Movies set in the '80s

by rowan_hendriks | created - 04 Nov 2016 | updated - 1 month ago | Public
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1. Argo (2012)

R | 120 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1979.

Director: Ben Affleck | Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin

Votes: 545,200 | Gross: $136.03M

2. No Country for Old Men (2007)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

91 Metascore

Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 789,213 | Gross: $74.28M

3. Scarface (1983)

R | 170 min | Crime, Drama

65 Metascore

In 1980 Miami, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Votes: 685,138 | Gross: $45.60M

4. Let the Right One In (2008)

R | 114 min | Drama, Horror, Romance

82 Metascore

Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.

Director: Tomas Alfredson | Stars: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl

Votes: 198,065 | Gross: $2.12M

5. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

PG-13 | 117 min | Biography, Drama

64 Metascore

A struggling salesman takes custody of his son as he's poised to begin a life-changing professional career.

Director: Gabriele Muccino | Stars: Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith, Brian Howe

Votes: 416,433 | Gross: $163.57M

6. Wonderland (2003)

R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

43 Metascore

In the police investigation of a brutal crime scene, one man was at the center of it all: legendary porn star John Holmes.

Director: James Cox | Stars: Val Kilmer, Lisa Kudrow, Kate Bosworth, Christina Applegate

Votes: 20,616 | Gross: $1.06M

7. This Is England (2006)

Not Rated | 101 min | Crime, Drama

86 Metascore

A young boy becomes friends with a gang of skinheads. Friends soon become like family, and relationships will be pushed to the very limit.

Director: Shane Meadows | Stars: Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Jo Hartley, Andrew Shim

Votes: 111,516 | Gross: $0.33M

8. The Lives of Others (2006)

R | 137 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

89 Metascore

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck | Stars: Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur

Votes: 333,104 | Gross: $11.29M

9. Submarine (2010)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

15-year-old Oliver Tate has two objectives: To lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and an ex-lover who has resurfaced in her life.

Director: Richard Ayoade | Stars: Craig Roberts, Sally Hawkins, Paddy Considine, Noah Taylor

Votes: 81,332 | Gross: $0.47M

10. Adventureland (2009)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

In the summer of 1987, a college graduate takes a 'nowhere' job at his local amusement park, only to find it's the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world.

Director: Greg Mottola | Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Kelsey Ledgin

Votes: 148,313 | Gross: $16.03M

11. Fargo (1996)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare

Votes: 576,255 | Gross: $24.61M

12. Donnie Darko (2001)

R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

88 Metascore

A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.

Director: Richard Kelly | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne

Votes: 710,278 | Gross: $1.48M

13. No (I) (2012)

R | 118 min | Drama

81 Metascore

An ad executive comes up with a campaign to defeat Augusto Pinochet in Chile's 1988 referendum.

Director: Pablo Larraín | Stars: Gael García Bernal, Alfredo Castro, Antonia Zegers, Luis Gnecco

Votes: 21,819 | Gross: $2.34M

14. 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: 21,415

15. The Rack Pack (2016)

TV-G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

The story of the 1980s snooker rivalry between the flamboyant Alex Higgins and the methodical Steve Davis.

Director: Brian Welsh | Stars: Dennis Taylor, Steve Davis, Alex Higgins, Luke Treadaway

Votes: 1,082

16. Joy (I) (2015)

PG-13 | 124 min | Drama

56 Metascore

Joy is the story of the title character, who rose to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty.

Director: David O. Russell | Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Edgar Ramírez

Votes: 120,947 | Gross: $56.45M

17. Eddie the Eagle (2015)

PG-13 | 106 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

54 Metascore

The story of Eddie Edwards, the notoriously tenacious British underdog ski jumper who charmed the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics.

Director: Dexter Fletcher | Stars: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Tom Costello, Jo Hartley

Votes: 78,493 | Gross: $15.79M

18. Behind the Candelabra (2013)

TV-MA | 118 min | Biography, Drama, Music

A chronicle of the tempestuous six-year romance between megastar singer Liberace and his young lover Scott Thorson.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Eric Zuckerman

Votes: 38,592

19. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

R | 101 min | Crime, Drama

82 Metascore

A pharmacy-robbing dope fiend and his crew pop pills and evade the law.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Matt Dillon, Kelly Lynch, James Le Gros, Heather Graham

Votes: 30,330 | Gross: $4.73M

20. Show Me a Hero (2015)

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama, History

Yonkers Mayor Nick Wasicsko takes office in 1987 and has to deal with the serious subject of the building of public housing in the white, middle class side of the town.

Stars: Oscar Isaac, Carla Quevedo, Peter Riegert, Natalie Paul

Votes: 8,557

21. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

R | 117 min | Biography, Drama

84 Metascore

In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is diagnosed with the disease.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Steve Zahn

Votes: 412,043 | Gross: $27.30M

22. Black or White, Never Gray

Action, Crime, Drama | Announced

In 1989 a bunch of novice thieves get away with the perfect hit to a government bank.

Stars: Edgar Ramírez, Jesús Ochoa, Waldo Urrego, Luis Fernando Montoya

23. The Fighter (I) (2010)

R | 116 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

79 Metascore

Based on the story of Micky Ward, a fledgling boxer who tries to escape the shadow of his more famous but troubled older boxing brother and get his own shot at greatness.

Director: David O. Russell | Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo

Votes: 322,506 | Gross: $93.62M

24. This Is England '86 (2010)

TV-MA | 47 min | Crime, Drama

Shaun has just finished his final exams and he realizes he is no longer a kid. It's mid 80's England, and the gang are back, looking for a laugh, a job and something that resembles a future.

Stars: Andrew Ellis, Andrew Shim, Chanel Cresswell, Danielle Watson

Votes: 10,462

25. This Is England '88 (2011)

TV-MA | 70 min | Crime, Drama

Christmas 1988. Soulmates, woody and Lol find themselves in exile from each other and the gang. Trying to understand the definition 'growing up', Shaun begins a course at College, that quickly takes the wrong turn.

Stars: Andrew Ellis, Andrew Shim, Chanel Cresswell, Charlotte Tyree

Votes: 8,261

26. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (2015)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy

Follows the counselors and campers on their first day at Camp Firewood in the summer of 1981.

Stars: Marguerite Moreau, Zak Orth, Paul Rudd, Michael Showalter

Votes: 21,149

27. Precious (II) (2009)

R | 110 min | Drama

79 Metascore

In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.

Director: Lee Daniels | Stars: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey

Votes: 101,576 | Gross: $47.40M

28. Gods (2014)

120 min | Biography, Drama

The early career of cardiac surgeon Zbigniew Religa. Despite harsh reality of the 1980s Poland, he successfully leads a team of doctors to the country's first human heart transplantation.

Director: Lukasz Palkowski | Stars: Tomasz Kot, Piotr Glowacki, Szymon Piotr Warszawski, Magdalena Czerwinska

Votes: 4,901

29. A Most Violent Year (2014)

R | 125 min | Action, Crime, Drama

79 Metascore

In New York City 1981, an ambitious immigrant fights to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in the city's history.

Director: J.C. Chandor | Stars: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola

Votes: 61,855 | Gross: $5.74M

30. American Made (2017)

R | 115 min | Action, Biography, Comedy

65 Metascore

The story of Barry Seal, an American pilot who became a drug-runner for the CIA in the 1980s in a clandestine operation that would be exposed as the Iran-Contra Affair.

Director: Doug Liman | Stars: Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Jesse Plemons

Votes: 141,465 | Gross: $51.34M

31. Comrade Detective (2017– )

TV-MA | 40 min | Action, Comedy

Parody comedy designed to resemble a non-existent gritty 1980's Cold War Romanian police show that promoted Communist ideals. The action-packed and blood-soaked first season finds Detectives Gregor Anghel and Joseph Baciu investigating the murder of fellow officer Nikita Ionescu and, in the process, unraveling a subversive plot to destroy their country that is fueled by what-else-but the greatest... See full summary »

Stars: Channing Tatum, Florin Piersic Jr., Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Corneliu Ulici

Votes: 2,397

32. Museo (2018)

128 min | Crime, Drama

86 Metascore

In 1985, a group of criminals mock the security of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City to extract 140 pre-Hispanic pieces from their showcases.

Director: Alonso Ruizpalacios | Stars: Gael García Bernal, Simon Russell Beale, Lynn Gilmartin, Bernardo Velasco

Votes: 3,766 | Gross: $0.15M

33. Joker (2019)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

59 Metascore

In Gotham City, mentally troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: the Joker.

Director: Todd Phillips | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy

Votes: 516,011 | Gross: $192.73M



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