The best 1980s films

by Ellie Haynie | created - 18 Jun 2012 | updated - 18 Jun 2012 | Public

This is a list of some films from the 1980s that I really enjoy. They are in no particular order.

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1. The Lost Boys (1987)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

63 Metascore

After moving to a new town, two brothers discover that the area is a haven for vampires.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Dianne Wiest, Barnard Hughes

Votes: 104,670 | Gross: $32.22M

2. The Outsiders (1983)

PG | 91 min | Crime, Drama

41 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: 64,162 | Gross: $25.60M

3. Red Dawn (1984)

PG-13 | 114 min | Action, Drama

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: 45,490 | Gross: $38.38M

4. Footloose (1984)

PG | 107 min | Drama, Music, Romance

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: 59,724 | Gross: $80.04M

5. Top Gun (1986)

PG | 110 min | Action, Drama, Romance

50 Metascore

As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.

Director: Tony Scott | Stars: Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer

Votes: 245,541 | Gross: $179.80M

6. St. Elmo's Fire (1985)

R | 110 min | Drama, Romance

35 Metascore

A group of friends, just out of college, struggle with adulthood.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Emilio Estevez

Votes: 31,016 | Gross: $37.80M

7. The Breakfast Club (1985)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

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: 296,633 | Gross: $45.88M

8. Young Guns (1988)

R | 107 min | Action, Crime, Drama

50 Metascore

A group of young gunmen, led by Billy the Kid, become deputies to avenge the murder of the rancher who became their benefactor. But when Billy takes their authority too far, they become the hunted.

Director: Christopher Cain | Stars: Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen

Votes: 47,355 | Gross: $45.66M

9. The Goonies (1985)

PG | 114 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

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: 202,946 | Gross: $61.50M

10. Dream a Little Dream (1989)

PG-13 | 114 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

An accident puts the consciousness of an elderly dream researcher into the body of a bratty teenager. The problem? The kid prefers dreamworld limbo to real life.

Director: Marc Rocco | Stars: Corey Feldman, Jason Robards, Piper Laurie, Meredith Salenger

Votes: 5,434 | Gross: $5.55M

11. Lucas (1986)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

A socially inept fourteen year old experiences heartbreak for the first time when his two best friends -- Cappie, an older-brother figure, and Maggie, the new girl with whom he is in love -- fall for each other.

Director: David Seltzer | Stars: Corey Haim, Kerri Green, Charlie Sheen, Courtney Thorne-Smith

Votes: 12,781 | Gross: $8.20M

12. Stand by Me (1986)

R | 89 min | Adventure, Drama

75 Metascore

After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell

Votes: 315,528 | Gross: $52.29M

13. That Was Then... This Is Now (1985)

R | 102 min | Crime, Drama

Two juvenile delinquents find themselves growing apart, for one is growing up, and the other is staying young and reckless.

Director: Christopher Cain | Stars: Emilio Estevez, Craig Sheffer, Larry B. Scott, Matthew Dudley

Votes: 1,886 | Gross: $8.63M

14. Illegally Yours (1988)

PG | 102 min | Comedy

Called up for jury duty, Richard Dice finds his first crush and only real, but unrequited love, on trial for murder. Richard desperately tries to prove Mollys innocence while untangling a ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich | Stars: Rob Lowe, Colleen Camp, Kenneth Mars, Kim Myers

Votes: 752 | Gross: $0.26M

15. License to Drive (1988)

PG-13 | 88 min | Comedy

36 Metascore

A teen decides to go for a night on the town with his friends despite flunking his driver's test.

Director: Greg Beeman | Stars: Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Carol Kane, Richard Masur

Votes: 15,605 | Gross: $22.43M

16. Youngblood (1986)

R | 110 min | Drama, Romance, Sport

A skilled young hockey prospect hoping to attract the attention of professional scouts is pressured to show that he can fight if challenged during his stay in a Canadian minor hockey town. ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Markle | Stars: Rob Lowe, Cynthia Gibb, Patrick Swayze, Ed Lauter

Votes: 10,700 | Gross: $15.45M

17. The Brotherhood of Justice (1986 TV Movie)

R | 97 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A group of high school students, led by a rich boy Derek, is sick of school violence and decides to become underground vigilantes named "Brotherhood of Justice". It starts with the idea of ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Braverman | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Kiefer Sutherland, Lori Loughlin, Joe Spano

Votes: 1,356

18. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

PG | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy, Music

44 Metascore

Two seemingly dumb teens set off on a quest to prepare the ultimate historical presentation with the help of a time machine.

Director: Stephen Herek | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin, Terry Camilleri

Votes: 93,933 | Gross: $40.49M

19. Parenthood (1989)

PG-13 | 124 min | Comedy, Drama

82 Metascore

The Buckmans are a midwestern family all dealing with their lives: estranged relatives, raising children, pressures of the job, and learning to be a good parent and spouse.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Steve Martin, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest, Jason Robards

Votes: 38,942 | Gross: $100.05M

20. Pretty in Pink (1986)

PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

57 Metascore

A poor girl must choose between the affections of her doting childhood sweetheart and a rich but sensitive playboy.

Director: Howard Deutch | Stars: Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Harry Dean Stanton, Annie Potts

Votes: 63,037 | Gross: $40.47M

21. Mannequin (1987)

PG | 90 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

21 Metascore

A young artist, searching for his vocation, makes a mannequin so perfect he falls in love with it. Finding the mannequin in a store window, he gets a job there and his creation comes to life.

Director: Michael Gottlieb | Stars: Andrew McCarthy, Kim Cattrall, Estelle Getty, James Spader

Votes: 25,339 | Gross: $42.72M

22. Less Than Zero (1987)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama

A college freshman returns to L.A. for the holidays at his ex-girlfriend's request, but discovers that his former best friend has an out-of-control drug habit.

Director: Marek Kanievska | Stars: Andrew McCarthy, Jami Gertz, Robert Downey Jr., James Spader

Votes: 16,057 | Gross: $12.40M

23. Weekend at Bernie's (1989)

PG-13 | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

32 Metascore

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.

Director: Ted Kotcheff | Stars: Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman, Catherine Mary Stewart, Terry Kiser

Votes: 42,133 | Gross: $30.22M

24. Explorers (1985)

PG | 109 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

57 Metascore

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?

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix, Jason Presson, Bradley Gregg

Votes: 16,724 | Gross: $9.87M

25. Little Nikita (1988)

PG | 98 min | Drama, Thriller

An FBI agent works to uncover an All-American family as Soviet sleeper agents and gets caught up in friendship with their unaware son.

Director: Richard Benjamin | Stars: Sidney Poitier, River Phoenix, Richard Jenkins, Caroline Kava

Votes: 4,282 | Gross: $1.73M