Best Movies of the 1980s

View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
After the rebels are overpowered by the Empire on their newly established base, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Master Yoda. His friends accept shelter from a questionable ally as Darth Vader hunts them in a plan to capture Luke. (124 mins.)
Director: Irvin Kershner
 
2.
Airplane! (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A man afraid to fly must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick. (88 mins.)
 
3.
Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Biographical story of Loretta Lynn, a legendary country singer that came from poverty to worldwide fame. She rose from humble beginnings in Kentucky to superstardom and changing the sound and style of country music forever. (124 mins.)
Director: Michael Apted
 
4.
The Shining (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future. (146 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
5.
Urban Cowboy (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Bud is a young man from the country who learns about life and love in a Houston bar. (132 mins.)
Director: James Bridges
 
6.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis. (115 mins.)
 
7.
Mommie Dearest (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The abusive and traumatic adoptive upbringing of Christina Crawford at the hands of her mother, screen queen Joan Crawford, is depicted. (129 mins.)
Director: Frank Perry
 
8.
Porky's (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
In 1954, a group of Florida high schoolers seek out to help their buddy lose his virginity, which leads them to seek revenge on a sleazy nightclub owner and his redneck sheriff brother for harassing them. (94 mins.)
Director: Bob Clark
 
9.
Poltergeist (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts. (114 mins.)
Director: Tobe Hooper
 
10.
Conan the Barbarian (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A barbarian warrior sets off to avenge his parents and his tribe whom were slain by an evil sorcerer and his henchmen when he was a boy. (129 mins.)
Director: John Milius
 
11.
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy a more powerful Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor's trap. (131 mins.)
 
12.
Scarface (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In Miami in 1980, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed. (170 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
 
13.
Ghostbusters (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service. (105 mins.)
Director: Ivan Reitman
 
14.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees, and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace. (118 mins.)
 
15.
Gremlins (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town. (106 mins.)
Director: Joe Dante
 
16.
The Karate Kid (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A martial arts master agrees to teach karate to a bullied teenager. (126 mins.)
 
17.
Conan the Destroyer (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Conan leads a ragtag group of adventurers on a quest for a princess. (103 mins.)
 
18.
Police Academy (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A group of good-hearted but incompetent misfits enter the police academy, but the instructors there are not going to put up with their pranks. (96 mins.)
Director: Hugh Wilson
 
19.
Footloose (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A city teenager moves to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace. (107 mins.)
Director: Herbert Ross
 
20.
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
During a rescue mission into the Amazon rainforest, a professor stumbles across lost film shot by a missing documentary crew. (95 mins.)
Director: Ruggero Deodato
 
21.
Children of the Corn (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A young couple is trapped in a remote town where a dangerous religious cult of children believe everyone over the age of 18 must be killed. (92 mins.)
Director: Fritz Kiersch
 
22.
Firestarter (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
A couple who participated in a potent medical experiment gain telekinetic ability and then have a child who is pyrokinetic. (114 mins.)
Director: Mark L. Lester
 
23.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won't lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep. (91 mins.)
Director: Wes Craven
 
24.
Sixteen Candles (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A girl's "sweet" sixteenth birthday becomes anything but special as she suffers from every embarrassment possible. (93 mins.)
Director: John Hughes
 
25.
Back to the Future (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown. (116 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
 
26.
The Color Purple (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades. (154 mins.)
 
27.
The Goonies (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In order to save their home from foreclosure, a group of misfits set out to find a pirate's ancient valuable treasure. (114 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
 
28.
The Breakfast Club (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought. (97 mins.)
Director: John Hughes
 
29.
National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
The Griswolds win a vacation tour across Europe where the usual havoc ensues. (95 mins.)
Director: Amy Heckerling
 
30.
Teen Wolf (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
An ordinary high school student discovers that his family has an unusual pedigree when he finds himself turning into a werewolf. (91 mins.)
Director: Rod Daniel
“ Not Teen Wolf Too ” - cassiemay2386
 
31.
Aliens (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The moon from Alien has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, but will it be enough? (137 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
 
32.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the principal thinks of that. (103 mins.)
Director: John Hughes
 
33.
Labyrinth (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A 16-year old girl is given 13 hours to solve a labyrinth and rescue her baby brother when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King. (101 mins.)
Director: Jim Henson
“ I had to add this for my best friend. ” - cassiemay2386
 
34.
Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
The Freeling family have a new house, but their troubles with supernatural forces don't seem to be over. (91 mins.)
Director: Brian Gibson
 
35.
Pretty in Pink (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A poor girl must choose between the affections of her doting childhood sweetheart and a rich but sensitive playboy. (96 mins.)
Director: Howard Deutch
 
36.
Short Circuit (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Number 5 of a group of experimental robots in a lab is electrocuted, suddenly becomes intelligent, and escapes. (98 mins.)
Director: John Badham
 
37.
¡Three Amigos! (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Three actors accept an invitation to a Mexican village to perform their onscreen bandit fighter roles, unaware that it is the real thing. (104 mins.)
Director: John Landis
 
38.
Fatal Attraction (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A married man's one-night stand comes back to haunt him when that lover begins to stalk him and his family. (119 mins.)
Director: Adrian Lyne
 
39.
Lethal Weapon (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A veteran policeman, Murtaugh, is partnered with a younger, suicidal officer, Riggs. They both have one thing in common: hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers. (110 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
 
40.
Dirty Dancing (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances "Baby" Houseman falls in love with the camp's dance instructor, Johnny Castle. (100 mins.)
Director: Emile Ardolino
 
41.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue. (116 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
42.
Hellraiser (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover; demons are pursuing him after he escaped their sadomasochistic underworld. (94 mins.)
Director: Clive Barker
 
43.
The Lost Boys (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
After moving to a new town, two brothers discover that the area is a haven for vampires. (97 mins.)
Director: Joel Schumacher
 
44.
Predator (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A team of commandos on a mission in a Central American jungle find themselves hunted by an extraterrestrial warrior. (107 mins.)
Director: John McTiernan
 
45.
RoboCop (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In a dystopic and crime-ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg haunted by submerged memories. (102 mins.)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
 
46.
Spaceballs (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Planet Spaceballs' President Skroob sends Lord Dark Helmet to steal planet Druidia's abundant supply of air to replenish their own, and only Lone Starr can stop them. (96 mins.)
Director: Mel Brooks
 
47.
Rain Man (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country. (133 mins.)
Director: Barry Levinson
 
48.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A toon-hating detective is a cartoon rabbit's only hope to prove his innocence when he is accused of murder. (104 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
 
49.
Coming to America (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An extremely pampered African prince travels to Queens, New York City, and goes undercover to find a wife whom he can respect for her intelligence and will. (116 mins.)
Director: John Landis
 
50.
Big (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult. (104 mins.)
Director: Penny Marshall
 
51.
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Incompetent police detective Frank Drebin must foil an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II. (85 mins.)
Director: David Zucker
 
52.
Beetlejuice (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
When a recently-deceased ghost couple find their now-vacant home invaded by an obnoxious family, they hire a sleazy ghost who gets rid of humans to help them. (92 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
 
53.
Caddyshack II (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.6/10 X  
When a crass new-money tycoon's membership application is turned down at a snooty country club, he retaliates by buying the club and turning it into a tacky amusement park. (98 mins.)
Director: Allan Arkush
 
54.
Child's Play (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A single mother gives her son a much sought after doll for his birthday, only to discover that it is possessed by the soul of a serial killer. (87 mins.)
Director: Tom Holland
 
55.
Die Hard (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles. (131 mins.)
Director: John McTiernan
 
56.
Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Kirsty is brought to an institution after the death of her family, where the occult-obsessive head resurrects Julia and unleashes the Cenobites once again. (97 mins.)
Director: Tony Randel
 
57.
My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
An alien is sent on a secret mission to Earth, where she appears as a gorgeous, attractive, and single lady... (105 mins.)
 
58.
Stand and Deliver (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The story of Jaime Escalante, a high school teacher who successfully inspired his dropout prone students to learn calculus. (103 mins.)
Director: Ramon Menendez
 
59.
Willow (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A reluctant dwarf must play a critical role in protecting a special baby from an evil queen. (126 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard
 
60.
Batman (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal Joker. (126 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
 
61.
Back to the Future Part II (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After visiting 2015, Marty McFly must repeat his visit to 1955 to prevent disastrous changes to 1985...without interfering with his first trip. (108 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
 
62.
Look Who's Talking (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
After a single, career-minded woman is left on her own to give birth to the child of a married man, she finds a new romantic chance in a cab driver. Meanwhile, the point-of-view of the newborn boy is narrated through voice-over. (93 mins.)
Director: Amy Heckerling
 
63.
Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Riggs and Murtaugh are on the trail of South African diplomats who are using their immunity to engage in criminal activities. (114 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
 
64.
When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship. (96 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
 
65.
Ghostbusters II (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
The discovery of a massive river of ectoplasm and a resurgence of spectral activity allows the staff of Ghostbusters to revive the business. (108 mins.)
Director: Ivan Reitman
 
66.
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur in the American South have a relationship that grows and improves over the years. (99 mins.)
Director: Bruce Beresford
 
67.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
The scientist father of a teenage girl and boy accidentally shrinks his and two other neighborhood teens to the size of insects. Now the teens must fight diminutive dangers as the father searches for them. (93 mins.)
Director: Joe Johnston
 
68.
Lean on Me (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The dedicated but tyrannical Joe Clark is appointed the principal of a decaying inner-city school that he is determined to improve. (108 mins.)
 
69.
Little Monsters (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A boy discovers an incredible and gruesome world of monsters under his bed. (100 mins.)
 
70.
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The Griswold family's plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster. (97 mins.)
 
71.
Next of Kin (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Truman, a Chicago cop, sets out to find the killer of his brother. Meanwhile, another of his brothers, Briar (a hillbilly) decides to find the killer himself. (108 mins.)
Director: John Irvin
 
72.
Pet Sematary (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Behind a young family's home in Maine is a terrible secret that holds the power of life after death. When tragedy strikes, the threat of that power soon becomes undeniable. (103 mins.)
Director: Mary Lambert
 
73.
Puppetmaster (1989 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Psychics find themselves plotted against by a former colleague, who committed suicide after discovering animated, murderous puppets. (90 mins.)
 
74.
Road House (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A tough bouncer is hired to tame a dirty bar. (114 mins.)
 
75.
She-Devil (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
A cunning and resourceful housewife vows revenge on her husband when he begins an affair with a wealthy romance novelist. (99 mins.)
Director: Susan Seidelman
 
76.
Steel Magnolias (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A young beautician, newly arrived in a small Louisiana town, finds work at the local salon, where a small group of women share a close bond of friendship and welcome her into the fold. (117 mins.)
Director: Herbert Ross
 
77.
Turner & Hooch (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A detective must adopt the dog of a dead man to help him find the murderer. (97 mins.)
 
78.
Uncle Buck (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Bachelor and all round slob, Buck, babysits his brother's rebellious teenage daughter and her cute younger brother and sister. (100 mins.)
Director: John Hughes
 
79.
Weekend at Bernie's (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Two losers try to pretend that their murdered employer is really alive, leading the hitman to attempt to track him down to finish him off. (97 mins.)
Director: Ted Kotcheff