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The Best Movies of 1988

Updated September 4, 2020 15.1k votes 733 voters 23.6k views342 items

List RulesOnly movies released in theaters in 1988.

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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  • Die Hard1
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    103

    Die Hard

    Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman

    Released1988

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

    Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de...  more

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  • Beetlejuice2
    225
    84

    Beetlejuice

    Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder

    Released1988

    Directed byTim Burton

    Beetlejuice is a 1988 American fantasy-comedy-horror film directed by Tim Burton. The spirits...  more

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  • Big3
    218
    90

    Big

    Tom Hanks, Jon Lovitz

    Released1988

    Directed byPenny Marshall

    Big is a 1988 American fantasy comedy film directed by Penny Marshall, and stars Tom Hanks as...  more

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  • Rain Man4
    229
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    Rain Man

    Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman

    Released1988

    Directed byBarry Levinson

    Rain Man is a 1988 American drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow...  more

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  • Coming to America5
    213
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    Coming to America

    Eddie Murphy, Samuel L. Jackson

    Released1988

    Directed byJohn Landis

    Coming to America is a 1988 American comedy film directed by John Landis, and based on a story...  more

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  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit6
    205
    95

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1988

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 American live-action/animated fantasy-comedy film directed...  more

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  • The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!7
    142
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    The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

    O. J. Simpson, "Weird Al" Yankovic

    Released1988

    Directed byDavid Zucker

    The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! is a 1988 American comedy film. It is the first...  more

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  • Willow8
    117
    51

    Willow

    Val Kilmer, Kevin Pollak

    Released1988

    Directed byRon Howard

    Willow is a 1988 American fantasy film directed by Ron Howard, produced and with a story by...  more

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  • Young Guns9
    158
    65

    Young Guns

    Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland

    Released1988

    Directed byChristopher Cain

    Young Guns is a 1988 Western action film directed by Christopher Cain and written by John...  more

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  • Twins10
    120
    61

    Twins

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Heather Graham

    Released1988

    Directed byIvan Reitman

    Twins is a 1988 comedy film, produced and directed by Ivan Reitman about unlikely twins who...  more

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  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels11
    119
    55

    Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

    Steve Martin, Michael Caine

    Released1988

    Directed byFrank Oz

    Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a 1988 American comedy film directed by Frank Oz, and a remake of...  more

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  • Heathers12
    122
    72

    Heathers

    Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty

    Released1988

    Directed byMichael Lehmann

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

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  • Midnight Run13
    113
    59

    Midnight Run

    Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin

    Released1988

    Directed byMartin Brest

    Midnight Run is a 1988 American action-comedy film directed by Martin Brest and starring...  more

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  • They Live14
    98
    35

    They Live

    Roddy Piper, Keith David

    Released1988

    Directed byJohn Carpenter

    They Live is a 1988 American science fiction film written and directed by John Carpenter. The...  more

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  • The Great Outdoors15
    126
    54

    The Great Outdoors

    Annette Bening, Dan Aykroyd

    Released1988

    Directed byHoward Deutch

    The Great Outdoors is a 1988 American comedy film starring Dan Aykroyd and John Candy. Annette...  more

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  • Bloodsport16
    107
    41

    Bloodsport

    Jean-Claude Van Damme, Forest Whitaker

    Released1988

    Directed byNewt Arnold

    Bloodsport is a 1988 American martial arts film directed by Newt Arnold, and starring...  more

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  • Mississippi Burning17
    119
    66

    Mississippi Burning

    Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman

    Released1988

    Directed byAlan Parker

    Mississippi Burning is a 1988 American thriller film directed by Alan Parker and written by...  more

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  • The Land Before Time18
    121
    63

    The Land Before Time

    Diana Ross, Frank Welker

    Released1988

    Directed byDon Bluth

    The Land Before Time is a 1988 American-Irish animated adventure drama film directed and...  more

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  • Bull Durham19
    144
    79

    Bull Durham

    Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon

    Released1988

    Directed byRon Shelton

    Bull Durham is a 1988 American romantic comedy sports film. It is partly based upon the minor...  more

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  • Scrooged20
    147
    82

    Scrooged

    Bill Murray, Robert Mitchum

    Released1988

    Directed byRichard Donner

    Scrooged is a 1988 American Christmas comedy film, a modernization of Charles Dickens' A...  more

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  • Funny Farm21
    96
    48

    Funny Farm

    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Chevy Chase

    Released1988

    Directed byGeorge Roy Hill

    Funny Farm is a 1988 American film starring Chevy Chase and Madolyn Smith. The film was...  more

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  • Working Girl22
    77
    38

    Working Girl

    Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford

    Released1988

    Directed byMike Nichols

    Working Girl is a 1988 romantic comedy-drama film written by Kevin Wade and directed by Mike...  more

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  • A Fish Called Wanda23
    113
    72

    A Fish Called Wanda

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline

    Released1988

    Directed byJohn Cleese, Charles Crichton

    A Fish Called Wanda is a 1988 film written by John Cleese and Charles Crichton. It was...  more

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  • License to Drive24
    83
    46

    License to Drive

    Heather Graham, Corey Feldman

    Released1988

    Directed byGreg Beeman

    License to Drive is a 1988 teen adventure film starring Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Heather...  more

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  • Crocodile Dundee II25
    90
    61

    Crocodile Dundee II

    Tatyana Ali, Colin Quinn

    Released1988

    Directed byJohn Cornell, Mark Turnbull

    "Crocodile" Dundee II is a 1988 Australian adventure and comedy film. It is a sequel to the...  more

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