Watchworthy

The '80s Movies That Stuck with You the Most 

Ann Casano
Updated November 26, 2019 7.1k votes 763 voters 16.3k views 29 items

List Rules Not 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 upvote the 1980s movies that you remember the most, or add the 1980s movies that affected you in the most lasting way.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
Back to the Future is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The '80s Movies That Stuck with You the Most
Photo: Metaweb/CC-BY

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

Agree or disagree?

More Back to the Future 

Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Back to the Future #1 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

The Breakfast Club is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The '80s Movies That Stuck with You the Most
Photo: Metaweb/GNU Free Documentation License

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 Kapelos, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy. The storyline follows five teenagers, each a member of a different high school clique, who spend a Saturday in detention together and come to realize that they are all more than their respective stereotypes, while facing a villainous principal. Critics consider it one of the greatest high school films, as well as one of Hughes' most memorable and recognizable works. The media referred to the film's five main actors as members of a group called the "Brat ...more on Wikipedia

Agree or disagree?

More The Breakfast Club 

The Best Quotes From 'The Breakfast Club' Make Detention Fun Again #12 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #72 of 1,027 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

The Goonies is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The '80s Movies That Stuck with You the Most
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY

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

Agree or disagree?

More The Goonies 

Things You Have To Ignore In Order To Enjoy Watching 'The Goonies' #8 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #92 of 1,027 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

Ferris Bueller's Day Off... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The '80s Movies That Stuck with You the Most
Photo: Metaweb/GNU Free Documentation License

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 on Wikipedia

Agree or disagree?

More Ferris Bueller's Day Off 

Behind The Scenes Of The Famous Parade Scene In 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' #11 of 350 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #3 of 1,027 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films