140 Essential ’80s Movies

#105
#105
Adjusted Score: 84.632%
Critics Consensus: Desperately Seeking Susan works with its fairy tale depiction of New York and the fun, frothy chemistry generated by its two leads.
Synopsis: A petite New Jersey housewife finds self-fulfillment through amnesia in this new wave comedy of errors set in New York's... [More]
Directed By: Susan Seidelman

#104

TRON (1982)
72%

#104
Adjusted Score: 77.318%
Critics Consensus: Though perhaps not as strong dramatically as it is technologically, TRON is an original and visually stunning piece of science fiction that represents a landmark work in the history of computer animation.
Synopsis: A computer programmer is trapped in the game he's creating.... [More]
Directed By: Steven Lisberger

#103

The Color Purple (1985)
81%

#103
Adjusted Score: 82.814%
Critics Consensus: A sentimental tale that reveals great emotional truths in American history.
Synopsis: Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple spans the years 1909 to 1949, relating the... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#102

Beetlejuice (1988)
84%

#102
Adjusted Score: 88.027%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly bizarre and overflowing with ideas, Beetlejuice offers some of Michael Keaton's most deliciously manic work - and creepy, funny fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: Thanks to the carelessness of a cute little dog, newlyweds Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin are killed in a freak... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#101
#101
Adjusted Score: 85.644%
Critics Consensus: The buddy cop movie continues its evolution unabated with this Eddie Murphy vehicle that's fast, furious, and funny.
Synopsis: What's that wisecracking young black guy (Eddie Murphy) in that beat-up Chevy Nova doing in lily-white Beverly Hills? He's Axel... [More]
Directed By: Martin Brest

#100

The Lost Boys (1987)
75%

#100
Adjusted Score: 80.101%
Critics Consensus: Flawed but eminently watchable, Joel Schumacher's teen vampire thriller blends horror, humor, and plenty of visual style with standout performances from a cast full of young 1980s stars.
Synopsis: In this hit '80s hybrid of the horror movie and the teen flick, a single mom and her two sons... [More]
Directed By: Joel Schumacher

#99
#99
Adjusted Score: 52.948%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Comedian Eddie Murphy's live appearance before a packed Washington D.C. audience is the subject of this performance film. The film... [More]
Directed By: Bruce Gowers

#98

Wall Street (1987)
79%

#98
Adjusted Score: 83.132%
Critics Consensus: With Wall Street, Oliver Stone delivers a blunt but effective -- and thoroughly well-acted -- jeremiad against its era's veneration of greed as a means to its own end.
Synopsis: "Greed is Good." This is the credo of the aptly named Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), the antihero of Oliver Stone's... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Stone

#97

Working Girl (1988)
83%

#97
Adjusted Score: 85.681%
Critics Consensus: A buoyant corporate Cinderella story, Working Girl has the right cast, right story, and right director to make it all come together.
Synopsis: Unhappy with her job and her loser boyfriend, Melanie Griffith takes a secretarial post at a major Wall Street firm.... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#96
#96
Adjusted Score: 85.281%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by impressive special effects and a charming performance from its young star, Flight of the Navigator holds up as a solidly entertaining bit of family-friendly sci-fi.
Synopsis: The year is 1978: 12-year-old David Freeman (Joey Cramer), playing in the woods near his home, is knocked unconscious. He... [More]
Directed By: Randal Kleiser

#95

Stripes (1981)
86%

#95
Adjusted Score: 88.386%
Critics Consensus: A raucous military comedy that features Bill Murray and his merry cohorts approaching the peak of their talents.
Synopsis: A charming, self-elected leader winds up commanding an outfit of misfits.... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#94

Mystery Train (1989)
88%

#94
Adjusted Score: 90.083%
Critics Consensus: Mystery Train meanders by design, but it never goes off the rails, retaining its deadpan cool throughout.
Synopsis: A tacky, low-rent Memphis motel dedicated to Elvis Presley is the setting for this anecdotal comedy-drama. The film tells three... [More]
Directed By: Jim Jarmusch

#93

Labyrinth (1986)
71%

#93
Adjusted Score: 74.922%
Critics Consensus: While it's arguably more interesting on a visual level, Labyrinth provides further proof of director Jim Henson's boundless imagination.
Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Sarah resents her baby brother Toby and secretly wishes that he will just disappear. Her wish comes true when... [More]
Directed By: Jim Henson

#92
#92
Adjusted Score: 88.168%
Critics Consensus: Affecting performances from the young cast and a genuinely inspirational turn from Robin Williams grant Peter Weir's prep school drama top honors.
Synopsis: Robin Williams toned down his usually manic comic approach in this successful period drama. In 1959, the Welton Academy is... [More]
Directed By: Peter Weir

#91

Commando (1985)
70%

#91
Adjusted Score: 71.995%
Critics Consensus: The ultimate '80s Schwarzenegger movie, replete with a threadbare plot, outsized action, and endless one-liners.
Synopsis: Colonel Matrix (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is retired and living peaceably with his 10-year-old daughter (Alyssa Milano) when she is kidnapped by... [More]
Directed By: Mark L. Lester

#90

Field of Dreams (1989)
86%

#90
Adjusted Score: 90.259%
Critics Consensus: Field of Dreams is sentimental, but in the best way; it's a mix of fairy tale, baseball, and family togetherness.
Synopsis: "If you build it, he will come." That's the ethereal message that inspires Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) to... [More]
Directed By: Phil Alden Robinson

#89
Adjusted Score: 90.937%
Critics Consensus: The Naked Gun is chock full of gags that are goofy, unapologetically crass, and ultimately hilarious.
Synopsis: Seeking vengeance when his partner (Simpson) is shot full of holes by drug dealers, Lt. Frank Drebin searches for the... [More]
Directed By: David Zucker

#88

The Karate Kid (1984)
88%

#88
Adjusted Score: 91.076%
Critics Consensus: Utterly predictable and wholly of its time, but warm, sincere, and difficult to resist, due in large part to Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio's relaxed chemistry.
Synopsis: Newly arrived in California from New Jersey, teenager Daniel (Ralph Macchio) almost immediately runs afoul of karate-trained high school bullies.... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#87
#87
Adjusted Score: 82.422%
Critics Consensus: A classic tearjerker, Terms of Endearment isn't shy about reaching for the heartstrings -- but is so well-acted and smartly scripted that it's almost impossible to resist.
Synopsis: Terms of Endearment covers three decades in the lives of widow Aurora Greenaway (Shirley MacLaine) and her daughter Emma (Debra... [More]
Directed By: James L. Brooks

#86

Near Dark (1987)
88%

#86
Adjusted Score: 91.745%
Critics Consensus: Near Dark is at once a creepy vampire film, a thrilling western, and a poignant family tale, with humor and scares in abundance.
Synopsis: A roving band of contemporary vampires travel across the American West in search of the human blood they crave in... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

#85

Tootsie (1982)
90%

#85
Adjusted Score: 94.447%
Critics Consensus: Tootsie doesn't squander its high-concept comedy premise with fine dialogue and sympathetic treatment of the characters.
Synopsis: Michael Dorsey is a talented actor, but his demanding nature and stubborn temperament have antagonized every producer in New York.... [More]
Directed By: Sydney Pollack

#84
Adjusted Score: 93.177%
Critics Consensus: A punk take on the zombie genre, Return of the Living Dead injects a healthy dose of '80s silliness to the flesh consuming.
Synopsis: When a mysterious military chemical gets into the atmosphere it ends up soaking into a cemetery down in bayou land... [More]
Directed By: Dan O'Bannon

#83
#83
Adjusted Score: 95.347%
Critics Consensus: Rob Reiner's touching, funny film set a new standard for romantic comedies, and he was ably abetted by the sharp interplay between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan.
Synopsis: Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin... [More]
Directed By: Rob Reiner

#82

Time Bandits (1981)
89%

#82
Adjusted Score: 92.327%
Critics Consensus: Time Bandits is a remarkable time-travel fantasy from Terry Gilliam, who utilizes fantastic set design and homemade special effects to create a vivid, original universe.
Synopsis: A young boy joins a group of renegade dwarves on an unpredictable journey through time in this humorous fantasy. Monty... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#81
#81
Adjusted Score: 94.579%
Critics Consensus: Remixing Roger Corman's B-movie by way of the Off-Broadway musical, Little Shop of Horrors offers camp, horror and catchy tunes in equal measure -- plus some inspired cameos by the likes of Steve Martin and Bill Murray.
Synopsis: It started as a 1960 Roger Corman horror comedy, filmed in two days; it then inspired a lavish 1982 Broadway... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#80
#80
Adjusted Score: 98.347%
Critics Consensus: The Little Mermaid ushered in a new golden era for Disney animation with warm and charming hand-drawn characters and catchy musical sequences.
Synopsis: Disney's The Little Mermaid was the first in a series of blockbusters that restored the venerable firm's reputation as the... [More]
Directed By: John Musker, Ron Clements

#79
Adjusted Score: 102.099%
Critics Consensus: A coming-of-age story with uncommon depth and sensitivity, My Life as a Dog is sweet, sincere, and utterly charming.
Synopsis: In 1959 Sweden, young Ingemar (Anton Glanzelius) lives with his dying mother and his nasty older brother. He survives all... [More]
Directed By: Lasse Hallstrom

#78
#78
Adjusted Score: 96.572%
Critics Consensus: Part delightfully tense techno-thriller, part refreshingly unpatronizing teen drama, WarGames is one of the more inventive -- and genuinely suspenseful -- Cold War movies of the 1980s.
Synopsis: Once more, a wise-guy teenager tries to prove he's smarter than any adult-and nearly destroys the whole world in the... [More]
Directed By: John Badham

#77

Dragonslayer (1981)
87%

#77
Adjusted Score: 88.916%
Critics Consensus: An atypically dark Disney adventure, Dragonslayer puts a realistic spin -- and some impressive special effects -- on a familiar tale.
Synopsis: When Princess Elspeth (Chloe Salaman) is scheduled to be the next sacrificial virgin to a deadly dragon, it is up... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Robbins

#76

Moonstruck (1987)
93%

#76
Adjusted Score: 97.423%
Critics Consensus: Led by energetic performances from Nicolas Cage and Cher, Moonstruck is an exuberantly funny tribute to love and one of the decade's most appealing comedies.
Synopsis: When there's a full moon over Brooklyn, anything can happen, and everything happens in the neighborhood where widowed bookkeeper Loretta... [More]
Directed By: Norman Jewison

#75

Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
100%

#75
Adjusted Score: 101.448%
Critics Consensus: Drugstore Cowboy takes us into a violent, transient world with cool, contemplative style.
Synopsis: The operative word in Drugstore Cowboy is "drug". Matt Dillon plays the leader of a group of dopeheads who wander... [More]
Directed By: Gus Van Sant

#74
#74
Adjusted Score: 98.745%
Critics Consensus: Smartly written, smoothly directed, and solidly cast, A Fish Called Wanda offers a classic example of a brainy comedy with widespread appeal.
Synopsis: An ambitious and sexy con artist uses every tool at her disposal to obtain a fortune in jewels stolen by... [More]
Directed By: Charles Crichton

#73

Das Boot (1981)
98%

#73
Adjusted Score: 101.703%
Critics Consensus: Taut, breathtakingly thrilling, and devastatingly intelligent, Das Boot is one of the greatest war films ever made.
Synopsis: It is 1942 and the German submarine fleet is heavily engaged in the so called "Battle of the Atlantic" to... [More]
Directed By: Wolfgang Petersen

#72

Paris, Texas (1984)
97%

#72
Adjusted Score: 98.938%
Critics Consensus: A quiet yet deeply moving kind of Western, Paris, Texas captures a place and people like never before (or after).
Synopsis: Travis (Harry Dean Stanton) is wandering through the Texas desert, a bit shaky and in desperate need of water, when... [More]
Directed By: Wim Wenders

#71
Adjusted Score: 90.256%
Critics Consensus: It may be too "dark" for some, but Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom remains an ingenious adventure spectacle that showcases one of Hollywood's finest filmmaking teams in vintage form.
Synopsis: The second of the George Lucas/Steven Spielberg Indiana Jones epics is set a year or so before the events in... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

Pages: Prev 1 2 3 4 Next

Tag Cloud

cars period drama TNT what to watch DGA Thanksgiving Stephen King Cartoon Network TV renewals Ghostbusters Pirates LGBT APB quibi Fall TV Certified Fresh Lifetime Mary poppins Mindy Kaling Mystery TLC Country Musicals Tubi Horror comiccon Turner Classic Movies transformers comic television natural history RT21 TCA 2017 name the review Reality Competition Sneak Peek documentary Disney MCU GLAAD FOX TCA Winter 2020 24 frames Animation Red Carpet Podcast CW Seed ghosts miniseries X-Men breaking bad LGBTQ President thriller Comedy Central E! Cannes ESPN Reality YouTube Premium Best and Worst boxoffice dramedy BBC America cults Comedy Grammys Pet Sematary latino WGN slashers aliens TCA PaleyFest hist Trophy Talk Mary Poppins Returns Superheroes American Society of Cinematographers Family Trailer HBO SXSW Drama Heroines social media zero dark thirty Sony Pictures Academy Awards Year in Review TruTV Fox News USA Martial Arts indie Epix Anna Paquin politics Crackle cartoon movies Song of Ice and Fire streaming Photos Logo sports mockumentary GoT spy thriller HBO Max children's TV renewed TV shows Starz ABC Family Universal MTV blockbuster travel versus OneApp Amazon Prime war The Walking Dead Pride Month YouTube Rock political drama Tumblr green book Oscars Holidays Chilling Adventures of Sabrina reboot hispanic dc TV Hallmark Christmas movies cats ITV Sundance Now kids Film Festival Amazon Studios Spike finale directors A&E Showtime nature MSNBC technology docudrama SundanceTV Comics on TV cooking teaser historical drama Fantasy Biopics Film 2018 crossover witnail The CW award winner Musical romantic comedy crime drama Winter TV 007 Arrowverse dogs Lionsgate Baby Yoda vampires PBS Esquire Food Network Brie Larson Teen Masterpiece Tomatazos serial killer Hallmark El Rey golden globes Rocketman A24 Awards stand-up comedy cinemax AMC VH1 20th Century Fox Shudder 2015 book romance jamie lee curtis VICE DC Universe theme song 21st Century Fox Nat Geo ratings cancelled Paramount zombies Women's History Month TIFF space Calendar Amazon Prime Video Ellie Kemper Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt The Purge Countdown anime Trivia composers Acorn TV singing competition Sci-Fi BBC Watching Series History justice league First Reviews anthology Creative Arts Emmys series Emmy Nominations binge NYCC blaxploitation National Geographic foreign batman Freeform Apple TV+ biography Winners medical drama cops adventure Avengers SDCC Classic Film Valentine's Day spain DC streaming service Netflix Christmas movies Premiere Dates Quiz CBS All Access animated mutant TBS Mudbound Interview 71st Emmy Awards Marathons independent RT History Chernobyl based on movie revenge sequel joker rotten movies we love Spectrum Originals Writers Guild of America Disney Channel crime richard e. Grant Infographic south america crime thriller talk show Emmys halloween screen actors guild game of thrones ABC spinoff Peacock CBS Ovation Christmas unscripted Holiday Vudu Spring TV Disney streaming service 2019 facebook New York Comic Con casting Nominations CNN spider-man Super Bowl Paramount Network Apple Western Columbia Pictures Amazon game show NBC cancelled television DC Comics Nickelodeon BET tv talk GIFs Elton John Sundance Adult Swim Disney Plus Marvel Studios Rocky christmas movies harry potter doctor who Shondaland Netflix DirecTV 2020 45 Pop Polls and Games Disney+ Disney Plus dragons See It Skip It spanish language USA Network cancelled TV series zombie Bravo Cosplay FXX Dark Horse Comics YouTube Red strong female leads Sundance TV sag awards Opinion police drama canceled TV shows Extras Box Office adaptation Star Wars Character Guide robots canceled IFC psycho WarnerMedia psychological thriller elevated horror TV Land Schedule Binge Guide werewolf Discovery Channel cancelled TV shows dceu Marvel E3 screenings Set visit The Arrangement Britbox First Look Rom-Com Turner Syfy TCM Music discovery true crime Action supernatural Apple TV Plus festivals FX Summer Marvel Television Walt Disney Pictures Television Academy Election comics Crunchyroll The Witch CMT sitcom Lifetime Christmas movies Star Trek Mary Tyler Moore Black Mirror Video Games IFC Films Kids & Family Endgame Toys free movies video Captain marvel science fiction 2016 YA 2017 disaster Pixar Awards Tour San Diego Comic-Con diversity Lucasfilm Comic Book movie Tarantino toy story Hulu Warner Bros. Superheroe OWN