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Back to the Future Part II Review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    57

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Dave Kehr

    A movie that must spend most of its running time explaining its hopelessly complicated premises, which leaves very little room for anything much to happen. [22 Nov 1989, p.C1]

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    I should have brought a big yellow legal pad to the screening, so I could take detailed notes just to keep the time-lines straight. And yet the movie is fun, mostly because it's so screwy.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The New York Times Janet Maslin

    Back to the Future deserved a chance to come back, especially under the cheerful, enterprising, mathematically minded stewardship of Mr. Zemeckis and Mr. Gale. Their new film isn't an ordinary sequel. It's as if the earlier film had been squared.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    All in all, Future II is another fantastic voyage in a thoroughly entertaining contraption.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    Time Richard Schickel

    It twists it, shakes it and stands it on its ear. But as before, the film's technical brilliance is the least of its appeals. Satirically acute, intricately structured and deftly paced, it is at heart stout, good and untainted by easy sentiment.

  • See all Back to the Future Part II reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 10 & under

Amusing futuristic sequel more dated, edgier than original.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the second installment in this hit time-travel trilogy is slightly more "PG-13" than "PG." You'll find more language (including "s--t" and "a--hole"), sexual references (including jokes about breast implants and allusions to adultery and threesomes), and negative role models (the plot includes a lot of Biff in all three time periods) than in the first movie, so it may be an iffy pick for early-elementary-aged kids. But for mature older tweens -- or kids who've already enjoyed the original -- the visuals about the movie's "future" and the physical comedy will entertain, even if the time-travel twists can get confusing.

  • Families can talk about how this movie compares to the original Back to the Future. How is Marty's family dilemma different in 2015 than it was in 1955? What are some differences between the original and the sequel? Which one do you like better, and why?
  • What makes Biff such an unredeemed, unapologetic nemesis? How are his motives for time travel back to the '50s different than Marty and Doc's?
  • The "future" is set in 2015, a year that's not so futuristic now. How does real life compare to the future depicted in the 1980s?
  • Did all of the time travel make sense, or was it to difficult to follow? What are some other time travel-themed movies that explore similar themes of trying to right past wrongs?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: One of the movie's pervasive messages is that if you could change any one thing, it should obviously be to make yourself rich. That said, Marty's time travel demonstrates the importance of family (whereas Biff's desire for time travel is rooted solely in greed and materialism). The movie also has a strong theme about not letting what other people think of you bother you.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Marty and Doc Brown are once again brave and selfless protagonists trying to undo the wrongs of time travel. Biff, on the other hand, only cares about making money and terrorizing and one-upping everyone he knows, especially the McFly family.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: A character is seen shot by terrorists but escapes injury. A bully makes several threats. Some dark/ominous imagery.

  • sex false2

    Sex: More sexual innuendo than in the original. In addition to a couple of quick kisses between Marty and his girlfriend, there are references to breast implants and size, infidelity and unwanted advances. In onescene, a married male character is shown with his arms draped around two swimsuit-clad groupies in a hot tub.

  • language false3

    Language: Words not usually associated with PG movies are used a few times, including "s--t," "bitch," and "a--hole." Other language includes "hell," "stupid," "suckers," "butthead," and "loser."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Product placements include Nike, Pepsi, Texaco, Black & Decker, and AT&T, all of which are sort of poked fun at, since the movie is set in the once-distant future. And, of course, there's the famous DeLorean.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Marty's mother obviously likes to drink, and references are made to her possibly being a "drunk." Biff is shown with a drink in his hand.

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