25 Quintessential 80's Movies

by ListGirl26 | created - 18 May 2013 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

The movies that helped define the MTV generation. In order of release, you know you've seen em admit it!

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1. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

PG | 115 min | Family, Sci-Fi

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
91 Metascore

A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace

Votes: 311,859 | Gross: $435.11M

2. Sixteen Candles (1984)

PG | 93 min | Comedy, Romance

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
61 Metascore

A girl's "sweet" sixteenth birthday becomes anything but special, as she suffers from every embarrassment possible.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Justin Henry, Michael Schoeffling

Votes: 84,241 | Gross: $23.69M

3. The Terminator (1984)

R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
83 Metascore

A seemingly indestructible humanoid cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield

Votes: 669,918 | Gross: $38.40M

4. Lethal Weapon (1987)

R | 110 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
67 Metascore

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.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Mitchell Ryan

Votes: 207,600 | Gross: $65.21M

5. The Goonies (1985)

PG | 114 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

7.8
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60 Metascore

In order to save their home from foreclosure, a group of misfits set out to find a pirate's ancient valuable treasure.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman

Votes: 198,345 | Gross: $61.50M

6. The Breakfast Club (1985)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
62 Metascore

Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy

Votes: 290,184 | Gross: $45.88M

7. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

R | 105 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
64 Metascore

A freewheeling Detroit cop pursuing a murder investigation finds himself dealing with the very different culture of Beverly Hills.

Director: Martin Brest | Stars: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Lisa Eilbacher

Votes: 138,769 | Gross: $234.76M

8. Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

R | 90 min | Comedy

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
44 Metascore

At Adams College, a group of bullied outcasts and misfits resolve to fight back for their peace and self-respect.

Director: Jeff Kanew | Stars: Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards, Timothy Busfield, Andrew Cassese

Votes: 42,947 | Gross: $40.90M

9. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
85 Metascore

Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies

Votes: 738,231 | Gross: $248.16M

10. 48 Hrs. (1982)

R | 96 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

6.9
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71 Metascore

A hard-nosed cop reluctantly teams up with a wise-cracking criminal temporarily paroled to him, in order to track down a killer.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, Annette O'Toole, Frank McRae

Votes: 58,384 | Gross: $78.87M

11. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

8.8
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82 Metascore

After the rebels are overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda. His friends accept shelter from a questionable ally as Darth Vader hunts them in a plan to capture Luke.

Director: Irvin Kershner | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Votes: 956,195 | Gross: $290.48M

12. First Blood (1982)

R | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.7
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62 Metascore

Former Green Beret John Rambo is pursued into the mountains surrounding a small town by a tyrannical sheriff and his deputies, forcing him to survive using his combat skills.

Director: Ted Kotcheff | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney

Votes: 188,408 | Gross: $47.21M

13. Die Hard (1988)

R | 132 min | Action, Thriller

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
70 Metascore

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.

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson

Votes: 661,154 | Gross: $83.01M

14. Footloose (1984)

PG | 107 min | Drama, Music, Romance

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
42 Metascore

A city teenager moves to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace.

Director: Herbert Ross | Stars: Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest

Votes: 58,387 | Gross: $80.04M

15. Back to the Future (1985)

PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

8.5
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86 Metascore

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover

Votes: 836,615 | Gross: $210.61M

16. Red Dawn (1984)

PG-13 | 114 min | Action, Drama

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
55 Metascore

It is the dawn of World War III. In mid-western America, a group of teenagers band together to defend their town, and their country, from invading Soviet forces.

Director: John Milius | Stars: Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen

Votes: 44,720 | Gross: $38.38M

17. National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)

R | 98 min | Adventure, Comedy

7.4
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60 Metascore

The Griswold family's cross-country drive to the Walley World theme park proves to be much more arduous than they ever anticipated.

Director: Harold Ramis | Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Imogene Coca, Randy Quaid

Votes: 79,476 | Gross: $61.40M

18. Poltergeist (1982)

PG | 114 min | Horror, Thriller

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
79 Metascore

A family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts.

Director: Tobe Hooper | Stars: JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke, Craig T. Nelson, Beatrice Straight

Votes: 118,681 | Gross: $76.61M

19. Splash (1984)

PG | 111 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
71 Metascore

A young man is reunited with a mermaid who saves him from drowning as a boy and falls in love not knowing who/what she is.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, Eugene Levy, John Candy

Votes: 59,398 | Gross: $62.10M

20. Flashdance (1983)

R | 95 min | Drama, Music, Romance

6.1
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39 Metascore

A Pittsburgh woman with two jobs as a welder and an exotic dancer wants to get into ballet school.

Director: Adrian Lyne | Stars: Jennifer Beals, Michael Nouri, Lilia Skala, Sunny Johnson

Votes: 39,412 | Gross: $94.90M

21. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)

PG | 131 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

8.4
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58 Metascore

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.

Director: Richard Marquand | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Votes: 785,392 | Gross: $309.13M

22. Ghostbusters (1984)

PG | 105 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

7.8
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71 Metascore

Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.

Director: Ivan Reitman | Stars: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis

Votes: 301,112 | Gross: $238.63M

23. The Outsiders (1983)

PG | 91 min | Crime, Drama

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
38 Metascore

The rivalry between two gangs, the poor Greasers and the rich Socs, only heats up when one gang member kills a member of the other.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze

Votes: 62,828 | Gross: $25.60M

24. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

R | 90 min | Comedy, Drama

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
67 Metascore

A group of Southern California high school students are enjoying their most important subjects: sex, drugs and rock n' roll.

Director: Amy Heckerling | Stars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Robert Romanus

Votes: 78,861 | Gross: $27.09M

25. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy

7.8
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61 Metascore

A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the Principal thinks of that.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones

Votes: 269,218 | Gross: $70.14M