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The Best Movies of 1986 

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Originally by Ranker Community
Updated January 8, 2020 10.7k votes 740 voters 21.4k views 112 items

List Rules Movies released in 1986 only.

A list of the best movies of 1986. The '80s were a decade where Hollywood thrived. In were new stars and big blockbusters and 1986 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 aft they were first released. You shouldn't be too surprised by the movies listed on here. As stated before, some of the best comedies of the decade were released in 1986. Who could forget Ferris Bueller's Day Off with Matthew Broderick, Back to School with Rodney Dangerfield, and of course, Three Amigos with Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short. Dramas from that year were gripping and tense, which are signs of a great enduring movie. Examples from this year include Platoon and Hoosiers.

The best movies of 1986 featured some of the biggest stars in the movie business. Whether it was the aforementioned stars continuing their success or the up-and-comers featured in Stand By Me or Jennifer Connelly in the cult classic Labrynth, which featured both an appearance and a soundtrack by David Bowie.

Some of the best movies of all time were released in 1986. This is the ultimate list of the best movies of 1986. Vote and re-rank this list according to how you think the best movies of that year should be reflected. If you notice that there's a movie from this year that should be on this list but is missing, feel free to add it.
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1
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Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

Released: 1986

Directed by: James Cameron

Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael ...more

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The Best 'Aliens' Quotes #21 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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Charlie Sheen, Matthew Broderick, Jeffrey Jones

Released: 1986

Directed by: John Hughes

Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 American comedy film written, produced and directed by John Hughes. The film follows high school senior Ferris Bueller, who skips school and spends the day in ...more

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Behind The Scenes Of The Famous Parade Scene In 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' #2 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #12 of 355 The Best Rainy Day Movies

3
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Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, John Cusack

Released: 1986

Directed by: Rob Reiner

Stand by Me is a 1986 American coming of age comedy-drama adventure film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O'Connell. Based on the novella ...more

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The Most Memorable 'Stand by Me' Quotes #12 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Books #9 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

4
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Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer

Released: 1986

Directed by: Tony Scott

Top Gun is a 1986 American action drama film directed by Tony Scott, and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, in association with Paramount Pictures. The screenplay was written by Jim ...more

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Everything You Don't Know About The Making Of 'Top Gun' #85 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
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Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe

Released: 1986

Directed by: Oliver Stone

Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe and Charlie Sheen. It is the first film of a trilogy of Vietnam War films by ...more

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The Most Memorable Quotes From 'Platoon' #5 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
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Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, Reginald VelJohnson

Released: 1986

Directed by: Peter Faiman

Crocodile Dundee is a 1986 Australian comedy film set in the Australian Outback and in New York City. It stars Paul Hogan as the weathered Mick Dundee. Hogan's future wife Linda Kozlowski ...more

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#35 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #141 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #100 of 1,138 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

7
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Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, John Carpenter

Released: 1986

Directed by: John Carpenter

Big Trouble in Little China is a 1986 American action film directed by John Carpenter, and starring Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun and James Hong. The film was released in the United ...more

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#66 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #182 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #168 of 1,138 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

8
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Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Phil Hartman

Released: 1986

Directed by: John Landis

¡Three Amigos! is a 1986 American comedy film directed by John Landis and written by Lorne Michaels, Steve Martin, and Randy Newman. The plot is loosely based on Akira Kurosawa's 1954 film ...more

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#113 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #163 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #81 of 1,138 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

9
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Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper, Barbara Hershey

Released: 1986

Directed by: David Anspaugh

Hoosiers is a 1986 sports film directed by David Anspaugh. A coach with a checkered past (Gene Hackman) and a local drunk (Dennis Hopper) train a small town high school basketball team to become ...more

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#176 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #925 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #169 of 276 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

10
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Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, Frank Oz

Released: 1986

Directed by: Jim Henson

Labyrinth is a 1986 British-American musical adventure fantasy film directed by Jim Henson, executive produced by George Lucas and based upon conceptual designs by Brian Froud. The film stars ...more

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Get Lost In The Best Quotes From 'Labyrinth' #137 of 194 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #76 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

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Bill Murray, Steve Martin, John Candy

Released: 1986

Directed by: Frank Oz

Little Shop of Horrors is a 1986 American rock musical horror comedy film directed by Frank Oz. It is a film adaptation of the off-Broadway musical comedy of the same name by composer Alan ...more

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Every Song in Little Shop of Horrors, Ranked by Singability #24 of 194 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #127 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

12
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Robert Downey Jr., Rodney Dangerfield, Sam Kinison

Released: 1986

Directed by: Alan Metter

Back to School is a 1986 comedy film starring Rodney Dangerfield, Keith Gordon, Sally Kellerman, Burt Young, Terry Farrell, William Zabka, Ned Beatty, Sam Kinison, and Robert Downey, Jr. It was ...more

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#139 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,054 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #126 of 1,138 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

13
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Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, David Cronenberg

Released: 1986

Directed by: David Cronenberg

The Fly is a 1986 American science fiction horror film directed and co-written by David Cronenberg. Produced by Brooksfilms and distributed by 20th Century Fox, the film stars Jeff Goldblum, ...more

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#129 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #54 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

14
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Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, Michael Hayes

Released: 1986

Directed by: Russell Mulcahy

Highlander is a 1986 British-American cult fantasy film directed by Russell Mulcahy and based on a story by Gregory Widen. It stars Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Clancy Brown, and Roxanne ...more

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#91 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #255 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #145 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys

15
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James Spader, Gina Gershon, Molly Ringwald

Released: 1986

Directed by: Howard Deutch

Pretty in Pink is a 1986 American romantic comedy-drama film about love and social cliques in 1980s American high schools. It is one of John Hughes' films starring Molly Ringwald, and is ...more

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#51 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #1,014 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #60 of 693 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

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Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Tamlyn Tomita

Released: 1986

Directed by: John G. Avildsen

The Karate Kid, Part II is a 1986 American martial arts film. A sequel to 1984's The Karate Kid, Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita reprise their respective roles as young karate student Daniel ...more

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#138 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #977 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #56 of 158 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made

17
An American Tail is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies of 1986
Christopher Plummer, Madeline Kahn, Dom DeLuise

Released: 1986

Directed by: Don Bluth

An American Tail is a 1986 American animated musical adventure film directed by Don Bluth and produced by Sullivan Bluth Studios and Amblin Entertainment. The film tells the story of Fievel ...more

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#55 of 568 The Best Animated Films Ever #65 of 194 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #135 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

18
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Tom Hanks, Shelley Long, Joe Mantegna

Released: 1986

Directed by: Richard Benjamin

The Money Pit is a 1986 American comedy film directed by Richard Benjamin starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as a couple who attempt to renovate a recently purchased house. It was filmed in New ...more

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#115 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #534 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #143 of 1,138 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

19
Blue Velvet is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies of 1986
Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern

Released: 1986

Directed by: David Lynch

Blue Velvet is a 1986 American mystery thriller flm, written and directed by David Lynch. The film stars Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper and Laura Dern. The title is taken ...more

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#103 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #375 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #819 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

20
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Steve Guttenberg, Ally Sheedy, Austin Pendleton

Released: 1986

Directed by: John Badham

Short Circuit is a 1986 American comic science fiction film directed by John Badham, and written by S. S. Wilson and Brent Maddock. The film's plot centers upon an experimental military robot ...more

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#92 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #333 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #285 of 1,138 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

21
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Tom Cruise, Paul Newman, Martin Scorsese

Released: 1986

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

The Color of Money is a 1986 drama film directed by Martin Scorsese from a screenplay by Richard Price, based on the 1984 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. The film stars Paul Newman and ...more

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#223 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #91 of 158 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

22
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William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, George Takei

Released: 1986

Directed by: Leonard Nimoy

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is a 1986 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the fourth feature film based on Star Trek, and is a sequel to Star Trek III: The ...more

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#120 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #522 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #31 of 40 The Greatest Movies to Watch Outside

23
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Sylvester Stallone, Ron Jeremy, Brigitte Nielsen

Released: 1986

Directed by: George P. Cosmatos

Cobra is a 1986 American action film directed by George P. Cosmatos, and written by Sylvester Stallone, who also starred in the title role. The film co-stars Reni Santoni, Brigitte Nielsen and ...more

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#308 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #933 of 1,138 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #39 of 92 The Most Rewatchable Action Movies

24
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Demi Moore, John Cusack, Jeremy Piven

Released: 1986

Directed by: Savage Steve Holland

One Crazy Summer is a 1986 romantic comedy film written and directed by Savage Steve Holland, and starring John Cusack, Demi Moore, Bobcat Goldthwait, Curtis Armstrong, and Joel Murray. The ...more

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#235 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #572 of 1,138 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #133 of 324 The Funniest '80s Movies

25
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Clint Eastwood, Mario Van Peebles, Marsha Mason

Released: 1986

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Heartbreak Ridge is a 1986 American film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, who also starred in the film. The film also co-stars Mario Van Peebles, Marsha Mason, and Everett McGill. The ...more

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#49 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #163 of 324 The Funniest '80s Movies #106 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys