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The Best Movies of 1984 

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Originally by Ranker Community
Updated September 21, 2019 12.3k votes 794 voters 19.9k views

List Rules Movies that played in theaters in 1984

A list of the best movies of 1984, from instant classics like The Karate Kid to adventure films like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The '80s were a decade where Hollywood thrived. In were new stars and big blockbusters, and 1984 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 edges of their seats, and 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 the top 1984 films.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton

Released: 1984

Directed by: James Cameron

The Terminator is a 1984 American science fiction/horror action film directed by James Cameron, written by Cameron and the film's producer Gale Anne Hurd. Schwarzenegger plays the Terminator, a ...more

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Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 1984

Directed by: Ivan Reitman

Ghostbusters is a 1984 American sci-fi-fantasy comedy film, directed and produced by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The film stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis as ...more

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Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita

Released: 1984

Directed by: John G. Avildsen

The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts romantic drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and written by Robert Mark Kamen, starring Ralph Macchio, who was 22 years old during principal ...more

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#134 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #22 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

4
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Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 1984

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, and the second installment in the Indiana Jones franchise and a prequel to the 1981 film ...more

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Eddie Murphy, Damon Wayans, Paul Reiser

Released: 1984

Directed by: Martin Brest

Beverly Hills Cop is a 1984 American action comedy film directed by Martin Brest and starring Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley, a street-smart Detroit cop who heads to Beverly Hills, California to ...more

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#20 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #31 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

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Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates

Released: 1984

Directed by: Joe Dante

Gremlins is a 1984 American horror comedy film directed by Joe Dante, released by Warner Bros. The film is about a young man who receives a strange creature called a mogwai as a pet, which then ...more

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John Cusack, Molly Ringwald, Joan Cusack

Released: 1984

Directed by: John Hughes

Sixteen Candles is a 1984 American coming-of-age comedy film starring Molly Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling and Anthony Michael Hall. It was written and directed by John Hughes.

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Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp

Released: 1984

Directed by: Wes Craven

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American supernatural slasher horror film written and directed by Wes Craven, and the first film of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film stars ...more

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Gerald McRaney, Limahl, Moses Gunn

Released: 1984

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

The NeverEnding Story is a 1984 West German epic fantasy film based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ende, about a boy who reads a magical library book that tells a story of a young ...more

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#39 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #7 of 78 The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels

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Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Michael Douglas

Released: 1984

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Romancing the Stone is a 1984 American action-adventure romantic comedy. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, it stars Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. The film was followed by a 1985 ...more

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#309 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #259 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

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Kim Cattrall, Steve Guttenberg, Bubba Smith

Released: 1984

Directed by: Hugh Wilson

Police Academy is a 1984 comedy film directed by Hugh Wilson, and starring Steve Guttenberg, Kim Cattrall, and G.W. Bailey. It grossed approximately $146 million worldwide and spawned six more ...more

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John Goodman, James Cromwell, Anthony Edwards

Released: 1984

Directed by: Jeff Kanew

Revenge of the Nerds is a 1984 American comedy film about social life on a college campus. The film stars Robert Carradine and Anthony Edwards, with Curtis Armstrong, Ted McGinley, Julia ...more

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13
Amadeus is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies of 1984
Jeffrey Jones, Cynthia Nixon, Christine Ebersole

Released: 1984

Directed by: Miloš Forman

Amadeus - Directors Cut is a 1984 biography drama film written by Peter Shaffer and directed by Milos Forman.

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Kim Basinger, Robert Redford, Robert Duvall

Released: 1984

Directed by: Barry Levinson

The Natural is a 1984 sports drama. It is a film adaptation of Bernard Malamud's 1952 baseball novel of the same name, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robert Redford, Glenn Close, and ...more

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#178 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #109 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

15
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Charlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson

Released: 1984

Directed by: John Milius

Red Dawn is a 1984 American film directed by John Milius and co-written by Milius and Kevin Reynolds. It stars Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, and Jennifer Grey. ...more

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#320 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #85 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #91 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

16
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Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Bacon, John Lithgow

Released: 1984

Directed by: Herbert Ross

Footloose is a 1984 American musical-drama directed by Herbert Ross. It tells the story of Ren McCormack, an upbeat Chicago teen who moves to a small town in which, as a result of the efforts of ...more

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Billy Crystal, Fran Drescher, Anjelica Huston

Released: 1984

Directed by: Rob Reiner

This Is Spinal Tap is an American 1984 rock music mockumentary written, scored by, and starring Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer. The film portrays the fictional ...more

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Tom Hanks, John Candy, Daryl Hannah

Released: 1984

Directed by: Ron Howard

Splash is a 1984 American fantasy romantic comedy film directed by Ron Howard, written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, and starring Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, John Candy, Eugene Levy, and Dody ...more

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#113 of 803 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #236 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

19
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Jeff Bridges, John Carpenter, Karen Allen

Released: 1984

Directed by: John Carpenter

Starman is a 1984 American romantic science fiction film, directed by John Carpenter, that tells the story of an alien who has come to Earth in response to the invitation found on the gold ...more

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#680 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #261 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

20
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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wilt Chamberlain, André the Giant

Released: 1984

Directed by: Richard Fleischer

Conan the Destroyer is a 1984 American sword and sorcery/adventure film directed by Richard Fleischer, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mako Iwamatsu reprising their roles as Conan and Akiro ...more

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#213 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #16 of 47 The Best Sword and Sandal Films Ever Made

21
Once Upon a Time in Amer... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies of 1984
weik added Jennifer Connelly, Robert De Niro, James Woods

Released: 1984

Directed by: Sergio Leone

Once Upon a Time in America is a 1984 Italian epic drama film co-written and directed by Sergio Leone and starring Robert De Niro and James Woods. It chronicles the lives of Jewish ghetto youths ...more

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Wil Wheaton, Robert Preston, Catherine Mary Stewart

Released: 1984

Directed by: Nick Castle

The Last Starfighter is a 1984 American space opera film directed by Nick Castle. The film tells the story of Alex Rogan, an average teenage boy recruited by an alien defense force to fight in ...more

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23
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William Shatner, Christopher Lloyd, Leonard Nimoy

Released: 1984

Directed by: Leonard Nimoy

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is a 1984 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. The film is the third feature film of the Star Trek science fiction franchise and is ...more

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24
The Muppets Take Manhatt... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies of 1984
Joan Rivers, Brooke Shields, Liza Minnelli

Released: 1984

Directed by: Frank Oz

The Muppets Take Manhattan is a 1984 American musical comedy film directed by Frank Oz. It is the third of a series of live-action musical feature films starring Jim Henson's Muppets with ...more

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#220 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #137 of 318 The Best Movies for Kids

25
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John Malkovich, Craig T. Nelson, Sam Waterston

Released: 1984

Directed by: Roland Joffé

This film is a 1984 British drama film set in Democratic Kampuchea, which is based on the experiences of two journalists: Cambodian Dith Pran and American Sydney Schanberg. The film, which won ...more

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