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You need to watch the best time travel trilogy ever before it leaves Netflix next week

“Where we’re going we don’t need roads.”

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Time travel is one of the most potent concepts in all of sci-fi. It’s hard not to be drawn in by the idea of going back to correct your mistakes or seeing the future before it arrives.


Maybe that’s why it’s such a common trope, from H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine to Avengers: Endgame.

But even with countless variations out there, there’s still one film series you probably think of first when you think time travel.

Here’s why you need to watch the Back to the Future trilogy before it leaves Netflix on June 30.

Part of what makes Back to the Future so great is how accessible it is. Sure, there’s fun in puzzling out the complex timelines of movies like Primer, but you don’t always want your entertainment to double as a test.

Despite its multiple interlocking timelines, Back to the Future keeps things simple. You don’t need to understand the mechanics of the time-traveling Delorean to enjoy its journey.

It similarly grounds its story in relatable terms. Marty McFly is unique in having a genius outcast scientist as a best friend, but everyone can relate to his desire to fix his past mistakes.

It helps that the act of time travel looks as good as it ever has in Back to the Future.

Fire! Lightning! Smoke machines!

The trilogy’s playful aesthetic carries over to the sequel’s depiction of the future, which is chock full of imagery so memorable that people are still asking for the hoverboards it promised.

Of course, good set decoration doesn’t mean much without a story to back it up. Fortunately, the Back to the Future trilogy is built on a fun premise and a lighthearted tone that still hold up today.

Underneath the special effects and time-travel shenanigans, there’s a gripping story of nostalgia, adventure, and troubling mother-son relationships that’s just as fun to watch if you’re not a sci-fi fan.

Even with all it has going for it, Back to the Future’s secret weapon is its two otherworldly charismatic leads, Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd.

On some level, all the flux capacitators and gigawatts in the world are just window dressing for the story of Doc and Marty’s inexplicable friendship.

Like most good sci-fi, Back to the Future’s fantastical premise is also a lens for the audience to interrogate their own lives.


What would you change about the past if you could?

How will your actions affect the future?

What if you really wanted to make a Western and happened to have a film trilogy you could shoehorn one into?

For the answers to those questions and more, you can watch Back to the Future on Netflix until June 30.

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