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

Ranker Film
161.5k votes 6.8k voters 81.5k views 158 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
3,602 484
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 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
3,131 518
The Shawshank Redemption is listed (or ranked) 2 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

3
3,054 569
The Breakfast Club is listed (or ranked) 3 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

4
2,927 550
Ferris Bueller's Day Off is listed (or ranked) 4 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

5
1,658 260
Indiana Jones and the Raiders ... 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

6
2,962 566
The Goonies is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
2,602 540
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
1,965 384
Home Alone is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
646 57
Ghostbusters is listed (or ranked) 9 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

10
2,621 613
Wayne's World is listed (or ranked) 10 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

11
2,458 609
The Sandlot is listed (or ranked) 11 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

12
710 96
Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
2,294 573
Big is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
2,440 618
Mrs. Doubtfire is listed (or ranked) 14 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 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

15
2,595 676
The Princess Bride is listed (or ranked) 15 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

16
731 119
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
2,329 668
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
556 76
Beetlejuice is listed (or ranked) 18 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 comedy fantasy film directed by Tim Burton, produced by The Geffen Film Company and distributed by Warner Bros. The plot revolves around a recently deceased young ...more

19
594 88
The Wizard of Oz is listed (or ranked) 19 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

20
2,121 622
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
514 81
Jaws is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
1,346 403
The Godfather is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Phil Bulfamante added 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

23
2,043 680
Top Gun is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
2,146 731
Dirty Dancing is listed (or ranked) 24 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

25
1,806 607
Schindler's List is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Robert Dion added 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

26
1,896 676
Pretty Woman is listed (or ranked) 26 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 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

27
1,883 674
Uncle Buck is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
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

28
447 81
Star Wars Episode V: The Empir... is listed (or ranked) 28 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

29
1,751 636
My Cousin Vinny is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
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

30
1,822 667
A Nightmare on Elm Street is listed (or ranked) 30 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

31
1,791 678
My Girl is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
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

32
1,703 649
Sixteen Candles is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
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.

33
998 346
The Fifth Element is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Sybrand Brink added 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

34
398 77
Star Wars: Episode VI – Return... is listed (or ranked) 34 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

35
1,504 595
Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Sherri Schladen added 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

36
692 219
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Katrina King added 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

37
1,673 681
Dead Poets Society is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
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

38
1,636 665
Ghost is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
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

39
1,560 632
Misery is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
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

40
573 168
Clueless is listed (or ranked) 40 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

41
506 138
Good Will Hunting is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Ben Murray added Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Matt Damon Good Will Hunting is a 1997 American drama film directed by Gus Van Sant, and starring Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgård. Written by Affleck and ...more

42
373 84
The Lost Boys is listed (or ranked) 42 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

43
979 394
Planes, Trains and Automobiles is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Phil Bulfamante added 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

44
1,529 703
Look Who's Talking is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
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

45
1,390 662
Pretty in Pink is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
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

46
1,381 705
Overboard is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
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

47
1,023 499
Little Shop of Horrors is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Steven Andes added 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

48
877 416
RoboCop is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Phil Bulfamante added Alex Van Halen, Peter Weller, Leeza Gibbons Sergeant Warren Reed is a fictional character from the film series RoboCop, RoboCop 2, RoboCop 3.

49
1,310 690
Three Men and a Baby is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
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

50
1,270 672
Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter'... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime
Christina Applegate, David Duchovny, Danielle Harris This film is a 1991 American comedy film directed by Stephen Herek and starring Christina Applegate, Joanna Cassidy, Josh Charles, and David Duchovny. The plot focuses on seventeen-year-old Sue ...more