back to the future trilogy

Undoubtedly the greatest film series there ever was is Back to the Future. Sod Star Wars, this is where it’s at. And so, to commemorate my love for a great sci-fi series, I thought I’d list them from worst to best. Because while I do love the series, some of the films are much better than others. You can probably tell which is the worst without even having to read it in big bold letters below this paragraph.

But regardless of that, it’s definitely true that Back to the Future holds a dear place in many hearts. My heart for instance, is probably dying because of my caffeine in take. No matter, it still loves Back to the Future. The series itself has created lasting memories that I look back on with delight and awe, and it’s a pleasure to be counting the three films down from worst to best.

Back to the Future III (1990)

Michael J. Fox pictured as Marty McFly – Back to the Future III (1990)

iMDB: 7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Roger Ebert: 2.5/4

Oh come on, what were you expecting. Were you really expecting Back to the Future III to be anywhere else on this list? Lets get one thing straight, it’s a good film. But that is the problem. It’s just that. A good film, whereas the other two in the series are great films. There was a certain jeopardy about the future in the first two films, and it just doesn’t transfer well into the final film. When I watch these films back to back, I often find myself just watching the film and not taking in anything else. By this point I was tired out, much like the series itself was.

It was still as funny, I guess. Back to the Future III has its moments but just sits as a western comedy that doesn’t know what to really do with itself. There isn’t any of the confusing time travel charm that made the first two films so enjoyable. It has a firm foot in 1885 and doesn’t seem like it wants to go anywhere else. Still, it wasn’t that bad, the dialogue was witty and creative as ever and the action was still there, but in bigger doses this time. Above all, it was a fitting conclusion to the trilogy, which is more than satisfying.

Back to the Future (1985)

iMDB: 8.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Roger Ebert: 3.5/4

I’m pretty sure this is some form of treason, right? How can the first not be the best? Well, critically it was the best, but personally, it was a very close second. I’m not honestly too sure why that is. What I liked so much about the film as a whole is that it tackles time travel in a unique way. There are a lot of time travel cliches and Back to the Future manages to avoid the majority of them.

So why isn’t this my favourite of the three? Because, lets be honest, out of the three, this one is the prominently remembered film of the series. Well, I feel as if it played it a little safe when compared to the second film. Don’t get me wrong, I do adore this film, but when you compare what happens in the first to the second, well, there’s a big difference. The first film focuses on one thing and does it well. The second film focuses on lots of things and does it all well.

Back to the Future II (1989)

Elisabeth Shue, Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd pictured in the opening scenes of the second film. – Back to the Future II (1989).

iMDB: 7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Roger Ebert: 3/4

There we go, my personal favourite Back to the Future film. I’ll be the first to admit, the second film doesn’t come out unscathed. It loses a bit of the charm the first one has. However, this is fine considering it replaced it with one of the most zany and off the wall plots imaginable. That’s probably the main reason I loved it so much.

This off the wall plot with unfinished plot threads lying everywhere is perfect for a person like me. It allows myself, and other fans of the movie, to have their own opinion on what happens or has happened. Hell, I have a small little notebook that I jot down my own theories in when watching the movie. It annoys my friends how little they make sense, but they make sense to me personally.

And that’s what this second film does, it appeals to someone like me personally. Someone who wants to invest themselves in a lore where there is a hell of a lot of space for changes. I love how the plot jumps around like a man on a hot plate. We go from 1985 to 2015 to alternate 1985 to 1955 and back to 1985 which is technically an alternate version too. Maybe I’ll share a theory or two about this film at some point. I love it enough to do so.

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Jon V.

I personally liked the second film most!


I don’t have an opinion on part 3 because I haven’t seen it in a while but I have to massively disagree about 1 and 2. 2 did have a great plot, but the execution just wasn’t as on point as it was in 1. 2 was much too hammy for a lot of the movie. The first third in 2015 is pretty bad, almost cringe-worthy. The 2nd third in alternate 1985 was better but still not good. The last third in 1955 is enjoyable. Once again, it had a much more complex and interesting plot than 1 but it… Read more »