MustSee from the '80s

by netrc | created - 28 Jul 2017 | updated - 28 Jul 2017 | Public

My list of must see films from the '80s. I'll leave the blockbusters off, hope to point out some films that may have dropped off the radar. (Apologies for exposure to some '80s fashion crimes)

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords




IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »




Reset



Reset
Release year or range to »




































































































1. Altered States (1980)

R | 102 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

58 Metascore

A Harvard scientist conducts experiments on himself with a hallucinatory drug and an isolation chamber that may be causing him to regress genetically.

Director: Ken Russell | Stars: William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban, Charles Haid

Votes: 28,680 | Gross: $19.85M

Existential science-fiction love story. Script by Paddy Chayefsky.

2. Body Heat (1981)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman persuades her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Richard Crenna, Ted Danson

Votes: 27,194 | Gross: $24.06M

Re-imagined film noir murder mystery. From Lawrence Kasdan.

3. Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)

PG | 124 min | Biography, Drama, Music

87 Metascore

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.

Director: Michael Apted | Stars: Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, Levon Helm, Phyllis Boyens-Liptak

Votes: 14,892 | Gross: $67.18M

Loretta Lynn bio-pic; stunning recreation of her early life in Butcher Holler.

4. The Elephant Man (1980)

PG | 124 min | Biography, Drama

77 Metascore

A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud

Votes: 196,681

Moody, dreamy vision of the life of John Merrick. Great John Hurt (under makeup), directed by David Lynch.

5. The Stunt Man (1980)

R | 131 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

A fugitive stumbles on a movie set just when they need a new stunt man, takes the job as a way to hide out and falls for the leading lady.

Director: Richard Rush | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Steve Railsback, Barbara Hershey, Allen Garfield

Votes: 7,888 | Gross: $7.06M

Film-in-a-film mystery story with Peter O'Toole as director/god/satan

6. Melvin and Howard (1980)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama

The story of hard-luck Melvin E. Dummar, who claimed to have received a will naming him an heir to the fortune of Howard Hughes.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Paul Le Mat, Jason Robards, Elizabeth Cheshire, Mary Steenburgen

Votes: 3,923 | Gross: $4.31M

Slice-of-life supposed story of man who may have been Howard Hughes sole heir.

7. 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.

Director: Louis Malle | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon, Kate Reid, Michel Piccoli

Votes: 12,965

Quirky, character driven look at lives/loves around casino town.

8. Gallipoli (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Drama, History

65 Metascore

Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr, Harold Hopkins

Votes: 33,540 | Gross: $5.73M

Rich, epic story of Australian lads on their way to fight at Gallipoli in WWI

9. Thief (1981)

R | 123 min | Action, Crime, Drama

78 Metascore

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.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, Jim Belushi

Votes: 20,921 | Gross: $11.49M

Good caper film pitting individualist safe cracker against the mob

10. Excalibur (1981)

PG | 140 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

56 Metascore

Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the Round Table of Camelot, even as dark forces conspire to tear it apart.

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi

Votes: 52,714 | Gross: $34.97M

Well done King Arthur epic. Mesmerizing Merlin played by Nicol Williamson.

11. 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.

Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix | Stars: Wilhelmenia Fernandez, Frédéric Andréi, Richard Bohringer, Thuy An Luu

Votes: 10,680 | Gross: $0.11M

12. Das Boot (1981)

R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth and sheer terror.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch

Votes: 204,344 | Gross: $11.49M

Claustrophobic character study from inside a German WWII U-boat

13. A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982)

PG | 88 min | Comedy

51 Metascore

A wacky inventor and his wife invite two other couples for a weekend party at a romantic summer house in the 1900s countryside.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, José Ferrer, Julie Hagerty

Votes: 16,921 | Gross: $9.08M

Love triangles abound in Woody Allen's upstate New York period comedy.

14. Diner (1982)

R | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

82 Metascore

A group of college-age buddies struggle with their imminent passage into adulthood in 1959 Baltimore.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Steve Guttenberg, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Daniel Stern

Votes: 17,106 | Gross: $14.10M

Group of buddies grows up (or not) in Baltimore 1959.

15. The Verdict (1982)

R | 129 min | Drama

77 Metascore

A lawyer sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Paul Newman, Charlotte Rampling, Jack Warden, James Mason

Votes: 31,569 | Gross: $54.00M

Paul Newman is down-and-out lawyer with one last case to redeem himself. He's up against James Mason as the legal 'prince of darkness'.

16. Local Hero (1983)

PG | 111 min | Comedy, Drama

An American oil company sends a man to Scotland to buy up an entire village where they want to build a refinery. But things don't go as expected.

Director: Bill Forsyth | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert, Fulton Mackay, Denis Lawson

Votes: 18,332 | Gross: $5.90M

17. Tender Mercies (1983)

PG | 92 min | Drama, Music

A broken-down, middle-aged country singer gets a new wife, reaches out to his long-lost daughter, and tries to put his troubled life back together.

Director: Bruce Beresford | Stars: Robert Duvall, Tess Harper, Betty Buckley, Wilford Brimley

Votes: 8,301 | Gross: $8.44M

18. Zelig (1983)

PG | 79 min | Comedy

"Documentary" about a man who can look and act like whoever he's around, and meets various famous people.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Patrick Horgan, John Buckwalter

Votes: 36,634 | Gross: $11.80M

19. Never Cry Wolf (1983)

PG | 105 min | Adventure, Drama

A government researcher, sent to research the "menace" of wolves in the north, learns about the true beneficial and positive nature of the species.

Director: Carroll Ballard | Stars: Charles Martin Smith, Brian Dennehy, Zachary Ittimangnaq, Samson Jorah

Votes: 6,972 | Gross: $29.60M

20. The Razor's Edge (1984)

PG-13 | 128 min | Drama, Romance, War

He had everything and wanted nothing. He learned that he had nothing and wanted everything. He saved the world and then it shattered. The path to enlightenment is as sharp and narrow as a razor's edge.

Director: John Byrum | Stars: Bill Murray, Theresa Russell, Denholm Elliott, Catherine Hicks

Votes: 4,536 | Gross: $6.55M

21. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

67 Metascore

In a totalitarian future society, a man, whose daily work is re-writing history, tries to rebel by falling in love.

Director: Michael Radford | Stars: John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton, Cyril Cusack

Votes: 58,812 | Gross: $8.40M

22. Moscow on the Hudson (1984)

R | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

67 Metascore

When a Russian musician defects in Bloomingdale's department store in New York, he finds adjusting to American life more difficult than he imagined.

Director: Paul Mazursky | Stars: Robin Williams, Maria Conchita Alonso, Cleavant Derricks, Alejandro Rey

Votes: 9,948 | Gross: $25.10M

23. The Cotton Club (1984)

R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Music

68 Metascore

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.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: Richard Gere, Gregory Hines, Diane Lane, Lonette McKee

Votes: 14,597 | Gross: $25.93M

24. Runaway Train (1985)

R | 111 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

67 Metascore

Two escaped convicts and a female railway worker find themselves trapped on a train with no brakes and nobody driving.

Director: Andrey Konchalovskiy | Stars: Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay, Kyle T. Heffner

Votes: 23,878 | Gross: $7.94M

25. Prizzi's Honor (1985)

R | 130 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A professional hitman and hitwoman fall in love.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner, Robert Loggia, John Randolph

Votes: 20,787 | Gross: $26.70M

26. The Fly (1986)

R | 96 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

79 Metascore

A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz, Joy Boushel

Votes: 141,488 | Gross: $40.46M

27. The Color of Money (1986)

R | 119 min | Drama, Sport

77 Metascore

Fast Eddie Felson teaches a cocky but immensely talented protégé the ropes of pool hustling, which in turn inspires him to make an unlikely comeback.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Helen Shaver

Votes: 66,768 | Gross: $52.29M

28. Empire of the Sun (1987)

PG | 153 min | Drama, History, War

62 Metascore

A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers

Votes: 103,897 | Gross: $22.24M

29. Raising Arizona (1987)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Crime

68 Metascore

When a childless couple of an ex-con and an ex-cop decide to help themselves to one of another family's quintuplets, their lives become more complicated than they anticipated.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, John Goodman

Votes: 114,634 | Gross: $22.85M

30. Midnight Run (1988)

R | 126 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

78 Metascore

An accountant is chased by bounty hunters, the F.B.I., and the Mafia after jumping bail.

Director: Martin Brest | Stars: Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton

Votes: 63,107 | Gross: $38.41M

31. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)

PG-13 | 104 min | Comedy, Drama

77 Metascore

An ophthalmologist's mistress threatens to reveal their affair to his wife while a married documentary filmmaker is infatuated with another woman.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Martin Landau, Woody Allen, Bill Bernstein, Claire Bloom

Votes: 49,415 | Gross: $18.25M



Recently Viewed