The ’80s was a magical time. Though it might not be so fondly recollected, it certainly had its charms. Anyone who’s seen Stranger Things knows this for certain. I’m here to say ’80s movies are even better than we remember.
The hair was permed and perfect, shoulder pads were in, the jocks, nerds and stoners were constantly at war, and we got some of the most tragic/enduring films of all time.
You can’t take the good without the bad and the ugly, so today we have whittled it down to the gems that stand the test of time as not only brilliant movies, but also quintessentially ’80s.
Here are 10 must watch movies from the ’80s.
If you can get past the hairspray and fashion we have put together 10 absolutely must watch ’80s films to check out before you die.
10. Blade Runner (1982)
Harrison Ford could certainly feature a few times on this list. He was at the height of his game in the ’80s and this cautionary sci-fi classic stands the test of time due to it’s deep philosophical undertones and Huxleyan themes.
It’s an absolute mind-bender and a required viewing if you want to watch the recently released sequel starring Ryan Gosling.
9. E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
‘E.T. Phone Home’. Who ever thought we could love an alien so much? Up until this point aliens were always malicious foreign races hell bent on war and destruction.
Steven Spielberg was also at his peak in the ’80s with the wildly successful Raiders Of The Lost Ark. However, nothing quite reached the instant blockbuster proportions of E.T., which catapulted a little Drew Barrymore into stardom.
8. Ghostbusters (1984)
Instantly launching a cultural phenomenon, Ghostbusters is another everlasting classic. Saturday Night Live stars Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd had audiences in stitches as they fought the supernatural with vacuum cleaners and hilarity ensued.
It contains dozens of instantly memorable scenes and even spawned multiple sequels including 2017’s all women remake starring Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones.
7. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Honestly, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off could have topped the list from us. A masterclass in honey sweet comedy this 1986 classic drove home everything we still love about the ’80s movies and it absolutely stands the test of time.
Matthew Broderick made skipping school cool and probably inspired generations of truancy. Their elaborate plan to stay home ‘sick’ is drenched in teen angst, deadpan humour and adventure making us humbly wish the ’80s weren’t dead.
6. The Shining (1980)
What’s better than the most terrifying horror writer of all time? A movie adaption featuring a stellar performance from the grinning Jack Nicholson. The Stephen King classic was taken to new heights with everybody’s favourite ’80s bad boy, Johnny.
Nothing is more fascinating that someone’s descent into madness, and Jack Nicholson portrayed it so perfectly we still get chills every time we see Redrum.
5. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
The rom-com classic from Nora Ephron and Rob Reiner tells the story of Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) and Sally Allbright (Meg Ryan), two best friends who fall hopelessly in love with each other.
It’s instantly relatable as the two traverse this tricky, uncertain ground. However, it’s the masterclass script from Ephron that delivers unparalleled character development, commentary on social psychology and plenty of knee-jerk laughs.
4. Dirty Dancing (1987)
It’s not really an ’80s movie without some killer dance moves. Forbidden love, summer romance, and wildly attractive leads made Dirty Dancing a cult classic. Wayne Blair’s 1987 knockout is full of cheese but aren’t they all?
The epic love story between Baby and the dark, brooding Johnny is overpowering at times. Oh and did I mention the dance moves?
3. Star Wars IV: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Whether you’re a Star Wars fan or not, The Empire Strikes Back is a masterpiece. Launching into the ’80s guns blazing, George Lucas hit the ground running with all his own stunts and props, this film is still a marvel to watch.
Widely considered the best Star Wars film of all time, the second instalment has turned many people into sci-fi fans and still stands the test of time.
2. The Breakfast Club (1985)
At time’s there is too much teen angst to bear. Depending on how old you are when you watch it, The Breakfast Club can be either tragic or life-changing.
The John Hughes classic gave birth to high school stereotypes which still exist today. The jock, the princess, the nerd, and the misunderstood rebel. It also immortalises the style of film/episode that takes place entirely in one room.
1. Back To The Future (1985)
An instant blockbuster success Back To The Future was the highest grossing film of 1985. Marty McFly travels back in time and puts his own existence into jeopardy when he interrupts his parents’ first meeting and is forced to play matchmaker to try to set things right. I think sci-fi was really popular back then?
Not to mention the crazed Doc who inspired on of the greatest shows today Rick and Morty. Locking off at number one Back To The Future is a enduring classic in every sense of the word and one of the greatest ’80s movies of all time.