Quintessential '80s

by zerowing-1 | created - 28 Mar 2016 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

If you wanna know what it was like back then, these will take you there.

Obviously not a comprehensive list, but a representative one.

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1. Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)

PG-13 | 104 min | Comedy, Drama

71 Metascore

A bored suburban housewife, seeking escape from her life, suffers amnesia after an accident, wakes up, and is mistaken for a free-spirited New York City drifter named Susan.

Director: Susan Seidelman | Stars: Rosanna Arquette, Madonna, Aidan Quinn, Mark Blum

Votes: 19,445 | Gross: $27.40M

New York City at the height of the '80s. Madonna's first movie.

2. Thief of Hearts (1984)

R | 100 min | Drama, Thriller, Crime

A woman trapped in a boring marriage begins an affair with a handsome man who seems able to read her mind. She doesn't know that he has broken into her house and read her diaries, where she... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Day Stewart | Stars: Steven Bauer, Barbara Williams, John Getz, David Caruso

Votes: 1,488 | Gross: $10.44M

The music, the clothes, the hair

3. 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: 323,459 | Gross: $45.88M

4. Flashdance (1983)

R | 95 min | Drama, Music, Romance

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: 43,584 | Gross: $94.90M

Leg warmers

5. 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: 64,556 | Gross: $80.04M

6. Top Gun (1986)

PG | 110 min | Action, Drama

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: 268,144 | Gross: $179.80M

7. Back to the Future (1985)

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

87 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: 955,557 | Gross: $210.61M

8. Innerspace (1987)

PG | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

66 Metascore

A hapless store clerk must foil criminals to save the life of the man who, miniaturized in a secret experiment, was accidentally injected into him.

Director: Joe Dante | Stars: Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan, Kevin McCarthy

Votes: 50,559 | Gross: $25.89M

9. TRON (1982)

PG | 96 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

58 Metascore

A computer hacker is abducted into the digital world and forced to participate in gladiatorial games where his only chance of escape is with the help of a heroic security program.

Director: Steven Lisberger | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan

Votes: 107,178 | Gross: $33.00M

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

PG | 115 min | Family, Sci-Fi

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: 342,399 | Gross: $435.11M

11. Rocky IV (1985)

PG | 91 min | Drama, Sport

40 Metascore

Rocky Balboa proudly holds the world heavyweight boxing championship, but a new challenger has stepped forward: Drago, a six-foot-four, 261-pound fighter who has the backing of the Soviet Union.

Director: Sylvester Stallone | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers

Votes: 172,628 | Gross: $127.87M

12. Risky Business (1983)

R | 99 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

A Chicago teenager is looking for fun at home while his parents are away, but the situation quickly gets out of hand.

Director: Paul Brickman | Stars: Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay, Joe Pantoliano, Richard Masur

Votes: 74,859 | Gross: $63.50M

13. Dirty Dancing (1987)

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

65 Metascore

Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances "Baby" Houseman falls in love with the camp's dance instructor, Johnny Castle.

Director: Emile Ardolino | Stars: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes

Votes: 179,827 | Gross: $0.62M

14. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

R | 105 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

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: 150,950 | Gross: $234.76M

15. Miami Vice (1984–1989)

TV-14 | 48 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Resplendent with authentic 1980's music, fashion and vibe, "Miami Vice" follows two undercover detectives and their extended team through the mean streets of Miami.

Stars: Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Saundra Santiago, Olivia Brown

Votes: 21,073

Tough guys in pastels? You know it!

16. The Karate Kid (1984)

PG | 126 min | Action, Drama, Family

60 Metascore

A boy and his mother move to California for a new job. He struggles to fit in, as a group of karate students starts to bully him for dating a rich girl from their clique. It's up to the Japanese landlord, Miyagi, to teach him karate.

Director: John G. Avildsen | Stars: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue, Martin Kove

Votes: 160,629 | Gross: $90.82M

17. Die Hard (1988)

R | 132 min | Action, Thriller

72 Metascore

An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

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

Votes: 730,103 | Gross: $83.01M

18. Into the Night (1985)

R | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Thriller

Over the course of one night, a beaten down L.A. engineer accidentally meets, falls for and tries to help a beautiful jewel thief on the run from some extremely dangerous people.

Director: John Landis | Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Pfeiffer, Stacey Pickren, Carmen Argenziano

Votes: 10,089 | Gross: $7.56M

19. The Untouchables (1987)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

During the era of Prohibition in the United States, Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop ruthless Chicago gangster Al Capone, and because of rampant corruption, assembles a small, hand-picked team to help him.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Charles Martin Smith

Votes: 259,348 | Gross: $76.27M

The movie, of course, isn't set in the '80s, but pay attention to the little details and you'll see it's a distinct product of the '80s.

20. Lethal Weapon (1987)

R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

68 Metascore

Two newly paired cops who are complete opposites must put aside their differences in order to catch a gang of drug smugglers.

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

Votes: 222,068 | Gross: $65.21M

One of the first cop buddy flicks

21. Top Gun (1986)

PG | 110 min | Action, Drama

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: 268,144 | Gross: $179.80M



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