vote on everything
700 voters

The Best Movies of 1988

Updated September 4, 2020 16.1k votes 700 voters 22.5k 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.
  • 1
    Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    Die Hard

    Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman


    Directed byJohn McTiernan

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

    More Die Hard 

    Behind The Scenes Of Alan Rickman's Defining Role: Hans Gruber'Die Hard' Ripoffs, Ranked By How Hard They Die

  • 2
    Big is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies of 1988


    Tom Hanks, Jon Lovitz


    Directed byPenny Marshall

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

    More Big 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Big,' Tom Hanks's First Blockbuster Hit'Big' Is Actually An Existential Nightmare

  • 3
    Coming to America is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    Coming to America

    Eddie Murphy, Samuel L. Jackson


    Directed byJohn Landis

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

    More Coming to America 

    After A Contentious Six-Month Production, It's A Miracle 'Coming To America' Even Exists#16 of 55 The Best Black Romance Movies, Ranked

  • 4
    Beetlejuice is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies of 1988


    Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder


    Directed byTim Burton

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

    More Beetlejuice 

    Strange Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Making Of 'Beetlejuice'Small Details From 'Beetlejuice' That Prove He's The Ghost With The Most

  • 5
    Rain Man is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    Rain Man

    Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman


    Directed byBarry Levinson

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

    More Rain Man 

    #28 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes#46 of 149 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

  • 6
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd


    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 American live-action/animated fantasy-comedy film directed... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    The Naked Gun: From the Files  is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

    O. J. Simpson, "Weird Al" Yankovic


    Directed byDavid Zucker

    The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! is a 1988 American comedy film. It is the first... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Young Guns is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    Young Guns

    Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland


    Directed byChristopher Cain

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

    More Young Guns 

    #46 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#86 of 384 The Greatest Movie Themes

  • 9
    Willow is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies of 1988


    Val Kilmer, Kevin Pollak


    Directed byRon Howard

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

    More Willow 

    'Willow' Is A Watered-Down Version Of 'The Lord Of The Rings'#274 of 317 The Best Movies For Kids

  • 10
    Twins is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies of 1988


    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Heather Graham


    Directed byIvan Reitman

    Twins is a 1988 comedy film, produced and directed by Ivan Reitman about unlikely twins who... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    The Great Outdoors is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    The Great Outdoors

    Annette Bening, Dan Aykroyd


    Directed byHoward Deutch

    The Great Outdoors is a 1988 American comedy film starring Dan Aykroyd and John Candy. Annette... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

    Steve Martin, Michael Caine


    Directed byFrank Oz

    Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a 1988 American comedy film directed by Frank Oz, and a remake of... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Heathers is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies of 1988


    Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty


    Directed byMichael Lehmann

    Heathers is a 1988 comedy, drama film written by Daniel Waters and directed by Michael... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Midnight Run is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    Midnight Run

    Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin


    Directed byMartin Brest

    Midnight Run is a 1988 American action-comedy film directed by Martin Brest and starring... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    They Live is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    They Live

    Roddy Piper, Keith David


    Directed byJohn Carpenter

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

    More They Live 

    #123 of 714 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time#18 of 26 The Best F-Bombs In Movie History

  • 16
    Bloodsport is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies of 1988


    Jean-Claude Van Damme, Forest Whitaker


    Directed byNewt Arnold

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

    More Bloodsport 

    The Insane Story Of Frank Dux, Whose Life Allegedly Formed The Basis For 'Bloodsport'#490 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 17
    The Land Before Time is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    The Land Before Time

    Diana Ross, Frank Welker


    Directed byDon Bluth

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

    More The Land Before Time 

    #7 of 572 The Best Animated Films Ever#6 of 88 Animated Movies That Make You Cry The Most

  • 18
    Bull Durham is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    Bull Durham

    Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon


    Directed byRon Shelton

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

    More Bull Durham 

    #94 of 314 The Funniest '80s Movies#404 of 836 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

  • 19
    Scrooged is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies of 1988


    Bill Murray, Robert Mitchum


    Directed byRichard Donner

    Scrooged is a 1988 American Christmas comedy film, a modernization of Charles Dickens' A... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Mississippi Burning is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    Mississippi Burning

    Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman


    Directed byAlan Parker

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

    More Mississippi Burning 

    #284 of 366 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime#196 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

  • 21
    Working Girl is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    Working Girl

    Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford


    Directed byMike Nichols

    Working Girl is a 1988 romantic comedy-drama film written by Kevin Wade and directed by Mike... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Funny Farm is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    Funny Farm

    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Chevy Chase


    Directed byGeorge Roy Hill

    Funny Farm is a 1988 American film starring Chevy Chase and Madolyn Smith. The film was... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Tucker: The Man and His Dream is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    Tucker: The Man and His Dream

    Jeff Bridges, Christian Slater


    Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola

    Tucker: The Man and His Dream is a 1988 biographical drama film directed by Francis Ford... more on Wikipedia

    More Tucker: The Man and His Dream 

    #45 of 155 The Greatest Car Movies Ever Made#43 of 81 The Best Movies About Business

  • 24
    A Fish Called Wanda is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    A Fish Called Wanda

    Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline


    Directed byJohn Cleese, Charles Crichton

    A Fish Called Wanda is a 1988 film written by John Cleese and Charles Crichton. It was... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    License to Drive is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies of 1988

    License to Drive

    Heather Graham, Corey Feldman


    Directed byGreg Beeman

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

    More License to Drive 

    #47 of 259 The Greatest Teen Movies of the 1980s#2 of 35 The Best Corey Haim Movies

FilmsFilmEntertainment1980s80s MoviespollBest Movies By Year