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The Best Movies of 1988 

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Originally by Ranker Community
Updated November 5, 2019 13k votes 680 voters 21.6k views 348 items

List Rules Movies released in 1988 only.

A list of the best movies of 1988, from light dramas like Bull Durham to action movies like Die Hard.The '80s were a decade where Hollywood thrived. In were new stars and big blockbusters and 1988 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 movies of the decade were released in 1988. Who could forget Coming to America with Eddie Murphy, Big with Tom Hanks, and of course, Beetlejuice with Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis and Winona Ryder . Dramas from that year were gripping and tense, which are signs of a great enduring movie. Examples from this year include Eight Men Out and Rain Man. The best movies of 1988 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 License to Drive, or established stars like Robert De Niro in Midnight Run and Leslie Nielsen in the hilarious The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad. Some of the best movies of all time were released in 1988. This is the ultimate list of the best movies of 1988, which shouldn't feature the best movies of 1987. 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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Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia

Released: 1988

Directed by: John McTiernan

Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de Souza and Jeb Stuart. It is based on the 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever, by Roderick Thorp. Die ...more

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2
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Tom Hanks, Jon Lovitz, Elizabeth Perkins

Released: 1988

Directed by: Penny Marshall

Big is a 1988 American fantasy comedy film directed by Penny Marshall, and stars Tom Hanks as Josh Baskin, a young boy who makes a wish "to be big" and is then aged to adulthood ...more

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3
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Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Geena Davis

Released: 1988

Directed by: Tim Burton

Beetlejuice is a 1988 American fantasy-comedy-horror film directed by Tim Burton. The spirits of a deceased couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) are harassed by an unbearable family that has ...more

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4
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Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Valeria Golino

Released: 1988

Directed by: Barry Levinson

Rain Man is a 1988 American drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass. It tells the story of an abrasive and selfish yuppie, Charlie Babbitt, who ...more

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5
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Eddie Murphy, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones

Released: 1988

Directed by: John Landis

Coming to America is a 1988 American comedy film directed by John Landis, and based on a story originally created by Eddie Murphy, who also starred in the lead role. The film also co-stars ...more

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6
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Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd, Bob Hoskins

Released: 1988

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 American live-action/animated fantasy-comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis. The screenplay by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman is based on Gary K. Wolf's ...more

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7
Heathers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies of 1988
Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Christian Slater

Released: 1988

Directed by: Michael Lehmann

Heathers is a 1988 comedy, drama film written by Daniel Waters and directed by Michael Lehmann.

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8
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O. J. Simpson, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Reggie Jackson

Released: 1988

Directed by: David Zucker

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! is a 1988 American comedy film. It is the first in The Naked Gun series of films starring Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy, and O. ...more

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Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Emilio Estevez

Released: 1988

Directed by: Christopher Cain

Young Guns is a 1988 Western action film directed by Christopher Cain and written by John Fusco. The film was the first to be produced by Morgan Creek Productions. The film stars Emilio Estevez, ...more

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10
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Steve Martin, Michael Caine, Frances Conroy

Released: 1988

Directed by: Frank Oz

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a 1988 American comedy film directed by Frank Oz, and a remake of the 1964 film Bedtime Story. A sophisticated con artist (Michael Caine) and an arrogant hustler ...more

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11
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Val Kilmer, Kevin Pollak, Warwick Davis

Released: 1988

Directed by: Ron Howard

Willow is a 1988 American fantasy film directed by Ron Howard, produced and with a story by George Lucas, and starring Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, and Billy Barty. ...more

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12
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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Heather Graham, Danny DeVito

Released: 1988

Directed by: Ivan Reitman

Twins is a 1988 comedy film, produced and directed by Ivan Reitman about unlikely twins who were separated at birth. The core of the film is the relationship between DeVito's streetwise ...more

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13
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Annette Bening, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy

Released: 1988

Directed by: Howard Deutch

The Great Outdoors is a 1988 American comedy film starring Dan Aykroyd and John Candy. Annette Bening and Stephanie Faracy co-star. Robert Prosky, Lucy Deakins and Lewis Arquette have supporting ...more

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14
Mississippi Burning is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies of 1988
Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand

Released: 1988

Directed by: Alan Parker

Mississippi Burning is a 1988 American thriller film directed by Alan Parker and written by Chris Gerolmo. It was loosely based on the FBI investigation into the incidents involving of three ...more

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15
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Bill Murray, Robert Mitchum, Miles Davis

Released: 1988

Directed by: Richard Donner

Scrooged is a 1988 American Christmas comedy film, a modernization of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The film was produced and directed by Richard Donner, and the cinematography was by ...more

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16
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Diana Ross, Frank Welker, Judith Barsi

Released: 1988

Directed by: Don Bluth

The Land Before Time is a 1988 American-Irish animated adventure drama film directed and co-produced by Don Bluth and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, and ...more

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17
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Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins

Released: 1988

Directed by: Ron Shelton

Bull Durham is a 1988 American romantic comedy sports film. It is partly based upon the minor league experiences of writer/director Ron Shelton and depicts the players and fans of the Durham ...more

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18
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Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Joe Pantoliano

Released: 1988

Directed by: Martin Brest

Midnight Run is a 1988 American action-comedy film directed by Martin Brest and starring Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin. Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton, Dennis Farina, Joe Pantoliano and Philip ...more

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19
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Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Stephen Fry

Released: 1988

Directed by: John Cleese, Charles Crichton

A Fish Called Wanda is a 1988 film written by John Cleese and Charles Crichton. It was directed by Crichton and stars Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, and Michael Palin. Kline won the ...more

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20
They Live is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies of 1988
Roddy Piper, Keith David, Tommy Morrison

Released: 1988

Directed by: John Carpenter

They Live is a 1988 American science fiction film written and directed by John Carpenter. The film stars Roddy Piper, Keith David, and Meg Foster. It follows a nameless drifter referred to as ...more

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21
Bloodsport is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies of 1988
Jean-Claude Van Damme, Forest Whitaker, Bolo Yeung

Released: 1988

Directed by: Newt Arnold

Bloodsport is a 1988 American martial arts film directed by Newt Arnold, and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Roy Chiao, Donald Gibb and Leah Ayres. The film is partly based on unverified claims ...more

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22
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Sarah Michelle Gellar, Chevy Chase, Madolyn Smith

Released: 1988

Directed by: George Roy Hill

Funny Farm is a 1988 American film starring Chevy Chase and Madolyn Smith. The film was adapted from a 1985 comedic novel of the same name by Jay Cronley. The movie was filmed on location in ...more

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23
Working Girl is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies of 1988
Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Kevin Spacey

Released: 1988

Directed by: Mike Nichols

Working Girl is a 1988 romantic comedy-drama film written by Kevin Wade and directed by Mike Nichols. It tells the story of a Staten Island-raised secretary, Tess McGill, working in the mergers ...more

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24
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Tatyana Ali, Colin Quinn, Paul Hogan

Released: 1988

Directed by: John Cornell, Mark Turnbull

"Crocodile" Dundee II is a 1988 Australian adventure and comedy film. It is a sequel to the 1986 film "Crocodile" Dundee, and was followed by 2001's Crocodile Dundee in Los ...more

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25
A Nightmare on Elm Stree... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies of 1988
Robert Englund, Lisa Wilcox, Brooke Bundy

Released: 1988

Directed by: Renny Harlin

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master is a 1988 American slasher fantasy film and the fourth film in the Nightmare on Elm Street series. The film was directed by Renny Harlin, stars ...more

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