The Best Family Films of the 80's

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1.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world. (115 mins.)
 
2.
Back to the Future (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Marty McFly, a seventeen-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-travelling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown. (116 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
 
3.
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
 
4.
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
 
5.
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
 
6.
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
 
7.
Flight of the Navigator (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
In 1978, a boy travels 8 years into the future and has an adventure with an intelligent, wisecracking alien ship. (90 mins.)
Director: Randal Kleiser
 
8.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
To save Earth from an alien probe, Admiral James T. Kirk and his fugitive crew go back in time to San Francisco in 1986 to retrieve the only beings who can communicate with it: humpback whales. (119 mins.)
Director: Leonard Nimoy
 
9.
The Little Mermaid (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A mermaid princess makes a Faustian bargain with an unscrupulous sea-witch in order to meet a human prince on land. (83 mins.)
 
10.
Oliver & Company (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A lost and alone kitten joins a gang of dogs engaged in petty larceny in New York City. (74 mins.)
Director: George Scribner
 
11.
Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
When assorted people start having inexplicable delusions that lead to their deaths, a teenage Sherlock Holmes decides to investigate. (109 mins.)
Director: Barry Levinson
 
12.
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.)
 
13.
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
 
14.
Superman II (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Superman agrees to sacrifice his powers to start a relationship with Lois Lane, unaware that three Kryptonian criminals he inadvertently released are conquering Earth. (127 mins.)
Director: Richard Lester
 
15.
The Secret of NIMH (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
To save her ill son, a field mouse must seek the aid of a colony of rats, with whom she has a deeper link than she ever suspected. (82 mins.)
Director: Don Bluth
 
16.
An American Tail (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
While emigrating to the United States, a young Russian mouse gets separated from his family and must relocate them while trying to survive in a new country. (80 mins.)
Director: Don Bluth
 
17.
A Christmas Story (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect Christmas gift. (94 mins.)
Director: Bob Clark
 
18.
The Dark Crystal (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
On another planet in the distant past, a Gelfling embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of a magical crystal, and so restore order to his world. (93 mins.)
Director: Jim Henson, Frank Oz
 
19.
WarGames (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III. (114 mins.)
Director: John Badham
 
20.
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
 
21.
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
“ Just remembered it some how, maybe because it's a little violent and scary for kids. ” - jwoehr
 
22.
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.)
 
23.
The Last Starfighter (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Video game expert Alex Rogan finds himself transported to another planet after conquering The Last Starfighter video game only to find out it was just a test. He was recruited to join the team of best starfighters to defend their world from the attack. (101 mins.)
Director: Nick Castle
 
24.
The NeverEnding Story (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A troubled boy dives into a wondrous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book. (102 mins.)
 
25.
Explorers (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A boy obsessed with 50s sci-fi movies about aliens has a recurring dream about a blueprint of some kind, which he draws for his inventor friend. With the help of a third kid, they follow it and build themselves a spaceship. Now what? (109 mins.)
Director: Joe Dante
 
26.
Return to Oz (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Dorothy, saved from a psychiatric experiment by a mysterious girl, is somehow called back to Oz when a vain witch and the Nome King destroy everything that makes the magical land beautiful. (113 mins.)
Director: Walter Murch
“ Disturbing for kids some-what but so was Gremlins and critics didn't hate it like they hated this. ” - jwoehr
 
27.
The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Kermit, Gonzo and Fozzie are reporters who travel to Britain to interview a rich victim of jewel thieves and help her along with her secretary, Miss Piggy. (97 mins.)
Director: Jim Henson
 
28.
The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Kermit and his friends go to New York to get their musical on Broadway only to find it's a more difficult task than they anticipated. (94 mins.)
Director: Frank Oz
 
29.
Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
When eccentric man-child Pee-Wee Herman gets his beloved bike stolen in broad daylight, he sets out across the U.S. on the adventure of his life. (91 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
 
30.
The Journey of Natty Gann (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
In the 1930s, a tomboyish girl runs away from her guardian to join her single father who is 2,000 miles away, because there was work there. (101 mins.)
Director: Jeremy Kagan
 
31.
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
 
32.
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
 
33.
Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A babysitter must battle her way through the big city after being stranded there with the kids she's looking after. (102 mins.)
Director: Chris Columbus
 
34.
The Princess Bride (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
While home sick in bed, a young boy's grandfather reads him a story called The Princess Bride. (98 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
 
35.
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
 
36.
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Two seemingly dumb teens set off on a quest to prepare the ultimate historical presentation with the help of a time machine. (90 mins.)
Director: Stephen Herek