Watchworthy
20.9k voters

The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

Updated September 28, 2020 594.6k votes 20.9k voters 537.1k views522 items

List RulesMovies must have been released during the 1980s

Since it was one of the greatest decades for film, here's a list of the best movies of the 80s. These are some of the most popular and famous films of the 1980s. While the 1980s is largely known for Matthew Broderick, John Cusack, and the iconic musical montage, it is also the decade that brought us The Empire Strikes Back, the cult classic They Live, 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 because it is far more than just a top 10, 50, or even 100 best '80s movies list.

You might want to also check out other greatl lists like: the best 90s movies and 17 Movies That No '80s Kid Is Nostalgic About.

Photo:
...more
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back1
    6,673
    2,505

    Released1980

    Directed byIrvin Kershner

    Amazon buy button

    More Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back 

    20 Subtle Details You Likely Missed When Watching 'Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back'Here's Why The Last Jedi And Empire Strikes Back Are Pretty Much The Same Movie

  • The Goonies2
    5,325
    1,513

    The Goonies

    Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin

    Released1985

    Directed byRichard Donner

    Amazon buy button

    More The Goonies 

    Interesting Details From 'The Goonies' That Make Us Want To RewatchThings You Have To Ignore In Order To Enjoy Watching 'The Goonies'

  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off3
    5,296
    1,983

    Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    Charlie Sheen, Matthew Broderick

    Released1986

    Directed byJohn Hughes

    Amazon buy button

    More Ferris Bueller's Day Off 

    Behind The Scenes Of The Famous Parade Scene In 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'Interesting Details From 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' That Made Us Stop And Look Around

  • Back to the Future4
    7,725
    2,951

    Back to the Future

    Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1985

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Amazon buy button

    More Back to the Future 

    Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Back to the FutureWays Back to the Future Predicted the Future

  • The Princess Bride5
    4,571
    1,723

    The Princess Bride

    Billy Crystal, Robin Wright

    Released1987

    Directed byRob Reiner

    Amazon buy button

    More The Princess Bride 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories About André The Giant In ‘The Princess Bride’No Matter How Many Times You've Watched 'The Princess Bride,' You Don't Know Everything About It

  • The Breakfast Club6
    5,856
    1,706

    The Breakfast Club

    Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald

    Released1985

    Directed byJohn Hughes

    Amazon buy button
  • The Karate Kid7
    4,491
    1,641

    The Karate Kid

    Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio

    Released1984

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

    Amazon buy button

    More The Karate Kid 

    #15 of 541 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies#7 of 14 '80s Movie Fan Theories

  • Stand by Me8
    4,243
    1,197

    Stand by Me

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1986

    Directed byRob Reiner

    Amazon buy button

    More Stand by Me 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Stand By Me' That Prove The Film Shaped The Child Actors#26 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

  • Beverly Hills Cop9
    3,199
    1,194

    Beverly Hills Cop

    Eddie Murphy, Damon Wayans

    Released1984

    Directed byMartin Brest

    Amazon buy button
  • Top Gun10
    3,532
    1,289

    Top Gun

    Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan

    Released1986

    Directed byTony Scott

    Amazon buy button

    More Top Gun 

    Everything You Don't Know About The Making Of 'Top Gun'#2441 of 3,110 The Greatest Albums of All-Time

  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation11
    3,696
    1,212

    National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Chevy Chase

    Released1989

    Directed byJeremiah S. Chechik

    Amazon buy button

    More National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 

    The Funniest Lines From 'Christmas Vacation'13 Interesting Details From 'Christmas Vacation' That Make Us Think It's Time For A Rewatch

  • The Terminator12
    5,379
    2,055

    The Terminator

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton

    Released1984

    Directed byJames Cameron

    Amazon buy button

    More The Terminator 

    12 Terminator Fan Theories That Are Just Crazy Enough To Be True56 Things You Didn't Know About the Terminator Movies

  • Back to the Future Part II13
    4,051
    1,632

    Back to the Future Part II

    Michael J. Fox, Elisabeth Shue

    Released1989

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Amazon buy button
  • Lethal Weapon14
    3,476
    1,343

    Lethal Weapon

    Mel Gibson, Gary Busey

    Released1987

    Directed byRichard Donner

    Amazon buy button

    More Lethal Weapon 

    Surprising Facts Most People Don't Know About 'Lethal Weapon'#146 of 925 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • The Lost Boys15
    2,637
    979

    The Lost Boys

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1987

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

    Amazon buy button
  • Big16
    3,946
    1,494

    Big

    Tom Hanks, Jon Lovitz

    Released1988

    Directed byPenny Marshall

    Amazon buy button

    More Big 

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

  • Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi17
    5,057
    2,113

    Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

    Released1983

    Directed byRichard Marquand

    Amazon buy button
  • Sixteen Candles18
    2,551
    950

    Sixteen Candles

    John Cusack, Molly Ringwald

    Released1984

    Directed byJohn Hughes

    Amazon buy button

    More Sixteen Candles 

    #28 of 200 The Best Teen Romance Movies#23 of 836 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

  • Aliens19
    3,310
    1,351

    Aliens

    Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton

    Released1986

    Directed byJames Cameron

    Amazon buy button

    More Aliens 

    #175 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#1 of 105 The Best Horror Movie Sequels

  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade20
    4,006
    1,692

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    Harrison Ford, Sean Connery

    Released1989

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Amazon buy button
  • Vacation21
    2,796
    1,054

    Vacation

    Chevy Chase, Christie Brinkley

    Released1983

    Directed byHarold Ramis

    Amazon buy button

    More Vacation 

    #1 of 314 The Funniest '80s Movies#120 of 1,540 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • Ghostbusters22
    5,532
    2,451

    Ghostbusters

    Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver

    Released1984

    Directed byIvan Reitman

    Amazon buy button

    More Ghostbusters 

    Behind The Scenes Secrets From 'Ghostbusters' Most People Have Never HeardVintage Ghostbusters Toys That Are Worth A Scary Amount Now

  • Caddyshack23
    2,415
    967

    Caddyshack

    Bill Murray, Chevy Chase

    Released1980

    Directed byHarold Ramis

    Amazon buy button
  • Predator24
    2,474
    1,003

    Predator

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura

    Released1987

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

    Amazon buy button

    More Predator 

    Somehow, Making Predator Was WAY More Insane Than The Actual MovieKiller Details In ‘Predator’ That Fans Have Hunted Down

  • Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark25
    5,957
    2,686

    Released1981

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Amazon buy button