Raiders of the lost ark

Are you looking for the best movies of the ’80s? Have a rollicking time watching a list of best 80s movies. The movies sizzle with romance, horror, rock n roll, action-filled, sci-fi, and comedy-drama. Best ’80s movies capture the essence of varied emotions and are loved by the audience. Memorable movies of the ’80s like the Terminator, When Harry met Sally, and Ferris Bueller’s Day are some movies that are unforgettable and spread sheer joy in the 21st century.

Best 80’s Movies

We still go gaga over the performances of Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Melanie Griffith, Michael Dorsey, and our other favourites from the 80s. Universal pictures were a hit in the 80s with the line up of extraordinary 80s movies. Let’s visit memory lane by knowing about the best ’80s movies.

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 List of the Best 1980s movies:

Here is the list of 28 best 80’s Movies:

  1. The Breakfast Club (1985)
  2. The Color Purple (1985)
  3. Do The Right Thing (1989)
  4. Stand By Me (1986)
  5. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
  6. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
  7. Back to the Future (1985)
  8. Dead Poets Society (1987)
  9. Moonstruck (1987)
  10. Dirty Dancing (1987)
  11. E.T. (1982)
  12. Blade Runner (1982)
  13. Amadeus (1984)
  14. Trading Places (1983)
  15. The Shining (1980)
  16. Full Metal Jacket
  17. The Terminator
  18. Short Circuit (1986)
  19. Ladyhawk (1985)
  20. An American Werewolf in London(1981)
  21. Tootsie (1982)
  22. Baby Boom (1982)
  23. The Last Boys (1982)
  24. Friday The 13th (1980)
  25. Fast time at Ridgemont High (1982)
  26. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  27. Raging Bull
  28. Fast Times at Ridgemont High

So let’s dive in.

1. The Breakfast Club (1985)

The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club, released in 1985, gives an insight into the mindset of a teenager. The movie stars Judd Nelson and Anthony Michael Hall. Five teenagers find themselves in detention on a Saturday morning. All from different backgrounds of the social zeitgeist of high school. It is a day full of comedy, wild happenings, and a lot of discovery. This is one of the best 80s movies which you should definitely watch if not watched as yet.

2. The Color Purple (1985)

The Color Purple

A Steven Spielberg movie tells the story of Celie, exposed to uncompromising elements of sexism, incest, domestic violence, and oppression. Watch Celie mature and grow into a robust woman.

3. Do The Right Thing (1989)

Do The Right Thing

A 1989 American comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by Spike Lee. A very intimidating movie and considered one of the greatest films ever made. Salvatore “Sal” Frangione is the Italian owner of a pizzeria in Brooklyn. A local neighbor is upset that the pizzeria’s wall of fame only exhibits Italian actors. Buggin feels an eatery in a black neighborhood should showcase dark-skinned people.

4. Stand By Me(1986)

Stand By Me- Best 80’s Movies

Stand by me, a movie directed by Rob Reiner and based on the novel ‘The Body’ written by Stephen King. Four boys in 1959 go on hiking in Oregon and chance upon the dead body of a missing boy. The film stars Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman, River Phoenix. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and two Golden Globe Awards. Special effects in the movies are still memorable and one of the best seen in 80s movies.

5. When Harry Met Sally(1989)

When Harry Met Sally

The film “When Harry met Sally,” starring Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher. The movie was directed by Rob Reiner.  It follows two people Harry, played by Billy, and Sally, played by Meg Ryan. in college. They meet to go on a journey and then part ways. Two years later, they meet again and go their separate ways. The third time they meet again and decide to keep in touch with each other.

6. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off(1986)

Ferris Bueller

A fun-loving, uplifting, entertaining movie. A perfect movie to be enjoyed. The general tone of the motion picture is very light-hearted and the need for today. It refreshes and lightens the mood.

7. Back to the Future(1985)

Back to the Future - Best 80’s Movies

The movie Back to the Future,  directed by Robert Zemeckis and the movie stars Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson. It is an entertaining movie reflecting a good family setup. The essence of the movie is the relationship between Marty, played excellently by Michael J. Fox. Christopher Lloyd plays Doc Brown. These two work so well together.

8. Dead Poets Society (1987)

Dead Poets Society

Dead Poet’s Society is a  narration of a group of boys. They are at a prep school in America in the mid-fifties. They are training for college to become bankers and doctors. They want to follow in the footsteps of their fathers. They meet Keating, an English teacher played by Robin Williams, telling them to seize the day and face the trials and tribulations of life.

9. Moonstruck (1987)

Moonstruck - Best 80’s Movies

The film Moonstruck is a bittersweet movie and very melancholy. The movie focuses on human relations, emotions, friends, love, family. It is a New York City film in 1987. A romantic comedy wherein a bookkeeper from Brooklyn, played by Cher, falls in love with the brother of the person she is engaged to marry. The movie exhibits love but also shows how she cheats on her fiance to marry the brother. Surely one of the best 80s movies to be included in your list if not done yet.

10. Dirty Dancing(1987)

Dirty Dancing

An eye-catching movie from 1987. Jennifer Grey is on holiday with her parents at the resort in the summers. At the resort, she introduces herself to an underground up-and-coming rock-and-roll hero. Johnny is a young man from the wrong side of the tracks. The pair need to work on their relationship.

11. E.T.(1982)

E.T. - Best 80’s Movies

Extraterrestrial captures the imagination and wins hearts E.T is cute and funny at the same time. E.T.’s antics are hilarious and can make you cry sometimes. Steven Spielberg’s E.T has broken records in theaters since 1982. The entire population of the United States has watched the movie. It has made 20 million dollars at the worldwide box office.

12. Blade Runner(1982)

Blade Runner

The movie Blade Runner is directed by Ridley Scott. An action-driven sci-fi movie that began in mid-night viewings in 1983. A cult classic in a brief period.  Important sci-fi film ever made. They based it on the popular book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick.

13. Amadeus(1984)


Amadeus tells the life of the great composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The little boy had magic in his mind and fingers. He effortlessly composed great music. The story is narrated by his great admirer, and a bitter enemy named Solari, who was not a talented composer.

14.Trading Places (1983)

Trading Places - Best 80’s Movies

Trading places a 1983 comedy movie directed by John Landis and starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. A hilarious movie where Eddie Murphy and James Lee Curtis have fun moments and do an excellent job. The story of an upper-class commodity broker and a homeless hustler whose lives cross paths and unknowingly part of an elaborate bet.

15. The Shining(1980)

The Shining

A 1980 horror film directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick. Jack Torrance(Nicholson) a writer who aspires to be famous, is recovering from alcohol. They employ him as an off-season caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel. The Shining exhibits psychic abilities and telepathic communication.

16. Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket

A 1987 war movie directed by Stanley Kubrick starring Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey. The platoon of U.S Marines in their boot camp training in the Marine Corps. Recruit Dept South Carolina mainly focuses on Joker and Pyle struggling under their strict and abusive drill instructor to watch the experiences of the two marines in Vietnam.

17. The Terminator

The Terminator -Best 80’s Movies

A science fiction film of 1984 directed by James Cameron. Skynet sends a cyborg assassin, Arnold Schwarzenegger in the year 2029 to kill Sarah Connor played by Linda Hamilton. Kyle Reese, a future soldier, sent back in time to protect Sara.

18. Short Circuit(1986)

Short Circuit

One of the best 80s movies created by John Badham. It’s a film with a solid filmography. Ally Sheedy an animal collector from Oregon who unknowingly discovers a malfunctioned robot. Designed for deadly combat the metallic hero Number 5 is voiced by Tim Blaney. The robot narrowly escapes from the bad military who are hunting down.

19. Ladyhawk(1985)

Ladyhawk - Best 80’s Movies

A primitive fantasy film directed and produced by Richard Donner starring Matthew Broderick, Michelle Pfeiffer. A young thief gets involved with a warrior. The leading lady is hunted down by the Bishop of Aquila. He is aware of the couple’s hidden secrets and is determined to help them overcome the exploitation of the Bishop.

20. An American Werewolf in London(1981)

An American Werewolf in London

This film hit the screens on 21st, August 1981. The movie cost $10 million and pulled  $62 million worldwide. It faced competition from two other werewolf themed movies. That year the Oscars introduced a category for the best make-up and Rick Baker won the award for his hard work in the movie. It is a mix of comedy and horror.

21. Tootsie(1982)


Set in New York City the movie revolves around an actor who does not get hired anywhere and nobody wants to work with him. The actor transforms into a female and tries to manipulate a role in a Soap Opera. Dustin Hoffman’s performance is outstanding and fantastic.

22. Baby Boom(1987)

Baby Boom - Best 80’s Movies

A movie about women who take their careers seriously and then have a baby. The loving existence changed by the coming of a baby. Wealthy, successful people inherit a baby. Unmarried with her boyfriend, Diane Keaton inherits a baby. The baby wreaks havoc and turns their life upside down. She is left alone to fend for the baby and makes major decisions relating to her high profile job and the life of the baby.

23. The Lost Boys(1987)

The Lost Boys

A favorite horror film of all time. A perfect film that is exciting, nostalgic, fun, and sexy. It has got some rock n roll to it. A movie that is uniquely styled and filmed. Director Joel Schumacher did a great job with the movie. A vampire flick, blood-sucking movie blast of a movie of the 80s.

24. Friday The 13th(1980)

Friday The 13th - Best 80’s Movies

The movie gives you nightmares and a primary slasher of the 80s. It gave birth to horrors and celebrated killers. A tale of a group of teenage campers being picked up one by one and seen off ultimately. The movie induces horror and appeals to the audience. Sean S. Cunningham directed this shocking movie starring Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King.

25. Fast time at Ridgemont High(1982)

Fast time at Ridgemont High

It is a 1982 coming of age comedy movie that takes place; you guessed it, Ridgemont High. The plot is about a handful of school-going teenagers who hook-up to have fun and pass their classes. They come across many obstacles to achieve their goal. An influential movie that many teenagers ape in modern times.

26. Raiders of the Lost Ark(1981)

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark star Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, and directed by Steven Spielberg. An all-time favorite and iconic film of the 80s. It has one of the best openings in the history of movies. Spielberg and Williams made it clear from the beginning that this is not the typical hero. Some scenes are tense and set the pace of the movie.

27. Raging Bull

Raging Bull

It is one of the best 80s movies which even bought Robert De Niro as a winner of the best actor award. Raging Bull tells the story of a boxer named Jake LaMotta based in Scorsese. Very well directed by the renowned Martin Scorsese. Do not miss the amazing performance by Robert De Niro in this highly acclaimed movie of the 80s. The Academy Award Winner movie should be included in your watch list.

28. Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

One of the best 80s movies by Universal Pictures. The movie features a legendary performance by Sean Penn. The movie successfully captures the intricate details of school, teenage, and work-life.


Movies offer the perfect get-away from the tiring and monotonous life. Go through the list mentioned above so that you can select the perfect movie of the 80s and enjoy it to the hilt.

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