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The best movies of the 1980s


Based on a pub discussion I had over the weekend. What are your top ten movies of that great, weird decade for cinema?

I’m on my phone now but thought I’d get the ball rolling.

  1. Princess Bride
  2. Aliens
  3. The Right Stuff
  4. Predator
  5. Highlander
  6. Amadeus
  7. Coming to America
  8. Rocky 4
  9. Wrath of Khan
  10. Return of the Jedi

I mean, that’s a fucking list right there. Man the 80’s were simply fantastic.


Oh man, this is going to be impossible.

In no particular order:

Back to the Future
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Naked Gun
Beverly Hills Cop
Empire Strikes Back

And I just know I’ve left out some classics.


This was impossible
There are so many that I left out. So I parsed it down to just the ones that I felt covered most genre-bases rather than ones I think would be my own top ten cause it was too difficult to cut down to 10 otherwise.

The Elephant Man
American Pop
The Thing
Blood Simple
This Is Spinal Tap
The Princess Bride
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?


Mrs Wallace has told me off for leaving out Labyrinth, Dark Crystal and Tango & Cash.

And I’ve told myself off for leaving out Blade Runner.

I would have sworn that was late '70s, but you’re right.


I’ve told myself off for leaving out The Last Temptation of Christ.


Hm, my favorite decade when it somes to movies. It’d be a shame not to answer. My 10 picks would be:

2.Die Hard
3.Beverly Hills Cop 2
6.The Running Man
8.They Live

I didn’t consider The Shining, as it is made in 1970s, only released in 1980.
Sadly, I left Big Trouble in Little China, Extreme Prejudice, Scarface and Lethal Weapon 2


This is a really tough one as there were so many great movies from the 80’s. I’m going with this:

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
The Goonies
Back To The Future
Die Hard
Big Trouble In Little China

I could easily make a top 50 or top 100 for the 80’s. There are just too many.

EDIT: Making this list really inspired me to rewatch some of these. Time to start digging through boxes in the basement.


I shouldn’t have posted so fast. I’m kicking myself over this now, too.



This is a hard one - trying to whittle the best decade for movies into a top ten, but I definitely know how the list starts

  1. The Lost Boys
  2. The Goonies

Then, in no order

Back to the Future
Beverly Hills Cop
Stand by Me

I could easily add another 10 or 20 to that 8 that I like just as much or that are as influentia. Raiders, Elm St, Evil Dead 2 (edit - total recall was 90)


Empire Strikes Back
Return of the Jedi
Blade Runner
The Thing
This is Spinal Tap
Star Trek II, III, IV
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Temple of Doom
Last Crusade
The Howling
An American Werewolf in London
Nightmare on Elm Street
Fast Times at Ridgemont Higj
Day of the Dead

  • I’m also giving out an honorable mention to 80s horror. Films like Ghost Story, Cat People, Hellraiser, and others. They might not nevessarily have been great films, but they pushed boundaries with regards to sex, nudity, gore, and violence, and included some great, innovative special effects.


Oh, lists! I love making those!

  1. Blade Runner
  2. Full Metal Jacket
  3. Time Bandits
  4. Ghostbusters
  5. Goonies
  6. Back to the Future
  7. Scarface
  8. Midnight Run
  9. Amadeus
  10. The Name of the Rose

The order of most of them might be changed at any point.


While I’m not sure it would make my cut this was actually the movie that prompted the pub discussion over the weekend.


Honestly Robert’s a bastard for making us limit our lists to just 10. It’s pretty impossible, you could make it a top 40 and still leave off some really great movies.


This is why I usually don’t participate in these lists. :wink:

Unless I’m trolling. :wink:


Basically, rename the title of the thread to “The best movies are the 1980s!”

I think my top four are set but then the rest are hard to separate…

01/ Ghostbusters
02/ The Wrath of Khan
03/ Back to the Future
04/ The Terminator
05/ Die Hard
06/ Predator
07/ Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
08/ Trading Places
09/ First Blood
10/ Say Anything

Special mention to Christmas Vacation, which is probably the one I’ve seen the most since it pops onto the watch list every December.


Scrooged for me.


Oh yeah, it’s basically torture. When everyone has had a chance to weigh in I will throw together a master list based on everyone who kept it to ten.

Without thinking a ton here is mine:

Do the Right Thing
Empire Strikes Back
The King of Comedy
Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Raiders of the Lost Ark

And I feel like a twat for not including any horror, music movies, or indie/foreign movies (or really even sci-fi!)—all of which could get their own top ten.


I wonder what Chief Millar would pick out of it…?


But you could even do ten for each year. 1987 alone had:

Beverly Hills Cop 2, The Brave Little Toaster, Broadcast News, Dirty Dancing, Empire of the Sun, Evil Dead 2, Fatal Attraction, Full Metal Jacket, Good Morning Vietnam, Hellraiser, House of Games, Innerspace, The Last Emperor, Less Than Zero, Lethal Weapon, The Lost Boys, Matewan, Monster Squad, Moonstruck, Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Planes Trains and Automobiles, Predator, Prince of Darkness, Princess Bride, Radio Days, Raising Arizona, Robocop, Roxanne, The Running Man, Sign O the Times, Spaceballs, Straight to Hell, The Untouchables, Wall Street, Wings of Desire, Withnail & I, and the Witches of Eastwick. More that I’ve left off.

Now that is a goddamn year of movies. No matter what you like but especially if you like sci-fi and horror.

(And what was #1 in the US box office? Three Men and a Baby)