Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 17
  2. Negative: 2 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Feb 7, 2013
    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: Ira Robbins
    Feb 7, 2013
    All in all, Future II is another fantastic voyage in a thoroughly entertaining contraption.
  3. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    Feb 7, 2013
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Feb 7, 2013
    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.
  5. Reviewed by: Jay Boyar
    Feb 13, 2013
    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]
  6. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Feb 13, 2013
    Director Robert Zemeckis and writer Bob Gale assume you've seen the original and are ready to swallow whatever zany time-travel notion they offer. They're not wrong. As unapologetically broad and silly as this sequel it, it's also a good deal of fun, and its relentless velocity is part of the joke. [4 Dec. 1989, p.78]
  7. Reviewed by: Sheila Benson
    Feb 7, 2013
    If "Back to the Future" made you bored and querulous, then the tumbling inventiveness in its sequel may come as a pleasant surprise. Of course, if you were among the 92% of the world who loved the ride in Dr. Emmett Brown's diabolical DeLorean back in 1985, then Part II is your oyster. [22 Nov 1989, p.F1]
  8. Reviewed by: David Sterritt
    Feb 13, 2013
    Unlike the first ''Back to the Future,'' though, the sequel doesn't stay fresh and surprising all the way through. After a few good scenes, the plot gets too tricky, and the filmmakers keep walloping us with one chase scene after another. [4 Dec. 1989, p.10]
  9. Reviewed by: Desmond Ryan
    Feb 13, 2013
    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]
  10. Reviewed by: Tom Tunney
    Feb 7, 2013
    Directed and played with terrific verve, this moves so fast from one special effects set-piece to the next that there's no time at all to reflect on the basic ridiculousness of its Chinese box of a plot.
  11. Reviewed by: Dave Kehr
    Feb 7, 2013
    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]
  12. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Feb 7, 2013
    Some of the best bits of the original movie are replayed here but lose their punch the second time around - the horse manure bit, the skate board sequence. Maybe people who never saw the first movie will get a big kick out of them. [22 Nov 1989, p.E1]
  13. Reviewed by: Desson Thomson
    Feb 7, 2013
    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.
  14. Reviewed by: Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Feb 13, 2013
    The problem with all the time-travel high jinks, involving multiple versions of the major characters (a gimmick that Robert Heinlein handled much better in stories like “By His Bootstraps” and “All You Zombies—”), is that in order to make the plot even semiintelligible, writer Bob Gale and director-cowriter Robert Zemeckis have to turn all these characters into strident geeks and make the frenetic action strictly formulaic.
  15. Reviewed by: Staff
    Feb 7, 2013
    The energy and heart which Robert Zemeckis and story-writing partner Bob Gale (who takes solo screenplay credit this time) poured into the ingenious story of part one is diverted into narrative mechanics and camera wizardry in Future II.
  16. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Feb 13, 2013
    The sequel goes down the tubes by spreading itself across four time zones and inviting comparison to the original by spending most of its time back in 1955, where another mess must be set right. [22 Nov 1989, p.35]
  17. Reviewed by: Jay Scott
    Feb 7, 2013
    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]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 77 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Oct 4, 2013
    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. Full Review »
  2. Sep 19, 2013
    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. Full Review »
  3. Jul 18, 2013
    This film is another great one, using visual and story creativity that made the first film such a hit. Although the story is not as strong, the film still manages to entertain in almost every way with a great cast once again (only missing Marty's father's comedy genius). The film is still a great sequel as most sequels disappoint, this one does not. Full Review »