80s Movies The Best '80s Spy Movies  

Ranker Film
929 votes 223 voters 7.3k views 34 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite espionage films that were released in the 1980s

The best '80s spy movies feature plenty of thrills, deception, deep cover, and special operations. Spy movies can take two routes - they will either deal with espionage realistically, or through fantasy story telling. Some of the most popular '80s spy movies feature cool gadgets and gear that might not be realistic to use in real life, but make for great film content! 


So what are the greatest ‘80s spy movies? Any discussion of the spy genre has to start with the ultimate fictional spy: James Bond. 007 has been delighting audiences since the 1960s. The ‘80s saw three different Bonds. Sean Connery, often regarded as the best of them all, appeared in his final Bond film,
Never Say Never Again, in 1983. The other two ‘80s Bonds were Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton. Moore played the role well into his fifties, making him the oldest actor to play the super-spy.  

In addition to the ever-popular James Bond films, many of the top ‘80s spy movies centered around Cold War fears and anxieties. The Falcon and the Snowman is a prime example. Starring Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn, the film tells the story of two friends who get caught up in a scheme involving selling secrets to the Soviets.


Vote up the best spy movies from the 1980s, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section! 
list ordered by

1
56 13
For Your Eyes Only is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Roger Moore, Sheena Easton, Charles Dance
For Your Eyes Only is the twelfth spy film in the James Bond series, and the fifth to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It marked the directorial debut of John Glen, who ...more

2
52 14
The Living Daylights is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Timothy Dalton, John Rhys-Davies, J.J. Barry
The Living Daylights is the fifteenth entry in the James Bond film series and the first to star Timothy Dalton as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film's title is taken from Ian Fleming's ...more

3
47 15
A View to a Kill is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Christopher Walken, Roger Moore, Grace Jones
This film is the fourteenth spy film of the James Bond series, and the seventh and last to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. Although the title is adapted from Ian ...more

4
45 16
Octopussy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Louis Jourdan
Octopussy is the thirteenth entry in the Eon Productions James Bond film series, and the sixth to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. The film's title is taken from a short ...more

5
41 16
Licence to Kill is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Benicio del Toro, Timothy Dalton, Talisa Soto
This film, released in 1989, is the sixteenth entry in the James Bond film series by Eon Productions, and the first one not to use the title of an Ian Fleming story. It is the fifth consecutive ...more

6
35 13
Top Secret! is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Val Kilmer, Omar Sharif, Peter Cushing
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Top Secret! is a 1984 action comedy film directed by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker, whose previous picture had been Airplane! It stars Val Kilmer, Lucy Gutteridge, Omar Sharif, ...more

7
33 13
Never Say Never Again is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Sean Connery, Kim Basinger, Rowan Atkinson
Never Say Never Again is a 1983 spy film based on the James Bond novel Thunderball, which was previously adapted in 1965 under that name. Unlike the majority of Bond films, Never Say Never Again ...more

8
26 11
Spies Like Us is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Bob Hope
Spies Like Us is a 1985 American comedy film directed by John Landis and starring Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Forrest, and Donna Dixon. The film presents the comic adventures of two novice ...more

9
29 14
The Fourth Protocol is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Pierce Brosnan, Michael Caine, Ned Beatty
The Fourth Protocol is a 1987 British Cold War spy film featuring Michael Caine and Pierce Brosnan, based on the novel The Fourth Protocol by Frederick Forsyth.

10
29 15
Remo Williams: The Adventure B... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Anthony Hopkins, Kate Mulgrew, Wilford Brimley
Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, also released as Remo: Unarmed and Dangerous, is a 1985 American action-adventure-thriller film directed by Guy Hamilton. The film featured Fred Ward, Joel ...more

11
14 8
Little Nikita is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Sidney Poitier, River Phoenix, Loretta Devine
Little Nikita is a 1988 American cult drama film directed by Richard Benjamin and starring River Phoenix and Sidney Poitier. The film marks the first collaboration between Phoenix and Poitier.

12
12 7
The Bourne Identity is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Jaclyn Smith, Richard Chamberlain, Denholm Elliott
The Bourne Identity is a 1988 television movie adaptation of Robert Ludlum's novel The Bourne Identity. The film was directed by Roger Young for Warner Bros. Television with Richard Chamberlain ...more

13
14 10
Gotcha! is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Linda Fiorentino, Anthony Edwards, Alex Rocco
Gotcha! is a 1985 comedy-action film, starring Anthony Edwards and Linda Fiorentino and directed by Jeff Kanew, who also directed Anthony Edwards in Revenge of the Nerds in 1984.

14
12 10
Invasion U.S.A. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Chuck Norris, Billy Drago, Eddie Jones
Invasion U.S.A. is a 1985 action film made by Cannon Films starring Chuck Norris. It was directed by Joseph Zito. Both Chuck Norris and his brother, Aaron, were involved in the writing. It was ...more

15
12 12
The Falcon and the Snowman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Sean Penn, Timothy Hutton, Michael Ironside
The Falcon and the Snowman is a 1985 spy film directed by John Schlesinger about two young American men, Christopher Boyce and Daulton Lee, who sold U.S. security secrets to the Soviet Union. ...more

16
11 11
The Osterman Weekend is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
John Hurt, Dennis Hopper, Burt Lancaster
The Osterman Weekend is a 1983 suspense thriller film directed by Sam Peckinpah, based on the novel of the same name by Robert Ludlum. The film stars Rutger Hauer, John Hurt, Burt Lancaster, ...more

17
8 8
Target is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Gene Hackman, Matt Dillon, Josef Sommer
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Target is a 1985 film directed by Arthur Penn. It stars Matt Dillon and Gene Hackman.

18
9 10
Hopscotch is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Walter Matthau, Sam Waterston, Ned Beatty
Hopscotch is a 1980 American film directed by Ronald Neame and produced by Edie Landau and Ely A. Landau. It was written by Bryan Forbes and Brian Garfield, based on Garfield's novel of the same ...more

19
11 13
Eye of the Needle is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Donald Sutherland, Bill Nighy, Kate Nelligan
Eye of the Needle is a 1981 American spy film directed by Richard Marquand and starring Donald Sutherland and Kate Nelligan. Based on the novel of the same title by Ken Follett, the film is ...more

20
7 9
Trenchcoat is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Margot Kidder, David Suchet, Jennifer Darling
Trenchcoat is a 1983 American action/comedy film starring Margot Kidder and Robert Hays.

21
12 15
Jumpin' Jack Flash is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Whoopi Goldberg, Phil Hartman, Jon Lovitz
Jumpin' Jack Flash is a 1986 spy comedy film starring Whoopi Goldberg. The film was directed by Penny Marshall in her theatrical film directorial debut. The film was one of the first to feature ...more

22
6 9
Outrageous Fortune is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Bette Midler, George Carlin, Shelley Long
Outrageous Fortune is a 1987 American film written by Leslie Dixon, directed by Arthur Hiller, and stars Shelley Long and Bette Midler. The title is taken from Shakespeare's Hamlet. The film was ...more

23
4 7
The Scarlet Pimpernel is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Ian McKellen, Jane Seymour, Anthony Andrews
The Scarlet Pimpernel is a 1982 British romantic adventure film set during the French Revolution. It is based on the novels The Scarlet Pimpernel and Eldorado by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, and ...more

24
8 12
Condorman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Oliver Reed, Barbara Carrera, Michael Crawford
Condorman is a 1981 American adventure/comedy superhero film from Walt Disney Productions starring Michael Crawford, Barbara Carrera and Oliver Reed. Inspired by Robert Sheckley's The Game of X, ...more

25
6 10
The Little Drummer Girl is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '80s Spy Movies
Diane Keaton, Bill Nighy, Klaus Kinski
The Little Drummer Girl is a 1984 American spy film directed by George Roy Hill and adapted from the 1983 novel The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carré. It starred Diane Keaton, Yorgo ...more