80s Movies The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s  

Ranker Film
1k votes 109 voters 4.6k views 50 items

De Niro. Hepburn. Winfrey. The biggest movies of the 1980s captured audiences' imaginations thanks to outstanding performances by some of Hollywood's biggest stars. These are the 1980s movies nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. These prize-winning films took viewers around the globe, from the rivers of India to the rural Pennsylvania countryside. Whatever the setting, these Oscar nominees and winners continue to win over new fans to this day.

What films will you find on this list of 1980s Oscar winners? Tom Cruise made the transition from teen heartthrob to dramatic actor throughout the 1980s. The star appeared in Oscar-nominated films including Rain Man and Born on the Fourth of July. The nostalgia-fueled dramedy The Big Chill – and its even bigger soundtrack – was also a hit with fans and Oscar voters in the '80s.

In 1985, Out of Africa beat such other great films as The Color Purple and Witness for the Best Picture trophy. Other good films on this top 1980s Oscar nominated movies list include Hannah and Her Sisters, Moonstruck, and Field of Dreams.

What's the very best flick among these Oscar-nominated 1980s films? That's up to you to decide. Give your favorite movies a thumbs up to move them to the number one spot on the list.
list ordered by
1
41 11
Indiana Jones and the Raiders ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen
Nominated in 1981. Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. The screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan was from a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman. It was produced by ...more
2
27 10
Raging Bull is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Martin Scorsese
Nominated in 1980. Raging Bull is a 1980 American biographical black-and-white sports drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler and adapted by Paul Schrader and Mardik ...more
3
30 13
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger
Nominated in 1982. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison, featuring special effects by Carlo ...more
4
23 8
Platoon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe
Won Best Picture in 1986. Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe and Charlie Sheen. It is the first film of a trilogy of Vietnam War films by ...more
5
22 8
The Elephant Man is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft
Nominated in 1980. The Elephant Man is a 1980 American-British biographical film about Joseph Merrick, a severely deformed man in 19th century London. The film was directed by David Lynch and stars John Hurt, ...more
6
19 9
Terms of Endearment is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, John Lithgow
Won Best Picture in 1983. Terms of Endearment is a 1983 comedy-drama film adapted from the novel of the same name by Larry McMurtry, directed, written, and produced by James L. Brooks and starring Shirley MacLaine, Debra ...more
7
19 9
Amadeus is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Jeffrey Jones, Cynthia Nixon, Christine Ebersole
Won Best Picture in 1984. Amadeus - Directors Cut is a 1984 biography drama film written by Peter Shaffer and directed by Milos Forman.
8
23 13
Rain Man is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Valeria Golino
Won Best Picture in 1988. Rain Man is a 1988 American drama film directed by Barry Levinson and written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass. It tells the story of an abrasive and selfish yuppie, Charlie Babbitt, who ...more
9
13 6
Ordinary People is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland, Adam Baldwin
Won Best Picture in 1980. Ordinary People is a 1980 American drama film that marked the directorial debut of actor Robert Redford. It stars Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch and Timothy Hutton. The story ...more
10
15 8
The Color Purple is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Laurence Fishburne
Nominated in 1985. The Color Purple is a 1985 American period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker. It was Spielberg's eighth film as ...more
11
15 8
Chariots of Fire is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Ian Holm
Won Best Picture in 1981. Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British historical drama film. It tells the fact-based story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of ...more
12
15 8
Fatal Attraction is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Glenn Close, Michael Douglas, Jane Krakowski
Nominated in 1987. This film is a 1987 American psychological thriller film directed by Adrian Lyne and starring Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, and Anne Archer. The film centers on a married Manhattan man who has a ...more
13
12 6
The Right Stuff is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Jeff Goldblum, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid
Nominated in 1983. The Right Stuff is a 1983 American drama film that was adapted from Tom Wolfe's best-selling 1979 book of the same name about the Navy, Marine and Air Force test pilots who were involved in ...more
14
11 6
Coal Miner's Daughter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Tommy Lee Jones, Sissy Spacek, Beverly DAngelo
Nominated in 1980. Coal Miner's Daughter is a 1980 biographical film which tells the story of country music legendary singer Loretta Lynn. It stars Sissy Spacek as Loretta, a role that earned her the Academy Award ...more
15
12 7
Mississippi Burning is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand
Nominated in 1988. Mississippi Burning is a 1988 American thriller film directed by Alan Parker and written by Chris Gerolmo. It was loosely based on the FBI investigation into the incidents involving of three ...more
16
13 8
Moonstruck is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Nicolas Cage, Cher, Danny Aiello
Nominated in 1987. Moonstruck is a 1987 American romantic comedy film directed by Norman Jewison and written by John Patrick Shanley. It stars Cher, Nicolas Cage, Danny Aiello, Vincent Gardenia, and Olympia ...more
17
18 14
Dead Poets Society is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Robin Williams, Ethan Hawke, Lara Flynn Boyle
Nominated in 1989. Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film written by Tom Schulman, directed by Peter Weir and starring Robin Williams. Set at the conservative and aristocratic Welton Academy in the ...more
18
13 9
Witness is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Harrison Ford, Viggo Mortensen, Danny Glover
Nominated in 1985. Witness is a 1985 American thriller film directed by Peter Weir and starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis. The screenplay by William Kelley, Pamela Wallace, and Earl W. Wallace focuses on a ...more
19
10 6
Broadcast News is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Jack Nicholson, John Cusack, Holly Hunter
Nominated in 1987. Broadcast News is a 1987 romantic comedy-drama film written, produced and directed by James L. Brooks. The film concerns a virtuoso television news producer, who has daily emotional breakdowns, ...more
20
15 12
Tootsie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Bill Murray, Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis
Nominated in 1982. Tootsie is a 1982 American comedy-drama film that tells the story of a talented but volatile actor whose reputation for being difficult forces him to adopt a new identity as a woman to land a ...more
21
11 8
Working Girl is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Kevin Spacey
Nominated in 1988. Working Girl is a 1988 romantic comedy-drama film written by Kevin Wade and directed by Mike Nichols. It tells the story of a Staten Island-raised secretary, Tess McGill, working in the mergers ...more
22
14 12
Field of Dreams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Kevin Costner
Nominated in 1989. Field of Dreams is a 1989 American fantasy-drama film directed by Phil Alden Robinson, who also wrote the screenplay, adapting W. P. Kinsella's novel Shoeless Joe. It stars Kevin Costner, Amy ...more
23
12 10
Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Daniel Day-Lewis, Ben Kingsley, Martin Sheen
Won Best Picture in 1982. Gandhi is a 1982 epic biographical film which dramatises the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the leader of India's non-violent, non-cooperative independence movement against the United ...more
24
12 10
My Left Foot is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Daniel Day-Lewis, Fiona Shaw, Brenda Fricker
Nominated in 1989. My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown is a 1989 Irish drama film directed by Jim Sheridan and starring Daniel Day-Lewis. It tells the story of Christy Brown, an Irishman born with cerebral ...more
25
10 9
Born on the Fourth of July is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Oscar-Nominated Movies of the '80s
Nominated in 1989. Born on the Fourth of July, published in 1976, is the best selling autobiography by Ron Kovic, a Vietnam veteran who became an activist. Kovic was born on July 4, 1946, and his book's ironic ...more