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Back to the Future 1985

Critics score:
96 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune: Zemeckis and Gale... give us two priceless scenes in which the young time-traveler simply regards his parents-to-be with wonderment, delight and empathy. And we cannot help but share that emotion and relate it to our own lives. Read more

Sheila Benson, Los Angeles Times: It's big, cartoonish and empty, with an interesting premise that is underdeveloped and overproduced. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: 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. Read more

Janet Maslin, New York Times: Mr. Zemeckis is able both to keep the story moving and to keep it from going too far. He handles Back to the Future with the kind of inventiveness that indicates he will be spinning funny, whimsical tall tales for a long time to come. Read more

Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader: Director Robert Zemeckis confronts the oedipal heart of the time-travel genre with this zestfully tasteless 1985 tale about a teenager (Michael J. Fox) who is projected back to 1955 and then must arrange the romance of his parents. Read more

Kathleen Carroll, New York Daily News: Kids and parents alike are gonna dig this wonderful fantasy. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: One of the mid-'80s most enduring and enjoyable confections: an infectious mix of comedy, fantasy, satire, excitement, and nostalgia. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Shows not only a fine comic touch but also some of the lighthearted humanism of a Frank Capra. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: The picture packs a wonderful wallop. Read more

Chris Peachment, Time Out: The movie has all the benign good nature of a Frank Capra. Read more

Tom Huddleston, Time Out: Every bit as classy, clever and cockle-warming as it was 30 years ago. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: 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). Read more

Variety Staff, Variety: Performances by the earnest Fox, the lunatic Lloyd, the deceptively passionate Lea Thompson, and, particularly, the bumbling-to-confident Glover, who runs away with the picture, merrily keep the ship sailing. Read more

Paul Attanasio, Washington Post: 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. Read more