Back to the Future – film review

"Back to the Future" theatrical teaser poster.
“Back to the Future” theatrical teaser poster.
Thirty-one years ago, Back to the Future warped into theaters over the July 4th weekend, eventually bringing in almost $400 million. The director and writers thought it would be popular, but it did far better than they ever expected. This success was turned into two sequels, released in 1989 and 1990.

After watching Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) get shot by Libyan terrorists, Marty McFly goes back in time to when his parents were still in high school. He saves his dad from getting hit by a car, thus making it so his parents don’t meet the way history had previously said. He spends the rest of the film trying to get them back together so he doesn’t disappear forever.

Originally conceived in 1980, the script for Back to the Future took a while to go into production. Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis finally got the green light in 1984. After some wrangling, they finally got permission to cast Michael J. Fox as the protagonist. This was fortunate, because he really made the film work. Fox’s quirky humor and comedic timing worked well with the script, and he gave Marty both a realistic depth and teenage-shallowness at the same time.

Lloyd was awesome as Doc Brown. He did a magnificent job as a crazy-yet-brilliant scientist who acted as a surrogate father figure for Marty. I think this is my favorite role by Lloyd. Together with Fox, the film was brought to a new level, far better than it would have been otherwise.

Back when Back to the Future came out, the Delorean became one of the coolest cars around, despite its boxy look. The production company had three of them, and did an amazing job making the time machine look engineered and homemade at the same time. If you get the 30th anniversary set, be sure to watch the documentary about rebuilding it.

One thing everyone remembers about this film is the music. Alan Silvestri made everything about the film more exciting with his grand score. It really made me feel like I was embarking on a great adventure, and I was. Huey Lewis and the News became even more popular through their song, “The Power of Love”, and it’s still a great song after all these years. “Back in Time” was also performed by the band, and it worked well in the end credits.

After not watching this film for several years (probably over 10), it’s still a fun ride. The only things I didn’t like in Back to the Future were the somewhat-prolific swearing and the constant innuendo. Despite those things, I still really enjoy this film just as much (perhaps more) as when I saw it in theaters 31 years ago. This is a good, solid, classic science fiction adventure.

Release Date: July 3, 1985 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG
Language: English

MySF Rating: Four point five stars
Family Friendliness: 95%


Alcohol/Drugs: 2 (frequent social and underage drinking, smoking, weed)
Language: 2 (frequent, mostly minor, some deity, some stronger)
Nudity: 1 (down-the-dress shot)
Sexuality: 2 (a lot of innuendo, distant underwear shot, attempted rape, nothing graphic)
Violence: 1 (some fisticuffs, some blood)

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