historical movies The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s  

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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
207 83
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The Wedding Singer 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
117 88
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Fargo 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

3
84 58
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s
carlybobarly added American Psycho 2000 American Psycho is a 2000 American psychological thriller comedy film co-written and directed by Mary Harron, based on Bret Easton Ellis's 1991 novel of the same name. It stars Christian Bale, ...more

4
99 79
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The Hunt for Red October 1990 The Hunt for Red October is a 1990 American action thriller film based on Tom Clancy's novel of the same name. It was directed by John McTiernan and stars Sean Connery as Captain Marko Ramius ...more

5
38 16
The Wolf of Wall Street is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s
Tom Islava added The Wolf of Wall Street 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

6
99 84
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No Country for Old Men 2007 No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-Western thriller directed, written, and edited by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. The film stars Tommy Lee ...more

7
91 82
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Donnie Darko 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

8
98 90
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Hot Tub Time Machine 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

9
69 62
Boogie Nights is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Period Movies Set in the '80s
carlybobarly added Boogie Nights 1997 Boogie Nights is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It is set in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley and focuses on a young nightclub dishwasher, Eddie Adams, ...more

10
73 76
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Dallas Buyers Club 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

11
82 88
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The Pursuit of Happyness 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

12
28 40
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LanaYoshii added American Hustle 2013 American Hustle is a 2013 American crime 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 ...more

13
60 90
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Adventureland 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

14
41 61
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carlybobarly added Take Me Home Tonight 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

15
3 3
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Mauricio Mizumoto added Drive 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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16
46 84
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Wet Hot American Summer 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

17
33 81
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Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire 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

18
27 86
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200 Cigarettes 1999 200 Cigarettes is a 1999 American ensemble comedy film directed by Risa Bramon Garcia, and written by Shana Larsen. The film is a mosaic following multiple characters in New York City on New ...more

19
26 84
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Let Me In 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

20
25 82
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Let the Right One In 2008 Let the Right One In is a 2008 film directed by Tomas Alfredson.

21
24 80
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Wonderland 2003 Wonderland is a 2003 American crime drama film co-written and directed by James Cox, and based on the real-life Wonderland Murders that occurred in 1981. The film stars Val Kilmer, Kate ...more

22
24 81
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This Is England 2006 This Is England is a 2006 British drama film written and directed by Shane Meadows. The story centres on young skinheads in England in 1983. The film illustrates how their subculture, which has ...more

23
9 59
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carlybobarly added The Normal Heart 2014 The Normal Heart is a 2014 American drama film directed by Ryan Murphy, based on the 1985 play by Larry Kramer. A gay activist (Mark Ruffalo) attempts to raise H.I.V. and A.I.D.S. awareness ...more

24
14 86
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The Lives of Others 2006 The Lives of Others is a 2006 German drama film, marking the feature film debut of filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, about the monitoring of East Berlin by agents of the Stasi, the ...more

25
7 57
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carlybobarly added The House of Yes 1997 The House of Yes is a 1997 American film starring Parker Posey, Josh Hamilton, Geneviève Bujold, Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Tori Spelling. The movie is based on the play of the same name, ...more

26
9 78
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Submarine 2010 Submarine is a 2010 coming-of-age comedy-drama film adapted from the 2008 novel of the same name by Joe Dunthorne. The film was written and directed by Richard Ayoade, and starred Craig Roberts, ...more

27
9 83
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The Squid and the Whale 2005 The Squid and the Whale is a 2005 American arthouse comedy-drama film written and directed by Noah Baumbach and produced by Wes Anderson. It tells the semi-autobiographical story of two boys in ...more