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The Flashback in Film (and Possibly Television)

What use do flashbacks actually have? To merely give backstory to a character(s), to add a tension, to foreshadow something?
What are good (and bad) examples of flashbacks in film and do they make use of the flashback in a suitable and compelling manner.
One example that could be used is this "Saw" short film ((link) which uses flashbacks to portray the main ction and torture scenes. The torture scenes should create suspense with not knowning whther this man is going to live or die, but by seeing him being interviewed about what happened, any tension is lost.
Tarantino’s "Pulp Fiction" and "Kill Bill" could be an interesting point of discussion, as well as "Red Dragon" which uses a scene to introduce the audience to Will Graham and Hannibal Lector, but it is also set before "Silence of the Lambs;" is this film a flashback in itself? Are there better examples of entire films being a flashback?
DC CW television shows have also use flashbacks extensively (mostly in "Arrow" as a rhetoric device linking Oliver’s experiences on the island to present-day turmoils.)