Is Back To The Future A Brat Pack Movie? Explored

Andrew McCarthy’s documentary film Brats categorizes the 1985 Michael J. Fox-starrer sci-fi film Back to the Future as a Brat Pack movie.

Updated on Jun 16, 2024  |  10:29 PM IST |  35.8K
Find Out If Back To The Future Falls Under The Brat Pack Movies
Andrew McCarthy, Back to the Future (1985) official poster (PC- Instagram, IMDb)

Hulu’s latest documentary Brats, which was released this weekend, explores the lives and careers of a group of young actors who began their careers with and appeared in coming-of-age films in the 80s called the “Brat Pack.” It has become the talk of the town ever since and raised questions about the 1985 sci-fi film Back to the Future being considered a Brat Pack movie. 

Three decades later, it is still debatable about who exactly was in the Brat Pack. The ABC documentary first premiered at the Tribeca Festival on June 7 and was released on Hulu a week later on June 13. Let’s delve deeper into what the documentary is about and if Back to the Future falls in the category.

What is Brat Pack about?

Coined by journalist David Blum in 1985 for a New York Magazine cover story “Hollywood’s Brat Pack”, it was a play on the term “Rat Pack” from the 1950s-60s which referred to hot young adult actors including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore, Ally Sheedy, and Rob Lowe, among others. The movies they starred in that fall under the Brat Pack category include The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, St. Elmo’s Fire, and Pretty in Pink, among several others. These movies often feature high school kids dealing with love, youth, or acceptance and the target audiences for these movies were mostly teenagers and young adults.


Directed by Brat Pack member Andrew McCarthy, the documentary film Brats explores how this nickname in one headline impacted their careers for the better or for worse. The documentary features all the eight core members of the Pack and the above movies along with a few others like Back to the Future.

Does Back to the Future fall under the Brat Pack movies?

Directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Zemeckis and Bob Gale, Back to the Future is one of the most critically acclaimed and best sci-fi movies of all times. It features Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, and Thomas F. Wilson. Set in the 1980s, the film follows a teenager (Fox) who accidentally time-travels to the 1950s and unintentionally prevents his parents from falling in love which threatens his own existence.

Despite the movie being made in the 80s when the majority of Brat Pack movies were made and falls in the coming-of-age genre, the film is difficult to be considered as one of Brat Pack movies. Back to the Future does not tick all the boxes in the Brat Pack manifesto such as two or more Brat Pack actors need to feature in the film. But, in this film, Fox was not a Brat Pack member, though he seems to fit the label, he was never listed as one since he began his career with television. 


The only Brat Pack-adjacent actor was Lea Thompson who was not a core member either. Moreover, while the young adult protagonists are also nearly always at the forefront of the Brat Pack films, Back to the Future straddles this line because Doc Brown is significantly older than teenager Marty McFly. At best, Back to the Future is a film that is similar to Brat Pack because of these factors.

ALSO READ: How Tom Hanks Funded THIS Classic Scene In Forrest Gump And Saved The Film From Ruins

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About The Author

Namrata Ganguly is a Hollywood and pop-culture writer at Pinkvilla. She has a post-graduate diploma in Journalism from the


Credits: Time, ScreenRant, CNN

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