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Back To The Future (1985)

Great Scot! At long last the time travel phenomenon makes it to DVD.

Rating: 10/10

Running Time: 116 minutes

US Certificate: PG UK Certificate: PG


None of the stream of adventure comedies to come out of the 1980s ever topped 1985's “Back to the Future”, a wonderfully executed family sci-fi masterpiece that went on to spawn two sequels.

Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd have never been better than in this highly original take on the sci-fi world's fascination with time travel. Unlikely best friends Marty McFly (Fox) and Doc Emmett Brown (Lloyd), a school-skipping teenager and crackpot inventor, find themselves whisked back to 1955 in a time machine stylishly created in the shape of a DeLorean. Things look bad for Marty when he accidentally gets in the way of his then-teenage parents falling in love with each other, and so begins a race to get the pair of them together before his own existence becomes doomed.

Amid the marvellous observations of how a teen would react to seeing his parents at his own age, there are plenty of running gags about how much Marty's home town – the fictional Hill Valley – has changed over the past 30 years. But it is the ever-reliable Lloyd who steals the show with his passionate performance as the crazy yet instantly lovable Doc Brown, complete with crazy hair and “Great Scot!” catchphrase. Thomas F. Wilson is also on top form as thick-as-mince school bully Biff Tannen.

Such is the brilliance of Robert Zemickis' direction and writing that “Back to the Future” manages to stay up-beat without becoming sickly and, even more impressively, to deal with the issue of Marty's mum developing “the hots” for him without ever becoming uncomfortable.

It's Got: One of the most memorable climaxes in movie history, and a cracking soundtrack.

It Needs: To change absolutely nothing.

DVD Extras "The Making of", feature commentary with Robert Zemickis and co-writer Bob Gale, out-takes and deleted scenes, make-up tests, production archives, storyboards and theatrical trailer. Includes some particularly interesting info on the failed casting of Eric Stoltz as Marty and Michael J. Fox’s hectic attempts to juggle movie shoots with his work on sit-com "Family Ties". DVD Extras Rating: 9/10


A joy to watch, from start to finish. An all-time classic.