Best Films of the '80s

by petroskaz | created - 6 months ago | updated - 1 week ago | Public
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1. Blow Out (1981)

R | 108 min | Mystery, Thriller

86 Metascore

A movie sound recordist accidentally records the evidence that proves that a car accident was actually murder and consequently finds himself in danger.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow, Dennis Franz

Votes: 41,688 | Gross: $13.75M

2. The Blues Brothers (1980)

R | 133 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

60 Metascore

Jake Blues, just released from prison, puts together his old band to save the Catholic home where he and his brother Elwood were raised.

Director: John Landis | Stars: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Cab Calloway, John Candy

Votes: 175,770 | Gross: $57.23M

3. Ghostbusters (1984)

PG | 105 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

71 Metascore

Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.

Director: Ivan Reitman | Stars: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis

Votes: 342,905 | Gross: $238.63M

4. Airplane! (1980)

PG | 88 min | Comedy

78 Metascore

A man afraid to fly must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick.

Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker | Stars: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Votes: 203,591 | Gross: $83.40M

5. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)

PG-13 | 85 min | Comedy, Crime

76 Metascore

Incompetent police Detective Frank Drebin must foil an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II.

Director: David Zucker | Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, O.J. Simpson, Ricardo Montalban

Votes: 145,529 | Gross: $78.76M

6. Back to the Future (1985)

PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

87 Metascore

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the eccentric scientist Doc Brown.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover

Votes: 1,005,013 | Gross: $210.61M

7. Raging Bull (1980)

R | 129 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

89 Metascore

The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, whose violence and temper that led him to the top in the ring destroyed his life outside of it.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent

Votes: 309,289 | Gross: $23.38M

8. Scarface (1983)

R | 170 min | Crime, Drama

65 Metascore

In 1980 Miami, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Votes: 710,477 | Gross: $45.60M

9. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

66 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 854,234 | Gross: $44.02M

10. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

R | 229 min | Crime, Drama

A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.

Director: Sergio Leone | Stars: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams

Votes: 297,434 | Gross: $5.32M

11. Do the Right Thing (1989)

R | 120 min | Comedy, Drama

92 Metascore

On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

Director: Spike Lee | Stars: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson

Votes: 81,394 | Gross: $27.55M

12. Das Boot (1981)

R | 149 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

The claustrophobic world of a WWII German U-boat; boredom, filth and sheer terror.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch

Votes: 223,096 | Gross: $11.49M

13. Platoon (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, War

92 Metascore

A young soldier in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David

Votes: 369,316 | Gross: $138.53M

14. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure

85 Metascore

In 1936, archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler's Nazis can obtain its awesome powers.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies

Votes: 855,133 | Gross: $248.16M

15. Die Hard (1988)

R | 132 min | Action, Thriller

72 Metascore

An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Director: John McTiernan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson

Votes: 759,959 | Gross: $83.01M

16. Dead Poets Society (1989)

PG | 128 min | Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings. -Camilo Alarcón

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles

Votes: 403,582 | Gross: $95.86M

17. Bull Durham (1988)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Romance, Sport

73 Metascore

A fan who has an affair with one minor-league baseball player each season meets an up-and-coming pitcher and the experienced catcher assigned to him.

Director: Ron Shelton | Stars: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Trey Wilson

Votes: 46,096 | Gross: $50.89M

18. The Untouchables (1987)

R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

During the era of Prohibition in the United States, Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop ruthless Chicago gangster Al Capone and, because of rampant corruption, assembles a small, hand-picked team to help him.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Charles Martin Smith

Votes: 269,352 | Gross: $76.27M

19. Blue Velvet (1986)

R | 120 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

76 Metascore

The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern

Votes: 173,481 | Gross: $8.55M

20. Year of the Dragon (1985)

R | 134 min | Action, Crime, Drama

58 Metascore

A police detective cracks down on organized crime in Chinatown after the murders of Triad and Mafia leaders.

Director: Michael Cimino | Stars: Mickey Rourke, John Lone, Ariane, Leonard Termo

Votes: 13,467 | Gross: $18.70M

21. To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

R | 116 min | Action, Crime, Drama

81 Metascore

A fearless Secret Service agent will stop at nothing to bring down the counterfeiter who killed his partner.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Pankow, Debra Feuer

Votes: 27,887 | Gross: $17.31M

22. Heaven's Gate (1980)

R | 219 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

57 Metascore

A dramatization of the real-life Johnson County War in 1890 Wyoming, in which a Sheriff born into wealth, attempts to protect immigrant farmers from rich cattle interests.

Director: Michael Cimino | Stars: Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, John Hurt, Sam Waterston

Votes: 13,115 | Gross: $3.48M

23. The Thing (1982)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

57 Metascore

A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Richard Masur

Votes: 354,439 | Gross: $13.78M

24. Blade Runner (1982)

R | 117 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

84 Metascore

A blade runner must pursue and terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space, and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Votes: 669,008 | Gross: $32.87M

25. The Terminator (1984)

R | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

In 1984, a human soldier is tasked to stop an indestructible cyborg killing machine, both sent from 2029, from executing a young woman, whose unborn son is the key to humanity's future salvation.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn, Paul Winfield

Votes: 775,298 | Gross: $38.40M

26. Paris, Texas (1984)

R | 145 min | Drama

78 Metascore

Travis Henderson, an aimless drifter who has been missing for four years, wanders out of the desert and must reconnect with society, himself, his life, and his family.

Director: Wim Wenders | Stars: Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell, Aurore Clément

Votes: 83,668 | Gross: $2.18M

27. Blood Simple (1984)

R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

81 Metascore

A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her lover. However, nothing is simple when blood is involved.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, M. Emmet Walsh

Votes: 83,993 | Gross: $2.15M

28. First Blood (1982)

R | 93 min | Action, Adventure

61 Metascore

A veteran Green Beret is forced by a cruel Sheriff and his deputies to flee into the mountains and wage an escalating one-man war against his pursuers.

Director: Ted Kotcheff | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna, Bill McKinney

Votes: 218,550 | Gross: $47.21M

29. The Color of Money (1986)

R | 119 min | Drama, Sport

77 Metascore

Fast Eddie Felson teaches a cocky but immensely talented protégé the ropes of pool hustling, which in turn inspires him to make an unlikely comeback.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Helen Shaver

Votes: 71,839 | Gross: $52.29M

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

PG | 115 min | Family, Sci-Fi

91 Metascore

A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home world.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace

Votes: 357,368 | Gross: $435.11M

31. Escape from New York (1981)

R | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

76 Metascore

In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence

Votes: 120,297 | Gross: $25.24M

32. Ran (1985)

R | 162 min | Action, Drama, War

96 Metascore

In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû

Votes: 106,624 | Gross: $4.14M

33. Hoosiers (1986)

PG | 114 min | Drama, Sport

76 Metascore

A coach with a checkered past and a local drunk train a small town high school basketball team to become a top contender for the championship.

Director: David Anspaugh | Stars: Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper, Sheb Wooley

Votes: 41,498 | Gross: $28.61M

34. Thief (1981)

R | 123 min | Action, Crime, Drama

78 Metascore

Coming closer to his dream of leading a normal life, a professional safecracker agrees to do a job for the Mafia, who has other plans for him.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, Jim Belushi

Votes: 23,629 | Gross: $11.49M

35. An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

R | 124 min | Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

A young man must complete his work at a Navy Officer Candidate School to become an aviator, with the help of a tough Gunnery Sergeant and his new girlfriend.

Director: Taylor Hackford | Stars: Richard Gere, Debra Winger, David Keith, Robert Loggia

Votes: 47,082 | Gross: $129.80M

36. Stand by Me (1986)

R | 89 min | Adventure, Drama

75 Metascore

After the death of one of his friends, a writer recounts a boyhood journey with his friends to find the body of a missing boy.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell

Votes: 350,720 | Gross: $52.29M

37. Mississippi Burning (1988)

R | 128 min | Crime, Drama, History

65 Metascore

Two F.B.I. Agents with wildly different styles arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand, Brad Dourif

Votes: 83,762 | Gross: $34.60M

38. After Hours (1985)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

An ordinary word processor has the worst night of his life after he agrees to visit a girl in Soho who he met that evening at a coffee shop.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Verna Bloom, Tommy Chong

Votes: 55,254 | Gross: $10.60M

39. Body Heat (1981)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman persuades her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan | Stars: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Richard Crenna, Ted Danson

Votes: 29,679 | Gross: $24.06M

40. Dressed to Kill (1980)

R | 104 min | Mystery, Thriller

74 Metascore

A mysterious blonde woman kills one of a psychiatrist's patients, and then goes after the high-class call girl who witnessed the murder.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen, Keith Gordon

Votes: 33,286 | Gross: $31.90M

41. Midnight Run (1988)

R | 126 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

78 Metascore

An accountant is chased by bounty hunters, the F.B.I., and the Mafia after jumping bail.

Director: Martin Brest | Stars: Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto, John Ashton

Votes: 71,411 | Gross: $38.41M

42. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

R | 108 min | Comedy, Crime

80 Metascore

In London, four very different people team up to commit armed robbery, then try to doublecross each other for the loot.

Directors: Charles Crichton, John Cleese | Stars: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin

Votes: 127,992 | Gross: $63.49M

43. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

PG | 104 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

83 Metascore

A toon-hating detective is a cartoon rabbit's only hope to prove his innocence when he is accused of murder.

Directors: Robert Zemeckis, Richard Williams | Stars: Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Cassidy, Charles Fleischer

Votes: 176,514 | Gross: $156.45M

44. Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Drama

72 Metascore

A man must struggle to travel home for Thanksgiving with a lovable oaf of a shower curtain ring salesman as his only companion.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins, Michael McKean

Votes: 117,717 | Gross: $49.53M

45. Runaway Train (1985)

R | 111 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

67 Metascore

Two escaped convicts and a female railway worker find themselves trapped on a train with no brakes and nobody driving.

Director: Andrey Konchalovskiy | Stars: Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay, Kyle T. Heffner

Votes: 25,841 | Gross: $7.94M

46. Streets of Fire (1984)

PG | 93 min | Action, Crime, Drama

6.7