Photo: flickr/CC0
Entertainment

The Best Movies of 1982 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated September 23, 2019 12.7k votes 843 voters 14.3k 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.
list ordered by
1
Ranker Video
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

More E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 

#41 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies The Dark Story Behind The Cancelled Sequel To E.T. The Extra-Terrestriallisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
Ranker Video
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

More First Blood 

#168 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #78 of 125 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

3
The Dark Crystal is listed (or ranked) 3 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

More The Dark Crystal 

#151 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #210 of 243 Critically Acclaimed Movies That Kinda Suck Jim Henson's 'The Dark Crystal' Is Even Darker Than You Remember

4
Ranker Video
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

More The Thing 

#116 of 254 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #43 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books

5
Ranker Video
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

More The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas 

#236 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #132 of 376 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #165 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

6
Ranker Video
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

More Poltergeist 

#328 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #8 of 799 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time Did Steven Spielberg Really Ghost-Direct ‘Poltergeist’?

7
Ranker Video
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

More Porky's 

#139 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #56 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies #103 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

8
Victor Victoria is listed (or ranked) 8 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

More Victor Victoria 

#117 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #456 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Ranker Video
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

More Creepshow 

#47 of 799 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #46 of 116 The Scariest Giant Monster Movies

10
Ranker Video
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.

More Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 

#105 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #102 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

11
Ranker Video
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

More Conan the Barbarian 

#266 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #109 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

12
Ranker Video
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

More Fast Times at Ridgemont High 

#340 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #47 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

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
14
Ranker Video
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

More Swamp Thing 

#133 of 165 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time #15 of 29 The Scariest Superhero Movies, Ranked

15
Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: ... is listed (or ranked) 15 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

More Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales 

#355 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever #191 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies

16
The King of Comedy is listed (or ranked) 16 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

More The King of Comedy 

#442 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time #217 of 439 The Funniest '80s Movies

17
My Favorite Year is listed (or ranked) 17 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
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

More Halloween III: Season of the Witch 

#923 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #221 of 799 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time 'Halloween III: Season of the Witch' Is An Over-The-Top Sci-Fi Horror Masterpiece

19
Ranker Video
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

More Rocky III 

#510 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #32 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #252 of 324 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

20
Ranker Video
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

More Tootsie 

#201 of 1,009 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #95 of 125 Movies That Should Never Be Remadelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

21
Ranker Video
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

More 48 Hrs. 

#134 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #73 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

22
Ranker Video
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

More Airplane II: The Sequel 

#272 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #94 of 180 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made

23
Ranker Video
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

More The Secret of NIMH 

#319 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #93 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever

24
Ranker Video
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

More An Officer and a Gentleman 

#109 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #307 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

25
Ranker Video
Laurence Fishburne, Charles Bronson, Henny Youngman

Released: 1982

Directed by: Michael Winner

Death Wish II is a 1982 crime thriller action film directed by Michael Winner. It is the first of four sequels to the 1974 film Death Wish. In Death Wish II, architect Paul Kersey moves to Los ...more

More Death Wish II 

#204 of 219 The Worst Sequels Of All Time #23 of 77 The Best Charles Bronson Movies