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Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 119 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 17
  2. Negative: 2 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Feb 7, 2013
    90
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    Feb 7, 2013
    80
    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.
  3. Reviewed by: Jay Boyar
    Feb 13, 2013
    70
    To answer the second-most pressing question first, the new movie is not as exhilarating as the original. To answer the most pressing question second, the new film is a lot of fun anyway. [22 Nov 1989, p.E1]
  4. Reviewed by: Desmond Ryan
    Feb 13, 2013
    63
    Fans of the original should relish going back to Back to the Future, as long as they keep in mind that in movies - as in life - you can't go home again. And if you do, things aren't likely to be the same. [22 Nov 1989, p.E1]
  5. Reviewed by: Dave Kehr
    Feb 7, 2013
    50
    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]
  6. Reviewed by: Desson Thomson
    Feb 7, 2013
    50
    Future II bombards you with more brand-name advertising than three hours of prime-time TV could muster, although repeat filmmakers Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis put a humorous twist on everything.
  7. Reviewed by: Jay Scott
    Feb 7, 2013
    25
    Given Part II's quality, the final sequence, a series of clips from next summer's Part III, may be a major miscalculation. "To be concluded," reads the final title. Sounds more like a threat than a promise. [22 Nov 1989, p.C9]

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Mar 14, 2014
    10
    i love back to the future 2 it has biff all over it . at least it is better the part 3 . all i can say is back to the future is super great go **** good Expand
  2. May 8, 2013
    10
    Just as good as the first one, with a great and intelligent story, great acting, perfect music, and cool visual in the time. One of my favorite movies of all time. Expand
  3. Oct 4, 2013
    10
    This is my favourite chapter in the trilogy. The original is still like listening to a rock song in 1955, but the second one is like having a time machine to yourself while you watch it. It's smart, takes many different turns, and it didn't confuse me. I don't see why people say it's confusing. Expand
  4. Apr 18, 2014
    9
    BttF 2 is certainly made of the same stock as 1.

    It's still got great acting, music, and pretty much all the strengths of the first one,
    which was strong all-round.

    This one does suffer from two of its parts though.

    One is that the true strength of BttF 1 was how everything was seamless and perfectly fitting, like a machine that never, ever made any mistakes. Every plot thread, scene, character, did all it had to do, none of them may have shined extremely bright but they all did a perfect job.

    In this one, the plot threads don't really work as well. One of the most important elements of BttF2 is that you can't have 2 same people meet or else that'll create a time paradox. Here, when Biff from 1955 meets Biff from 2015...nothing happens. I know Young Biff doesn't recognise Old Biff, but still, the plot point falls apart, and it's one of the bigger plot points of the movie.
    Other elements like how Doc Brown refuses to change the future, but gets Marty to change the future to save his kids, is a bit ridiculous. If he's ready to change the future that much, why not help Marty stop being an idiot and not get in the car accident he's supposed to get in? It's not much of a stretch and it'd certainly help much.
    Most scenes do their job as well as in the first movie, but don't feel as tight. Why?...The first one had a pretty much flawless quality of always introducing plot devices, foreshadowing and emotional relationships statuses without any asperity to it. The leaflet that informs you that the clock tower will be struck at exactly 10:04? Perfectly introduced. The meeting between Marty's mum and him instead of his 1955 dad? Perfectly introduced.

    Here, it's not so good. Things that happen don't make as much sense and/or are a bit too easy or not as well executed. It's not far worse, just slightly, but while the first one was constantly amazing with that, this one isn't.

    The second thing that doesn't work too well in this movie is how drastically it travels through time. You go to the future, an alternate present, the past, all in one movie. It's fine in terms of logic and sense(mostly anyway) but emotionally, it's not. You don't have the time to build emotion for any of the characters in this movie, except for the ones you already know from the last movie.
    Granted, that's pretty much 90% of them...But that's the issue. They bring almost nothing new to the table. There's certainly a lot of tension and emotion for Marty and Doc's predicaments, but not for their characters, or any new characters. The alternate 1985 Biff and Lorraine? You don't see them long. Old Biff? Don't see him long. Young Biff, you know him from the last movie.
    Marty and Doc end up on the upper end of this since they have a lot of screen time and we already know them and learn more about them, but they're really the exception.

    Apart from these inferiorities, BttF2 is definitely still a great watch. It's still fun, full of tension and action and comedy, and although quite more sad and tragic than the last one, it's just as good as a lighthearted story.
    Expand
  5. Nov 29, 2013
    8
    This is one of those movies that make a sequel and the sequel is actually good. It has even better acting with a good story that shows the past, present, and future. It had better graphics, and follows the events after the first film. Although it's not the best one, it still a good film. Expand
  6. Sep 19, 2013
    7
    Doesn't hold a candle to the first one, but Back to the Future Part II is better than most sequels. Marty McFly is back, and the premise is still interesting and fresh. I still enjoyed it. Expand
  7. Mar 24, 2014
    5
    You’ll come out of this film with either two reactions. One it was a fun time travel movie that had me on the edge of my seat. Another reaction you’ll have is this movie had no heart and just had the characters running around the whole time and never let you breathe and either way you’ll be right. For me it s a combo of the two. While this was a fun movie it was nowhere near as good as the first one with characters constantly running around and the film never giving the audience or the characters a chance to breathe. There was not much story or character to this film just one giant marathon that you are exhausted at, which makes it nowhere near is as good as the first one. Thankfully, some of this running around is fun and makes it a decent watch but at the same time it destroys a perfectly good movie. This sequel didn’t need to exist but at the same time it could have been worse. If you love the first film I’d recommend skipping this film so you’ll just have that one really good one in your head. If you’re curious check it out as it is not awful its just the first one was so much better where this one is just generic. To reiterate as a film on its own its alright but as a sequel to Back to the Future one of the best movies I have ever seen it is a massive let down lacking substance and is a whole lot of nothing. Expand

See all 12 User Reviews