Top 5 Best Robert Zemeckis Movies Of All Time – Ranked

Robert Zemeckis is a name that I’m sure many are not immediately familiar with, the way that they are with Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton or Quentin Tarantino. Although he has directed some of Hollywood’s most beloved films, including the Back to the Future franchise, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Forrest Gump, he doesn’t quite have household name level recognition.

Regardless, I am a fan of quite a few of his films. As such, I see it as appropriate that I rank my top 5 Bob Zemeckis films! Without further ado, here goes the ranking!

5. Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump is a film that I’ve had mixed feelings for over the years. At times, I denounce it for its

implicit messages of conformity and Baby Boomer shilling, while at others, I accept its place as escapist, fluffy fun. Apparently, I’ve veered toward the latter position as of today.

Focusing on the exploits of the eponymous protagonist, Forrest Gump takes a unique approach to late 20th-century history, via attributing some of its most famous events to Forrest Gump himself. Some of these include meeting figures such as Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy and John Lennon, along with investing in companies such as the fledgling Apple.

While Forrest Gump is lacking in complex, multifaceted characters and its narrative can seem a little cheesy to modern viewers, it’s still a delightfully fun time, which is all that a movie needs to be sometimes.

4. Back to the Future III (1990)

The third and final installment in the Back to the Future series, Back to the Future III centers once more around the exploits of spunky teen Marty McFly and crackpot scientist Doctor Emmet Brown. Instead of traveling to the 1950s or the future however, this time they’re headed to the Wild West. With new, yet familiar, foes afoot, the duo must use their wits to save the day once again and defeat the nefarious Buford Tannen.

This is definitely my least favorite of the three Back to the Future films. I found the pacing to be dreadfully slow and the stakes not particularly exciting. I preferred the garish neon of Part 2 and the quant, idyllic small-town setting of the first film. That being said, I still found the story to be relatively engaging and Wild West antics never fail to amuse me. Even if the film is the worst of the trilogy, it’s still a reasonably fun time.

3. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

If I told you that there was a world where humans and cartoons co-existed, you’d understandably question my sanity. But in 1988, Bob Zemeckis revealed that this wasn’t just a merely crazy fantasy, with Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Combining live-action with traditional animation, the story concerns the adventures of hard-boiled private eye Eddie Valient, who is forced to help clear the name of the eponymous deuteragonist when he’s falsely accused of murder. Will Eddie help clear his ‘animated’ (in more ways than one) client’s name, or will the evil Judge Doom have the final say?

This film not only is a technical marvel but a storytelling marvel as well. The integration of the animation into the live-action shots was phenomenally done and made me believe that the actors were truly interacting with the cartoons. There was a perfect balance of comedy and action and as such, Who Framed Roger Rabbit will always be a classic to me.

2. Back to the Future (1985)

A breakout hit upon release, Back to the Future is to time-travel what Jaws is to poorly made mechanical sharks terrorizing towns. In short, it made the public care about the respective topic. In Back to the Future, aspiring teen rockstar Marty McFly is forced to travel to 1955 after his best friend, scientist and inventor Doctor Emmet Brown, is killed by vengeful Libyan terrorists. Along the way, he runs into past versions of his parents and neighbors, as trouble emerges.

Back to the Future is a wonderfully told film. I’ve always loved time travel stories and this film makes it accessible to those who may not be familiar with all of its conventions. The story felt gripping and I was captivated throughout. Classic film!

1. Back to the Future Part II (1989)

Perhaps this is a surprise, but I love surprises, so fitting then. Back to the Future Part II continues the adventures of Marty and Doc as they head into 2015, to prevent trouble that is to befall Marty’s family. They unintentionally trigger a timeline where antagonist Biff Tannen becomes a powerful hotel and casino tycoon. Forced to clean up their mess, the duo must stop Biff and restore order.

This film LOOKs fantastic. The glitzy, sleazy vibe of the corrupted 1985 and the hokey, cheesy references to the 1980s in the film’s vision of 2015 hold up extremely well. I love the utter sense of chaos that emerges throughout the movie and the unpredictable twists and turns that the plot takes. All in all, it’s my favorite Rob Zemeckis film.



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