Must-Stream Movies: The 'Back to the Future' Trilogy

In honor of October 21st, also known as "Back to the Future" day, we're recommending a revisit to the entire trilogy.

By Jesse Conner

Michael J. Fox in "Back to the Future."

© Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

The future is upon us because tomorrow marks the day Doc Brown and Marty McFly headed out to the future!

Luckily, we don't need a time machine to go back and relive this legendary trilogy because all three of these must-stream movies are currently available for viewing on Netflix as well as other platforms.

The films set the standard for cinematic time travel as we know it, so we highly recommend you take your own time to binge the heck out of 'em.

  • Back to the Future

    © Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

    If you stumble upon any movie list of the best time travel movies ever, this amazing entertainment will most likely be at the top of it. The epic movie played a part in laying the groundwork for all time traveling films that followed it. Referenced time and again in various other tv shows and films, the classic was most recently given a shout-out in "Avengers: Endgame" during a hilarious conversation between Ant-Man and Iron Man about the particulars of time travel. If you've wondered what it would be like to know your parents when they were your age, this one provides a hilarious, heartfelt glimpse at that scenario.

    Now streaming on: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, & VUDU

    Back to the Future

    Comedy / 1985 / PG

    In this 1980s sci-fi classic, small-town California teen Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is thrown back into the '50s when an experiment by his eccentric scientist friend Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) goes awry. Traveling through time in a modified DeLorean car, Marty encounters young versions of his parents (Crispin Glover, Lea Thompson), and must make sure that they fall in love or he'll cease to exist. Even more dauntingly, Marty has to return to his own time and save the life of Doc Brown.

  • Back to the Future Part II

    © Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

    The next film in the trilogy gives audiences their first look at how the future will shape up, taking place three decades later from the '85 original - October 21, 2015 to be exact. Unfortunately, our actual society didn't quite live up to the fun, larger than life expectations set here (where are our hoverboards and flying cars??). Also, if you're wondering how it would be to see your future self, hopefully you'll have better luck than Marty and Jennifer do.

    Now streaming on: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, & VUDU

    Back to the Future Part II

    Comedy / 1989 / PG

    In this zany sequel, time-traveling duo Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) return from saving Marty's future son from disaster, only to discover their own time transformed. In this nightmarish version of Hill Valley, Marty's father has been murdered and Biff Tannen, Marty's nemesis, has profited. After uncovering the secret to Biff's success -- a sports almanac from the future -- Marty and the Doc embark on a quest to repair the space-time continuum.

  • Back to the Future Part III

    © Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

    Though it's the third film, it's also technically the first, with our heroes traveling back to the year 1885. It's a rootin' tootin' good-time cowboy movie that also offers up a chance to see the first ever Clint Eastwood least with someone who claims their name's Clint Eastwood. The biggest takeaway from this worthy finale is Doc Brown's inspirational quote, "Your future hasn't been written yet, no one's has. Your future is whatever you make it, so make it a good one."

    Now streaming on: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, & VUDU

    Back to the Future Part III

    Western / 1990 / PG

    In this final chapter, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) obtains a 70-year-old message from the time-traveling Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd), in which he informs Marty that he has retired to a small town in the Old West. Marty then finds out that the Doc was murdered shortly after sending the letter. In order to save his friend, Marty will have to travel back in time, disentangle a lovestruck Doc from a local schoolmarm, and repair the DeLorean -- all while avoiding a posse of gunslingers.

About the Author