Best Movies

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

Ranker Film
1M votes 27.9k voters 287k views 336 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
1
Back to the Future is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson
Back to the Future is a 1985 American science fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into ...more

More Back to the Future 

#2 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing 51 Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Back to the Futurelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
Ghostbusters is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
4:3Land added
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

More Ghostbusters 

#17 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #7 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Filmsfeaturing Every Ghost in the First Two Ghostbusters Movies

3
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Lucy Speed added
Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough
Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the first installment of the Jurassic Park franchise. It is based on the 1990 novel of the ...more

More Jurassic Park 

#4 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing 20 Things You Didn't Know About the Jurassic Park Franchiselisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

4
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
againsthetide17 added
Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Sally Field
Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Tom Hanks, Robin ...more

More Forrest Gump 

#1 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picturefeaturing The ‘Forrest Gump’ Book Is Weirder And More Offensive Than The Movielisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
Indiana Jones and the Ra... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Sybrand Brink added
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

More Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark 

#7 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing 12 Stories That Prove The Making Of 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' Was An Adventure Behind The Scenes Toolisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Preston Rohrick added
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill
Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The first release in the Star Wars franchise, it stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter ...more

More Star Wars 

#6 of 192 The Best Alien Movies Ever Madefeaturing The Most Hated Star Wars Villainslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
Home Alone is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Phil Bulfamante added
Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, John Candy
Home Alone is a 1990 American Christmas family comedy film written and produced by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus. The film stars Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, a boy who is ...more

More Home Alone 

#15 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing The Story Behind ‘Angels With Filthy Souls,’ The Fake Black-And-White Movie Inside ‘Home Alone’listed on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

8
Beetlejuice is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
4:3Land added
Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Geena Davis
Beetlejuice is a 1988 American fantasy-comedy-horror film directed by Tim Burton. The spirits of a deceased couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) are harassed by an unbearable family that has ...more

More Beetlejuice 

#57 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing Strange Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Making Of 'Beetlejuice'listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
The Goonies is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
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

More The Goonies 

#19 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #105 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Filmsfeaturing The Cast Of The Goonies: Where Are They Now?

10
Ferris Bueller's Day Off... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
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

More Ferris Bueller's Day Off 

#24 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #11 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Timefeaturing Behind The Scenes Of The Famous Parade Scene In 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'

11
The Shawshank Redemption... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth, Tim Robbins
The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and ...more

More The Shawshank Redemption 

#14 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #3 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Booksfeaturing The Best 'Shawshank Redemption' Quotes Will Set You Free

12
The Breakfast Club is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
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

More The Breakfast Club 

#27 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #77 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

13
E.T. the Extra-Terrestri... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
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

More E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 

#41 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing The Dark Story Behind The Cancelled Sequel To E.T. The Extra-Terrestriallisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

14
The Wizard of Oz is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
roxdsgn added
Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton, Frank Morgan
The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the most well-known and commercially successful adaptation based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful ...more

More The Wizard of Oz 

#3 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Timefeaturing Strange Things You Definitely Didn't Know About The Wizard of Ozlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Star Wars Episode V: The... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
4:3Land added
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

More Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back 

#9 of 192 The Best Alien Movies Ever Madefeaturing Here's Why The Last Jedi And Empire Strikes Back Are Pretty Much The Same Movielisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

16
The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Tito Monge Sol added
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

More The Terminator 

#32 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #2 of 46 Every Single Movie On Rotten Tomatoes With 100% Approval, Rankedfeaturing 56 Things You Didn't Know About the Terminator Movies

17
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Lo Olsen added
Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider
Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The prototypical summer blockbuster, its release is regarded as a ...more

More Jaws 

#47 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing Behind The Scenes Of Every Death In ‘Jaws’listed on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

18
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Ben Murray added
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

More Die Hard 

#25 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Books #42 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madefeaturing Behind The Scenes Of Alan Rickman's Defining Role: Hans Gruber

19
Aladdin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Tito Monge Sol added
Robin Williams, Gilbert Gottfried, Frank Welker
Aladdin is a 1992 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Aladdin is the 31st animated feature in the Walt Disney ...more

More Aladdin 

#7 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songsfeaturing 'Aladdin' Fan Theories More Mind-Boggling Than The Cave Of Wonderslisted on The Highest Grossing 90s Movies

20
Star Wars: Episode VI –R... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
4:3Land added
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

More Star Wars: Episode VI –Return of the Jedi 

#16 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #17 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

21
Batman is listed (or ranked) 21 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

More Batman 

#118 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #69 of 324 Movies with the Best Soundtrackslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

22
Mrs. Doubtfire is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Tiffany Meek added
Robin Williams, Pierce Brosnan, Sally Field
Mrs. Doubtfire is a 1993 American comedy-drama film directed by Chris Columbus, based on the novel Alias Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine. A recently divorced actor (Robin Williams) decides to ...more

More Mrs. Doubtfire 

#71 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing Mrs. Doubtfire Is Actually A Dark Film About An Extremely Deranged Manlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

23
The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
steve003 added
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

More The Karate Kid 

#134 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #99 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #7 of 625 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

24
The Silence of the Lambs... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Lovi420 added
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak
The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more

More The Silence of the Lambs 

#1 of 254 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Timefeaturing You've Been Watching Silence Of The Lambs Wrong For Years: It's A Comedylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

25
Beauty and the Beast is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Greg Kootstra added
Angela Lansbury, Frank Welker, Jerry Orbach
Beauty and the Beast is a 1991 American animated musical romantic fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 30th film in the Walt Disney ...more

More Beauty and the Beast 

#4 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #93 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever