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

Updated October 18, 2020 1.3m votes 30.5k voters 326.0k views366 items

List RulesVote up the best "old" movies that came out in the '80s and '90s - the ones you think everyone simply 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. 

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  • 1
    Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    9,551
    1,247

    Forrest Gump

    Tom Hanks, Sally Field

    Released1994

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic romantic-comedy-drama film based on the 1986 novel of the... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 2
    Back To The Future is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    21,625
    3,114

    Back To The Future

    Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1985

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Back to the Future is a 1985 American science fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis. Marty... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 3
    Ghostbusters is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    16,970
    2,790

    Ghostbusters

    Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver

    Released1984

    Directed byIvan Reitman

    Ghostbusters is a 1984 American sci-fi-fantasy comedy film, directed and produced by Ivan... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 4
    Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    16,168
    3,048

    Star Wars

    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

    Released1977

    Directed byGeorge Lucas

    Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 5
    Indiana Jones and the Raiders  is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    16,359
    3,085

    Released1981

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. The... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 6
    Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    12,163
    2,275

    Jurassic Park

    Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum

    Released1993

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 7
    Home Alone is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    17,638
    3,354

    Home Alone

    Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci

    Released1990

    Directed byChris Columbus

    Home Alone is a 1990 American Christmas family comedy film written and produced by John Hughes... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 8
    Beetlejuice is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    14,906
    2,996

    Beetlejuice

    Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder

    Released1988

    Directed byTim Burton

    Beetlejuice is a 1988 American fantasy-comedy-horror film directed by Tim Burton. The spirits... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 9
    The Goonies is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    17,256
    3,531

    The Goonies

    Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin

    Released1985

    Directed byRichard Donner

    The Goonies is a 1985 American adventure comedy film directed by Richard Donner. The... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 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
    16,762
    3,467

    Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    Charlie Sheen, Matthew Broderick

    Released1986

    Directed byJohn Hughes

    Ferris Bueller's Day Off is a 1986 American comedy film written, produced and directed by John... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 11
    The Shawshank Redemption is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    16,645
    3,443

    The Shawshank Redemption

    Morgan Freeman, Rita Hayworth

    Released1994

    Directed byFrank Darabont

    The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 12
    The Wizard of Oz is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    13,922
    2,883

    The Wizard of Oz

    Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton

    Released1939

    Directed byMervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

    The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 13
    The Breakfast Club is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    16,704
    3,486

    The Breakfast Club

    Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald

    Released1985

    Directed byJohn Hughes

    The Breakfast Club is a 1985 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written, produced, and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 14
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    15,590
    3,280

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak

    Released1982

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 15
    Star Wars Episode V: The Empir is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    12,362
    2,597

    Released1980

    Directed byIrvin Kershner

    The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 16
    The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    7,177
    1,481

    The Terminator

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton

    Released1984

    Directed byJames Cameron

    The Terminator is a 1984 American science fiction/horror action film directed by James... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 17
    Jaws is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    12,458
    2,661

    Jaws

    Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss

    Released1975

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 18
    Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    12,544
    2,687

    Die Hard

    Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman

    Released1988

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

    Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 19
    Batman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    3,169
    634

    Batman

    Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger

    Released1989

    Directed byTim Burton

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  • 20
    Aladdin is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    8,220
    1,799

    Aladdin

    Robin Williams, Gilbert Gottfried

    Released1992

    Directed byRon Clements, John Musker

    Aladdin is a 1992 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 21
    The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    4,220
    892

    The Karate Kid

    Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio

    Released1984

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

    The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts romantic drama film directed by John G.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 22
    Star Wars: Episode VI - Return is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    11,450
    2,567

    Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

    Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

    Released1983

    Directed byRichard Marquand

    Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 23
    Mrs Doubtfire is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    14,489
    3,412

    Mrs Doubtfire

    Robin Williams, Pierce Brosnan

    Released1993

    Directed byChris Columbus, Chuck Jones

    Mrs. Doubtfire is a 1993 American comedy-drama film directed by Chris Columbus, based on the... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 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
    9,279
    2,219

    The Silence of the Lambs

    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1991

    Directed byJonathan Demme

    The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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  • 25
    Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    4,890
    1,155

    Gremlins

    Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman

    Released1984

    Directed byJoe Dante

    Gremlins is a 1984 American horror comedy film directed by Joe Dante, released by Warner Bros.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

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