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'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime  

Ranker Film
818.8k votes 22.7k voters 226.9k views 334 items

List Rules Vote up the best "old" movies that came out in the '80s and '90s - the ones you think all the kids these days MUST watch.

If you're a younger millennial, you've probably heard your older friends and coworkers say things like "Hey, you guys!" or "Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?" or "He can't see without his glasses!" and knew that they were quoting some old movie that you've never seen (something like The Goonies, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, or My Girl). These films may have been released before you were born, but to be culturally literate, you should probably go back and watch them. This classics list is not about old old black and white movies, it's about '80s and '90s beloved masterpieces. They're the cinematic treasures that made the careers of your favorite current day actors.

You can see some of your favorite actors when they were just starting in these old movies that young people should watch. Love Christian Bale, but you've never seen Newsies? Go watch it! (fun Christian Bale fact: he hates this movie). Admire Meryl Streep? Make sure you check out Death Becomes Her. She looks so youthful!

If you ever find yourself asking, "What old movies should I watch?" just work your way down this list and knock them out, one at a time. 

list ordered by
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26
The Green Mile is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Lovi420 added Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Sam Rockwell
The Green Mile is a 1999 American fantasy drama film directed by Frank Darabont and adapted from the 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name. The film is told in a flashback format and stars ...more
27
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd, Bob Hoskins
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
28
Big is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Tom Hanks, Jon Lovitz, Elizabeth Perkins
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
29
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Keri Russell, Allison Mack, Rick Moranis
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is a 1989 soft science fiction-family film. The directorial debut of Joe Johnston and produced by Walt Disney Pictures, it tells the story of an inventor who ...more
30
Wayne's World is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Alice Cooper, Mike Myers, Rob Lowe
Wayne's World is a 1992 American comedy film directed by Penelope Spheeris and starring Mike Myers as Wayne Campbell and Dana Carvey as Garth Algar, hosts of the Aurora, Illinois-based ...more
31
Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
againsthetide17 added Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox
Independence Day is a 1996 American science fiction disaster film co-written and directed by Roland Emmerich. The film stars Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, ...more
32
Rocky is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
starwarssuperfan added Sylvester Stallone, Joe Frazier, Burgess Meredith
Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen. A small-time boxer (Sylvester Stallone) gets a supremely rare chance to fight a heavy-weight champion (Carl Weathers) in ...more
33
The Princess Bride is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Seth Fieldhouse added 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
34
The Sandlot is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
James Earl Jones, Denis Leary, Karen Allen
The Sandlot, also known as The Sandlot Kids, is a 1993 American coming-of-age film Comedy directed by David M. Evans, which tells the story of a group of young baseball players during the summer ...more
35
Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Tito Monge Sol added 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
36
Dirty Dancing is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach
Dirty Dancing is a 1987 American romantic drama film. Written by Eleanor Bergstein and directed by Emile Ardolino, the film stars Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the lead roles, as well as ...more
37
Top Gun is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Val Kilmer
Top Gun is a 1986 American action drama film directed by Tony Scott, and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, in association with Paramount Pictures. The screenplay was written by Jim ...more
38
Batman is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Josh Negley added Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Michael Keaton
Batman is a 1989 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton, based on the DC Comics character. The Dark Knight of Gotham City (Michael Keaton) begins his war on crime with his first major ...more
39
The Land Before Time is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Tito Monge Sol added Diana Ross, Frank Welker, Judith Barsi
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
40
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Tito Monge Sol added 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
41
Pulp Fiction is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
againsthetide17 added John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman
Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The lives of two mob hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta), a boxer (Bruce Willis), a gangster's wife (Uma ...more
42
Dumb and Dumber is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
zion77 added Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Teri Garr
Dumb and Dumber is a 1994 American road buddy comedy film starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. It was written by the Farrelly brothers and Bennett Yellin, and is the Farrelly Brothers ...more
43
Pretty Woman is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Hank Azaria
Pretty Woman is a 1990 American romantic comedy film directed by Garry Marshall. A down-on-her-luck Hollywood working girl (Julia Roberts) is hired by a wealthy businessman (Richard Gere) to be ...more
44
Lethal Weapon is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
steve003 added 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
45
National Lampoon's Christmas V... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
steve003 added Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Chevy Chase, Juliette Lewis
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a 1989 Christmas comedy film directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik. It is the third installment in National Lampoon's Vacation film series, and was written by ...more
46
The Lost Boys is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Mischief added Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim
The Lost Boys is a 1987 American teen horror film starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Edward Herrmann, Alex Winter, Jamison Newlander, ...more
47
Bill & Ted is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Lovi420 added Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter
Bill & Ted is a series of two films featuring William "Bill" S. Preston Esq. and Theodore "Ted" Logan as two metalhead slackers who travel through time. The first Bill ...more
48
Clueless is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Ben Murray added Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd
Clueless is a 1995 American comedy film loosely based on Jane Austen's 1815 novel Emma. It stars Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd, and Brittany Murphy. The film is set in Beverly Hills ...more
49
A Nightmare on Elm Street is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp
A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American supernatural slasher horror film written and directed by Wes Craven, and the first film of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film stars ...more
50
Ghostbusters II is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
4:3Land added Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd
Ghostbusters II is a 1989 American science fiction fantasy comedy film produced and directed by Ivan Reitman. It is the sequel to the 1984 film Ghostbusters and follows the further adventures of ...more