Best Movies of the 80s: Top 40 Films of the 1980s, Ranked

The Best 80s movies always trigger nostalgia with synthetic, plastic, and rocking-up collars – even if you haven’t experienced them in the first place. The action film and the summer blockbuster have been perfected for a decade, but we also include masterpieces by independent directors, such as Martin Scorsese and David Lynch. These films can always be streamed without fail and often appear in the best Netflix films.

This list was compiled to rank the best films in the decade to celebrate the cinematic heyday of the 1980s. We collected information on all films in the 1980s which produce good IMDb scores. The film had to have a first date between 1980 and 1989 with a good IMDb ranking to qualify. As well, we compiled 1970s movies to enjoy the classic movies of the Hollywood industry.

So, let’s round up to this list of Top Ten 80’s Movies!

10. The Breakfast Club (1985)

The Breakfast Club is a comedy-drama movie written and directed by John Hughes, produced in 1985 by American teenagers. Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy have spent a Saturday in detention with their authoritarian headmaster (Paul Gleason). 

“Your heart dies when you grow up,” Ally Sheedy’s goth lone said in his crucial teenage drama of the 1980s was so overwhelming. In a John Hughes picture, no other word is as emblematic of his unfair sympathy for the foundations of a young generation. So, we ranked this movie on number ten on our list of Best 80’s movies.

Director:John Hughes
Runtime:97 minutes
Released Year:1985
IMDb Rating:7.8

9. Ghostbusters (1984)

Ghostbusters is a supernatural American comedy film made in 1984 by Ivan Reitman, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis. Their delicate mix of comedy, action, and horror was well received, and the performance of Murray was often singled out for praise. The film earned $ 282.2 million during its initial theatre sequence. 

It became the second-highest gross film of the year, and the highest comedy ever as long as SNL introduces new comedians to the stratosphere. This film gave improvisational skit humor a loose sci-fi look and turned NYC into a panoramic playground that must confront that ingenious transition vehicle. That’s why we ranked this movie on number nine on our list of Best 80’s movies.

Director:Ivan Reitman
Runtime:105 minutes
Released Year:1984
IMDb Rating:7.8

8. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

A 1986 American comedy-drama film, Hannah and Her Sisters, recounts the intertwined story of an extended family, starting and ending with the Thanksgiving dinner family. This Thanksgiving film was directed and produced by Woody Allen, who stars Hannah, Michael Caine, Barbara Hershey, and Dianne Wiest, along with Mia Farrow, her husband, and sister. 

Allen’s resurgence in late periods with films like Blue Jasmine and Midnight in Paris was over but, with his pre-scandalous career back in mind, there was no other filmmaker who had such confidence in high and low comedy during the 1980s. This is as important as Annie Hall: a serious investigation into neurotic Manhattan. So, we ranked this movie number eight on our list of Best 80’s movies.

Director:Woody Allen
Runtime:106 minutes
Released Year:1986
IMDb Rating:7.9

7. Raging Bull (1980)

Raging Bull is a U.S. biographical sports drama produced by Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler in 1980 and directed by Martin Scorsese. This movie is adapted from Jake LaMotta’s 1970 novel Raging Bull: My Story. This film, distributed by United Artists, stars Robert De Niro as the Italian-American Middleweight Boxer Jake LaMotta, who has destroyed his wife and family by his own self-destructive and obsessive rage, sexual jealousy, and animalism. 

Is it the finest film of Martin Scorsese? Surely Yes! and Robert De Niro’s performance is, without doubt, one of his finest performances of his life. That’s why we ranked the movie on number seven in our list of best 80’s movies.

Director:Martin Scorsese
Runtime:129 minutes 
Released Year:1980
IMDb Rating:8.2

6. Aliens (1986)

Aliens, written and directed by James Cameron, is a 1986 science fiction action. It follows the 1979 Alien science fiction horror drama and Alien’s second film. Situated in the far Future, Sigourney Weaver ( as in the character of Lieutenant Ellen Ripley) is the sole descendant of the alien attack on his ship. Ripley agrees to return to the site with a troop of colonial marines to investigate when contacts with a human colony on the moon, on which her crew found the alien animals first. 

James Cameron would claim the two most important films in film history, but the heart of his reputation is right here. Alien was an impossible task: sequence a revered sci-fi classic by adding your imprint. Cameron did this and more, turning Ripley of Sigourney Weaver into an enduring feminist icon, intensifying military action, and producing the most exciting Roller Coaster ride of the decade.

Director:James Cameron
Runtime:137 minutes
Released Year:1986
IMDb Rating:8.3

5. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Raiders of the Lost Ark is the 1981 U.S. action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg and written in the story of George Lucas and Philip Kaufman by Lawrence Kasdan. Ford portrays the long-lost Ark of the Covenant in 1936 by Indiana Jones, the globe-trotting archaeologist who ran with German nazis, and a relic said that it would be invincible an army. 

Together with his former loving Marion Ravenwood (Allen), Jones is fighting to stop the Nazis from driving up and driving the Ark with the rival archaeologist Dr. René Belloq (Freeman). Through the infancy of T.V. serials in George Lucas, Raiders is an 80s action-adventure, with a desert boat at least in the 1940s. That kid’s DNA – heroes, ancient objects, rash enemies, and unresponsive chastening is perfectly expressed by Harrison Ford’s twinkly-eyed archaeologist. 

Director:Steven Spielberg
Runtime:115 minutes
Released Year:1981
IMDb Rating:8.4

4. The Shining (1980)

The Shining is a psychological horror movie produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1980. The film is based on Scatman Crothers and Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Stephen King’s 1977 novel. Jack Torrance (Nicholson) is the film’s main character, an aspiring writer and alcoholic who accepts a position as a temporary caretaker in the Colorado Rockies’ historical isolation Overlook hotel. All Stanley Kubrick’s films are horror films from a certain point of view. 

From a certain prospect, all of Stanley Kubrick’s movies are horror movies: 2001’s terrifying cosmic loneliness, Dr. Strangelove’s cherry destruction, the death duels from Barry Lyndon, which is all a way of stating that when the director finally got around to performing a proper thriller, he paradoxically provided the ultimate comic parody on the American family. 

Director:Stanley Kubrick
Runtime:146 minutes
Released Year:1980
IMDb Rating:8.4

3. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is an American science fiction movie from 1982, produced by Melissa Mathison and Steven Spielberg. The story of Elliott, a young man with an alien, dubbed E.T., stranded on the Earth. The movie stars are Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote, and Robert MacNaughton. Alien invasion was never as hot as the ode of Steven Spielberg to grow and let go. 

It’s always green at once and very specific for the decade. The actual plot in Rees’s beers is no longer just nostalgic examples of product placement. Filming was conducted on a $10.5 million budget between September and December 1981. It was shot in roughly chronological order, unlike many movies, to make the young cast’s convincing emotional performances easier. 

Director:Steven Spielberg
Runtime:91 minutes
Released Year:1982
IMDb Rating:7.8

2. Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner is a science fiction film by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples directed by Ridley Scott in 1982. The movie is adaptation of novel Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, 1968, is Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. 

The movie is set in LA in 2019, where the strong Tyrell Corporation bio-engineers work in space colonies for synthetic humans known as replicants. Blade Runner goes around when a fugitive group of advanced replicants led by Roy Batty (Hauer) escapes back to Earth; burnt-out cop Rick Deckard (Ford) reluctantly agrees to hunt them down. 

Director:Ridley Scott
Runtime:117 minutes
Released Year:1982
IMDb Rating:8.1

1. Blue Velvet (1986)

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Blue Velvet is a 1986 film written and directed by David Lynch, a neo-noir mystery thriller. The film stars Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, and Laura Dern. The film is about a young university student who, when he returns to his ill father’s house, discovers a hardened, human ear in a field that uncovers a huge criminal conspiracy and has a romantic relationship with a troubled singer from the lounge. David Lynch’s opus also offered an American nightmare to mask as a fresh feeling as a film about the red that could ever be festered below the White Picket suburb. 

In this wondering country, Kyle MacLachlan is Alice, as he would again be on the T.V. landmark Twin Peaks, meeting an age-old villain in the nitrous Frank booth of Dennis Hopper. The most audacious director of his generation was able to pursue his most wild dreams with success. That’s why we rank this movie on number one in our list of Best 80’s movies.

Director:David Lynch
Runtime:120 minutes
Released Year:1986
IMDb Rating:7.7

So, these are all about The Best Movies of the 80s! If you want to take a glimpse of all the further 30 Ranked Movies with their respective details, then have a look below:

RankMovie NameDirectorReleased YearIMDb Rating
11.The Road WarriorGeorge Miller19817.6
12.Do the Right ThingSpike Lee19898.0
13.Broadcast NewsJames L. Brooks19877.2
14.The Empire Strikes BackThe Empire Strikes Back19808.7
15.Die HardJohn McTiernan19888.2
16.Airplane!David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams19807.7
17.The ThingJohn Carpenter19828.1
18.Once Upon a Time in AmericaOnce Upon a Time in America19848.4
19.The Elephant ManDavid Lynch19808.1
20.Back to the FutureRobert Zemeckis19858.5
21.RanAkira Kurosawa19858.2
22.Ferris Bueller’s Day OffJohn Hughes19867.8
23.After HoursMartin Scorsese19857.7
24.PoltergeistTobe Hooper19827.3
25.This Is Spinal TapRob Reiner19847.9
26.Fatal AttractionAdrian Lyne19876.9
27.HeathersMichael Lehmann19887.2
28.Local HeroBill Forsyth19837.4
29.AmadeusMiloš Forman19848.3
30.TootsieSydney Pollack19837.4
31.Sixteen CandlesJohn Hughes19847.0
32.A Nightmare on Elm StreetWes Craven19847.5
33.ManhunterMichael Mann19867.2
34.Day of the DeadGeorge A. Romero19857.1
35.Drugstore CowboyGus Van Sant19897.3
36.The Evil DeadSam Raimi19817.5
37.They Live!John Carpenter19887.3
38.The GooniesRichard Donner19857.8
39.PoltergeistTobe Hooper19827.3
40.CreepshowGeorge A. Romero19826.9

Conclusion!

We compiled these data on all 1980s films to celebrate the unbelievable cinematic achievements of the decade to produce good IMDb scores. These films were released from 1980 to 1989 and left a classic memory in our hearts.

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