Back to the Future Part II Movie Poster Image

Back to the Future Part II



Amusing futuristic sequel more dated, edgier than original.
Popular with kids
  • Review Date: October 31, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1989
  • Running Time: 108 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive 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.

Positive 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.


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


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 one
scene, a married male character is shown with his arms draped around two swimsuit-clad groupies in a hot tub.


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."


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.

Drinking, drugs, & 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.

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.

What's the story?

In this sequel to Robert Zemeckis' wildly popular blockbuster Back to the Future, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) once again time travels -- this time not because he's fleeing terrorists but because Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) implores him to go to the future. Marty brings his girlfriend, Jennifer (Elisabeth Shue) along, and the three of them travel via DeLorean to the year 2015 in order to save Marty's future son, Marty Jr. (also Fox), from danger. During their time in 2015, aged bully Biff Tannen (Thomas S. Wilson) figures out that Marty and Doc have traveled from the past and decides to go back with a sports almanac to 1955 give his younger self an easy way to become rich by betting on winners. That change in the space-time continuum causes all sorts of devastating changes for Marty's present (1985), so he and Doc head all the way back to the '50s to stop Biff.

Is it any good?


There are downsides to this installment that make it less exciting than the original. As with The Matrix, a few critics regard the Back to the Future trilogy as one milestone original and two less-memorable sequels -- particularly this one. Admittedly, there's still plenty of nostalgia value and amusement at the expense of the once distant, now all-too-imaginable future depicted here, and Fox and Lloyd continue to be a winning comedic combination. But the plot's overdependence on the annoying Biff character; the replacement of Crispin Glover, who so deftly played Marty's meek father George McFly; the fact that Fox and Wilson have to play more than one person; and the simple lack of novelty with the time-travel concept are but a few of the reasons this sequel is
fun but not fantastic.

Parents who grew up in the '80s may be surprised at how dated BACK TO THE FUTURE II feels, even though it was obviously made after the original, which still holds up after 25 years. It will remain, however, one of those movies that Generation Xers gravitate to and introduce to their kids. Children will get a kick out of the fact that the future imagined by Zemeckis involves shimmery metallic outfits and hover-boards for the general population. Maybe in another 25 years...

Families can talk about...

  • 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 22, 1989
DVD release date:January 25, 2005
Cast:Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Michael J. Fox
Director:Robert Zemeckis
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:108 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

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Teen, 14 years old Written bycheese-process August 24, 2010

Great movie, but the common sense rating was way off.

I thought this movie was great, but the common sense rating was way off. There was lots of language, violence, (including beating), and a couple of references to rape. The grown-up version of Bif forces his wife to wear a sexy dress and then verbally abuses her. He is seen later in a hot tub with two naked women. I just thought I'd mention that, since the common sense people didn't.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Written byAnonymous October 3, 2014

Back to the Future Part II review

========================================================= Sex/Nudity: Doc looks through a binocular device to spot Marty Jr., and a woman passing by Marty Jr. wears a semi-short skirt and shows much cleavage. Another woman in 2015 Hill Valley, in a yellowish blouse, shows some cleavage. In a far shot, as the holographic commercial for Hover Conversion Systems plays, some Hare Krishnas walk by, and a few are shirtless. As Marty walks into the Café '80s, a woman passes by him to exit, wearing a skintight outfit with a thong design at the rear, outlining her bottom. Spike, the girl of Griff's gang, drags a sharp animal tooth of some kind down Marty's Jr. face and chest after he hesitates about Griff's "opportunity," asking, "What's wrong, McFly? You got no scrote?" After that last word, she grabs him by his crotch and he reacts with wide eyes and yells out, and she lifts him up off the floor and then throws him onto the counter. Spike's bra, two large cups, can be seen through her shirt. Marlene, Marty's daughter in 2015, wears a short skirt. An advertisement on the widescreen TV in the McFly household hawks the super-inflatable "TIT" (possibly an acronym, but the words aren't shown), and shows a woman with significant cleavage from it. Another shot of the TV from Jennifer's point of view shows a side view of the woman, with larger breasts and the words "For that last minute adjustment." Lorraine asks Marty Sr. if he and Jennifer are getting along and Marty replies, "Oh, yeah. Great, mom; we're more like a couple of teenagers, you know?" In one shot of the video introduction to Biff's life outside the Biff Tannen Museum, he's seen kissing Lorraine, with tongue. Lorraine shows massive cleavage and Marty, surprised, responds, "Mom? Mom, that can't be you." After Lorraine asks him if he's fine, he responds, "I'm fine, I'm fine. It's just that you're so---you're so big." Lorraine wears a dress that shows some leg. As Lorraine goes upstairs, Biff asks her who's going to pay for the things she has, and when he gets to the cosmetic surgery, she fires back, "You were the one who wanted me to get these---these things!", putting her hands around them for reference. She then says to Biff, "If you want 'em back, you can have 'em." Biff sits in a hot tub, bare-chested, between two women who also aren't wearing anything, but are covered up to the beginning of their breasts by the water. Seeing the dress Lorraine bought, Biff comments to her, "Nice dress, Lorraine, although I think you'd look better wearing nothing at all," and at that, he lifts up the back of her dress, trying to look under it. Some of the dresses worn by the girls at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance show some cleavage. Biff looks at a girlie magazine called "Oh LaLa," which includes two women showing a lot of leg on inside pages, one also showing significant cleavage, as well as the woman on the cover showing a lot of leg. After Strickland leaves, Marty retrieves the Sports Almanac from his garbage can, thinking that it is what he's looking for and he opens it, only to find that Biff put the dust jacket of the almanac onto the "Oh LaLa" magazine and more pictures are seen of women with much cleavage and leg showing, and possibly a bare breast, though it's not certain and could just be a bra. Lorraine wears a dress at the dance that shows some cleavage. 4.5/10. ========================================================= Violence: In a replay of the final moments from the first movie (though filmed differently), the DeLorean speeds into Marty's driveway, hitting a trashcan. Old Biff hits Marty on the top of his head with the knuckles that make up the handle of his cane. Old Biff hits Marty on the top of his head with his cane again after Marty, seeing Griff yell at Old Biff, asks, "Are you two related?" Griff drags Old Biff out of the exit of the Café '80s. Griff tells Marty Jr. that his "shoe's unbelted," and when Marty Jr. looks down, Griff punches him in the face and he lands on the counter. Then, Griff grabs him off the counter by the back of his jacket. Spike, the girl of Griff's gang, drags a sharp animal tooth of some kind down Marty's Jr. face and chest after he hesitates about Griff's "opportunity," asking, "What's wrong, McFly? You got no scrote?" After that last word, she grabs him by his crotch and he reacts with wide eyes and yells out, and she lifts him up off the floor, then throws him onto the counter. After Spike's act, Griff and another member of his gang grab Marty Jr. off the counter. Griff lifts Marty Jr. up and throws him at the bank of monitors behind the counter, and he lands on the floor. Griff grabs Marty (posing as Marty Jr.) by the shoulder and positions his fist at Marty's face, demanding to hear the right answer about the "opportunity." Marty shoves Griff backwards slightly. Griff points a huge bat at Marty. He swings, but hits the monitor with the Reagan impersonator on it. It falls, sparks, and shocks Griff a little bit. Marty yells at Griff, "Hey look!", and when Griff turns his head, he tries to punch him, but Griff grabs Marty's fist and grips it painfully. Marty then kicks Griff in the crotch, which makes a clanking sound, grips Griff's shoulders, and throws him at the members of his gang, knocking them all down, and he runs. Not quite in control of riding a hoverboard yet, Marty sails over two people, and they duck to the ground. Marty then rides the hoverboard too high, and he flips and falls to the ground. Griff tries to hit a passing Marty with his bat, but Marty ducks and Griff hits a taillight on his car. Marty jumps into the lake to avoid Griff's bat, and Griff and company spin around. The Pit Bull hoverboard goes out of control and it, as well as Griff and his gang, goes flying through the glass at the Hill Valley Courthouse Mall, which shatters and falls, along with them. Marty Jr. runs out of the Café '80s, smack into Old Biff, and he apologizes. Old Griff accidentally backs the DeLorean into a dumpster, which skitters backwards a bit, and cubes of garbage, some of which fall over. Jennifer reels backward from seeing the older version of herself, and faints, knocking her head against the door. In 1985-A, Marty returns to what he thinks is his own house, but finds the gate padlocked and another family living in it. A man with a bat in his hand appears in the doorway of his daughter's room, shouting at Marty, "Freeze, sucker!" Marty tells the man that he doesn't want any trouble, and the man replies, "Well you got trouble now, you piece of trash," going after Marty with the bat. Marty runs out of the way and the man hits a night table. The man runs at Marty again, but Marty ducks, and the man hits some things on top of a bookcase. "I think I made a mistake," Marty explains. "Damn right you made a mistake," the man replies, and runs at Marty again, but Marty gets out of the way again and the man hits a lamp and other items on top of a chest of drawers. Marty then runs out of the house. A gang drives by Mr. Strickland's house, shooting automatic weapons. Strickland ducks inside, and Marty dives behind a wall, as flower pots explode on the ledge and dirt flies. There are also holes made in the side of the house from the gunfire. One of Biff's men, standing behind Marty, hits him on the head, knocking him out. Lorraine tells Biff that he isn't half the man George was, and Biff grabs her by the shoulder and shoves her to the floor. In a scene from "A Fistful of Dollars" that's playing on a TV monitor above Biff's hot tub, a man fires at Joe (Clint Eastwood) three times, and Joe looks like he's slumped over. Then, Joe gets up and shows a piece of metal he was wearing, a makeshift bullet-proof vest, with the holes in it from the bullets, and drops it to the ground. Marty throws Biff's matchbook tray at him in an attempt to escape. Biff ducks, and one of the sharp points lands in the fabric of his chair. Biff fires a gun at Marty, who ducks, and the shot shatters a stack of glasses. Biff does the same thing a second later, Marty jumps over the couch and ducks, and that shot shatters a lamp. Biff fires yet again as Marty runs up the stairs, and the shot breaks off a piece of the railing. Doc opens his gull-wing bay door of the DeLorean, hits Biff in the face with it, and Biff falls to the ground. Lorraine hits Biff on his chest. Lorraine kicks Biff on the leg and then hits him on the head with her dress box. After Biff gets a saying wrong, Old Biff slaps him on the back of his head. Strickland shoves Biff and smacks his chest with the Sports Almanac. Strickland unknowingly backs his chair onto Marty's hand, and Marty reacts without screaming. From a window, Biff is seen grabbing and twisting George's arm. Lorraine jumps on Biff's back and beats on him to try to get him to stop hurting George. George punches Biff in the face and he spins around, hitting the car behind him. Marty punches Biff in the face after he recovers, knocking him out a second time. Marty crawls on a structure above the stage and as Biff's gang gets ready to attack the other him, Marty lets go of a rope that drops sandbags onto the gang, knocking them out. Previous Marty from the first film rushes out and pushes open the door to the gym, which hits Current Marty in the face. Biff kicks the car door Marty's holding onto and the Sports Almanac flies up and lands on the windshield. Biff turns the car wildly to try to get Marty off of it and kicks the car door again. During a spin, Marty hits some bushes. Biff turns the car sharply toward a corner of the entrance to the tunnel. Marty ducks down and the right side of the car hits a wall, a few sparks fly, and it rides that way for a few seconds. Biff punches Marty twice in the face while he hangs on the right side of the car. Marty falls backward, comes back up, and Biff tries to punch him again, but Marty ducks. Biff's car crashes sideways into the back of a manure truck. 5.5/10. ========================================================= Blood/Gore: After arriving in 2015, Doc begins to peel off his face, or at least a covering of some sort, telling Marty that he went to a rejuvenation clinic and got a "whole natural overhaul," including a "change of blood," though that's only mentioned. Some blood is seen on a chalk outline of a victim at a crime scene in 1985-A. A slight stream of blood is seen at the side of Biff's mouth while he's on the ground, and more prominently when he faces Marty later in front of an entrance to the high school gym, as well as a bit down his left nostril. Dried blood is seen under Biff's left nostril while he's in the tunnel. Biff's car crashes sideways into the back of a manure truck, and manure spills into his car, dust pluming. After the mess has settled, he spits out a chunk of it. 3.5/10 - Mild. ========================================================= Profanity: At least 8 "s" words, 1 slang term for breasts ("t*t," seen on the TV screen in the McFly household), 23 hells, 17 damns, 4 asses (1 used with "hole"), 6 S.O.B.'s (and 3 incomplete ones), 2 bitches, and 2 uses of "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "G-damn," "Oh, God" and "Jesus" as exclamations. 5/10. ========================================================= Alcohol/Drugs: A car stops short of Marty Jr. and after yelling at the driver that he's walking, he also yells, "Don't drive trank!", which possibly means "drunk." A female cop gets out of a police car in front of the McFly residence, looks around and says, "Hilldale. Nothing but a breeding ground for tranks, lobos and zipheads." Tranks may mean "drunks," lobos could mean "homeless" or "winos," and zipheads could be referring to those addicted to drugs. Jennifer asks what's going on as she's escorted into the McFly residence by the two police officers and one of them replies, "You got a little tranked." Marty bumps into a homeless man in 1985-A, whom he recognizes as Red, who says, "Watch where you're going. ...Crazy drunk pedestrian." As a tank cruises down the street, a biker waves a beer bottle. A man passes Marty, holding a beer can. Lorraine holds a glass of alcohol, and drinks from it twice, once in Biff's presence and once after he leaves. As Biff follows her, Lorraine grabs a bottle from a side table and pours more alcohol into her glass. Lorraine then puts the bottle on a counter that has a cluster of other bottles. As Lorraine goes upstairs after announcing to Biff that she's leaving, Biff asks her who's going to pay for what she has, such as her liquor. Biff holds a square glass of alcohol as he walks into his office. 3-D, a member of 1955 Biff's gang, pours alcohol into the punch at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. 3-D pours the rest of the liquor onto the pavement outside and when Biff demands that his gang get going to find Marty, he hands the bottle to Biff and says, "Drink up Biff." As the gang walks away, Biff throws the empty glass bottle and it shatters offscreen. Mr. Strickland walks around Biff and asks, "Is that liquor I smell, Tannen?" Biff replies, "Uh, I, I wouldn't know. I don't know what liquor smells like 'cause I'm too young to drink it." Strickland takes a bottle out of his desk and pours some alcohol into a coffee mug. During that scene, he drinks from the mug five times, occasionally reacting to the strength of the liquor. 5.5/10. ========================================================= Smoking: Lorraine smokes once in a car with the Marty from the first "Back to the Future." On the stationary logo for "Biff Tannen's Pleasure Paradise," Biff has a cigar in his mouth and is lighting it with burning dollar bills. 1.5/10. ========================================================= While it isn't as good as the first film, Back to the Future is a great time-travel film and is one of my all-time favourites. I give it an 8/10. =========================================================
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byWhatdoIthink? April 9, 2008
Whoa! I'm glad they made the third one even though this was so bad. Not only was it an insult to the trilogy, but it was much more inappropriate than the other two. I wouldn't even watch it with kids <12.


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