80s Movies The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked  

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List Rules Movies must have been released during the 1980s

Ranker Video Best 80s Movies

Since it was one of the greatest decades for film, here's a list of the best movies of the 80s. These are the most popular films of the 1980's. While the 1980's is largely known for Matthew Broderick, John Cusack, and the musical montage, it is also the decade that brought us The Empire Strikes Back and all three of the good Indiana Jones films. The movies on this list were each a top ten grossing film in the year they were released. If you're looking to find out what the 1980's were all about, then watching a classic movie on this list would be a great place to start! Vote on the best 80s movies and share your super 80s knowledge with the world!

What are the best movies of the 1980s? This list will give you that answer if you ever had any doubt what the best 1980s films are.

See Also: What are the most awesome and best 90s movies?

list ordered by
1
5,155 2,034
Back to the Future is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson
Back to the Future is a 1985 American comic science fiction film. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis, written by Zemeckis and Bob Gale, produced by Steven Spielberg, and stars Michael J. Fox, ...more
2
4,039 1,956
Indiana Jones and the Raiders ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen
Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. The screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan was from a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman. It was produced by ...more
3
4,326 1,800
Star Wars Episode V: The Empir... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill
The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner. Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan wrote the screenplay, with George Lucas writing the film's story ...more
4
3,775 1,800
Ghostbusters is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd
Ghostbusters is a 1984 American sci-fi-fantasy comedy film, directed and produced by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The film stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis as ...more
5
3,300 2,270
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison, featuring special effects by Carlo ...more
6
3,349 1,610
The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton
The Terminator is a 1984 American science fiction/horror action film directed by James Cameron, written by Cameron and the film's producer Gale Anne Hurd. Schwarzenegger plays the Terminator, a ...more
7
3,211 1,577
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia
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
8
3,358 1,570
Star Wars: Episode VI – Return... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill
Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand, and the third and final film in the original Star Wars trilogy. After a daring ...more
9
2,589 1,998
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers
The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, ...more
10
2,606 1,155
Indiana Jones and the Last Cru... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, River Phoenix
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, from a story co-written by executive producer George Lucas. It is the third installment in the ...more
11
3,697 1,120
Ferris Bueller's Day Off is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Charlie Sheen, Matthew Broderick, Jeffrey Jones
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
12
4,020 1,031
The Breakfast Club is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall
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
13
2,660 1,655
Indiana Jones and the Temple o... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, Dan Aykroyd
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the second installment in the Indiana Jones franchise and a prequel to the 1981 film ...more
14
2,529 1,281
Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates
Gremlins is a 1984 American horror comedy film directed by Joe Dante, released by Warner Bros. The film is about a young man who receives a strange creature called a mogwai as a pet, which then ...more
15
2,680 1,158
Beetlejuice is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Geena Davis
Beetlejuice is a 1988 American comedy fantasy film directed by Tim Burton, produced by The Geffen Film Company and distributed by Warner Bros. The plot revolves around a recently deceased young ...more
16
2,808 1,000
The Princess Bride is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, André the Giant
The Princess Bride is a 1987 American romantic comedy fantasy adventure film directed and co-produced by Rob Reiner. It was adapted by William Goldman from his 1973 novel of the same name. The ...more
17
1,930 1,340
Rain Man is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Valeria Golino
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
18
2,296 1,020
Lethal Weapon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Mel Gibson, Gary Busey, Danny Glover
Lethal Weapon is a 1987 American buddy cop action film directed by Richard Donner, starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as a mismatched pair of L.A.P.D. detectives and stars Mitchell Ryan and ...more
19
2,901 789
Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, John Cusack
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
20
2,635 1,020
Back to the Future Part II is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Michael J. Fox, Elisabeth Shue, Christopher Lloyd
Back to the Future Part II is a 1989 American comic science fiction film and the second installment of the Back to the Future trilogy. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis, who directed all three ...more
21
3,386 832
The Goonies is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Sean Astin
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
22
2,100 1,225
Full Metal Jacket is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Stanley Kubrick, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey
Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 film directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by Kubrick, Michael Herr, and Gustav Hasford was based on Hasford's novel The Short-Timers. The film ...more
23
2,816 713
The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita
The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts romantic drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and written by Robert Mark Kamen, starring Ralph Macchio, who was 22 years old during principal ...more
24
1,877 1,324
Dead Poets Society is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Lara Flynn Boyle
Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film written by Tom Schulman, directed by Peter Weir and starring Robin Williams. Set at the conservative and aristocratic Welton Academy in the ...more
25
2,076 916
Aliens is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked
Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn
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