Back to the Future parents guide

Back to the Future Parent Review

Overall C+

Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) accidentally time travels back to 1955, thanks to Dr. Emmett Brown's (Christopher Lloyd) souped-up DeLorean. Meeting up with his younger Mom and Dad (Lea Thompson and Crispin Glover), the teen desperately tries to get Back to the Future before his visit alters history permanently.

Violence D+
Sexual Content B-
Profanity C
Substance Use C-

Back to the Future is rated PG

Movie Review

Twenty-five years after it first released in theaters, Back to the Future blasts into home theaters on Blu-ray.

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In the movie, Michael J. Fox stars as Marty McFly, the youngest son of an alcoholic mother (Lea Thompson) and a faint-hearted father (Crispin Glover) who is still browbeaten by an old high school classmate (Thomas F. Wilson). The teen has two older siblings, Linda (Wendie Jo Sperber) and Dave (Marc McClure), and a gorgeous girlfriend (Claudia Wells) that he plans to take on an intimate camping excursion.

But Marty’s best pal seems to be the eccentric Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd). The wild-eyed inventor has enough clout with the high school student to drag him out of bed in the middle of the night to help him test a new time traveling car in the parking lot of the local mall. Unfortunately the trial goes horribly wrong. Emmett, who apparently stole a supply of plutonium for his machine, is gunned down with an automatic rifle by some angry terrorists. In the chaos that follows, Marty jumps into the doctor-altered DeLorean and speeds away only to find he has time traveled back to 1955.

Trying to get his bearings in the unfamiliar decade, Marty accidently bumps into his future parents, Lorraine Baines and George McFly. The chance meeting alters the course of history and proves to be disastrous when Lorraine begins to fall in love with him instead of George. Evidence of this is found in a family photo Marty has in his pocket. As he watches, he and his siblings begin to fade away. Unless he can set things right, the change will be permanent. Tracking down a much younger Emmett Brown, Marty begs the doctor to help him find a way back to the future.

For anyone who lived through the 80s, this film, packed with references to cultural items like Pepsi Free, Darth Vader and a Walkman, becomes a nostalgic trip back in time. Other forgotten tidbits may be some of the content issues in Back to the Future. Profanities are prominent fillers in the script, which contains frequent expletives along with some racially derogatory terms and sexually suggestive dialogue. As well, Marty discovers his parents aren’t quite as pure and wholesome as they led him to believe. First he catches George hiding in a tree in order to watch Lorraine undress. And later his prospective mother tries to make out with him before a school dance.

While this anniversary release may be a journey down memory lane for many parents, some moms and dads might want to push pause when it comes to showing this classic to their children.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson. Running time: 116 minutes. Theatrical release July 3, 1985. Updated

Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Back to the Future here.

Back to the Future Parents Guide

What impact does Marty have on the future when he goes back in time? What does he discover about his parents?

If you could change one thing in the past, what would it be? Would you want to know what happens in your future?

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