Entertainment

The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s  

Ranker Film
7k votes 940 voters 49.4k views 34 items

List Rules Only films released in other decades, but set in the 1980s. No movies released between 1980 and January 1, 1990.

Oh, man. The 1980s was quite a decade! Sure, '80s movies are awesome but this list goes deeper. Ranked here are the best movies about the '80s. Films from many decades have been set in the 80s, because who can resist a great eighties story? As long as a film was primarily set in that great, iconic decade of the 1980s, and was truly awesome, it belongs on this list. What are the all time best movies set in the '80s? Hollywood has some great options for '80s lovers and they're all ranked here, with trailers.

Madonna and Michael Jackson reigned supreme in the '80s music world, and the Brat Pack hit the film scene in the 80s. John Hughes made plenty of movies set in the '80s, but many great films about the 80s were released in the 1990s and 2000s as well. The unique culture and setting of the eighties, makes for a great movie backdrop, and some of the best stories told on film are tales of the 1980s.

The movies featured on this list include the likes of Scarface, No Country for Old Men, Let the Right One In, 200 Cigarettes, The Pursuit of Happyness, and Wonderland. What do you think are the best films about the 80s? Upvote them below, or, if they aren't already listed, feel free to add them for an even more comprehensive list that 80s lovers everywhere can enjoy.

Just remember, this isn't a list of the best 80s movies, these films all must be about and set sometime during the 1980s.

list ordered by
1
Ranker Video
1998
The Wedding Singer is a 1998 romantic comedy film written by Tim Herlihy and directed by Frank Coraci. It stars Adam Sandler as a wedding singer in the 1980s and Drew Barrymore as a waitress ...more

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2
The Wolf of Wall Street ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s
Tom Islava added 2013
The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 American biographical black comedy film directed by Martin Scorsese. The screenplay by Terence Winter is adapted from the eponymous memoir by Jordan Belfort and ...more

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3
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AntoneSage added 2004
13 Going on 30 is a 2004 American romantic comedy fantasy film written by Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa, and directed by Gary Winick. Starring Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer, Andy ...more

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#14 of 808 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #20 of 250 The Best Teen Romance Movies #296 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

4
Call Me by Your Name is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s
greys007fan added 2017
Call Me by Your Name is a 2017 Italian-American romantic coming-of-age drama film directed by Luca Guadagnino, based on Andre Aciman's novel of the same name. In 1980s Italy, a romantic ...more

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5
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s
carlybobarly added 2000
American Psycho is a 2000 American neo-noir satirical psychological horror film directed by Mary Harron, based on the 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Wealthy New York City investment banking ...more

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#13 of 258 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #517 of 997 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #165 of 302 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

6
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AntoneSage added 1997
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion is a 1997 comedy film starring Lisa Kudrow, Mira Sorvino, Janeane Garofalo, Camryn Manheim, and Alan Cumming directed by David Mirkin. The plot revolves ...more

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#120 of 808 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #51 of 493 The Funniest '90s Movies #5 of 21 The Most Memorable Prom Dresses In Movies

7
Ranker Video
1996
Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief who ...more

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8
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2007
No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western neo-noir thriller film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Mayhem ensue after a hunter (Josh Brolin) ...more

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9
Boogie Nights is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s
10
Ranker Video
2001
Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena ...more

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11
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1990
The Hunt for Red October is a 1990 American submarine spy-thriller film directed by John McTiernan, based on the 1984 novel by Tom Clancy. In November 1984, the Soviet Union's best submarine ...more

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#72 of 383 The Best War Movies Ever #104 of 347 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

12
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2010
Hot Tub Time Machine is a 2010 American science fiction adventure comedy film directed by Steve Pink. It stars John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Crispin Glover, Lizzy Caplan, ...more

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13
It is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s
It 2017
It (also known as It: Chapter One) is a 2017 American supernatural horror film directed by Andy Muschietti, based on the 1986 novel by Stephen King. In the summer of 1989, a group of bullied ...more

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14
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2006
The Pursuit of Happyness is a 2006 American biographical drama film based on Chris Gardner's nearly one-year struggle with homelessness. Directed by Gabriele Muccino, the film features Will ...more

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15
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carlybobarly added 2011
Take Me Home Tonight is a 2011 American retro comedy film directed by Michael Dowse and starring an ensemble cast including Topher Grace and Anna Faris. The screenplay was written by Jackie and ...more

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16
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Mauricio Mizumoto added 2011
Drive is a 2011 American neo noir arthouse action directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Oscar Isaac and Albert Brooks. It is adapted from the ...more

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17
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2018
Mandy is a 2018 American action horror film directed by Panos Cosmatos. When a vile band of ravaging cultists and supernatural creatures desecrate his idyllic home with vicious fury, Red ...more

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18
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2013
Dallas Buyers Club is a 2013 American biographical drama film, co-written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. Ron Woodroof was an AIDS patient diagnosed in ...more

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#44 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #70 of 239 The Best Movies Based on True Storieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

19
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2009
Adventureland is a 2009 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Greg Mottola, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart and co-starring Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader, Martin Starr, and ...more

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20
Wet Hot American Summer ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s
2001
Wet Hot American Summer is a 2001 satirical comedy film directed by David Wain from a screenplay written by David Wain and Michael Showalter, starring Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, ...more

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21
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LanaYoshii added 2013
American Hustle is a 2013 American comedy-drama film directed by David O. Russell. It was written by Eric Warren Singer and Russell, inspired by the FBI ABSCAM operation of the late 1970s and ...more

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22
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2018
Billionaire Boys Club is a 2018 American biographical drama film directed by James Cox. Led by their fellow preppie friend Joe Hunt (Ansel Elgort), a group of wealthy boys in 1980s Los Angeles ...more
23
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2008
Let the Right One In is a 2008 Swedish romantic horror film directed by Tomas Alfredson. A 12-year-old boy (Kåre Hedebrant) develops a friendship with a vampire child (Lina Leandersson) in ...more

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24
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2009
Precious is a 2009 American drama film, directed and co-produced by Lee Daniels. Precious is an adaptation by Geoffrey S. Fletcher of the 1996 novel Push by Sapphire. The film stars Gabourey ...more

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25
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2010
Let Me In is a 2010 romantic horror film written and directed by Matt Reeves and starring Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloë Grace Moretz. It is a remake of the 2008 Swedish film Let the Right One ...more

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