Back To The Future review

From the opening tracking shot of the clocks and homemade inventions of Doc Brown to his own triumphant last lines ("Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads"), Back To The Future is as close to entertainment perfection as you're ever likely to see. While superficially a science fiction story, it's also a family drama, a romance, a comedy and a period piece all rolled into one.

After a time travel experiment goes wrong, Marty McFly (Fox) ends up in 1955. Being hit by a car sets off a chain of events which put his very existence in jeopardy. He seeks out a much younger version of his friend the eccentric but brilliant Doc Brown (Lloyd), whose genius got him to the '50s in the first place. But the only way he can get "back to the future" is by ensuring that his mum and dad get together, something which is unlikely to happen since she thinks he's a dreamboat...

While Back To The Future was not the first and almost certainly won't be the last time travel story, it is perhaps the simplest and most satisfying – and what cooler way to travel than in a DeLorean (and to think the machine of choice was at one point a refrigerator!)? Thanks to a sparkling script from director Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, it's consistently funny throughout, helped enormously by outstanding performances from all the principal actors. Christopher Lloyd is on especially good form and displays a dazzling array of facial expressions while let's face it, no one falls over quite as well as the always amiable Michael J Fox.

On top of all this, there's the soundtrack, a combination of classic '80s pop from Huey Lewis and the News and feelgood '50s tunes such as Marty's inspired/insane rendition of Johnny B Goode. But it's actually moments such as the opening bars of Mr Sandman as Marty discovers he's in 1955 that really provide the film with its cultural context. From the likeable characters (even the bad guys are kind of fun), great special effects (except for that bit with Marty's hand) to the philosphical musings on life itself, like all true classics Back To The Future bears repeated viewings and is still as fresh as a daisy and an absolute joy to behold from start to finish.

Back To The Future at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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