vote on everything
Watchworthy
30.4k voters

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

Updated October 18, 2020 1.3m votes 30.4k voters 325.5k 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. 

Photo:
  • 1
    Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    9,444
    1,238

    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

    More Forrest Gump 

    The ‘Forrest Gump’ Book Is Weirder And More Offensive Than The Movie#6 of 50 The 50 Highest Grossing '90s Movies, Ranked

  • 2
    Back To The Future is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    21,616
    3,009

    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

    More Back to the Future 

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

  • 3
    Ghostbusters is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    16,960
    2,693

    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

    More Ghostbusters 

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

  • 4
    Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    12,150
    2,219

    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

    More Jurassic Park 

    Here's Just How Wrong Jurassic Park Is About Dinosaurs27 Memes About 'Jurassic Park', Still The Only Good Movie Ever Made

  • 5
    Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    16,159
    3,002

    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

    More Star Wars 

    The Best Blasters in the 'Star Wars' Saga, RankedThe Most Hated Star Wars Villains

  • 6
    Indiana Jones and the Raiders  is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    16,350
    3,042

    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
  • 7
    Home Alone is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    17,624
    3,341

    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

    More Home Alone 

    12 Awesome Movie Details In 'Home Alone' Fans Are Noticing About The ClassicJoe Pesci Stories From Behind The Scenes Of ‘Home Alone’

  • 8
    Beetlejuice is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    14,895
    2,984

    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

    More Beetlejuice 

    Strange Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Making Of 'Beetlejuice'#529 of 1,189 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
    17,250
    3,514

    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

    More The Goonies 

    Things You Have To Ignore In Order To Enjoy Watching 'The Goonies'20 Goonies Trivia Facts Everyone Should Know

  • 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
    16,758
    3,457

    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

    More Ferris Bueller's Day Off 

    Interesting Details From 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' That Made Us Stop And Look AroundBehind 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
    16,635
    3,438

    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
    13,912
    2,880

    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

    More The Wizard of Oz 

    The Original 'Wizard of Oz' Books Are Shockingly Violent Compared To The Judy Garland ClassicStrange Things You Definitely Didn't Know About 'The Wizard of Oz'

  • 13
    The Breakfast Club is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    16,697
    3,484

    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

    More The Breakfast Club 

    Don’t You Forget About These Small But Poignant Details From 'The Breakfast Club'#15 of 149 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

  • 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
    15,582
    3,277

    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

    More E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial'The Dark Story Behind The Canceled Sequel To 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial'

  • 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
    12,355
    2,593

    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

    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

  • 16
    The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    7,167
    1,478

    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

    More The Terminator 

    56 Things You Didn't Know About the Terminator Movies#53 of 1,647 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 17
    Jaws is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    12,447
    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

    More Jaws 

    Behind The Scenes Of Every Death In ‘Jaws’Surprising Facts, Small Details, And Trivia Most People Don't Know About 'Jaws'

  • 18
    Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    12,537
    2,684

    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

    More Die Hard 

    Behind The Scenes Of Alan Rickman's Defining Role: Hans Gruber'Die Hard' Ripoffs, Ranked By How Hard They Die

  • 19
    Batman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    3,161
    631

    Batman

    Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger

    Released1989

    Directed byTim Burton

    Batman is a 1989 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton, based on the DC Comics... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More Batman 

    27 Things You Didn't Know About Tim Burton's Batman Movies14 Ways Tim Burton's Batman Is Better Than The Dark Knight

  • 20
    Aladdin is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    8,212
    1,797

    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

    More Aladdin 

    'Aladdin' Fan Theories More Mind-Boggling Than The Cave Of Wonders#75 of 572 The Best Animated Films Ever

  • 21
    The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    4,215
    887

    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
    11,444
    2,564

    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
    14,482
    3,409

    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
    9,270
    2,216

    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

    More The Silence of the Lambs 

    Small Details And Trivia From 'The Silence Of The Lambs' That Left Us Hungry For MoreYou've Been Watching Silence Of The Lambs Wrong For Years: It's A Comedy

  • 25
    Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
    4,887
    1,154

    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
FilmsFilmEntertainmenttop 50top 100