Roger Ebert's Yearly Top Films Lists-- 1980 - 1989by kingwilson | created - 30 Apr 2011 | updated - 26 May 2011 | Public
Each year is a "Top Ten". These lists are broken up into decades. I figure it's a good way to find new movies.
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1. The Black Stallion (1979)
G | 118 min | Adventure, Family, Sport
While traveling with his father, young Alec becomes fascinated by a mysterious Arabian stallion who is brought on board and stabled in the ship he is sailing on. When it tragically sinks ... See full summary »
2. Raging Bull (1980)
R | 129 min | Biography, Drama, Sport
Emotionally self-destructive boxer, Jake La Motta's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it.
Votes: 270,905 | Gross: $23.38M
3. Kagemusha (1980)
PG | 162 min | Drama, History, War
A petty thief with an utter resemblance to a samurai warlord is hired as the lord's double. When the warlord later dies the thief is forced to take up arms in his place.
4. Being There (1979)
PG | 130 min | Comedy, Drama
A simple, sheltered gardener becomes an unlikely trusted advisor to a powerful businessman and an insider in Washington politics.
Votes: 57,561 | Gross: $30.18M
5. Ordinary People (1980)
R | 124 min | Drama
The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.
Votes: 39,666 | Gross: $54.80M
6. The Great Santini (1979)
PG | 115 min | Drama
As he approaches manhood, Ben Meechum struggles to win the approval of his demanding alpha male father, an aggressively competitive, but frustrated Marine pilot.
PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
After the rebels are brutally overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader.
Votes: 983,338 | Gross: $290.48M
8. Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
PG | 124 min | Biography, Drama, Music
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.
Votes: 14,377 | Gross: $67.18M
9. American Gigolo (1980)
R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A Los Angeles male escort, who mostly caters to an older female clientèle, is accused of a murder which he did not commit.
Votes: 18,085 | Gross: $23.00M
10. Best Boy (1979)
111 min | Documentary, Biography
In this documentary, the director follows the day-to-day activities of his retarded, middle-aged cousin Philly, over a three-year period.
11. My Dinner with Andre (1981)
PG | 110 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama
Two old friends meet for dinner; as one tells anecdotes detailing his experiences, the other notices their differing worldviews.
Votes: 14,219 | Gross: $5.25M
12. Chariots of Fire (1981)
PG | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Sport
Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew, and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.
Votes: 46,330 | Gross: $58.97M
13. Gates of Heaven (1978)
Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama
A documentary about a pet cemetery in California, and the people who have pets buried there.
14. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure
Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.
Votes: 758,496 | Gross: $248.16M
15. Heartland (1979)
PG | 96 min | Western, Drama
A widow with a young daughter travels to a ranch in Wyoming to manage the household of a rancher. After a while the man and woman develop a relationship that leads to a marriage. But life in the harsh place takes its toll.
16. Atlantic City (1980)
R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
In a corrupt city, a small-time gangster and the estranged wife of a pot dealer find themselves thrown together in an escapade of love, money, drugs, and danger.
17. Thief (1981)
R | 122 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Coming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the Mafia, who has other plans for him.
Votes: 19,580 | Gross: $11.49M
18. Body Heat (1981)
R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman persuades her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.
Votes: 26,044 | Gross: $24.06M
19. Tess (1979)
PG | 186 min | Drama, Romance
A strong-willed young peasant girl becomes the affection of two men.
20. Reds (1981)
PG | 195 min | Biography, Drama, History
A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia, and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States.
Votes: 18,231 | Gross: $40.38M
21. Sophie's Choice (1982)
R | 150 min | Drama, Romance
Sophie is the survivor of Nazi concentration camps, who has found a reason to live in Nathan, a sparkling if unsteady American Jew obsessed with the Holocaust. They befriend Stingo, the ... See full summary »
Votes: 33,923 | Gross: $30.04M
22. Diva (1981)
R | 117 min | Thriller
Two tapes, two Parisian mob killers, one corrupt policeman, an opera fan, a teenage thief, and the coolest philosopher ever filmed. All these characters twist their way through an intricate and stylish French language thriller.
Votes: 10,283 | Gross: $0.11M
23. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
PG | 115 min | Family, Sci-Fi
A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.
Votes: 318,070 | Gross: $435.11M
24. Fitzcarraldo (1982)
PG | 158 min | Adventure, Drama
The story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an extremely determined man who intends to build an opera house in the middle of a jungle.
25. Burden of Dreams (1982)
Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary
A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively ... See full summary »
26. Personal Best (1982)
R | 124 min | Drama, Sport
The intertwined lives and loves of three highly-ranked athletes striving for the national team; Chris bounces between the beds of male coach Terry and her female friend, competitor, and role model Tory.
Votes: 2,121 | Gross: $5.67M
27. Das Boot (1981)
R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller
The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth, and sheer terror.
Votes: 195,878 | Gross: $11.49M
28. Mephisto (1981)
Unrated | 144 min | Drama
A German stage actor finds unexpected success and mixed blessings in the popularity of his performance in a Faustian play as the Nazis take power in pre-WWII Germany. As his associates and ... See full summary »
29. Moonlighting (1982)
PG | 97 min | Drama
A Polish contractor, Nowak, leads a group of workmen to London so they can provide cheap labor for a government official based there. Nowak (Irons) has to manage the project and the men as ... See full summary »
30. The Verdict (1982)
R | 129 min | Drama
A lawyer sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling.
Votes: 30,228 | Gross: $54.00M
31. The Weavers: Wasn't That a Time (1981)
PG | 78 min | Documentary, Music
Documentary about the blacklisted folk group, "The Weavers," and the events leading up to their triumphant return to Carnegie Hall.
32. The Right Stuff (1983)
PG | 193 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
The story of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and their macho, seat-of-the-pants approach to the space program.
Votes: 49,716 | Gross: $21.50M
33. Terms of Endearment (1983)
PG | 132 min | Comedy, Drama
Follows hard-to-please Aurora looking for love, and her daughter's family problems.
Votes: 46,310 | Gross: $108.42M
34. The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)
PG | 115 min | Drama, Romance, War
A young Australian reporter tries to navigate the political turmoil of Indonesia during the rule of President Sukarno with the help of a diminutive photographer.
Votes: 17,135 | Gross: $10.28M
35. Fanny and Alexander (1982)
R | 188 min | Drama
Two young Swedish children experience the many comedies and tragedies of their family, the Ekdahls.
Votes: 49,126 | Gross: $4.97M
36. Gandhi (1982)
PG | 191 min | Biography, Drama, History
Gandhi's character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed.
Votes: 197,841 | Gross: $52.77M
37. El Norte (1983)
R | 141 min | Drama
Peasants escaping mindless labor and a murderous Guatemalan government head to America in hopes for something better.
38. Testament (1983)
PG | 90 min | Drama
The life of a suburban American family is scarred after a nuclear attack.
Votes: 4,937 | Gross: $2.04M
39. Silkwood (1983)
R | 131 min | Biography, Drama, History
A worker at a plutonium processing plant is purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing worker safety violations at the plant.
Votes: 15,755 | Gross: $35.62M
40. Say Amen, Somebody (1982)
G | 100 min | Documentary, Music
Documentary about the American gospel music scene, focusing on two of the movement's pioneering forces, Thomas A. Dorsey and Willie May Ford Smith.
41. Risky Business (1983)
R | 99 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
A Chicago teenager is looking for fun at home while his parents are away, but the situation quickly gets out of hand.
Votes: 69,064 | Gross: $63.50M
42. Amadeus (1984)
R | 160 min | Biography, Drama, History
The life, success and troubles of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as told by Antonio Salieri, the contemporary composer who was insanely jealous of Mozart's talent and claimed to have murdered him.
Votes: 316,029 | Gross: $51.97M
43. Paris, Texas (1984)
R | 145 min | Drama
Travis Henderson, an aimless drifter who has been missing for four years, wanders out of the desert and must reconnect with society, himself, his life, and his family.
Votes: 66,432 | Gross: $2.18M
44. Love Streams (1984)
PG-13 | 141 min | Drama
Two closely bound, emotionally wounded siblings reunite after years apart.
45. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
R | 82 min | Comedy, Music
Spinal Tap, one of England's loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DiBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.
Votes: 115,131 | Gross: $0.19M
46. The Cotton Club (1984)
R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Music
The Cotton Club was a famous night club in Harlem. The story follows the people who visited the club, those who ran it, and is peppered with the Jazz music that made it so famous.
Votes: 14,092 | Gross: $25.93M
47. Secret Honor (1984)
Not Rated | 90 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama
A fictionalized former President Richard M. Nixon offers a solitary, stream-of-consciousness reflection on his life and political career - and the "true" reasons for the Watergate scandal and his resignation.
48. The Killing Fields (1984)
R | 141 min | Biography, Drama, History
A journalist is trapped in Cambodia during tyrant Pol Pot's bloody 'Year Zero' cleansing campaign, which claimed the lives of two million 'undesirable' civilians.
Votes: 45,753 | Gross: $34.70M
49. Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
R | 89 min | Comedy, Drama
A New Yorker's life is thrown into a tailspin when his younger cousin surprise visits him, starting a strange, unpredictable adventure.
Votes: 28,962 | Gross: $2.44M
50. Choose Me (1984)
R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance