New Movies – 10 Best Comedy Movies Like The Back To The Future Trilogy
Fans of the Back to the Future movies like the trilogy for any number of distinct reasons. Each of the movies handles concepts like fate and nostalgia in hugely inventive ways with the music, cinematography, effects, and performances all being of an unbeatably high caliber too.
Those looking for more adventurous high-concept movies should check out these similar comedies. Whether they be other fan-favorites from the ’80s and ’90s or hidden gems from more recent times, each of these movies contains qualities that a fan of the Back to the Future trilogy will recognize and love.
10 Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) Available on Starz
Though directed by the legendary Francis Ford Coppola, and nominated for three Oscars, Peggy Sue Got Married is all-but-forgotten in comparison to fellow mid-80s time travel comedy Back to the Future, which is a shame considering its female-driven narrative and talented cast.
The plot follows the titular Peggy Sue who, on the night of her high school reunion faints and awakes back in the 1950s with the opportunity to do things differently. It’s a fascinating companion to the Back to the Future movies and essential viewing for fans.
9 Groundhog Day (1993) Available on Starz
One of the most seminal movies about time manipulation, specifically time loops, ever made, comedy or no, Groundhog Day sees Bill Murray’s weary weatherman relive the same day over and over again without any understanding of why it’s happening or how to make it stop.
Unlike the Back to the Future movies, the time travel itself is never really a plot point and it focuses much on the romantic comedy angle of the story but whatever it lacks in effects-driven adventure it more than makes up for with its similarly boundless sense of fun, mixing dark moments with a generally upbeat tone to great effect.
8 The Frighteners (1996) Available on Starz
Though Michael J. Fox is still most well-known for his role as Marty McFly in the Back to the Future trilogy, the actor has many other popular starring roles in high-concept sci-fi and fantasy movies, and his lead role in The Frighteners is one of his most beloved.
In director Peter Jackson’s wildly creative horror-comedy, Fox plays a fraudulent paranormal investigator who, for once, actually can see ghosts but uses this ability to create fake hauntings which he then resolves with the spirits that he works in cahoots with. When the work of an executed serial killer begins again, however, he becomes a prime suspect and must solve the mystery to clear his name. The Frighteners is driven by effects that may seem a little dated at this point in certain spots but the movie still possesses plenty of the timeless qualities that Jackson and co-writer Fran Walksh would parlay into their massively successful Lord of the Rings trilogy years later.
7 Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) Available on Disney+
In between the original Back to the Future and the sequels, Robert Zemeckis directed this equally-important blend of animation and live-action utilized around an unusually dark noir detective story about Bob Hoskins’ hardnosed PI getting sucked into a buddy comedy murder mystery with the titular talking cartoon rabbit.
Doc Brown actor Christopher Lloyd teamed up with the director again to play a very different–but equally unforgettable–kind of character for the movie’s villain, with Back to the Future composer Alan Silvestri and cinematographer Dean Cundey providing a lot of the same magic.
6 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) Available to buy on Amazon Prime Video
Few movie performances from the mid-80s could live up to the charm of Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, and even fewer outfits were as iconic as his ensemble. But Matthew Broderick delivered another beloved cinematic hero in the form of the fellow high school slacker, Ferris Bueller.
The character’s titular day off makes a comedic adventure as enjoyably uplifting as the one in Back to the Future, with an equally unforgettable car at the center of it, and, while there’s no time travel or life-and-death stakes, it still has plenty of variation in terms of tone and style throughout.
5 Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) Available on Netflix
Though not yet at the effects-driven, Spielbergian, phase of his career as one of the lead creative forces behind the Jurassic World movies, director Colin Trevorrow made waves with this quirky romantic comedy about a small group of journalists investigating a peculiar man who claims to have a time machine.
Safety Not Guaranteed is much more lowkey and indie in terms of temperament compared to a movie like Back to the Future, and driven more by dialogue scenes than set pieces. But it’s also more contemporary and the characters are ultimately more relatable to a modern audience whilst still being an endearingly outlandish adventure.
4 Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) Available on HBO Max
The only movie slackers from the 80s that could rival the popularity of Marty McFly and Ferris Bueller were the titular time travelers, Bill and Ted, played by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves, respectively.
Though even more detached from reality than their famous counterparts, the lovable pair are still characters that strike a chord with audiences both young and old, with Reeves and Winter returning in their roles for sequels in 1991 and 2020. The first movie, however, should be of particular interest to Back to the Future fans, not just for its time travel plot but also its similar incorporation of animation and music.
3 Blazing Saddles (1974) Available to buy on Amazon Prime Video
Mel Brook’s widely-beloved comedy, Blazing Saddles, spoofed the Western genre with a level of accuracy and creativity that wouldn’t really be seen again on movie screens until Back to the Future Part III.
Though not a sci-fi story, the movie isn’t bound by the limits of realism or even really genre, bouncing to whatever comedic idea works best in that particular moment and, while it may be only recommendable to fans of the third Back to the Future movie, it remains an essential piece of comedy movie history in general.
2 Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) Available on Disney+
After the iconic success of their ‘renaissance’ period, Disney animation released a few more hugely beloved, if less financially successful, movies before switching to the predominantly digital output that fans know today.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire blends computer-generated imagery with Disney’s famous hand-drawn animation to create this weird and wonderful sci-fi adventure about a technologically advanced, steampunk-styled, mission to find the lost titular lost city, with Michael J. Fox voicing the lead character. Fox’s timid linguist, Milo Thatch, is more Doc Brown than Marty McFly and, coupled with the movies pioneering use of animation and effects as well as its distinct anamorphic format, The Lost Empire evokes many great genre movie qualities that Back to the Future fans will appreciate.
1 Pleasantville (1998) Available to buy on Amazon Prime Video
Nostalgia for the 1950s is viewed through a much more critical lens in writer and director Gary Ross’s high-concept comedy Pleasantville. But its emotional exploration of some of the most difficult subject matter to arise from depictions of the time period doesn’t make the movie any less enjoyable or engaging. Quite the opposite, actually.
By facing many of the most problematic aspects of that nostalgia, the movie creates an impactful story that has not only stood the test of time but has even improved with age. The story follows Tobey Maguire’s typically dorky high-schooler as they and their sister are sucked into the world of his favorite TV show. It’s not only a unique take on the time travel narrative but a pretty atypical comedy in all respects that still has the power to surprise.
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New Movies – 10 Best Comedy Movies Like The Back To The Future Trilogy
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