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We are thrilled to present our list of the 35 best ’80s movies of all time. This decade was a golden age for the film industry, producing countless iconic 80s movies that have stood the test of time. We have spent countless hours analyzing and deliberating, and we are confident that our list will provide you with a comprehensive guide to the best films of the ’80s.
List of Top Best ’80s Movies of All Time
1. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Directed by Steven Spielberg, Raiders of the Lost Ark is a classic adventure movie that follows Indiana Jones on his quest to find the lost Ark of the Covenant. The film is filled with iconic moments and thrilling action sequences, making it a must-see for any movie lover.
2. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Another Spielberg classic, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a heartwarming story about a young boy who befriends an alien stranded on Earth. The film is an emotional rollercoaster, with moments of joy and sadness that have touched audiences for decades.
3. Back to the Future (1985)
Back to the Future is a sci-fi comedy that tells the story of Marty McFly, a teenager who accidentally travels back in time to the 1950s. The film is a perfect blend of humor, action, and heart, making it one of the most beloved 80s movies of all time.
4. Ghostbusters (1984)
Ghostbusters is a comedy classic that follows a group of scientists who start a business to capture ghosts in New York City. The film is filled with memorable characters and hilarious moments, making it a fan favorite to this day.
5. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
The Empire Strikes Back is the second installment in the original Star Wars trilogy and is widely considered the best of the series. The film features iconic characters like Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo, and is packed with thrilling action sequences that have stood the test of time.
6. Die Hard (1988)
Die Hard is a classic action movie that stars Bruce Willis as John McClane, a cop who finds himself trapped in a skyscraper with a group of terrorists. The film is a non-stop thrill ride, with plenty of explosions and one-liners that have become pop culture staples.
7. The Breakfast Club (1985)
The Breakfast Club is a coming-of-age comedy-drama that follows a group of high school students from different cliques who spend a Saturday together in detention. The film is a poignant exploration of teenage angst and is beloved by audiences of all ages.
8. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a classic comedy that tells the story of a high school student who decides to skip school and spend the day in Chicago with his friends. The film is a hilarious romp through the city, with plenty of iconic moments that have become part of pop culture.
9. The Princess Bride (1987)
The Princess Bride is a beloved fantasy adventure that tells the story of a young woman named Buttercup who is kidnapped by a group of pirates. The film is a delightful blend of humor, action, and romance, and is considered one of the best fairy tale movies ever made.
10. Top Gun (1986)
Top Gun is a classic action movie that stars Tom Cruise as Maverick, a fighter pilot who joins an elite training program to become the best of the best. The film is filled with thrilling aerial sequences and a memorable soundtrack that has become a cultural touchstone.
11. Blade Runner (1982)
Blade Runner is a science fiction classic that takes place in a dystopian future where genetically engineered replicants have been created to do dangerous tasks that humans won’t do. Harrison Ford stars as a blade runner tasked with hunting down a group of rogue replicants. The film is a visually stunning masterpiece, with a complex story that explores themes of identity and what it means to be human.
12. The Shining (1980)
Based on the Stephen King novel, The Shining is a horror classic that follows a family who becomes the winter caretakers of a remote hotel. As the isolation sets in, the father (played by Jack Nicholson) descends into madness, leading to a terrifying climax. The film is a masterpiece of suspense and psychological horror, and has become a pop culture staple.
13. Beetlejuice (1988)
Beetlejuice is a quirky comedy-horror that tells the story of a couple who die and become ghosts haunting their old home. When a new family moves in, they hire a “bio-exorcist” named Beetlejuice to scare them away. The film is a wild ride, with colorful characters and a unique visual style that has become synonymous with director Tim Burton.
14. The Karate Kid (1984)
The Karate Kid is a classic coming-of-age sports drama that follows a young boy named Daniel who moves to a new town and learns karate from his neighbor, Mr. Miyagi. The film is a heartwarming underdog story, with memorable moments and a soundtrack that has become iconic.
15. The Goonies (1985)
The Goonies is a beloved adventure movie that follows a group of kids who embark on a treasure hunt to save their neighborhood from being demolished. The film is a nostalgia-fueled ride, with memorable characters and quotable lines that have become part of pop culture.
16. Lethal Weapon (1987)
Lethal Weapon is a classic buddy cop movie that stars Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as mismatched partners trying to stop a drug trafficking ring. The film is a perfect blend of action and comedy, with memorable moments and a great chemistry between the leads.
17. Aliens (1986)
Aliens is the sequel to the classic sci-fi horror movie Alien, and is widely considered one of the best action 80s movies of all time. The film follows Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver) as she returns to the planet where she encountered the xenomorphs in the first film. The film is a thrilling ride, with plenty of suspense and intense action sequences.
18. The NeverEnding Story (1984)
The NeverEnding Story is a fantasy adventure that follows a young boy named Bastian who discovers a magical book that transports him to a world called Fantasia. The film is a visually stunning masterpiece, with memorable creatures and a touching story about the power of imagination.
19. The Terminator (1984)
The Terminator is a classic sci-fi action movie that stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a cyborg assassin sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor (played by Linda Hamilton), the woman who will give birth to the future resistance leader against the machines. The film is a non-stop thrill ride, with iconic moments and a chilling performance from Schwarzenegger.
20. RoboCop (1987)
RoboCop is a sci-fi action movie that takes place in a crime-ridden Detroit, where a police officer is transformed into a cyborg after being critically injured on the job. The film is a satirical take on corporate greed and the militarization of the police force, with plenty of violent action sequences and dark humor.
21. The Thing (1982)
The Thing is a horror classic that follows a group of scientists in Antarctica who are terrorized by an alien creature that can assimilate and mimic its prey. The film is a masterclass in suspense and practical effects, with an all-star cast and a terrifying story that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
22. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a classic teen comedy that follows a high school student named Ferris who fakes an illness to skip school and spends the day having fun in Chicago with his girlfriend and best friend. The film is a feel-good romp, with memorable scenes and a charismatic performance from Matthew Broderick as Ferris.
23. The Princess Bride (1987)
The Princess Bride is a beloved fantasy movie that tells the story of a young woman named Buttercup who is kidnapped and must be rescued by her true love, Westley. The film is a timeless classic, with a perfect blend of action, romance, and humor that appeals to audiences of all ages.
24. Back to the Future (1985)
Back to the Future is a sci-fi comedy that follows a teenager named Marty McFly who accidentally travels back in time to the 1950s and must find a way to get back to the present. The film is a beloved classic, with a memorable soundtrack and iconic performances from Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd.
25. The Breakfast Club (1985)
The Breakfast Club is a classic teen drama that follows a group of high school students from different social cliques who are forced to spend a Saturday in detention together. The film is a poignant exploration of adolescence, with strong performances from the ensemble cast and a memorable soundtrack.
26. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a sci-fi classic that tells the story of a young boy who befriends an alien stranded on Earth and helps him return home. The film is a touching tale of friendship and acceptance, with a memorable score and unforgettable visuals.
27. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is an action-adventure movie that stars Harrison Ford as the iconic archaeologist Indiana Jones, who must race against Nazis to find the Ark of the Covenant. The film is a thrilling ride, with unforgettable action sequences and a charismatic performance from Ford.
28. The Blues Brothers (1980)
The Blues Brothers is a musical comedy that follows two brothers who must reunite their band to raise money for the orphanage where they grew up. The film is a hilarious romp, with unforgettable musical performances and a memorable chase scene through the streets of Chicago.
29. Dirty Dancing (1987)
Dirty Dancing is a romantic drama that follows a young woman named Baby who falls in love with a dance instructor while on vacation with her family. The film is a timeless classic, with memorable dance sequences and a touching story about first love.
30. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street is a horror movie that follows a group of teenagers who are terrorized in their dreams by a burned and scarred man named Freddy Krueger. The film is a classic, with a terrifying villain and memorable death scenes that have become iconic in the horror genre.
31. Platoon (1986)
Platoon is a war drama that follows a young soldier’s experience in the Vietnam War. The film is a gritty and realistic depiction of war, with outstanding performances from Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, and Willem Dafoe.
32. Beetlejuice (1988)
Beetlejuice is a supernatural comedy that follows a recently deceased couple who enlist the help of a ghost named Beetlejuice to scare off the new occupants of their home. The film is a quirky and offbeat gem, with memorable performances from Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder.
33. The NeverEnding Story (1984)
The NeverEnding Story is a fantasy movie that follows a young boy who reads a magical book that transports him to a fantastical world called Fantasia. The film is a beloved classic, with memorable characters and a sense of wonder and adventure that appeals to audiences of all ages.
34. The Lost Boys (1987)
The Lost Boys is a horror-comedy that follows two brothers who move to a new town and discover that it is overrun by a gang of teenage vampires. The film is a fun and campy romp, with memorable performances from Kiefer Sutherland and Corey Feldman.
The 1980s were a golden era for movies, as the industry produced some of the most iconic films of all time. It was the decade that saw the rise of blockbuster cinema, the emergence of new genres, and the birth of some of the most legendary film franchises ever created. The 80s had it all, from high-concept comedies to action-packed adventures and thrilling dramas that left audiences on the edge of their seats.
The 80s movies were a time of great creativity and innovation in the film industry, with a wide variety of movies that have become beloved classics. From sci-fi action movies to romantic dramas and coming-of-age stories, the 80s had something for everyone. Whether you’re a fan of the classics or discovering them for the first time, these 35 80s movies are sure to provide hours of entertainment and nostalgia.