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Great '80s Movies Your Kids Will Love 

Ranker Film
Updated March 23, 2018 974 votes 119 voters 3.1k views 20 items

List Rules Vote up the classic films appropriate for kids and teens that will teach them to love and respect '80s movies.

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 BackBeetlejuice, 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. 

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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

Released: 1985

Directed by: Richard Donner

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#3 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #19 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies 20 Goonies Trivia Facts Everyone Should Know

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Back to the Future is a 1985 American science fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd). ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Billy Zane, + more

Released: 1985

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

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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

Released: 1984

Directed by: John G. Avildsen

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#33 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #22 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #104 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

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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 Rambaldi and Dennis Muren, and starring Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore and Peter Coyote. It tells the story of Elliott, a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed "E.T.", who is stranded on Earth. He and his siblings help it return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government. The concept for the film was based on an imaginary friend Spielberg created after his parents' divorce in 1960. In 1980, Spielberg met Mathison and developed a ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger, Robert MacNaughton, C. Thomas Howell, + more

Released: 1982

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

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