1980s Coming of Age Movie Retrospective

by urbanemovies | created - 4 weeks ago | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

In retrospect, which of these well-regarded 1980s coming of age movies is the best movie?

Discuss the topic here.

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1. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy

61 Metascore

A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the Principal thinks of that.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jeffrey Jones

Votes: 327,734 | Gross: $70.14M

2. Dead Poets Society (1989)

PG | 128 min | Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

Maverick teacher John Keating uses poetry to embolden his boarding school students to new heights of self-expression.

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

Votes: 438,834 | Gross: $95.86M

3. Stand by Me (1986)

R | 89 min | Adventure, Drama

75 Metascore

After the death of one of his friends, a writer recounts a childhood 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: 370,984 | Gross: $52.29M

4. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

R | 90 min | Comedy, Drama

61 Metascore

A group of Southern California high school students are enjoying their most important subjects: sex, drugs, and rock n' roll.

Director: Amy Heckerling | Stars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Robert Romanus

Votes: 97,029 | Gross: $27.09M

5. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Not Rated | 89 min | Animation, Drama, War

94 Metascore

A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.

Director: Isao Takahata | Stars: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara

Votes: 244,332

6. The Breakfast Club (1985)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Drama

66 Metascore

Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy

Votes: 364,735 | Gross: $45.88M

7. 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: 1,086,181 | Gross: $210.61M

8. 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: 379,326 | Gross: $435.11M

9. Dirty Dancing (I) (1987)

PG-13 | 100 min | Drama, Music, Romance

65 Metascore

Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances "Baby" Houseman falls in love with the camp's dance instructor, Johnny Castle.

Director: Emile Ardolino | Stars: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes

Votes: 209,753 | Gross: $0.62M

10. Au Revoir les Enfants (1987)

PG | 104 min | Drama, War

88 Metascore

A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of the top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.

Director: Louis Malle | Stars: Gaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejtö, Francine Racette, Stanislas Carré de Malberg

Votes: 31,887 | Gross: $4.54M

11. The Karate Kid (1984)

PG | 126 min | Action, Drama, Family

60 Metascore

A martial arts master agrees to teach karate to a bullied teenager.

Director: John G. Avildsen | Stars: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue, Martin Kove

Votes: 203,745 | Gross: $90.82M

12. Labyrinth (1986)

PG | 101 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

50 Metascore

Sixteen-year-old Sarah is given thirteen hours to solve a labyrinth and rescue her baby brother Toby when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King Jareth.

Director: Jim Henson | Stars: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud, Shelley Thompson

Votes: 126,441 | Gross: $12.73M

13. The Outsiders (1983)

PG | 91 min | Crime, Drama

41 Metascore

The rivalry between two gangs, the poor Greasers and the rich Socs, only heats up when one gang member kills a member of the other.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola | Stars: C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze

Votes: 77,537 | Gross: $25.60M

14. Fame (1980)

R | 134 min | Drama, Music, Musical

58 Metascore

A chronicle of the lives of several teenagers who attend a New York high school for students gifted in the performing arts.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Eddie Barth, Irene Cara, Lee Curreri, Laura Dean

Votes: 20,862 | Gross: $0.00M

15. Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)

G | 103 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

83 Metascore

A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki | Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Minami Takayama, Rei Sakuma, Kappei Yamaguchi

Votes: 128,925

16. Risky Business (1983)

R | 99 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

A Chicago teenager is looking for fun at home while his parents are away, but the situation quickly gets out of hand.

Director: Paul Brickman | Stars: Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay, Joe Pantoliano, Richard Masur

Votes: 82,958 | Gross: $63.50M

17. Say Anything (1989)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

85 Metascore

A noble underachiever and a beautiful valedictorian fall in love the summer before she goes off to college.

Director: Cameron Crowe | Stars: John Cusack, Ione Skye, John Mahoney, Lili Taylor

Votes: 84,281 | Gross: $20.78M

18. Sixteen Candles (1984)

PG | 93 min | Comedy, Romance

61 Metascore

A girl's "sweet" sixteenth birthday becomes anything but special, as she suffers from every embarrassment possible.

Director: John Hughes | Stars: Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Justin Henry, Michael Schoeffling

Votes: 107,723 | Gross: $23.69M

19. Red Dawn (1984)

PG-13 | 114 min | Action, Drama

53 Metascore

It is the dawn of World War III. In mid-western America, a group of teenagers band together to defend their town, and their country, from invading Soviet forces.

Director: John Milius | Stars: Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen

Votes: 52,146 | Gross: $38.38M

20. Empire of the Sun (1987)

PG | 153 min | Action, Drama, History

62 Metascore

A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation of China during World War II.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers

Votes: 118,049 | Gross: $22.24M

21. Big (1988)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

73 Metascore

After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult.

Director: Penny Marshall | Stars: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, John Heard

Votes: 203,732 | Gross: $114.97M

22. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

PG | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy, Music

50 Metascore

Two seemingly dumb teens set off on a quest to prepare the ultimate historical presentation with the help of a time machine.

Director: Stephen Herek | Stars: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin, Terry Camilleri

Votes: 121,697 | Gross: $40.49M

23. Heathers (1989)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Crime

72 Metascore

At Westerburg High where cliques rule, jocks dominate and all the popular girls are named Heather, it's going to take a Veronica and mysterious new kid to give teen angst a body count.

Director: Michael Lehmann | Stars: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk

Votes: 91,499 | Gross: $1.11M

24. Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)

PG-13 | 95 min | Drama, Romance

55 Metascore

When Keith goes out with Amanda, the girl of his dreams, Amanda's ex-boyfriend plans to get back at Keith. Meanwhile, Keith's best friend, tomboy Watts, realizes she has feelings for Keith.

Director: Howard Deutch | Stars: Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, Lea Thompson, Craig Sheffer

Votes: 28,796 | Gross: $18.55M

25. Stand and Deliver (1988)

PG | 103 min | Biography, Drama

77 Metascore

The story of Jaime Escalante, a high school teacher who successfully inspired his dropout-prone students to learn calculus.

Director: Ramón Menéndez | Stars: Edward James Olmos, Estelle Harris, Mark Phelan, Virginia Paris

Votes: 17,297 | Gross: $13.99M

26. The Goonies (1985)

PG | 114 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

62 Metascore

A group of young misfits called The Goonies discover an ancient map and set out on an adventure to find a legendary pirate's long-lost treasure.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman

Votes: 249,886 | Gross: $61.50M

27. Pretty in Pink (1986)

PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

56 Metascore

A poor girl must choose between the affections of dating her childhood sweetheart or a rich but sensitive playboy.

Director: Howard Deutch | Stars: Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Harry Dean Stanton, Annie Potts

Votes: 76,083 | Gross: $40.47M

28. Footloose (1984)

PG | 107 min | Drama, Music, Romance

42 Metascore

A city teenager moves to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace.

Director: Herbert Ross | Stars: Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest

Votes: 72,344 | Gross: $80.04M

29. Taps (I) (1981)

PG | 126 min | Drama

49 Metascore

Military cadets take extreme measures to ensure the future of their academy when its existence is threatened by local condo developers.

Director: Harold Becker | Stars: George C. Scott, Timothy Hutton, Ronny Cox, Sean Penn

Votes: 16,850 | Gross: $35.86M

30. Pelle the Conqueror (1987)

PG-13 | 157 min | Drama

When his wife dies, Lassefar (Max von Sydow) takes his 12-year-old son, Pelle (Pelle Hvenegaard), from their home in Sweden to Denmark in search of a better life. Signing on as laborers at ... See full summary »

Director: Bille August | Stars: Pelle Hvenegaard, Max von Sydow, Erik Paaske, Björn Granath

Votes: 10,395 | Gross: $2.05M

31. Lucas (1986)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

A socially inept fourteen-year-old experiences heartbreak for the first time when his two best friends - Cappie, an older-brother figure, and Maggie, the new girl with whom he is in love - fall for each other.

Director: David Seltzer | Stars: Corey Haim, Kerri Green, Charlie Sheen, Courtney Thorne-Smith

Votes: 14,934 | Gross: $8.20M

32. Crossroads (1986)

R | 99 min | Drama, Music, Mystery

55 Metascore

A wanna be blues guitar virtuoso seeks a long lost song by legendary musician, Robert Johnson.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Ralph Macchio, Joe Seneca, Jami Gertz, Joe Morton

Votes: 14,738 | Gross: $5.84M

33. Hairspray (1988)

PG | 92 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

77 Metascore

A 'pleasantly plump' teenager teaches 1962 Baltimore a thing or two about integration after landing a spot on a local TV dance show.

Director: John Waters | Stars: Sonny Bono, Ruth Brown, Divine, Debbie Harry

Votes: 20,270 | Gross: $6.67M

34. Vision Quest (1985)

R | 107 min | Drama, Romance, Sport

55 Metascore

A high school wrestler in Spokane, Washington has trouble focusing on his training regimen when a beautiful young drifter takes up temporary residence at his home.

Director: Harold Becker | Stars: Matthew Modine, Linda Fiorentino, Michael Schoeffling, Ronny Cox

Votes: 8,088 | Gross: $12.90M

35. My Life as a Dog (1985)

Unrated | 101 min | Drama, Comedy

82 Metascore

A boy and his brother don't get along well. In order to let their ill mother rest, they're separated and sent each one with their relatives.

Director: Lasse Hallström | Stars: Anton Glanzelius, Tomas von Brömssen, Anki Lidén, Melinda Kinnaman

Votes: 18,646 | Gross: $8.35M



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