Back to the Future Part III (1990)

back to the future part iii poster 1990 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

More clever ideas and fun with time travel

Uses generic time travel terminology to get the script out of problem spots

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Back to the Future Part III

Studio:  Amblin Entertainment

Genre(s): Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Family/Action/Adventure/Comedy/Western

Release Date(s): May 25, 1990

MPAA Rating: PG


Whoa! Astrotrain! He’s a Decepticon

Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) is trapped in 1885, and it is up to the Doc Brown of 1955 and the Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) of 1985 to go back in time to rescue him when Marty learns he’s destine to die at the hands of Buford “Mad Dog” Tannon (Thomas F. Wilson), Biff Tannon’s ancestor. Marty finds himself trapped in 1885 and learns a new romance for Doc with Clara Clayton (Mary Steenburgen) might complicate his chances of getting back to 1985 for good.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, Back to the Future II and III were shot at the same time and released in late fall 1989 and the summer of 1990. Back to back filming was a bit new at the time and it was nice to have a “to be continued” on a film without the fear of waiting years between the movies. Better received than Back to the Future II, Back to the Future III, turned the series in a new direction by making it a Western.


Out of time…again!

Like all the Back to the Future movies, the plot is clever and has a lot of fun with 1985 jokes in a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court sense of humor. Taking the name of Clint Eastwood, Marty has run ins with his ancestors and another version of characters he met in 1955, 1985, and 2015 (plus the alternate 1985). This creates a pretty rich environment for storytelling.

That being said, Back to the Future III isn’t my favorite movie. I think it is kind of plodding and I have some issues with the time travel ideas of the story. ****Spoiler Alert**** Apparently, after all of the trouble of all three movies, the “future is what you make of it”…meaning that nothing really mattered…so why were people disappearing etc. So Doc Brown just lied about meeting Marty again in the past, then taped that letter together in part 1, and saved himself from being killed or does that mean it never happened? How can the alternate realities exist in one movie and be erased from ever existing without causing the time paradoxes that Doc continuously warns about? It just seems that the movie uses time travel and time paradoxes when convenient for the storyline and that just feels like lazing writing.


If the future isn’t written, why have I been busting my ass the last three movies?

Back to the Future Part III in my opinion was a bigger disappointment than Part II. I have a hard time watching it and it feels too goofy at points. The first movie is great, the second movie is good, the third movie is ok. It isn’t the worst movie I’ve seen, but it just doesn’t make entire sense and tries to mask itself as a deep movie. It was followed by a cartoon series, a Universal Studio ride (which can be seen on many DVDs and Blu-Rays) and tie-in games.

Related Links:

Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the Future Part II

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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