Back To The Future Part III (4K Blu-ray Review)

The third installment of the Back to the Future Part III is sort of a divider for fans of the franchise.  It’s equal parts sweet and spectacular. The western aspect of the film gives a new refreshing spin on the time travel story! Read on below and be sure to click the (paid) link(s) at the end to grab a copy of this amazing set!


Marty (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) are back! This time, the guys are headed to the Wild West (1885 to be exact.) The pace slows down a bit with this film, but in the best of ways.  Fun fact — Back to the Future Part III was my initial introduction to this series.  I was a little guy, about 4 years old and my family had gone to The Wherehouse to rent this one for a movie night.  We all hunkered down on the couch to watch and I enjoyed every minute even unknowing of what was going on some of the time.

There are a lot of folks that tend to be divided on this particular installment. Critically it’s more revered than the second film.  Commercially this one did just as well as the previous two films.  Audiences though seem to debate this one.  In my home, I’m totally fine with this film, loving it for its western diversion and it’s sweet ending now and for the nostalgia it gives me, remembering going to a video store and being with my family munching popcorn and falling for the characters of the film.

In the end, there is that story – one that is still rooted in the tradition of the first Back to the Future film. We get Lea Thompson back in a new role as Maggie McFly (Marty’s great grandmother) and she continues to evolve in each film showing off terrific acting skills throughout.  Michael J. Fox stretches out a little as a maturing Marty and also Seamus McFly, a great grandfather. The reliable villain for Thomas F. Wilson is Mad Dog Tannen, a western style A-hole. Flea returns as Douglas J. Needles, although this time an 1885 version.  Flea of course has a blast in his small role. The highlight in casting though is Mary Steenburgen who implants her sensitive vulnerability into the kind and courageous Clara.

Production design is yet again a huge deal.  This is as authentic as you can get, immersed in the dusty old west and giving audiences a new take on the western formula with some surefire comedy and great action. The train sequence at the end is not loved enough in my opinion.  Overall, this is a fitting end to a spectacular series and one sound way to close out the story of Marty and Doc!


  • Encoding:HEVC/H.265
  • Resolution:4K
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Layers:BD-100
  • HDR:HDR10/HDR10+/Dolby Vision
  • Clarity/Detail: Back To The Future Part III is given a glorious new transfer for the 4K Disc. Dare I say it – This one looks the best of the bunch! The golden hues of the old west sparkle here. The look of the interiors and exteriors are all lovingly reproduced and that iconic set/production design really receives some love from the new format. Colors look great and there is just a nice warmth to every scene, even those in other years bookending the film.
  • Depth: Depth is another highlight. The first moments in 1885 are really great.  At first dark and then once in the light of day, there are so many great details popping out.  Foregrounds and backgrounds are handled wonderfully too!
  • Black Levels: These are the best blacks of the series too! All blacks or darkly lit scenes are perfect throughout. Nothing is left muddy or crushed and you can make out a lot in the shadow detailing as well.
  • Color Reproduction: Colors are warm immediately. Golds, browns, and blacks rule the roost, but no color is left dull or lifeless in this film.
  • Flesh Tones: Flesh Tones are just as they should be. Natural and easy on the eyes, these flesh tones give the film’s stars a great look and no one has that silly putty look at any time.
  • Noise/Artifacts: Clean


  • Audio Format(s): English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; English: Dolby Digital 2.0; French: DTS 5.1; Spanish: DTS 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Dynamics: Just like the others, and even more so as this was the most modern of the films, the Dolby Atmos remix for Back To The Future Part III is fantastic. The dynamics are very pleasing to the ear.  There is fantastic spacing through the channels and music and effects sounds wonderful in every speaker.  Bass Is lovely too!
  • Low Frequency Extension: The 1990 Universal fanfare sounds beautiful and the last note delivers a deep bass extension. From there on, any time a rumble is called for on the soundtrack, the floor will rumble. Excellent bass throughout this presentation!
  • Height: Height channels come along in chase scenes and that amazing train sequence most notably. These channels also get activity during outdoor scenes and during the town party towards the middle of the film.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Active is the name of the game. Surrounds pretty much never stop during the film and showcase what a good set of surround speakers can deliver.  These channels add a lot of moments of full immersive sound to the mix.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: Loud and clear and almost always front and center!


Back To The Future comes in a couple of incarnations to 4K. The films aren’t available individually but all together in a set.  The digibook set is the standard and Best Buy has a nifty steelbook set.  Target and Amazon also offer one with a collectible hoverboard! They all include a digital code for each film and special features for each film along with a bonus disc.

Extras for Back to the Future III are just as extensive as the first two films.  They are:

  • Deleted Scene (HD, 1:18) – The Tannen Gang kills Strickland
  • Tales from The Future: 3rd Time’s A Charm (HD, 17:07) – A Short retrospective on the making of the third film.
  • Tales from The Future: The Test of Time: A closing segment for all three films and the legacy of the series
  • Archival Featurettes:
    • The Making of Back to the Future III (SD, 7:31): A 1990 EPK Short
    • Making The Trilogy (Chapter 3) (SD, 16:19): Another vintage featurette about the making of Part III
    • The Secrets of the Back to the Future Trilogy (SD, 20:40): Kirk Cameron hosts this made for TV making-of retrospective.
  • Behind The Scenes:
    • Outtakes (SD, 1:35)
    • Designing the Town of Hill Valley (SD, 1:35)
    • Designing the Campaign (SD, 1:17)
    • Photo Galleries
  • ZZ Top “Doubleback” Music Video (SD, 4:07)
  • FAQs About the Trilogy
  • Theatrical Trailer (SD, 2:17)
  • Back to the Future: The Ride (SD, 15:00) – The footage you see on the Universal Studios ride!
  • Q&A Commentary by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale
  • Feature Commentary by Bob Gale and Neil Canton


Taken on it’s own, Back to the Future Part III is a sort of odd duck in the series. Taken for what it is, the film is still a spectacular entry in the series.  It’s a lot of fun, fast paced and if you love a good western, it’s a great addition to the genre as well.  Mary Steenburgen is a lovely addition to the cast and everyone involved looks to have LOVED making this one.  With all that said, this is a great ending to an eternally iconic series and in 4K it’s a true winner!


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