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The Best Movies of 1985 

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Originally by Ranker Community
Updated September 23, 2019 23.7k votes 1.3k voters 26.3k views 123 items

List Rules Movies that were in theaters in 1985

A list of the best movies of 1985, from instant classics like Back to the Future to cult hits like The Goonies. The '80s were a decade where Hollywood thrived. Over the years we were all exposed to new stars and big blockbusters and 1985 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 from PG-13 movies to Rated R thrillers. 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 becoming some of the best movies ever made. You shouldn't be too surprised by the movies listed on this list of the top 1985 films.
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Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson

Released: 1985

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Back to the Future is a 1985 American science fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into ...more

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Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall

Released: 1985

Directed by: John Hughes

The Breakfast Club is a 1985 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written, produced, and directed by John Hughes and starring Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, John ...more

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The Best Quotes From 'The Breakfast Club' Make Detention Fun Again #4 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #27 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

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Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Sean Astin

Released: 1985

Directed by: Richard Donner

The Goonies is a 1985 American adventure comedy film directed by Richard Donner. The screenplay was written by Chris Columbus from a story by executive producer Steven Spielberg. The film's ...more

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4
Weird Science is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies of 1985
Robert Downey Jr., Kelly LeBrock, Bill Paxton

Released: 1985

Directed by: John Hughes

Weird Science is a 1985 American teen sci-fi comedy film written and directed by John Hughes and starring Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, and Kelly LeBrock. The film's producer, Joel ...more

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#47 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #179 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on The Very Best Movies About Hackers

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Sylvester Stallone, James Brown, Mr. T

Released: 1985

Directed by: Sylvester Stallone

Rocky IV is a 1985 American sports film written and directed by Sylvester Stallone, who also starred in the film. The film co-stars Dolph Lundgren, Burt Young, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, Tony ...more

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#87 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #400 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #779 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

6
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Steve Guttenberg, Clint Howard, Brian Dennehy

Released: 1985

Directed by: Ron Howard

Cocoon is a 1985 science fiction film directed by Ron Howard about a group of elderly people rejuvenated by aliens. The movie stars Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Brian Dennehy, Jack ...more

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#121 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #621 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
Witness is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies of 1985
Harrison Ford, Viggo Mortensen, Danny Glover

Released: 1985

Directed by: Peter Weir

Witness is a 1985 American thriller film directed by Peter Weir and starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis. The screenplay by William Kelley, Pamela Wallace, and Earl W. Wallace focuses on a ...more

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#123 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #129 of 133 Movies That Should Never Be Remadelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Michael J. Fox, Doug Savant, James Hampton

Released: 1985

Directed by: Rod Daniel

Teen Wolf is a 1985 American fantasy comedy film released by Atlantic Releasing Corporation starring Michael J. Fox as Scott Howard, a high school student who discovers that his family has an ...more

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Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, Madeline Kahn

Released: 1985

Directed by: Jonathan Lynn

Clue is a 1985 American ensemble mystery comedy film based on the board game of the same name. The film was directed by Jonathan Lynn, who collaborated on the script with John Landis, and stars ...more

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#152 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #299 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #153 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

10
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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alyssa Milano, Bill Paxton

Released: 1985

Directed by: Mark L. Lester

Commando is a 1985 American action film directed by Mark L. Lester, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rae Dawn Chong. The film was released in the United States on October 4, 1985. The film ...more

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Chevy Chase, Anthony Michael Hall, Beverly DAngelo

Released: 1985

Directed by: Amy Heckerling

European Vacation is a 1985 comedy film. The second film in National Lampoon's Vacation film series, it was directed by Amy Heckerling and stars Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo. Dana Hill and ...more

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#109 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #268 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #154 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

12
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Chevy Chase, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Geena Davis

Released: 1985

Directed by: Michael Ritchie

Fletch is a 1985 comedy film about an investigative newspaper reporter, Irwin M. Fletcher. The film was directed by Michael Ritchie and written by Andrew Bergman, loosely based on the popular ...more

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#132 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #754 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #140 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

13
Fright Night is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies of 1985
Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Chris Sarandon

Released: 1985

Directed by: Tom Holland

Fright Night is a 1985 American horror comedy film written and directed by Tom Holland and produced by Herb Jaffe. It stars William Ragsdale, Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowall and Amanda Bearse. ...more

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#219 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #56 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #199 of 363 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

14
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Phil Hartman, Morgan Fairchild, Tim Burton

Released: 1985

Directed by: Tim Burton

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is a 1985 American adventure comedy film directed by Tim Burton in his full-length film directing debut and starring Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman. Reubens also co-wrote ...more

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'Pee-wee's Big Adventure' Is Actually Super Traumatizing #117 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #141 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

15
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Val Kilmer, Chevy Chase, Deborah Foreman

Released: 1985

Directed by: Martha Coolidge

Real Genius is a 1985 satirical comedy film directed by Martha Coolidge. It stars Val Kilmer and Gabriel Jarret. The film is set on the campus of Pacific Tech, a technical university similar to ...more

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16
The Color Purple is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies of 1985
Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Laurence Fishburne

Released: 1985

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker. It was Spielberg's eighth film as ...more

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#160 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #50 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Books #4 of 629 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked

17
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John Cusack, E.G. Daily, David Ogden Stiers

Released: 1985

Directed by: Savage Steve Holland

This film is a 1985 American teen romantic comedy film starring John Cusack and written and directed by Savage Steve Holland. It tells the story of high school student Lane Myer after his ...more

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#174 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,363 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #352 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

18
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Sylvester Stallone, Charles Napier, Richard Crenna

Released: 1985

Directed by: George P. Cosmatos

Rambo: First Blood Part II is a 1985 American action film directed by George P. Cosmatos and starring Sylvester Stallone. Picking up where the first film left, the sequel is set in the context ...more

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#219 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #153 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #489 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

19
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Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Michael Douglas

Released: 1985

Directed by: Lewis Teague, David Teague

The Jewel of the Nile is a 1985 action-adventure romantic comedy and a sequel to the 1984 film Romancing the Stone, with Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito reprising their roles. ...more

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#150 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #268 of 693 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #51 of 203 The Best Adventure Movies

20
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Tina Turner, Mel Gibson, Rebekah Elmaloglou

Released: 1985

Directed by: George Ogilvie, George Miller

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, also known as Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome or simply Mad Max 3, is a 1985 Australian post-apocalyptic action adventure film co-directed by George Miller and George ...more

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#148 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #207 of 226 The Worst Sequels Of All Time #46 of 154 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies

21
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Steve Guttenberg, Jason Hervey, Bubba Smith

Released: 1985

Directed by: Jerry Paris

Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment is a 1985 comedy film directed by Jerry Paris. It is the first of six sequels in the Police Academy series. Many actors return from the first film to ...more

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#19 of 68 The Best Comedy Movie Sequels #39 of 70 The Dumbest Movie Sequel Titles #86 of 145 The Best Police Movies

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Tom Cruise, Tim Curry, Mia Sara

Released: 1985

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Legend is a 1985 British-American fantasy adventure film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent, Alice Playten, Billy Barty, Cork Hubbert, and ...more

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#252 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #997 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #95 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

23
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Cher, Laura Dern, Sam Elliott

Released: 1985

Directed by: Peter Bogdanovich

Mask is a 1985 American drama film directed by Peter Bogdanovich, starring Cher, Sam Elliott, and Eric Stoltz. Dennis Burkley and Laura Dern are featured in supporting roles. Cher received the ...more

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#133 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #185 of 363 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

24
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Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Bob Hope

Released: 1985

Directed by: John Landis

Spies Like Us is a 1985 American comedy film directed by John Landis and starring Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Forrest, and Donna Dixon. The film presents the comic adventures of two novice ...more

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#183 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #432 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #735 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

25
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Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson

Released: 1985

Directed by: Joel Schumacher

St. Elmo's Fire is a 1985 American coming-of-age film directed by Joel Schumacher. The film, starring Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, and Mare ...more

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#114 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,024 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #310 of 693 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made