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The Best Movies of 1982 

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Originally by Ranker Community
Updated September 23, 2019 13k votes 894 voters 15.1k views

List Rules Movies that played in theaters in 1982.

A list of the best movies of 1982, from teen comedies like "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" to horror films like "Poltergeist." The '80s were a decade where Hollywood thrived. In were new stars and big blockbusters, and 1982 was no exception. Some the best movies of this year are some of the best teen, coming-of-age, adventure, comedies and dramas in history. The films on here are very memorable and had audiences on the edge of their seats, and they still pack a punch so many years after they were first released. You shouldn't be too surprised by the movies listed on this list of top 1982 films.
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Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger

Released: 1982

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison, featuring special effects by Carlo ...more

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2
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Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, David Caruso

Released: 1982

Directed by: Ted Kotcheff

First Blood is a 1982 American psychological thriller and action film directed by Ted Kotcheff, co-written by and starring Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, a troubled and misunderstood veteran. ...more

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#40 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #143 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #217 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

3
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Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter

Released: 1982

Directed by: John Carpenter

The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a ...more

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#97 of 250 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #13 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #83 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

4
The Dark Crystal is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies of 1982
Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Lisa Maxwell

Released: 1982

Directed by: Frank Oz, Jim Henson

The Dark Crystal is a 1982 American–British fantasy film directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz. The plot revolves around Jen, an elflike 'Gelfling' on a quest to restore balance to his alien world ...more

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Dolly Parton, Burt Reynolds, Jim Nabors

Released: 1982

Directed by: Colin Higgins

This film is a 1982 American musical comedy film co-written, produced and directed by Colin Higgins. It is an adaptation of the 1978 Broadway musical of the same name and stars Dolly Parton and ...more

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#130 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #482 of 1,208 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #257 of 1,027 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

6
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Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke

Released: 1982

Directed by: Tobe Hooper

Poltergeist is a 1982 American supernatural thriller film, directed by Tobe Hooper and co-written and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the first and most successful entry in the Poltergeist ...more

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max von Sydow

Released: 1982

Directed by: John Milius

Conan the Barbarian is a 1982 sword and sorcery/adventure film directed and co-written by John Milius. It is based on stories by Robert E. Howard, a pulp fiction writer of the 1930s, about the ...more

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8
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Kim Cattrall, Alex Karras, Art Hindle

Released: 1982

Directed by: Bob Clark

Porky's is a 1981 Canadian-American comedy film about the escapades of teenagers at the fictional Angel Beach High School in Florida in 1954. Released in the United States in 1982 with an R ...more

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#115 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #56 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies #146 of 1,208 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

9
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Kirstie Alley, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

Released: 1982

Directed by: Nicholas Meyer

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is a 1982 sci-fi film written by Jack B. Sowards and Nicholas Meyer adn directed by Nicholas Meyer.

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#25 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #161 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #137 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

10
Victor Victoria is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies of 1982
Dimos Dicoudis added Julie Andrews, James Garner, Alex Karras

Released: 1982

Directed by: Blake Edwards

Victor Victoria is a 1982 film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Julie Andrews, James Garner, Robert Preston, Lesley Ann Warren, Alex Karras, and John Rhys-Davies. The film was ...more

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#64 of 377 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #468 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

11
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Stephen King, Ed Harris, Ted Danson

Released: 1982

Directed by: George A. Romero

Creepshow is a 1982 horror anthology film with elements of black comedy directed by George A. Romero and written by Stephen King. The film's ensemble cast included Hal Holbrook, Adrienne ...more

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#181 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #150 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies #47 of 847 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

12
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Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Released: 1982

Directed by: Amy Heckerling

Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a 1982 American coming-of-age teen comedy film written by Cameron Crowe, adapted from his 1981 book of the same name. As a freelance writer for Rolling Stone ...more

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#90 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #47 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #33 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies

13
Frances is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies of 1982
Kevin Costner, Jessica Lange, Anjelica Huston

Released: 1982

Directed by: Graeme Clifford

Frances is a 1982 American biographical film starring Jessica Lange as actress Frances Farmer. Kim Stanley and Sam Shepard appeared in supporting roles. The film chronicles Farmer's life from ...more

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#438 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,591 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #37 of 80 The Best Movies About Depression

14
Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: ... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies of 1982
Mel Blanc, June Foray, Lennie Weinrib

Released: 1982

Directed by: Robert McKimson, Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones

Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales is a 1982 Looney Tunes film with a compilation of classic Warner Bros. cartoon shorts and animated bridging sequences, hosted by Bugs Bunny. The ...more

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15
My Favorite Year is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies of 1982
Dimos Dicoudis added Peter O'Toole, Gloria Stuart, Bill Macy

Released: 1982

Directed by: Richard Benjamin

My Favorite Year is a 1982 American comedy film directed by Richard Benjamin and written by Norman Steinberg and Dennis Palumbo, which tells the story of a young comedy writer. It stars Peter ...more
16
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Adrienne Barbeau, Louis Jourdan, Karen Price

Released: 1982

Directed by: Wes Craven

Swamp Thing is a 1982 American science fiction superhero film written and directed by Wes Craven, based on the DC Comics character of the same name created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson. It ...more

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17
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Bill Murray, Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis

Released: 1982

Directed by: Sydney Pollack

Tootsie is a 1982 American comedy-drama film that tells the story of a talented but volatile actor whose reputation for being difficult forces him to adopt a new identity as a woman to land a ...more

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#237 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #209 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

18
Halloween III: Season of... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies of 1982
Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins, Dan O'Herlihy

Released: 1982

Directed by: Tommy Lee Wallace

Halloween III: Season of the Witch is a 1982 American science fiction horror film. The film is the third installment in the Halloween franchise and notable for being the only entry in the series ...more

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#294 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #253 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #251 of 847 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

19
The King of Comedy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies of 1982
Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Martin Scorsese

Released: 1982

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

The King of Comedy is an American black comedy film starring Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis. Directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul D. Zimmerman, the film focuses on themes including ...more

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20
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Eddie Murphy, Nick Nolte, Annette O'Toole

Released: 1982

Directed by: Walter Hill

48 Hrs. is a 1982 American action comedy film directed by Walter Hill, starring Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy as a cop and convict, respectively, who team up to catch a cop-killer. The title ...more

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#74 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #124 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies #130 of 1,208 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

21
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Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young

Released: 1982

Directed by: Sylvester Stallone

Rocky III is a 1982 American sports drama film directed by Sylvester Stallone, and the third film in the series. After winning the ultimate title and being the world champion, Rocky (Stallone) ...more

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22
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Shannen Doherty, Wil Wheaton, Derek Jacobi

Released: 1982

Directed by: Don Bluth

The Secret of NIMH is a 1982 American animated fantasy adventure drama film directed by Don Bluth in his directorial debut. It is an adaptation of Robert C. O'Brien's 1971 children's novel Mrs. ...more

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23
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William Shatner, Leslie Nielsen, Sonny Bono

Released: 1982

Directed by: Ken Finkleman

Airplane II: The Sequel is a 1982 sequel to the 1980 American comedy film Airplane!. First released on December 10, 1982, the film was written and directed by Ken Finkleman and stars Robert ...more

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24
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Richard Gere, Debra Winger, Louis Gossett

Released: 1982

Directed by: Taylor Hackford

An Officer and a Gentleman is a 1982 American drama film that tells the story of a U.S. Navy aviation officer candidate who comes into conflict with the Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant who is the ...more

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#125 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,022 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

25
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Jeff Bridges, David Warner, Michael Dudikoff

Released: 1982

Directed by: Steven Lisberger

Tron is a 1982 American science fiction film written and directed by Steven Lisberger, based on a story by Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird, and produced by Walt Disney Productions. The film stars ...more

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#149 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #168 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on The Very Best Movies About Hackers