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Back to the Future

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 5 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Back to the Future trilogy's 4K UHD set excels, offering a perfect mix of sci-fi, comedy, superb audiovisuals, and loads of extras.

    Back to the Future 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Back to the Future's 4K release dazzles with detailed restoration, vibrant colors, and natural textures, despite some source flaws, offering fans a cherished nostalgia trip.

  • Audio
  • Back to the Future's 4K Blu-ray Dolby Atmos mix revitalizes its iconic soundtrack and effects with immersive, dynamic audio, enhancing dialogue, depth, and the full sensory experience.

  • Extra
  • The Back to the Future 4K set repackages existing extras with pristine UHD visuals and adds a bonus disc of new, in-depth extras spanning the trilogy, featuring retrospectives, lost auditions, and more.

  • Movie
  • Back to the Future: an iconic, family-friendly sci-fi classic blending time travel, comedy, and adventure, with standout performances and technical upgrades in UHD.

    Video: 91

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "Back to the Future" marks a significant upgrade over previous editions, bringing the timeless classic into the modern era with a stunning visual presentation. This release utilizes a 3840 x 2160p resolution, maintaining the film's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Through the adept use of the HEVC (H.265) codec, HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision, it revitalizes the film's visuals, enhancing the depth, detail, and color range. Despite tackling some inherent issues with the source material, particularly scenes with complex visual effects and varying grain levels, this restoration achieves a delicate balance. The dynamic range is notably improved, illuminating darker scenes with striking blacks without sacrificing detail, while daytime sequences dazzle with clarity and vibrancy.

    The color grading, courtesy of Dolby Vision, breathes new life into every frame, making the hues more vibrant and true-to-life. The neon lights of Hill Valley, the iconic glow of the DeLorean's dashboard, and the 1950s attire pop with an intensity that arguably surpasses the original viewing experience. Issues such as noise and smearing are present in lower light conditions and fast-paced moments; however, these are minor when considering the overall enhancement of the film's presentation. The preservation of film grain adds to the authenticity, ensuring a filmic texture that respects the original aesthetic.

    Universal has put forth an effort that mostly transcends previous releases, presenting "Back to the Future" with an image quality that complements its iconic status. While not without its flaws—occasional softness in complex scenes and some instances of noticeable artifacts—the 4K rendition offers an immersive experience that showcases significant improvements in clarity, color fidelity, and depth. Fans and newcomers alike will discover details and textures that were previously obscured, underscoring the care taken in this restoration to honor the film's visual legacy. This release exemplifies how technological advancements can rejuvenate classic films for new generations, despite the inherent limitations of their original productions.

    Audio: 92

    The audio presentation of "Back to the Future" on 4K UHD Blu-ray is significantly enhanced by its Dolby Atmos track, delivering an immersive sonic experience that breathes new life into this timeless classic. The mix adeptly utilizes the entire soundstage, broadening it in a manner that adds dimensional depth and clarity. With a focus on dialogue through the center channel ensuring coherence and audibility, the track excels in blending the iconic soundtrack and ambient effects seamlessly across the arrays. Surround sound is constantly active, employing a mixture of ambient sounds, music, and specific effects like car engines and crowd noise, encapsulating the viewer in a richly textured auditory environment. The LFE channel provides a robust foundation, with both subtle and impactful moments - from the guttural buzz of an amplifier to the thunderous rumble of the DeLorean reaching 88 miles per hour.

    Early scenes benefit from discrete overhead channel usage, enhancing musical ambiance and specific audio cues that align precisely with onscreen events. This selective application contributes to a natural depth, particularly evident in the orchestration of Alan Silvestri's score and iconic tracks by Huey Lewis and the News, now resonating with newfound vivacity and range. The Atmos mix further distinguishes itself in action sequences and environmental sounds, offering clear examples of spatial depth and positioning that create a realistically immersive soundscape - from the startling effect of clocks ringing in unison to the atmospheric presence of an outdoor scene at Doc's 1955 home.

    Height effects are judiciously incorporated, enriching scenes with chases, proms, and lightning storms, while the surround presentation actively and appropriately utilizes ambient and direct sounds to envelop the listener. Notably, dialogue remains prioritally clear throughout, testament to a meticulous balance between vocal clarity and dynamic sound effects. The integration of vintage sound effects retains their authenticity yet presents them with a clarity and placement that effectively modernize the overall acoustic experience. This Atmos track not only complements but elevates the visual brilliance of the UHD presentation, making "Back to the Future" a compelling auditory journey as much as it is a visual spectacle.

    Extra: 93

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of Back to the Future not only enhances the movie viewing experience with its high-definition upgrade but also pays homage to the trilogy’s enduring legacy through an extensive collection of extras spanning its new and previously released content. While the primary disc carries over the supplemental content found in the 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Collection, it's the inclusion of a bonus disc that merits attention, offering both new and nostalgic fans a plethora of additional material. This set impeccably balances archival gems such as commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, and a Michael J. Fox Q&A with fresh insights through newer additions like lost audition tapes featuring well-known stars and a peek behind Back to the Future: The Musical. Enthusiasts and newcomers alike will find the collection's dedication to preserving and expanding the trilogy’s universe through these extras both comprehensive and compelling, making it a must-have for collectors.

    Extras included in this disc:

    An Alternate Future: Lost Audition Tapes (NEW) - Rare audition footage featuring celebrities before they were famous.

    The Hollywood Museum Goes BACK TO THE FUTURE (NEW) - An intimate tour of films’ props and memorabilia with Co-writer/Producer Bob Gale.

    BACK TO THE FUTURE: THE MUSICAL Behind the Scenes (NEW) - Sneak peek at the musical show, including a Q&A with the cast and creative team plus original song recordings.

    Could You Survive The Movies? BACK TO THE FUTURE (NEW) - Examining the magic and science of BACK TO THE FUTURE.

    2015 Message from Doc Brown

    OUTATIME: Restoring the DeLorean

    Looking BACK TO THE FUTURE - A comprehensive documentary covering various aspects of the movie's creation.

    BACK TO THE FUTURE: The Animated Series

    2015 Commercials

    Deleted Scenes - With commentary by Producer Bob Gale available.

    Tales from THE FUTURE - A three-part documentary providing an in-depth look into the making of the movie.

    Archival Featurettes

    Michael J. Fox Q&A

    Behind the Scenes

    Music Video: The Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News

    Theatrical Teaser Trailer

    Q&A Commentary with Director Robert Zemeckis and Producer Bob Gale

    Feature Commentary with Producers Bob Gale and Neil Canton

    Movie: 95

    Back to the Future," presented on 4K UHD Blu Ray, encapsulates an evergreen narrative seamlessly merging the realms of time travel and adolescent turmoil. This cinematic masterpiece, under the guidance of Robert Zemeckis and the mentorship of Steven Spielberg, not only solidified its place in Hollywood's pantheon but also rejuvenated Michael J. Fox's career, casting him as the quintessential '80s teen, Marty McFly. The film's depiction of Marty's accidental journey to the past, fueled by a plutonium-charged DeLorean, offers an intricate exploration of time-travel paradoxes with a clarity that engages both young and old audiences alike. The flawless execution of this high-stakes narrative, where Marty must ensure his own existence by playing matchmaker to his future parents, showcases Zemeckis' ability to weave complex themes into family-friendly entertainment.

    The technical prowess of the 4K UHD presentation brings a renewed vibrancy to the iconic set pieces and character performances that have defined the film for generations. With the inclusion of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos audio, the visual and auditory elements of Hill Valley and its inhabitants are more immersive than ever, underscoring Alan Silvestri's unforgettable score and the eclectic soundtrack that perfectly accentuates the fusion of future and past aesthetics. This release preserves the essence of the film’s initial allure while enhancing it with modern technologies, ensuring that new audiences and longtime fans alike experience the magic of "Back to the Future" in unparalleled clarity.

    Integral to the film’s success is its robust character development, with performances by Fox, Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown, and Thomas F. Wilson as Biff Tannen standing out. These characters, alongside Marty's eccentric yet lovable family, bring depth to the laugh-out-loud humor and heartfelt moments that are sprinkled throughout Marty's temporal escapade. The meticulous attention to period detail in both the 1950s setting and 1980s origin adds a layer of authenticity that enriches the narrative’s charm. Ultimately, "Back to the Future" remains an indelible marker of cinematic innovation, blending speculative science fiction with relatable human stories, all the while presented in a format that breathes new life into this timeless adventure.

    Total: 91

    Universal’s latest release of the "Back to the Future" trilogy on 4K UHD Blu-ray sets a new standard for home cinema excellence, bringing this all-time classic into the modern era with unprecedented clarity and audio quality. The trilogy’s transfer to native 4K resolution ensures that each film looks better than ever before, arguably surpassing its original theatrical presentation in 1985. Coupled with the immersive Dolby Atmos audio tracks, the set delivers an audio-visual experience that is both powerful and nuanced. The LFE channel use accentuates key sound effects with precision, adding depth to the iconic rumble of the DeLorean and the electrifying activation of the Flux Capacitor, although the mix could improve in balancing the rear channel integration.

    The collection doesn’t stop at simply delivering the films in premium quality but also packs a significant punch with its comprehensive suite of extras. These include a wide array of behind-the-scenes looks, commentaries, and archival material that will delight die-hard fans and newcomers alike, culminating in an offering that is as informative as it is entertaining. The dedication seen in the video and audio upgrades is equally matched by the richness of the supplementary content, making this set an essential acquisition for collectors. Technical aspects like sound staging and imaging are mainly commendable but do indicate room for slight improvements in environmental sound integration for an even more cohesive audio experience.

    In conclusion, Universal's 4K UHD Blu-ray release of the "Back to the Future" trilogy is a monumental achievement in home entertainment. It not only revitalizes a beloved classic for a new generation but also sets a high benchmark for quality and completeness in re-releases. This set earns our highest recommendation for its stellar audio-visual overhaul and its treasure trove of extras, making it an absolute must-have for fans and cinephiles. Whether you’re a longtime admirer or discovering its wonders for the first time, this collection reaffirms "Back to the Future’s" status as a timeless masterpiece, now rendered in stunning 4K UHD.