Favorite Movies of the 1980s

by KyB83 | created - 12 Mar 2015 | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

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1. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Not Rated | 89 min | Animation, Drama, War

A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.

Director: Isao Takahata | Stars: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara

Votes: 201,226

DVD

2. 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: 21,962 | Gross: $11.49M

3. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

66 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 794,058 | Gross: $44.02M

DVD

4. Raging Bull (1980)

R | 129 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

89 Metascore

The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, whose violence and temper that lead him to the top in the ring destroyed his life outside of it.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent

Votes: 292,117 | Gross: $23.38M

DVD

5. Scarface (1983)

R | 170 min | Crime, Drama

65 Metascore

In Miami in 1980, 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: 673,210 | Gross: $45.60M

6. The Terminator (1984)

R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

A seemingly indestructible robot is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a young waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against sentient machines, while a human soldier from the same war is sent to protect her at all costs.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield

Votes: 738,269 | Gross: $38.40M

DVD

7. Platoon (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, War

92 Metascore

A young soldier in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David

Votes: 355,015 | Gross: $138.53M

DVD

8. Hoosiers (1986)

PG | 114 min | Drama, Sport

76 Metascore

A coach with a checkered past and a local drunk train a small town high school basketball team to become a top contender for the championship.

Director: David Anspaugh | Stars: Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper, Sheb Wooley

Votes: 40,093 | Gross: $28.61M

9. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

R | 116 min | Drama, War

76 Metascore

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio, Adam Baldwin

Votes: 617,815 | Gross: $46.36M

DVD

10. 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: 258,354 | Gross: $76.27M

DVD

11. Fatal Attraction (1987)

R | 119 min | Drama, Thriller

67 Metascore

A married man's one-night stand comes back to haunt him when that lover begins to stalk him and his family.

Director: Adrian Lyne | Stars: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer, Ellen Latzen

Votes: 68,382 | Gross: $156.65M

DVD

12. 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: 727,690 | Gross: $83.01M

DVD

13. Rain Man (1988)

R | 133 min | Drama

65 Metascore

Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino, Gerald R. Molen

Votes: 444,829 | Gross: $178.80M

DVD

14. Mississippi Burning (1988)

R | 128 min | Crime, Drama, History

65 Metascore

Two F.B.I. Agents, with wildly different styles, arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand, Brad Dourif

Votes: 80,056 | Gross: $34.60M

15. Colors (1988)

R | 120 min | Action, Crime, Drama

66 Metascore

An experienced cop and his rookie partner patrol the streets of East Los Angeles while trying to keep the gang violence under control.

Director: Dennis Hopper | Stars: Sean Penn, Robert Duvall, Maria Conchita Alonso, Randy Brooks

Votes: 22,589 | Gross: $46.62M

DVD

16. Frantic (1988)

R | 120 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

66 Metascore

In a hotel room in Paris, a doctor comes out of the shower and finds that his wife has disappeared. He soon finds himself caught up in a world of intrigue, espionage, gangsters, drugs and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Harrison Ford, Betty Buckley, Emmanuelle Seigner, Djiby Soumare

Votes: 45,688 | Gross: $17.64M

17. Batman (1989)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure

69 Metascore

The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal Joker.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl

Votes: 315,885 | Gross: $251.19M

18. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

PG | 99 min | Drama

81 Metascore

An old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur in the American South have a relationship that grows and improves over the years.

Director: Bruce Beresford | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy, Dan Aykroyd, Patti LuPone

Votes: 90,188 | Gross: $106.59M

19. Lean on Me (1989)

PG-13 | 108 min | Drama

58 Metascore

The dedicated but tyrannical Joe Clark is appointed the principal of a decaying inner-city school and he is determined to improve by any and all means.

Director: John G. Avildsen | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Beverly Todd, Robert Guillaume, Alan North

Votes: 16,837 | Gross: $31.91M

20. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)

NC-17 | 124 min | Crime, Drama

62 Metascore

The wife of an abusive criminal finds solace in the arms of a kind regular guest in her husband's restaurant.

Director: Peter Greenaway | Stars: Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren, Alan Howard

Votes: 32,002 | Gross: $7.72M

21. The Thing (1982)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

57 Metascore

A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Richard Masur

Votes: 335,953 | Gross: $13.78M

22. The Color Purple (1985)

PG-13 | 154 min | Drama

78 Metascore

A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Avery

Votes: 72,176 | Gross: $98.47M

DVD

23. Field of Dreams (1989)

PG | 107 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

57 Metascore

An Iowa corn farmer, hearing voices, interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields; he does, and the 1919 Chicago White Sox come.

Director: Phil Alden Robinson | Stars: Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, Amy Madigan

Votes: 101,039 | Gross: $64.43M

DVD

24. Birdy (1984)

R | 120 min | Drama, War

After two friends return home from the Vietnam War one becomes mentally unstable and obsesses with becoming a bird.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Matthew Modine, Nicolas Cage, John Harkins, Sandy Baron

Votes: 19,931 | Gross: $1.46M

25. The Big Blue (1988)

PG | 168 min | Adventure, Drama, Sport

35 Metascore

The rivalry between Enzo and Jacques, two childhood friends and now world-renowned free divers, becomes a beautiful and perilous journey into oneself and the unknown.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Jean-Marc Barr, Jean Reno, Rosanna Arquette, Paul Shenar

Votes: 45,006 | Gross: $3.50M

DVD

26. Akira (1988)

R | 124 min | Animation, Drama, Sci-Fi

A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath who can only be stopped by two teenagers and a group of psychics.

Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo | Stars: Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Tesshô Genda

Votes: 143,091 | Gross: $0.55M

DVD

27. The Killing Fields (1984)

R | 141 min | Biography, Drama, History

76 Metascore

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.

Director: Roland Joffé | Stars: Sam Waterston, Haing S. Ngor, John Malkovich, Julian Sands

Votes: 47,979 | Gross: $34.70M

DVD

28. Moonstruck (1987)

PG | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

83 Metascore

Loretta Castorini, a bookkeeper from Brooklyn, New York, finds herself in a difficult situation when she falls for the brother of the man she has agreed to marry.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello

Votes: 44,419 | Gross: $80.64M

DVD

29. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

R | 229 min | Crime, Drama

A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams

Votes: 281,771 | Gross: $5.32M

DVD

30. Aliens (1986)

R | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

Ellen Ripley is rescued by a deep salvage team after being in hypersleep for 57 years. The moon that the Nostromo visited has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, colonial marines have impressive firepower, but will that be enough?

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser

Votes: 607,393 | Gross: $85.16M

DVD

31. Blade Runner (1982)

R | 117 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

89 Metascore

A blade runner must pursue and terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space, and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Votes: 636,140 | Gross: $32.87M

DVD

32. The Land Before Time (1988)

G | 69 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

66 Metascore

An orphaned brontosaurus teams up with other young dinosaurs in order to reunite with their families in a valley.

Director: Don Bluth | Stars: Pat Hingle, Gabriel Damon, Judith Barsi, Helen Shaver

Votes: 74,095 | Gross: $48.09M

33. 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: 340,929 | Gross: $435.11M

DVD

34. Missing (1982)

PG | 122 min | Biography, Drama, History

78 Metascore

When an idealistic American writer disappears during the Chilean coup d'état in September 1973, his wife and father try to find him.

Director: Costa-Gavras | Stars: Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Mayron, John Shea

Votes: 16,785 | Gross: $14.00M

35. 1984 (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: 60,680 | Gross: $8.40M

36. Blow Out (1981)

R | 108 min | Mystery, Thriller

85 Metascore

A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow, Dennis Franz

Votes: 38,153 | Gross: $13.75M

37. Gandhi (1982)

PG | 191 min | Biography, Drama, History

79 Metascore

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.

Director: Richard Attenborough | Stars: Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Rohini Hattangadi, Roshan Seth

Votes: 208,900 | Gross: $52.77M

DVD

38. Blue Velvet (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

76 Metascore

The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern

Votes: 164,610 | Gross: $8.55M

39. Mona Lisa (1986)

R | 104 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A man recently released from prison manages to get a job driving a call girl from customer to customer.

Director: Neil Jordan | Stars: Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson, Michael Caine, Robbie Coltrane

Votes: 11,880 | Gross: $5.79M

40. 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: 146,473 | Gross: $40.46M

41. Brubaker (1980)

R | 131 min | Crime, Drama

54 Metascore

The new warden of a small prison farm in Arkansas tries to clean it up of corruption after initially posing as an inmate.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg | Stars: Robert Redford, Yaphet Kotto, Morgan Freeman, Jane Alexander

Votes: 14,616 | Gross: $37.12M

42. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

G | 86 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

86 Metascore

When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto, Shigesato Itoi

Votes: 242,748

43. The Natural (1984)

PG | 138 min | Drama, Sport

61 Metascore

An unknown comes seemingly out of nowhere to become a legendary player with almost divine talent.

Director: Barry Levinson | Stars: Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger

Votes: 40,303 | Gross: $47.95M

44. Vagabond (1985)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, Romance

A young woman's body is found frozen in a ditch. Through flashbacks and interviews, we see the events that led to her inevitable death.

Director: Agnès Varda | Stars: Sandrine Bonnaire, Macha Méril, Stéphane Freiss, Setti Ramdane

Votes: 7,140

45. Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989)

R | 102 min | Drama

Set in Brooklyn during the 1950s against a backdrop of union corruption and violence. A prostitute falls in love with one of her customers. Also a disturbed man discovers that he is homosexual.

Director: Uli Edel | Stars: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Stephen Lang, Burt Young, Peter Dobson

Votes: 5,382 | Gross: $1.73M

46. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)

R | 88 min | Comedy, Drama

85 Metascore

A television actress encounters a variety of eccentric characters after embarking on a journey to discover why her lover abruptly left her.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Carmen Maura, Antonio Banderas, Julieta Serrano, Rossy de Palma

Votes: 31,739 | Gross: $7.18M

47. 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: 32,720 | Gross: $54.00M

48. Gloria (1980)

PG | 123 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

68 Metascore

When a young boy's family is killed by the mob, their tough neighbor Gloria becomes his reluctant guardian. In possession of a book that the gangsters want, the pair go on the run in New York.

Director: John Cassavetes | Stars: Gena Rowlands, Buck Henry, Julie Carmen, Tony Knesich

Votes: 7,514

49. Paris, Texas (1984)

R | 145 min | Drama