Classic 80s Movies You Need To Watch At Least Once In Your Lifetime
1. Clue is spectacular. Very funny, very fast paced, and I love the multiple endings.
2. Stand By Me. When I saw this movie as a kid, I related to the kids. As an adult, I relate to the narrator and it makes it a very interesting viewing experience. It doesn’t just hold up. It evolves with age.
3. Robocop is such a great film. It’s great as an action film but is so much more. It’s really excellent sci-fi with great social commentary.
4. I love Money Pit. I wish Tom Hanks would do another comedy. There’s an entire generation that has never seen him in anything but serious roles.
5. Back To The Future. The script is perfect. It’s like a god damn Swiss watch. Everything matters and pays off.
6. The Thing is not only the greatest horror movie ever made, I’m hard pressed to name a movie I’d rank higher.
7. Airplane! (1980). One of the funniest movies ever made.
8. Die Hard was such a trip when it came out. Looking back it may seem like it’s “just” a stereotypical action movie that was done exactly right. But at the time it subtly redefined action movies, action heroes and movie villains all at once.
9. First Blood. If you divorce this film from the needless and stupid sequels and watch it as a stand-alone film beholden to nothing that comes afterward it’s one of the greatest character studies ever put to film and a classic exploration of PTSD, patriotism and the way Vietnam veterans were treated in the years following the war.
Great cast, great script, great setting, great direction. What a perfect example of a film that is often overlooked because of its association with several terrible sequels that do nothing but shit all over the source material thus nearly rendering that very source almost irrelevant.
10. Heathers is a great movie. I went back and watched it after I saw the musical and it’s still really good fun. Would recommend!
11. Predator is incredibly underrated by a lot of people who see it as a big dumb testosterone filled action jaunt. It’s that and a whole lot more.
If you discount the studio forced dropship scene at the very beginning then you’re onboard with Dutch and his team being completely in the dark.
It starts as a simple straightforward action movie, morphs into a thriller, a horror, and a sci-fi movie.
It plays light on the dialogue for a lot of its runtime and heavy on exposition. Just enough of the Predator is revealed even at the very end to keep its origins mysterious.
And the scene that everyone points at to highlight its dumb machismo is the scene where they obliterate the jungle with firepower. The scene actually highlights their descent into a lack of control, contrast with them attacking the camp where they’re like well oiled machine taking out the rebels with extreme prejudice and hitting everything , conversely they’re completely spooked and losing focus when they let rip and hit nothing.
Predator is fucking masterful.
12. Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I love showing this movie to millennials and younger because high school is such a wildly different world now. Makes me so grateful I came of age in the 80s.
13. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Breakfast Club really dated for me and was unwatchable but Ferris is still classic.
14. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Great movie! I enjoy it every time I watch it. Never gets old.
15. Top Gun has some of the best flying scenes in any movie and I can’t wait for them to fly the F-18s in the next one!
16. Repo Man. ‘I hate normal people. Normal people spend their whole lives trying to avoid tense situations, repo man spends his whole life putting himself into tense situations.’
17. Aliens, probably the best sci-fi action movie of all time.
18. Caddyshack. Everyone knows the Bill Murray meme but I wonder how many know it came from that movie.
19. Christmas Vacation. This is my favorite Christmas movie, has replaced Christmas Story.
20. The Shining. Scared the fuck out of me because I saw it when I was 8, but it’s still such a great horror movie.
21. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. I was so thrown off by this movie. Steve Martin and John Candy in it. Figured it would be an amazing comedy, then bam it hits home on some of the emotions far too well.
22. It took me entirely too long (into my teens) to realize that the Princess Bride is based on a novel by the same name, and it’s a delightful piece of metafiction on top of being as wonderful as the movie would suggest it would be. Get the editions with the author William Goldman’s various commentaries.
23. Coming to America will always be a classic in my eyes.
24. Labyrinth. No joke, this movie still terrifies the shit out of me.
25. The Terminator. The original is still worth watching, it was just overshadowed by its sequel being one of the greatest movies of all time. Also, without the original Terminator, there never would have been a T2.
26. Ghostbusters. Such a perfect movie. Such an off the wall concept that just came out perfect. It makes me wonder how many other scripts are out there that would be classics, but were just so outlandish that they never got made.
27. Blade Runner… For the story and the perfect special effects.
28. Beetlejuice. This has been my favorite movie since I was probably 8, and I’m only 21 now. I’d say it held up pretty good if someone my age has had it as their favorite movie for their whole life.
29. The Running Man is one of my favorites. It clearly has the 80s look though so I’m not sure how well it holds up but it’s fun to watch.
30. The Goonies. Can I state, for the record, how cool it is that the same guy who played Mikey from The Goonies also played Sam in The Lord of the Rings trilogy? Sean Astin has had an interesting acting career.
31. The Outsiders. I still love that movie.
32. I will still cry at Dead Poet’s Society.
33. When Harry Met Sally! One of my favorites.
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