The 25 Best Movies From the 80s That You Really Need to Watch Right

What are the best ’80s movies you really need to watch right now?

The 80s was a time of great movies that are still relevant today. They are so popular that they have been remade and rebooted over and over again. But what makes these movies so great? Every film has its own unique story.

The following is a list of the best ’80s movies you really need to watch right now:

1. Raising Arizona (1987)

The most important thing to remember about the film Raising Arizona is that it is a comedy. One of the best comedies of all time, in fact. It was released in 1987 and tells the story of H.I. McDunnough (Nicolas Cage) and his wife Edwina (Holly Hunter) who live in a small desert town with their daughter Maury (Carrie Fisher). They have been trying to conceive for years and when they finally decide to try IVF, things go terribly wrong for them and their daughter.

The movie revolves around how H.I.’s criminal past catches up with him and he has to find a new place for his family while also trying to keep his criminal activities from catching up with him again.

2. Purple Rain (1984)

Purple Rain is one of the best movies from the 1980s. It was released in 1984 and it’s a musical film directed by Albert Magnoli. The film stars Prince and Apollonia Kotero, who are both nominated for Academy Awards for their roles in the film.

Purple Rain is an American coming-of-age drama that follows a young man, played by Prince, as he struggles to find his place in a world of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. He befriends two girls at his neighborhood church who introduce him to the world of sex and drugs. Eventually he joins them on their adventures as they struggle to make it big in show business.

Purple Rain was well received by critics upon release and has since been hailed as one of the best films from the 1980s.

3. Airplane! (1980)

Airplane! is one of the best movies from the 1980s and has been ranked as one of the top 100 movies of all time by IMDb.

This movie is a parody of airport disaster movies. It was released in 1980 and it has a cast consisting of many actors who went on to have successful careers, such as Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Douglas Cramer.

The movie became an instant hit and it was later remade in 1998 with an ensemble cast that included Leslie Nielsen, Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Peter Graves and Peter Scolari.

4. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

Once Upon a Time in America is one of the best ’80s movies. It was directed by Sergio Leone and written by Bernardo Bertolucci.

The movie tells the story of an immigrant from Italy who arrives in New York City during the Great Depression and rises to become a crime boss. He is torn between his love for his wife, his friendships with Jewish gangsters, and his desire for revenge against those who betrayed him.

This movie has won numerous awards including five Academy Awards, three BAFTA Awards, two Golden Globes, one Directors Guild of America Award and one Writers Guild of America Award.

5. The Elephant Man (1980)

The Elephant Man is also one of the best movies from the 1980s. It is a film about a deformed man who maintains his dignity despite being mocked and abused by society.

The movie was based on the true story of Joseph Merrick, a 19th-century Englishman who was born with severe deformities that led to him being subjected to public ridicule and physical abuse.

7. WarGames

WarGames is a 1983 American science-fiction thriller film directed by John Badham. It stars Matthew Broderick as David Lightman, a young computer prodigy who hacks into WOPR, the United States military’s top-secret system that controls nuclear weapons.

WarGames is about a computer hacker who accidentally starts World War III.

A young computer prodigy hacks into WOPR, the United States military’s top-secret system that controls nuclear weapons and inadvertently starts World War III.

8. A Christmas Story

The movie opens with Ralphie, a young boy, standing in front of his mother’s Christmas tree. He gets an eye infection and has to wear an eye patch. His father is away at war and his mother worries about how the family will make ends meet for Christmas.

Ralphie’s mother sends him out to the store to buy a gift for his father, but he can’t find anything he likes. He finally decides on a BB gun that costs $25, but when he returns home with it, he realizes that the gun doesn’t work.

He goes back out to the store and tries again, this time buying a much cheaper model of BB gun that still doesn’t work.

9. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a 1986 American teen comedy film written, produced, and directed by John Hughes. It stars the late John Hughes as Ferris Bueller, Matthew Broderick as Ferris’s best friend Cameron Frye, Mia Sara as Sloane Peterson and Alan Ruck as Ferris’s brother.

The movie was released on June 11th 1986 in the US and had its European premiere on June 18th 1986 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

The film was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director (John Hughes), Best Original Screenplay (John Hughes), and Best Supporting Actor (Alan Ruck).

Synopsis: Ferris Bueller is a high school senior who decides to skip school one day to go on an elaborate adventure with his girlfriend.

The day starts off with him playing hooky from school, in which he also secretly tapes over his sister’s bedroom door as a prank on her husband. That morning, his mother is informed that Ferris has skipped school and is out of the house by the time she wakes up.

10. Poltergeist (1982)

Poltergeist is a horror film that tells the story of a family who moves into a new home, only to discover that their house is haunted by evil forces. It was directed by Tobe Hooper and written by Steven Spielberg.

The movie has become one of the most successful films in history, grossing over $138 million worldwide. It was released on June 4th 1982 and has been remade twice as well as becoming part of the franchise Poltergeist: The Legacy.

Poltergeist is one of the best ’80s movies because it’s an iconic horror film with good acting, great special effects and memorable characters.

11. Die Hard

The film is set in Los Angeles in 1988, on Christmas Eve. John McClane, a New York City police officer, travels to L.A. for his wife’s Christmas party. He arrives late and discovers that his wife has been taken hostage by a group of terrorists led by Hans Gruber.

John McClane is an LAPD detective who is visiting his wife Holly Gennaro at the Nakatomi Plaza on Christmas Eve to celebrate her work-related party when she is taken hostage by Hans Gruber and his terrorist gang, who demand $600 million in exchange for her release. McClane manages to escape from the building with the help of fellow hostages and Léon (the building’s night watchman), and then finds himself trapped inside Nakatomi Plaza with no way out.

McClane arrives at Nakatomi Plaza on Christmas Eve, where he has been invited to a company party. The party is going well until a group of terrorists led by Hans Gruber takes over the building and kidnaps Holly Gennaro.

12. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

is one of the best ’80s movies. It has been a cult favorite for decades. The movie was released during the height of the music industry and helped to popularize the phrase “rockumentary.”

The movie is about a band called Spinal Tap who are making a documentary about themselves. Throughout the movie, they play their instruments and make jokes about their inabilities to play their instruments well.

The movie has been referenced in many other movies including Wedding Crashers, Airplane! and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

13. Why is the movie Sixteen Candles (1984) is one of Best ’80s Movies

The movie Sixteen Candles is one of the best ’80s movies. It is about a teenage girl named Samantha who is desperate to lose her virginity before she turns 18. The movie has been compared to American Graffiti, which was released in 1973, because it has similar themes and nostalgia.

Sixteen Candles is a coming-of-age story that follows Samantha’s journey as she tries to lose her virginity before turning 18. Samantha’s mother forces her daughter into an arranged marriage with a man whose last name she cannot remember. She doesn’t want to get married but feels pressured by her family and friends so she eventually agrees to the wedding after some persuasion from her friend Jake, who also becomes one of the main love interests in the film.

14. Real Genius (1985)

The movie Real Genius is one of the best ’80s movies. It was released in 1985 and it stars Val Kilmer as a student who builds a computer that learns to think for itself. The film is rated R and has received mixed reviews from critics.

Why is the movie  Real Genius  (1985) one of the best ’80s movies?

The movie Real Genius (1985) was released in 1985, starring Val Kilmer as a student who builds a computer that learns to think for itself. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but still has fans today.

15. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

In the 1980s, movies about aliens were all the rage and E.T. was one of the most popular ones.

E.T. is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, based on his story of the same name from his 1977 novel, The Extra-Terrestrial.

The screenplay was written by Melissa Mathison from a story by Spielberg and Brian Altenberg, and it stars Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace Stone, John Lithgow, and Carol Anne Lee.

The film follows a boy who helps stranded outer-space visitors communicate with their home planet.

16. The Shining (1980)

The Shining is a 1980 horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. It is based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel of the same name.

The Shining was one of the most commercially successful horror films ever made, and it has remained popular with audiences for decades.

Many critics consider The Shining one of the best ’80s movies, alongside other classics such as E.T., The Terminator, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Blade Runner, and Back to the Future.

17. Raging Bull (1980)

Raging Bull is a 1980 American biographical sports drama film about the professional boxer Jake LaMotta and his life in and out of the ring.

The movie Raging Bull is one of the best ’80s movies because it depicts a story of a man who has gone from being an up-and-coming boxer to an aging, washed-up fighter.

The film also shows how difficult it is for him to come to terms with his past, as well as the pain he has caused those around him.

The movie Raging Bull was released in 1980 and was nominated for eleven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Robert De Niro), Best Director (Martin Scorsese), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Joe Pesci) and more.

18. The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club is a 1985 American coming-of-age comedy film written, produced and directed by John Hughes. The film was released on December 25, 1985 in the United States and has since become a cult classic.


Five teenagers from different backgrounds are forced to spend a Saturday detention together in detention room 5B at their high school.

19. Pretty in Pink (1986)

Pretty in Pink is a 1986 romantic comedy film directed by Howard Deutch and starring Molly Ringwald and Jon Cryer.

It tells the story of Andie Walsh, a 16-year-old girl who is looking for love, and Blane McDonough, a 17-year-old boy who has just moved to town.

Pretty in Pink was one of the best ’80s movies because it is still relatable to modern audiences. It is about finding love at your teenage years when you are trying to figure out what you want from life.

18. Evil Dead II (1987)

The movie “Evil Dead II” is one of the best ’80s movies because it is a horror comedy. It has a dark sense of humor which makes it stand out from other films in the genre.

The film was directed by Sam Raimi, who also co-wrote and produced with Bruce Campbell.  It was filmed on location in Michigan, and released on April 1, 1987 to critical acclaim and commercial success.  It was later followed by two sequels: “Evil Dead III” and “Army of Darkness”.

19. Police Story (1985)

“Police Story” (1985) is an action movie set in Hong Kong. It tells the story of two police officers who are assigned to a case of a man who kills people and then eats their hearts. The movie stars Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.

The movie was released on September 5, 1985 and was the first film that Jackie Chan had starred in. It was also the first time that he had been in a Hollywood production.

It is considered to be one of the best movies from the 1980s and has been ranked number 90 on Entertainment Weekly’s “100 Greatest Movies of All Time”.

20. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is one of the best movies in the ’80s. It is an Italian movie that has been released in 1988 and it was directed by Pedro Almodóvar.

The movie tells the story of four women who are trying to escape their lives and find happiness. They are trying to escape from their boring, mundane lives by taking a trip to Ibiza. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards and won three out of them.

The reason why this movie is one of Best ’80s Movies is because it’s unique, funny, and has a good story that will make you laugh out loud or cry.

21. Heathers’ (1988)

This movie has been called one of the best ’80s movies by many publications.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 American action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, released on May 23, 1984. It is the second installment in the Indiana Jones franchise. The film stars Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones and Sean Connery as Henry Jones Sr., with Amrish Puri and Kate Capshaw in supporting roles.

Heathers (1988) is a black comedy film that was released on July 24, 1988. It was written by Daniel Waters and directed by Michael Lehmann, who also produced it with his partner, David Gale. The film stars Winona Ryder as Veronica Sawyer, Christian Slater as Jason “J” Dean and Shannen Doherty as Brenda Walsh.

22. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

The movie is about Indiana Jones and his team’s search for the lost Ark of the Covenant.

Indiana Jones is a professor at Marshall College in Cairo who studies ancient civilizations. In this movie, he and his team are forced to go on a dangerous journey to find the Ark of the Covenant.

The movie starts with Indiana Jones arriving in Shanghai. He is met by Short Round, an orphaned child who has become Indy’s new sidekick. Indy has a brief discussion with Professor Sallah before they set off on their quest for the Ark of the Covenant. The team travels to Pankot Palace, where they meet Willie Scott, an old flame from Indy’s college days.

She helps them sneak into Pankot Palace so that they can steal an artifact from Rajah. The team is then captured by the Pankot guards, led by Major Eaton. The Major informs them that they will be brought before the Maharajah himself. Indy and his companions are locked in a dungeon cell, where they find themselves chained to pipes.

23. Back to the Future

In this movie, Marty McFly travels to the past in order to change the course of history. The film shows how he and his friend, Doc Brown, use a time machine to go back in time.

The movie has been released three times: in 1985, 1989 and 1990. In every release, the film was re-edited with new scenes and a different musical score.

24. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

The movie is about the dehumanizing effects of war on soldiers. It follows a group of Marines who are sent to Vietnam and then to Afghanistan. The movie is based on a novel by Gustav Hasford, a former Marine himself.

Full Metal Jacket tells the story of a group of young men who are sent to Vietnam from the United States and then to Afghanistan from Iraq. The Marine Corps recruits them for their physical strength, but they quickly learn that there is more than just physical strength required for survival in this environment. The film was directed by Stanley Kubrick and was released in 1987.

25. They Live (1988)

“They Live” is an American science fiction horror movie released in 1988. It was directed by John Carpenter. The film uses a unique take on the idea of “the Matrix” and follows an unemployed construction worker who discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to see the “real world” and the underground society around him.

This list of ’80s movies has been compiled to help you discover some of the best movies from the decade. It is not exhaustive, so if you think there’s a movie missing or one that should be on this list, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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