It can be difficult to get your children to watch a movie that was released before they were born. It's natural to want to show your children the movies you remember fondly, but kids might bulk at the idea of watching something Mom or Dad think is cool. If you want your kids to love '80s movies, you have to pick out some kid-friendly masterpieces of the era that will wipe away preconceived notions. Choosing the best of the best during a decade which provided hits like The Empire Strikes Back, Beetlejuice, and Ghostbusters can be difficult, but this list is here to help!
Remember, you want to pick classic '80s movies appropriate for kids. This means nothing too raunchy or violent, but also be aware anything too kid friendly or corny may elicit an eye roll from teens or tweens. The films listed here are perfect to get kids into '80s movies. They have a certain timelessness that extends across generations. There may be some confusion. Kids may wonder, for example, why none of the kids in The Goonies are carrying cellphones. But once they got lost in the surreal tale of scouring the sewers, they'll forget all about the absence of iPhones and tablets. While Back to the Future may give off a campy vibe that seems odd outside of the '80s, kids will still love the story.
Read this list of '80s movies for beginners below. Then, vote up your favorites.
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 premise features a band of pre-teens who live in the "Goon Docks" neighborhood of Astoria, Oregon attempting to save their homes from demolition, and in doing so, discover an old Spanish map that leads them on an adventure to unearth the long-lost fortune of One-Eyed Willie, a legendary 17th-century pirate. ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Sean Astin, Joe Pantoliano, Martha Plimpton, + more
Initial Release: 1985
Directed by: Richard Donner
#20 on The Most Rewatchable Movies
#25 on The Funniest '80s Movies
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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, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson. Fox plays Marty McFly, a teenager who is sent back in time to 1955. He meets his future parents in high school and accidentally becomes his mother's romantic interest. Marty must repair the damage to history by causing his parents-to-be to fall in love, and with the help of scientist Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown, he must find a way to return to 1985. Zemeckis and Gale wrote the script after Gale mused upon whether he would have befriended ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Billy Zane, + more
Initial Release: 1985
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
#5 on The Funniest '80s Movies
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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 Frank Marshall for Lucasfilm Ltd., with Lucas and Howard Kazanjian as executive producers. Starring Harrison Ford, it was the first installment in the Indiana Jones film franchise to be released, though it is the second in internal chronological order. It pits Indiana Jones against a group of Nazis who are searching for the Ark of the Covenant, which Adolf Hitler believes will make his army invincible. The film co-stars Karen Allen as Indiana's former lover, Marion Ravenwood; Paul Freeman as Indiana's ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen, Frank Welker, Denholm Elliott, + more
Initial Release: 1981
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
#74 on The Best Movies for Tweens
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 photography, Noriyuki "Pat" Morita and Elisabeth Shue. It is an underdog story in the mold of a previous success, Avildsen's 1976 film Rocky. It was a commercial success upon release, and garnered favorable critical acclaim, earning Morita an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Andrew Shue, Frances Bay, + more
Initial Release: 1984
Directed by: John G. Avildsen
#4 on The Best Movies of 1984