A film by Robert Zemeckis

Back to the Future is a movie that really defies categorization. It is part science-fiction, comedy, action, adventure, romance, and a teen movie. Combining all of that with the direction of Robert Zemeckis and the charm of Michael J Fox and you pull a really good movie out of something that could have been really cheesy and dumb.

It is 1985 and Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) stops by the house of his friend, the scientist Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd). Doc calls Marty and tells Marty to meet him at 1 am at the Twin Pines Mall. Marty does and learns that the project Doc has been working on is a Time Machine, one made from a DeLorean (a mid-80 s car with a distinctive design). Doc shows Marty how it works, but terrorists come to kill Doc because he stole Plutonium from them instead of making them a bomb (just work with me here). Marty escapes in the DeLorean but the Time Circuits are still on and read November 1955. As the car hits 88 miles per hour, Marty is sent back in time (the particular day is the day Doc came up with the idea for time travel).

Marty does not at first believe when he is, but Hill Valley is different, cleaner and it is obviously not 1985 anymore. Knowing that Doc is the only one who can help him get back to 1985, Marty heads to Doc s house, but not without interacting with George McFly (Crispin Glover) and Lorraine Baines (Lea Thompson). George and Lorraine are Marty s parents, or they will be in the future. What Marty has done was interfere with his parents meeting and falling in love and thus jeopardizing his future. Doc, while initially disbelieving, comes to believe Marty s story and insists that Marty must find away for his parents to meet and fall for each other or Marty will never have been born (and thus will no longer exist). Doc is also working to find a way for Marty to return home.

This is such a sweet movie. It is funny, and is still a blast to watch after all these years. What helps make this movie as good as it is (besides the absolutely stellar performances by everyone in the cast) is the attention to detail. Every action affects something else, both in the era the scene happens in as well as in the future. A destruction of a pine tree will change the Twin Pine Mall into the Lone Pine Mall, and Marty s influence will change what kind of man and father George will be, which will in turn change the lives of Marty s siblings. There are so many little things that are affected in this movie and lines that are almost throwaway lines but they continue to build the believability of the era. Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies (and movie series) and it is a welcome part of my collection.