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The '80s Movies That Stuck with You the Most

Updated January 28, 2021 9.8k votes 972 voters 18.0k views29 items

List RulesNot necessarily the best, your favorite, or the most rewatchable movies, but rather films that - for whatever reason, perhaps something poignant, perhaps something disturbing - have stuck in your brain long after seeing them.

Could it possible be that the 1980s was the most memorable decade in the history of cinema? It may sound like hyperbole, but when you take a look at the plethora of amazing movies that came out between the years 1980 and 1989, it could actually be true. These are the 1980s movies that stuck with you the most.

First off, let's get something straight. The '80s films on this list are not necessarily, from a purely cinematic stand point, the “best movies.” In fact, only two of the films on this list won the Academy Award for Best Picture in their respective years (Platoon and Rain Man). This list is about memorable 1980s films, the ones that stick in your head for years or decades after you've first seen them.

For whatever reason, these memorable 1980s films affect us. Maybe you find yourself thinking about their message, or laughing at their humor, or they just make you feel nostalgic for your youth. (Keep in mind, the '80s also produced its share of films for which no one in their right mind is nostalgic.)

Some of the '80s films on this list are hysterically funny. A couple hours with one of these comedies could have you skipping school with Ferris Bueller or ordering pizza in class with Spicoli. Other movies on this list will make you feel nostalgic for your youth. You can go treasure hunting with the Goonies or come of age on an overnight trip with your best pals to find a dead body in Stand by Me.

These 1980s movies you remember cross every genre. Great stories stick with you; their magic has the ability to transport you anywhere in the universe, without ever leaving the comfort of your couch.

Be sure to make your voice heard and vote up the 1980s movies that you remember the most.

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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
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  • 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 and serving as executive producer. The second release in the Star Wars franchise, it was produced by Gary Kurtz for Lucasfilm Ltd and stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew and Frank Oz. The film is set three years after Star Wars. The Galactic Empire, under the leadership of the villainous Darth Vader and the Emperor Palpatine, is in pursuit of Luke Skywalker and the rest of the Rebel Alliance. While Vader chases a...  more
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  • 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 downtown Chicago. Accompanied by his girlfriend Sloane Peterson and his best friend Cameron Frye, he creatively avoids his school's principal Edward Rooney, his resentful sister Jeanie, and his parents. During the film, Bueller regularly breaks the fourth wall by speaking directly to the camera to explain to the audience his thoughts and techniques. Hughes wrote the screenplay in less than a week and shot the film—on a budget of $5.8 million—over three months in 1985. Featuring many famous Chicago...  more
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  • The Terminator is a 1984 American science fiction/horror action film directed by James Cameron, written by Cameron and the film's producer Gale Anne Hurd. Schwarzenegger plays the Terminator, a cyborg sent back in time from the year 2029 to 1984 to take out Sarah Connor, played by Hamilton, whose son will one day become a savior against machines. Biehn plays Kyle Reese, a soldier from the future sent back in time to protect Sarah....  more
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