The best 80s movies

Just been rewatching Ghostbusters. The special effects have not aged that well but it’s still fun. I do love 80s movies tho, maybe it’s the nostalgia. Also voting for The Karate Kid and Top Gun (back when Tom wasn’t a nutjob)  

Flat liners, Lost Boys. Anything starring Kiefer Sutherland 

Lost boys 


dirty dancing 

breakfast club 

top gun

I still haven't seen The Breakfast Club.  Is it too late now?

Stixta, I don’t think so. I watched it again the other night and enjoyed it enormously.

There is a hilarious US fight pilot documentary called "Top Guns: the Documentary" on Amazon Prime at the moment.

I wasn't sure if it was real 1980s documentary, but if it's not it is a ridiculously high budget spoof.

It's full of incredibly competitive US Navy fight pilot Alpha Dogs.

Thanks West, I shall try it and see what the fuss is all about.

Watched St Elmo's Fire at the start of lockdown. Great theme tune, terrible film.

Saw Back to the Future at a drive in the other with the family. We all enjoyed it: Great little film and much better than I remembered tbh.

A case of:

“you may not be ready for it yet but your kids are gonna love it”

I re-watched top gun as well recently, followed by an officer and a gentleman. Epic cheese fest.

That said quite a few of the big 80s films feel a bit naff now. Some of the High Concept stuff is really terrible.

There are a few really great films though that I still love:

Stand By Me

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Trading Places

Raging Bull

Chariots of Fire

(oddly the last two I assumed were 70s films, which probably says something about how naff some of the filmmaking in tbe 80s was)

Id throw Empire Strikes back in there too. 


Stand by me is obviously on the list. Excellent novella by Stephen king as well.

There are lots of great picks here but it is comedy films  where the 80s really stood out 

I still feel sorry for Mr Kinney in Robocop. Looking forward to his origins story in the next franchise reboot.

I re-watched Steel Magnolias at the start of lockdown, and that is still such a fantastic film.

Dux: Clockwise? Was that the one with John Cleese? If so...REALLY?!



a fish called wanda. top gun, rain man. there are quite a few films menbtioned above that i haven't watched.

I loved Clockwise as a child and re-watched recently on to discover it is utter shyte.

The ones that I never tire of watching:


Working Girl

The Fabulous Baker Boys

Back to the Future

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade

The Year of Living Dangerously

The Bounty

Dangerous Liaisons


Return of the Jedi

A Fish Called Wanda

The Tall Guy

Dirty Dancing

A Handful of Dust

So may good suggestions here. I regard Back to the Future as pretty much a perfectly made movie. Predator is the greatest Arnie movie ever and anyone who says Commando is wrong.

Can't believe nobody has mentioned the Goonies.

A few good men

the killing fields 

Full metal jacket 

when harry met sally 

Would add

Weird Science

Police Academy

3 Men and a baby

Coming 2 America


Die Hard

To the already illustrious works of art mentioned, I would add:


Space Camp

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

The Never Ending Story

Planes, Trains and Automobiles



But, for me Clive, Back To The Future wins this hands down.

For the grown-ups at that time, I still think Nightmare on Elm Street is the scariest film ever made.

I was about to say never-ending story.

That bit with the horse

*chokes with tears*

Would add flight of the navigator, dark crystal and to properly fck u up, poltergeist 

IMDB says Home Alone is 1990 - otherwise that would have bossed this thread.

Poltergeist is a good shout. I remember the 'Poltergeist curse'.

Also, - say 'Poltergeist' out loud 5 times. Sounds really odd.


Desperately Seeking Susan

The Naked Gun





ooh and 

The Big Easy

Sea of Love

Fatal Attraction

Jagged Edge

I love the bit in Stranger Things where Whatsername makes the fat kid sing the Neverending Story theme.

More guttenburg- high spirits and short circuit

The Oscar winners for Best Picture in the 1980s:


Ordinary People

Chariots of Fire


Terms of Endearment


Out of Africa


The Last Emperor

Rain Man

Driving Miss Daisy


Worst decade for films?  The AFI's 100 films for 100 years only had six from the eighties and only two in the top fifty, and the only one in the Sight & Sound critics' poll that made the top 50 was Shoah. 


So, Raging Bull.

It was a great decade for films.

Those critic lists always have stuff like Citizen Kane which no-one has actually seen


Ignore the critics. I rarely watch a movie for its high art. 

Anything that wins an Oscar for cinematography is deffo in the bin

People who have never seen Citizen Kane are missing out.  It is a masterpiece.

"People who have never seen Citizen Kane are missing out.  It is a masterpiece."

Did it win an Oscar for best picture then?

Back to the future

Planes trains and automobiles 


Working Girl - dont think I’ve seen it on telly since Spacey’s fall from grace.

Seeing some of the shit effects in the never ending story clips makes you realise how good Star Wars was for its time

Minkie, me and Hoolie watch it every time I go to hers! That and International Velvet(!) 

CK’s a dreadful film 


<tedes> oh but it brought out all these new cinematic techniques </tedes>. Bore off!

Withnail and I is an 80s film

tend to forget this because the 60s setting is so convincing 

I find it weird that withnail was made much longer ago from today than the 60s was compared to when it was made.

Ooh these have brought back some amazing memories. 

have films got worse or do we just have too many responsibilities to watch them? 

Overboard is a brilliant one. 

anyone remember a coming of age one where the girl fell in love with a boy driving a pink Cadillac? 

Platoon is top 5 for sure. I also can’t believe I forgot to mention ferris bueller originally 

Pretty in pink with the Cadillac? Didn’t like that so much 

Not pretty in pink. 

was a girl with dark hair early teens and an older guy visits and she falls in love with him. 

ah I’ve just got it as I was typing - my American cousin. 

I had t realized the wachowski brothers were now sisters. (Their phrase)

Having reviewed the thread, I am confirmed in my view it was probably the worst decade for filmmaking..

the only ones i missed that jump out  at me as reallt great films are

Ferris Bueller




maybe Last Emperor and Platoon. Need to watch them again.