25 Great 80s Movies

Matt Winkelmeyer-Getty

There are way more than 25 great 80s movies, but these are some of the best and most memorable of the decade. It’s kind of hard to argue against that.


Michael Loccisano-Getty

This is the movie that many are held up against when talking about 80s movies, without a doubt. Ellen Ripley set a new standard of badassery in her day that has yet to be fully matched.

Full Metal Jacket-1987

Gustavo Caballero-Getty

Maybe there’s a need for another movie like this today, since whatever Stanley Kubrick did worked wonders for recruitment into the armed forces. It was kind of a depressing story, but it was still awesome.

Dead Poets Society-1989

Peter Kramer-Getty

Sure, it’s kind of a slow and ponderous movie, but it has several powerful messages. Not only that, but it gives a new look at brotherhood and what it means.

The Lost Boys-1987

Michael Buckner-Getty

Yes, it’s a little cheesy and campy, but that helps build the legend it became. For one reason or another, this still stands out as one of the best vampire movies ever made.

Stand By Me-1986

Charley Gallay-Getty

As one of the best friend adventure movies out there, this entry is great since so many people can still relate to it. When you’re a kid, the world makes sense until it doesn’t. Think about that.


Frazer Harrison-Getty

This might be able to get made with the same actor today if Al Pacino were still a young man. But all the same, his character was off the rails in a way that many people enjoyed.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off-1986

Michael Loccisano-Getty

Being young and irresponsible has always been popular even if it’s not always a great thing. But somehow, Ferris made it look like one of the best things in the world.

E.T. The Extratrerrestrial-1982

Alberto E. Rodriguez-Getty

Think about it, Drew Barrymore and Henry Thomas were little kids back then. Yeah, that’s how long ago this movie came out.

Back to the Future-1985

Roy Rochlin-Getty

Some movies remain a classic even after being debunked eight ways from Sunday. Of course, time travel is fiction, but Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox made it look feasible.

The Breakfast Club-1985

John W. Ferguson-Getty

Is Saturday school still a thing? In any case, this group of actors, who all belonged to the fabled Brat Pack, were a lot of fun to watch.

Top Gun-1986

Chung Sung-Jun-Getty

It’s tough to say whether the original or the new movie is better, but it’s best to think that they’re a nice complement to one another. After all, the second movie is a continuation, so it’s just as good in some ways.

The Goonies-1985

Michael Buckner-Getty

Those of us in our 30s and 40s remember this iconic 80s movie since it helped to define our childhoods. Quick reveal though, riding your bike from Astoria to Cannon Beach takes a little while.


The original, accept no substitutes and is still the absolute best entry into the franchise. This movie made Ghostbusting cool, and it’s remained the gold standard.


Bryan Bedder-Getty

It was an odd movie, but it had David Bowie in it. Need I say more?

The Neverending Story-1984


How many kids wanted to be like Bastian and get into the story? The movie was very different from the book, but that might have been a good thing.

The Princess Bride-1987

Stephen Lovekin-Getty

There are so many famous lines to remember, but a couple that stand out. After all, Inigo avenging his father was a powerful moment.

Conan the Barbarian-1982

Given that Schwarzenegger didn’t talk until 20 minutes into the movie, this is still an impressive movie. Plus, the addition of Akiro and Subitai was classic.

Police Academy-1984

Dia Dipasupil-Getty

This movie kicked off an entire series of movies that grew progressively weaker the more they made. But the first couple were nothing short of hilarious.


Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Think about a land where humans are called daikinis and halflings are called pecks. It was a well-thought-out story and an epic tale.


Matt Winkelmeyer-Getty

Even though the character this story is based on is still believed a fraud, it was a great movie. Yes, it was campy, and yes, it was corny, but it was still a movie that many of us enjoyed, right?

Raging Bull-1980

Peter Kramer-Getty

This was kind of a brutal movie, but it was one that people took to heart and kept special in their memories. Robert De Niro was a guaranteed moneymaker at one time.

The Shining-1980

Mark Renders-Getty

If there are any fellow writers out there then you know very well what it feels like to feel your mind slipping. Some of us don’t even need the added influence of a ghost-infested hotel.


Frazer Harrison-Getty

The remake of this movie wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t quite as good. There was just something special about the first one, and it was more than the chemistry between Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.

Clash of the Titans-1981

Peter Macdiarmid-Getty

This movie was ahead of its time with the special effects. Plus, the story might have been altered but is still incredible.

The Untouchables-1987

Jerod Harris-Getty

Given that this movie doesn’t conform to history it’s a wonder that many people didn’t call it out. But apart from historians, a lot of folks enjoyed the thrill of this story.


Leave a Reply