Back to the Future (1985)

back to the future poster 1985 movie michael j fox
9.5 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Holds up well, good story

Some dated effects

Movie Info

Movie Name: Back to the Future

Studio: Amblin Entertainment

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

Release Date(s): July 3, 1985

MPAA Rating: PG


Doc…don’t stand so close to me

Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) accidentally is sent back from 1985 for 1955 via a suped-up DeLorean and finds that he not only has to get back to the future, but save his parents’ future marriage or he and his brothers and sisters might never exist…this is a problem because his mother (Lea Thompson) has fallen in love with him and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) who invented the time machine thinks he might be crazy.  Trying to dodge Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson) and making his father (Crispin Glover) out as a hero has Marty longing for 1985.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, Back to the Future became an instant classic.  The movie was a blockbuster hit and well received by critics and fans.  It won an Academy Award for Best Effects, Best Sound Effects Editing and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, Best Sound, and Best Original Song for “The Power of Love”.


The McFlys 1950 Family Photo

Back to the Future was the start of the franchise that included two sequels, a cartoon, and even a ride at Universal Studios. The movie actually has held up very well. The special effects can be a bit cheesy with some bad blue screen technology, but fortunately a strong story gets over the little problems.

By setting “the future” in 1985, it locks in a time. McFly’s outfits can be dated because it is 1985 and that is what people wore at the time. His trip back to 1955 allowed for old technology and lots of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court type jokes. A lot of the jokes might go over some younger kids heads (Tab & Pepsi Free references seem kind of obscure by today’s standards). For the most part however cheesy, these references are smartly written and well thought out. The plot is not convoluted and as overly twisty as the sequels that begin to feel a bit too much of themselves.


Hey…yeah…I rock…

The cast does a great job, and Michael J. Fox proved that he was a star with this movie. He works well with all the other actor. In my opinion, the uncomfortable moments with his mother in 1955 (played by Lea Thompson) are magnified by the fact that in Part II, his girlfriend (played by Claudia Wells in this film), is replaced by Elizabeth Shue who I always thought looked a lot like Lea Thompson…so maybe Marty does have a mother-complex.

As for the time travel stuff, I always have a problem with that in movies because I’ve always been under the opinion, that if time travel is possible, it has already happened, so the past can’t change the future. Yes, that can take the fun out of a movie, but don’t let it consume your reasoning while watching this. (Ok that also eliminates the idea of divergent realities but if there is a thing as divergent reality, that means anything in the past doesn’t matter anyway…new timeline).

Back to the Future is a classic.  I remember going to it in the theater (it is the first movie that I can remember seeing with a lot of swearing).  Even though I hadn’t seen it in probably 15 years, I still enjoyed it, and think it is definitely worth revisiting.  Back to the Future was followed by Back to the Future Part II in 1989.

Related Links:

Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Back to the Future Part III (1990)

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.

One Comment on "Back to the Future (1985)"

  1. john dent August 17, 2011 at 3:33 am - Reply

    This movie is still awesome

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