The 80s weren’t all about bad perms, shoulder pads and oversized blazers. It was also an era that gave us one of the best decades of movies. The 80s changed the way of film for life, what with their never seen before special effects, diversity, fun and feel good factor in the millions. No movie collection would be complete without some classic 80s blockbusters thrown in. We give you a list of what we consider the best 80s movies ever made.
10. An American Werewolf In London
“Number 10 for the best 80s movies of all time is American Werewolf in London. I think many of us can remember the scene when David changes in to a werewolf. Alright…it might look a bit ropey as far as today’s standards go. However, back then, it was considered to be at the cutting edge of special effects, never seen before. This is why we rank this as one of the best 80s movies”.
Two backpackers from America, David and Jack, end up in the Yorkshire moors backpacking. While walking across the moors, it’s starting to get dark and so they end up in a pub called the Slaughtered Lamb. When things turn hostile, they decide to call it a night. They’re told to stick to the road and not to venture onto the moors during the night. The backpackers become disorientated and lose track of where they’re going, landing themselves back on the moors where they are attacked. Jack ends up killed whilst David survives and ends up in hospital in London. When the next full moon appears, he turns in to a werewolf and makes his way across London on a murderous campaign.
Release date: 1981
Starring: David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, Jenny Agutter and John Woodvine
Directed by: John Landis
Grossed at the box office: $62 million
“Tom Hanks, young in his career, does a great job of portraying a 12 year old boy in a 30 years old’s body. A fun, family film – uplifting and still hilariously funny making this one of the best 80s movies we’ve seen”.
Josh is a 12 year old school boy that attends his local fair. He spots a girl he fancies from school and is embarrassed when he’s rejected on to a ride. When Josh comes across a fairground genie machine, he makes a wish to be big. Overnight, Josh ages in to adulthood, freaking his mother out and so flees to hide out in the city, aiming to find the genie machine again. His only help is his friend Billy who helps him find a job and an apartment until they can find the machine again.
Release date: 1988
Starring: Tom Hanks, John Heard, Elizabeth Perkins and Robert Loggia
Directed by: Penny Marshall
Grossed at the box office: $152 million
“Despite the film being over 30 years old, it is still worthy of our best 80s movie list. One of the great things about this film is that there aren’t too many things in the world that are more imposing them Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s good to see Arnold Schwarzenegger finally meet his match’.
Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is an ex special forces Major and has team of paramilitary rescue soldiers. They’re approached by Dillon (Carl Weather), an old friend of Dutch who he met whilst serving their time in the military. Dillon, who now works for the CIA, requires Dutch and his team to carry out a rescue mission for hostages held in the heart of jungle. After getting dropped off in the jungle by helicopters, they find the wreckage of a helicopter along with three dead men who have been skinned. Dutch comes to realise that they are fighting something they have never encountered before…and that they are being hunted.
Release date: 1987
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers
Directed by: John McTierman
Grossed at the box office: $98 million
7. The Terminator
“For any sci-fi lovers, this is likely one of their best 80s movies ever made. The thought of robots back then may have been considered a far fetched tale. Nowadays, not so. There is no better actor to play the Terminator than Arnie’.
In 2029, Skynet are the creators of machines trying to eliminate humans. Their only resistance is John Connor and so in order for Skynet to win their war, Skynet send a cyborg back in time to terminate John’s mother before he can be born. However, the rebellion are aware of this and so also send one of their soldiers back, knowing that the Terminator will stop at nothing until it has killed Sarah and has completed his mission.
Release date: 1984
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton and Paul Fiedel
Directed by:James Cameron
Grossed at the box office: $78 million
“Sci-fi horror at it’s best. Voted one of the best sci-fi films ever made and now best 80s movies made. James Cameron went all out with this, as he usually does…we wouldn’t ever expect anything less from such a Director. Sigourney Weaver plays an impressive role. There aren’t many sequels that are better than the first – but this is surely one of them”.
After spending 57 years in hypo-sleep, Ripley and her ship are picked up in space by her company, The Weyland-Yutani Corporation. Ripley is then questioned regarding her claim to an alien on her ship and how she had come to losing all her crew. Ripley then learns that there has been a colony, Hadleys Hope, sent to Exomoon LV-426 where Ripley and her crew had encountered the alien. Ripley is asked to revisit the Exomoon LV-426, accompanied by marines to which she agrees to. She soon finds out her nightmare has started all over again.
Release date: 1986
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen and William Hope
Directed by: James Cameron
Grossed at the box office: $183 million
5. Back to the Future
“Ranking in a number 5 for best 80s movies is Back to the Future is an easy viewing, family film featuring comedy, action, sci-fi and romance, all rolled into one. This may sound impossible (and even hellish)…however, believe us when we tell you it works!”
Marty McFly, played by Michael J Fox, is a High School teenager living in Hill Valley. In the early hours of the morning, Marty gets a call from his good friend Dr Emmett Brown, who happens to be a mad scientist. Brown asks Marty to meet him in a parking lot whereby he reveals a scientific breakthrough – a time machine. Just before Brown takes a journey to the future, Libyan terrorists turn up to attack Brown for him having stolen their plutonium. Brown is killed and so Marty is forced to drive the time machine. However, finds himself going back in time to 1955 where he finds the younger Brown who is the only person that can help.
Release date: 1885
Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Crispin Glover and Lea Thompson
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Grossed at the box office: $381 million
4. The Goonies
“For anyone born in the 80s, you’ll remember this film well. Youth, innocence and adventure, this film is still loved by the masses, including by kids of today. It’s a timeless 80s classic, guaranteed to please any age”.
A group of friends that call themselves The Goonies find that their homes are under threat due to the expanding Country Club. Whilst searching one day in a loft, Chunk knocks over a picture to discover an old treasure map. The Goonies suddenly realise that the map could be the answer to their prayers and so embark on an endangered journey, pursued by bank robbers who chase them under the tunnels with dungeons, booby traps and more.
Release date: 1985
Starring: Josh Brolin, Sean Astin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton and Ke Huy Quan
Directed by: Richard Donner
Grossed at the box office: $61 million
“This has had such an impact, we can still recall the song today. A mixed bag of comedy, action and spooky moments – this is one of our all time best 80s movies”.
Three scientists, who study paranormal and psychic phenomena at Columbia University finally come face to face with a ghost. After losing their position at the University, they believe that they can catch a real ghost. They are approached by Dana Barrett who believes she has paranormal activity in her apartment, with the most activity reported from her fridge. Later, it’s found that this New York building is the key source for all paranormal activity that has led to the increase of ghostly appearances in the city. Due to demand, the Ghostbusters take on another colleague, Winston – to make 4. The Ghostbusters are then faced with the challenge of their lives to save the city from destruction.
Release date: 1984
Directed by: Ivan Reitman
Grossed at the box office: $295 million
2. Stand By Me
“A classic, well acted masterpiece of the 80s. Stand By Me captures youth, innocence and friendship. Incredibly moving and touching in more places than one, this film easily made our list of the best 80s movies ever made”.
Based in 1959, four friends Gordie, Chris ,Teddy and Vern decide to go on a trip that they will never forget. Vern was looking for pennies that he buried under his house when he happened hear his older brother talking about seeing Ray Brower near the railways lines. Ray Brower was young boy that had gone missing weeks before. Thinking that he was probably hit by a train late at night, Gordie and his friends go on a journey along train lines in search for body of Ray.
Release date: 1986
Starring: River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell and Kiefer Sutherland
Directed by: Rob Reiner
Grossed at the box office: $52 million
1. Indiana Jones Raiders Of The Lost Ark
“Last but not least for our best 80s movies, our all time favourite goes to Indiana Jones. Spielberg turned the eyes of the world to archaeology which some may have previously deemed boring. This fun packed film has it all…action, comedy and adventure. Even though Harrison Ford wasn’t the first choice for the lead role, we’re grateful that he was cast”.
Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is a famous archaeologist that goes to the extreme to find ancient artefacts from buildings that are placed with booby traps. Dr Jones also studies at Marshall College where he is approached by army intelligence. He’s told that the Nazis have found Tanis and are looking for the Ark of the Covenant which is said to hold the power of God. Dr Jones has been assigned the task of finding the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis get to it.
Release date: 1981
Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhy-Davies Ronald Lacey and Denholm Elliott
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Grossed at the box office: $390 million