The Top 20 Movies of the 1980s
20. Ghostbusters (1984):
Ray Parker Junior has been long forgotten, but his song is included every Halloween CD ever made…and I still hate old libraries.
19. Dirty Dancing (1987):
Every summer vacation ended the same way…no Johnny.
18. The Goonies (1985):
Chester Copperpot had us dreaming of finding riches and pirate ships while eating Baby Ruths and screaming, “Hey, You Guys!”
17. The Breakfast Club (1985):
We all identified with this misfit bunch. Whether you were the jock, the nerd, the stoner, the princess, the pathological liar….we all threw bologna, wore too much eyeliner, and applied lipgloss with our boobs.
16. Stand By Me (1986):
Innocence was lost as a group of young friends takes off for the night in order to find the body of a young boy. It was a great coming-of-age story, and the famous leech scene which had us all staying far from any water source other than swimming pools.
15. The Lost Boys (1987):
The Two Coreys take on the vampire world, one stake at a time. Awesome.
14. The Legend of Billie Jean (1985):
A true feminists’ ”F You” to the male driven society which made her feel exploited and victimized. Seems to me this movie influenced Tank Girl later down the road.
13. The Outsiders (1983):
The Greasers and the Socs: Dally, Ponyboy, Cheri, “nature’s first green is gold”…this movie is so classic it really is almost as good as the book.
12. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986):
I sooooo want to take part in a parade when I skip school.
11. The Karate Kid (1984):
Mr. Miyagi challenged us for years to take part in a bully beat down, catch flies with chopsticks and attempt a pathetic one legged karate kick which ultimately deemed us a hospital patient or just stupid-looking.
10. Breakin’ (1984):
Breakin’ was the first of many movies where the pristine white chick teams up with a couple of hood rats to teach tolerance through combining jazz with break dancing.
9. The Boy Who Could Fly (1986):
8. Pretty in Pink (1986):
Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy. Dorky boy falls for cute, hip girl falls for guy seemingly out of her league….every high school nightmare. Moral of this story: It’s not okay for the cute rich guy to shun the geeky girl, but the geeky girl can treat the nerdy boy however she wants and it’s totally fine. (see: My So-Called Life)
7. Back to the Future (1985):
I still want a flux capacitor and a Delorean.
6. Top Gun (1986):
If you pay attention, there is a point in the movie where Tom Cruise is called “Tom” and they forget to edit it, which just makes it even funnier. This movie also coined the phrase “wingman” in college bars across the country.
5. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982):
The judgments we humans hold against other life forms completely prohibits us from revealing how emotionally vulnerable we are until a 4-foot-tall California raisin is dying in front of us…..then we are just screwed.
4. War Games (1983):
The power of being able to start a world war with your home computer (which wasn’t even as cool as an Atari machine) is pretty sweet.
3. Say Anything (1989):
What girl didn’t want a hot mysterious guy in a trench coat serenading her with a boom box under her bedroom window?
2. Weird Science (1985):
What a concept…making the perfect woman with a computer program? Why didn’t they think of this sooner?
1. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981):
Indiana Jones made us want to go on archaeological digs in the back yard and swing from vines while dodging blow darts.
What are some of your favorite movies from the 80s? Share yours in the comments section below!
Written by Holly Miller-Carufel