Best Movies "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime  

Ranker Film
110.2k votes 5k voters 60.6k views 141 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. 

1
2,684 352
Back to the Future is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Back To The Future 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
2,285 365
The Shawshank Redemption is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
The Shawshank Redemption 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

3
2,251 403
The Breakfast Club is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
The Breakfast Club 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

4
2,177 404
Ferris Bueller's Day Off is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Ferris Bueller's Day Off 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

5
2,218 422
The Goonies is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
The Goonies 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

6
1,943 406
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 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

7
929 140
Indiana Jones and the Raiders ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Sybrand Brink added Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark 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

8
1,241 237
Home Alone is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Phil Bulfamante added Home Alone 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

9
1,819 420
Mrs. Doubtfire is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Tiffany Meek added Mrs Doubtfire Robin Williams, Pierce Brosnan, Sally Field Mrs. Doubtfire is a 1993 American comedy film, starring Robin Williams and Sally Field and based on the novel Alias Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine. It was directed by Chris Columbus and ...more

10
1,967 474
Wayne's World is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Wayne's World 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

11
1,734 429
Big is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Big 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

12
1,832 461
The Sandlot is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
The Sandlot 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

13
1,932 499
The Princess Bride is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Seth Fieldhouse added The Princess Bride 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

14
1,768 501
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Who Framed Roger Rabbit 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

15
1,598 464
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Honey, I Shrunk The Kids 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

16
1,633 550
Dirty Dancing is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Dirty Dancing 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

17
1,529 514
Top Gun is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Top Gun 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

18
883 255
The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Phil Bulfamante added The Godfather Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert S. Ruddy from a screenplay by Mario Puzo and Coppola. Starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as ...more

19
1,361 454
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Robert Dion added Schindler's List Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley Schindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas ...more

20
1,469 510
Uncle Buck is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Uncle Buck Macaulay Culkin, John Candy, Patricia Arquette Uncle Buck is a 1989 American comedy film directed by John Hughes and starring John Candy and Amy Madigan, with Jean Louisa Kelly, Gaby Hoffmann, Macaulay Culkin, Jay Underwood, and Laurie ...more

21
1,447 529
Pretty Woman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Pretty Woman Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Hank Azaria Pretty Woman is a 1990 American romantic comedy film set in Los Angeles. Written by J. F. Lawton and directed by Garry Marshall, it stars Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and features Hector ...more

22
1,416 520
A Nightmare on Elm Street is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
A Nightmare On Elm Street 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

23
1,324 491
My Cousin Vinny is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
My Cousin Vinny Marisa Tomei, Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio My Cousin Vinny is a 1992 American comedy film written by Dale Launer and directed by Jonathan Lynn. The film stars Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio, Marisa Tomei, Mitchell Whitfield, Lane Smith, Bruce ...more

24
1,371 519
My Girl is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
My Girl Jamie Lee Curtis, Macaulay Culkin, Dan Aykroyd My Girl is a 1991 American comedy-drama film directed by Howard Zieff and written by Laurice Elehwany. The film, starring Macaulay Culkin and Anna Chlumsky in her feature film debut, depicts the ...more

25
1,314 508
Sixteen Candles is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Sixteen Candles John Cusack, Molly Ringwald, Joan Cusack Sixteen Candles is a 1984 American coming-of-age comedy film starring Molly Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling and Anthony Michael Hall. It was written and directed by John Hughes.

26
1,099 430
Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Sherri Schladen added Labyrinth Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, Frank Oz Labyrinth is a 1986 British-American musical adventure fantasy film directed by Jim Henson, executive produced by George Lucas and based upon conceptual designs by Brian Froud. The film stars ...more

27
1,215 494
Misery is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Misery Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan Misery is a 1990 American psychological thriller film based on Stephen King's 1987 novel of the same name and starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall, Richard Farnsworth, and Frances ...more

28
1,250 522
Ghost is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Ghost Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Swayze Ghost is a 1990 American romantic fantasy/crime thriller film starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Tony Goldwyn, and Whoopi Goldberg. It was written by Bruce Joel Rubin and directed by Jerry ...more

29
582 193
The Fifth Element is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Sybrand Brink added The Fifth Element Milla Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman The Fifth Element is a 1997 English-language French science fiction action film directed and co-written by Luc Besson. It stars Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman and Milla Jovovich. Mostly set in the ...more

30
1,274 536
Dead Poets Society is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Dead Poets Society 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

31
1,224 539
Look Who's Talking is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Look Who's Talking John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Joan Rivers Look Who's Talking is a 1989 romantic comedy film written and directed by Amy Heckerling and starring John Travolta and Kirstie Alley. Bruce Willis plays the voice of Mollie's son, Mikey. The ...more

32
659 259
Planes, Trains and Automobiles is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Phil Bulfamante added Planes, Trains and Automobiles Steve Martin, Kevin Bacon, John Candy Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a 1987 American comedy film written, produced and directed by John Hughes. The film stars Steve Martin as Neal Page, a high-strung marketing executive, who ...more

33
1,080 514
Pretty in Pink is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Pretty In Pink James Spader, Gina Gershon, Molly Ringwald Pretty in Pink is a 1986 American romantic comedy-drama film about love and social cliques in 1980s American high schools. It is one of John Hughes' films starring Molly Ringwald, and is ...more

34
302 84
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Katrina King added The Outsiders Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane The Outsiders is a 1983 American drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by S. E. Hinton. The film was released on March 25, 1983. Jo Ellen ...more

35
733 344
Little Shop of Horrors is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Steven Andes added Little Shop of Horrors Bill Murray, Steve Martin, John Candy Little Shop of Horrors is a 1986 American rock musical horror comedy film directed by Frank Oz. It is a film adaptation of the off-Broadway musical comedy of the same name by composer Alan ...more

36
1,066 547
Overboard is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Overboard Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Roddy McDowall Overboard is a 1987 American romantic comedy film starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. It was directed by Garry Marshall, produced by Roddy McDowall, and loosely inspired by the 1974 Italian ...more

37
1,024 540
Three Men and a Baby is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Three Men And A Baby Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg Three Men and a Baby is a 1987 comedy film directed by Leonard Nimoy, and starring Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson and Nancy Travis. It follows the mishaps and adventures of three ...more

38
976 519
Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter'... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead Christina Applegate, David Duchovny, Danielle Harris Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead is a 1991 American comedy film directed by Stephen Herek and starring Christina Applegate, Joanna Cassidy, Josh Charles, and David Duchovny. The plot focuses ...more

39
983 534
Adventures in Babysitting is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Adventures In Babysitting Elisabeth Shue, Vincent D'Onofrio, Penelope Ann Miller Adventures in Babysitting is a 1987 American comedy film written by David Simkins, directed by Chris Columbus, and starring Elisabeth Shue, Maia Brewton, Keith Coogan, Anthony Rapp, Penelope Ann ...more

40
167 29
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Ben Murray added Die Hard 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

41
562 294
RoboCop is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Phil Bulfamante added RoboCop Alex Van Halen, Peter Weller, Leeza Gibbons Sergeant Warren Reed is a fictional character from the film series RoboCop, RoboCop 2, RoboCop 3.

42
862 507
Thelma & Louise is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Thelma & Louise Brad Pitt, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis Thelma & Louise is a 1991 American crime drama film, written by Callie Khouri and directed by Ridley Scott. It stars Geena Davis as Thelma and Susan Sarandon as Louise, two friends who ...more

43
869 536
When Harry Met Sally... is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
When Harry Met Sally... Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, Carrie Fisher When Harry Met Sally… is a 1989 American romantic comedy film written by Nora Ephron and directed by Rob Reiner. It stars Billy Crystal as Harry and Meg Ryan as Sally. The story follows the ...more

44
153 35
Clueless is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Ben Murray added Clueless 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

45
518 292
Casino is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Phil Bulfamante added Casino Sharon Stone, Robert De Niro, James Woods Casino is a 1995 American crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Nicholas Pileggi, who also co-wrote the screenplay for the film ...more

46
767 476
Parenthood is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Parenthood Keanu Reeves, Steve Martin, Bryce Dallas Howard Parenthood is a 1989 comedy-drama film with an ensemble cast that includes Steve Martin, Tom Hulce, Rick Moranis, Martha Plimpton, Joaquin Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, Jason Robards, Mary Steenburgen, ...more

47
461 263
The Untouchables is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Phil Bulfamante added The Untouchables Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner The Untouchables is a 1987 American crime drama film directed by Brian De Palma and written by David Mamet. Based on the book The Untouchables, the film stars Kevin Costner as government agent ...more

48
811 530
Sleepless in Seattle is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Sleepless In Seattle Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Rosie O'Donnell Sleepless in Seattle is a 1993 American romantic comedy-drama film directed and co-written by Nora Ephron. Based on a story by Jeff Arch, it stars Tom Hanks as Sam Baldwin and Meg Ryan as Annie

49
322 176
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Jenn Summitt added Fargo Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy, Frances McDormand Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief who ...more

50
852 577
Death Becomes Her is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list "Old" Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Death Becomes Her Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn Death Becomes Her is a 1992 American black comedy-fantasy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and scripted by David Koepp and Martin Donovan. Starring Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn and ...more