviews of 83 critics, with an average rating of 8.80/10. The consensus reads, "Inventive, funny, and breathlessly constructed, Back to the Future is a rousing time-travel adventure with an unforgettable spirit.". The film has a score of 87 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 15 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".


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