80 '80s Movies That Are Still Iconic Today

Photo: 20th Century Fox Film Corp.
80 80s Movies That Are Still Iconic Today

The '80s was a decade known for its excess — and its movies were excessively excellent.

Some of the biggest stars in the world first broke out in the 1980s, including the likes of Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves, as well as the infamous Brat Pack — composed of Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe
Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy.

This was also a time when not only did shoulder pads blossom everywhere, but the depiction of teenagers as people with full emotional lives evolved. Thanks to filmmakers like Cameron Crowe and John Hughes, society got a deeper look into the minds of high schoolers.

RELATED: 101 Best '90s Movies You’ll Want To Watch On Repeat

From teenage drama to sci-fi/fantasy, these are 80 (fittingly) of the most iconic '80s movies that still hold their own to this day.

The 80 Best '80s Movies of All Time

1. A Christmas Story (1983)

One of the few classic Christmas movies from this era, "A Christmas Story" is no slouch when it comes to making it on those must-watch lists.

This nostalgic Christmas story (get it?) warms the hearts of those who watch Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) struggle in hoping his wish comes true: his wish for a Red Ryder BB Gun. A classic viewing for every holiday season.

Where to watch: HBO Max

2. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Freddy Kruger in his striped sweater first burst out of our nightmares and onto our screens this slasher film and inspired an entire franchise — along with some crossovers with a few other famous killers like Jason Vorhees.

When you die in your dream, you die in real life. A simple enough premise that scares us to this day, with a snarky monster who can't be beat, even by one of our favorite cinematic Final Girls. You'll see why it's a horror classic.

Where to watch: HBO Max

3. Airplane! (1980)

Parody legend Leslie Nielsen stars in this comedy about a war vet who is afraid of flying and is about to take the craziest flight of his life.

Slapstick comedy and clever punchlines galore, this goofy movie will surely keep you entertained the entire time. Just don’t call him Shirley!

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

4. Akira (1988)

This legendary post-apocalyptic cyberpunk anime inspired a massive emergence of Japanese culture in the United States. Kanye West’s music video for “Stronger” was directly inspired by the film.

The film follows the leader of a biker gang in Neo-Tokyo whose childhood friend gains telekinetic powers after a motorcycle accident. With these powers, they rebel against their militaristic government and cause enough chaos in the city to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Where to watch: Hulu

5. Amadeus (1984)

This film about one of the most brilliant musical minds ever, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, shows the darker side of his life. Often praised to be one of the greatest movies of all time, "Amadeus" was nominated for 53 awards, winning 40 of them — including eight Academy Awards.

A must-see for the musically inclined, or for anyone who’s even slightly curious about who Mozart really was.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

6. Back to the Future (1985)

Join Marty McFly and Doc Brown on this adventure to the future...or, the past? This chaotic sci-fi film was a cultural phenomenon and got brought back for two sequels, even entering the National Film Registry to be preserved.

Marty finds himself in the past and meets his mother as a teenager, to incredibly awkward results. He tries his best to instead lead her to his teenage father, so they end up together when Marty goes "Back to the Future," but not everything goes as planned.

Where to watch: Netflix

7. Batman (1989)

For those who might not know about this one, imagine this team-up: Tim Burton, Jack Nicholson, and Michael Keaton. This superhero movie based on the timeless DC character Batman was masterclass with a star-studded cast and a brilliant director.

Michael Keaton’s Batman is surprisingly convincing, and we love to see Jack Nicholson in the villain role as the joker. He’s no Heath Ledger, but they put on quite the show in this film, even spawning a sequel.

Where to watch: HBO Max

8. Beetlejuice (1988)

Speaking of Tim Burton and Michael Keaton, "Beetlejuice" is a creepy-funny classic with a killer vibe. Winona Ryder stars as a troubled teen who struggles with her parents and a pair of friendly ghosts (Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin) when Beetlejuice (Keaton) turns their whole house upside down.

This movie is a real charmer, and really shines with Ryder and Keaton’s strong performances.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

9. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

Eddie Murphy’s breakout movie, "Beverly Hills Cop" was an instant classic upon release. The movie follows Detroit cop Axel Foley (Murphy) as he tries to solve his best friend’s murder in Beverly Hills, California.

Murphy was widely praised for his performance in this movie, and it’s well worth the critical acclaim.

Where to watch: HBO Max

10. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

This science-fiction comedy is one of Keanu Reeves’ earliest films. In the future, main characters Bill S. Preston and Ted "Theodore" Logan are musical geniuses, but they need to get out of high school to do it. The future world sends someone back in time to ensure they make it through, abandoning the time machine and allowing Preston and Logan to kidnap historical figures to write the history paper they’re struggling with.

This goofy movie has a wholesome vibe to it as it sends you on an "excellent adventure’ time traveling into the past to see some of your favorite historical figures.

Where to watch: Fandango (Buy/Rent)

11. Blade Runner (1982)

Another classic sci-fi film, "Blade Runner" is about a retired cop who gets hired to hunt down and "retire" some illegal robots.

Although this movie didn’t shatter box office record at the time, it's one of the most innovative and important sci-fi movies of all time — often imitated, never duplicated.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

12. Blue Velvet (1986)

This violent and sex-driven movie written and directed by David Lynch follows a young college student who happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, leading him through a whirlwind of drama as he tries to free woman from sex slavery.

"Blue Velvet" is sure to keep you on your toes as you never expect what’s coming next.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

13. The Blues Brothers (1980)

Ever wanted to save the Roman Catholic orphanage you grew up in? Well, you can live vicariously through the Blues Brothers as they try to get a band together and make enough money to save their orphanage in this film full of fights and explosions that even Michael Bay would envy.

The cult classic made waves in the box office and even entered the National Film Registry, so you know it’s good.

Where to watch: Peacock

14. The Boat (Das Boot) [1981]

West German war film "Das Boot" follows the adventures of German submarine U-96. Time and time again, they run into mishaps and the crew is tired — they just want to go home.

Based on a truly gripping story with enjoyable characters, "Das Boot" can be a real tearjerker, even for those who aren’t faint of heart.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

15. The Breakfast Club (1980)

Don’t you forget about this movie.

Who knew that a movie about detention on a Saturday morning would touch the hearts of millions around the world. John Hughes did, of course.

"The Breakfast Club" shows teens in a light that films weren’t doing before the '80s. Why teens behave the way they do, why they dress a certain way or hang with a certain crowd. They talk about their family troubles, their goals, their dreams, their loves, and they realize they’re not all that different from each other, despite being parts of different cliques.

If you still haven’t seen this movie, you’re missing out on a cultural phenomenon.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

RELATED: 10 Most Important Things We Learned About Life, According To John Hughes Movies

16. The Color Purple (1985)

Three-time Academy Award winner Steven Spielberg directed this film based on the Alice Walker novel of the same name. The film follows Celie, an African-American woman in the early 20th century struggling through poverty and abuse as she tried to find her footing somewhere in the world.

This coming-of-age story is one to write home about — just make sure you bring your tissues.

Where to watch: Hulu

17. Coming to America (1988)

This Eddy Murphy comedy is guaranteed to make you laugh. Murphy plays an African prince who goes to America in search of a wife who will challenge him mentally instead of finding one in his home country Zamunda. He and his best friend (Arsenio Hall — both Murphy and Hall play a ton of characters) have a crazy story to tell everyone back home about how the world works in America.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

18. Dead Poets Society (1989)

This teen drama hits every spot for me, personally. Late actor Robin Williams puts on a spectacular performance as an English teacher who inspires his students to make their lives extraordinary. We see the lives and struggles of the teenage boys in Mr. Keating’s class, and the mistakes they make along the way.

Heartwarming and bittersweet, this film will hit home and make you giddy all at the same time.

Where to watch: Fandango (Buy/Rent)

19. Die Hard (1988)

America’s favorite Christmas movie (kidding) follows Bruce Willis as he tries to win back the love of his wife by saving her life. A corporate Christmas party gone wrong in the worst way possible, the only man who can save them is the detective that happens to be there.

With cool fights and high stakes, "Die Hard" is a must-watch for action movie buffs everywhere.

Where to watch: Hulu

20. Dirty Dancing (1987)

You’ll have the time of your life watching this one.

This romantic drama follows the story of Baby (Jennifer Grey) and Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) as they fall in love and try to get past the hurdle of Baby’s father, who disapproves of their relationship. The dancing and the soundtrack will make you fall in love, too.

Where to watch: Fandango (Buy/Rent)

21. Do the Right Thing (1989)

This Spike Lee Joint was nominated for two Academy Awards, was entered into the National Film Registry, and continues to be a socially relevant film today.

Mookie is a pizza delivery guy in Bed-Stuy and the place he works at is just a little bit racist. We see the way racial tensions in Bed-Stuy play out, and how they either get resolved, or crush everything around them.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

22. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

With a rare 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, this critically acclaimed film never seemed to break through the mold of classic '80s movies — not even doubling its $2.5 million budget. The film follows a group of nomadic drug addicts as they go on robbing sprees to support their addiction. As you’d expect from a group of drug addict criminals, drama unfolds when one of them doesn’t want to keep going down that route in life.

This movie is cool, intellectually stimulating, and has universal recognition that you really don’t see that often.

Where to watch: Fandango (Buy/Rent)

23. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1989)

Watch as E.T. finds a way to phone home in this wholesome kids movie about an alien who is stranded on Earth and brothers Elliott and Michael help him go back home. Another Steven Spielberg film, this movie won four Academy Awards and was the highest-grossing movie of all time after it’s release until "Jurassic Park" (another Spielberg) took over.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

24. Evil Dead II (1987)

The comedic sequel to the original "Evil Dead" comes after director Sam Raimi’s previous film flopped. Back to old roots, "Evil Dead II" also sports an X rating for its egregious violence, but this time includes a little bit of dark comedy to spice things up a bit.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

25. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

This teenage comedy is about high schoolers wanting to live their best high school lives, and not everything goes as planned — especially not for our main character, Brad Hamilton. With a star-studded cast and charming characters, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" is a good time, bound to give you some laughs and make you smile.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

26. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Another John Hughes classic starring Matthew Broderick, "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off" is a must-watch of the decade for its risky but successful fourth wall breaks and intelligently charismatic writing.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

27. Field of Dreams (1989)

Kevin Costner stars as a farmer turned baseball field owner. When a broken, near middle-aged man decides he wants to achieve something in life, he holds baseball games at his stadium with the ghosts of all-stars as the players.

A feel-good family movie for all.

Where to watch: Fandango (Buy/Rent)

28. Footloose (1984)

Musical drama "Footloose" follows the story of a Chicago native who enjoys dancing as he moves to a rural town where dancing and rock music are banned. Kevin Bacon’s character, Ren McCormack, decides to start the rebellion (or at least a little chaos) by going against the word of the town and does whatever he wants as he tries to win over the local reverend’s daughter.

Cheesy teenage rebellion drama aside, this movie was a hit and even influenced a 2011 remake.

Where to watch: Hulu

29. Friday the 13th (1980)

The Friday the 13th series as we know it follows Camp Crystal Lake counselors as they're attacked by the classic slasher, Jason Voorhees, and try to survive. But the first installment of the series is Jason-free, telling the origin story of the world-famous killer.

Boasting a $550,000 budget and a $59.8 million box office, this movie was a hit and continued as a very long and successful franchise.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

30. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

After the release of "The Shining," Stanley Kubrick went on a short hiatus and came back to direct this war film about the Vietnam War. Matthew Modine stars as J.T. “Joker” Davis and follows his time serving in the Vietnam war — the horrors he’s seen, the people he’s killed.

A classic war film, this movie is a must-watch.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

31. Ghostbusters (1984)

A star-studded cast, original and fun concept, and clever punchlines galore, this supernatural comedy was a smash hit upon release and with a catchy original theme song it continues to be a cultural phenomenon.

Busting their way to becoming the heroes of New York, these professors turned ghostbusters go through a lot of crazy hurdles while trying to run their business and keep people safe from ghosts.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

32. The Goonies (1985)

A group of kids, dubbed the Goonies (because they live in the Goon Docks area) find a map in the attic and decide to go on an adventure to retrieve the treasure nearby. What they find instead is a crime family and a lot of adventure.

The Goonies is the original “maybe the real treasure was the friends we made along the way” meme. Feel-good kids movies always have a place in my heart, and they should have one in yours too.

Where to watch: HBO Max

33. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

This animated war tragedy from Studio Ghibli is based on a short story of the same name by Akiyuki Nosaka. It follows a brother and sister trying to survive on their own in a war-torn Japan. Often referred to as one of the saddest movies ever, make sure you keep a box of tissues ready when you watch this one.

Where to watch: Apple TV (Buy/Rent)

34. Gremlins (1984)

The cute little devils make their cinematic debut in this comedy horror film. Billy Peltzer is afraid his dog is going to be put down by an elderly woman in the neighborhood, so his dad decides to get him a new pet — but he comes with a few rules.

Never put water on it, never expose it to sunlight, and never feed it past midnight. Obviously, those rules get broken, and the gremlins wreak havoc on Kingston Falls.

Where to watch: HBO Max

35. Heathers (1989)

Cult classic Heathers is the perfect contrast from the other teen films coming out this decade. A group of girls called the "Heathers" rule the school. But when Veronica (Winona Ryder) meets Jason (Christian Slater), no Heather is safe.

This dark comedy has a powerful legacy and still influences culture today. Even though it flopped in the box offices, it doesn’t flop on this list.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

36. Highlander (1986)

This British action-adventure is set in both the Scottish Highlands and New York. What more could you want? Highlander Connor MacLeod is hunting down the Kurgan, a man who almost killed him in battle if not for the fact that he is actually immortal. MacLeod waits until 1985 to enact his plan of luring the Kurgan to New York — did I mention their battle happened in 1536?

MacLeod might be one to hold grudges, but you won’t hold a grudge against me if you watch this wacky movie.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

37. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Star Wars’ beloved Han Solo, Harrison Ford, stars in another successful pop culture franchise. With George Lucas and Steven Spielberg at the helm, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was the start of the adventure, following Indiana Jones as he races the Nazis to recover the Ark of the Covenant, thought to make the Nazi army invincible.

A race that’s sure to get your adrenaline pumping and get you ready for the next two movies on the list.

Where to watch: Vudu (Buy/Rent)

38. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1985)

The prequel-sequel to "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" is about Indiana Jones and his adventures in India as he tries to recover the sacred Sankara stones, taking place before the events of the first film. The second installment in the series, "Temple of Doom" is a little more violent and dark than the first one, which actually caused the MPAA to create the PG-13 rating for movies.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

39. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

"Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" was a little less violent and dark than its predecessor, and features Nazi villains again in a fight for the Holy Grail. "The Last Crusade" broke box-office records and was praised by critics for being more lighthearted and comedic than "Temple of Doom."

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

40. The Karate Kid (1984)

You’re the best around! The classic karate kid movie that spawned a series of spinoffs and sequels remains to be seen as a legendary film. Daniel LaRusso moves to LA and befriends Ali Mills, a cheerleader at his new high school, but her ex-boyfriend isn’t too happy about it and gets the Cobra Kai karate gang to bully him. This prompts LaRusso to learn karate under Mr. Miyagi.

Get ready to wax on and wax off those tears in this feel-good movie.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

RELATED: 56 Brilliant Things '80s Movies Taught Us About Life And Love

41. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

Hayao Miyazaki will go down in my book as one of the greatest storytellers and moviemakers of all time. Creator of legendary movies "Spirited Away" and "Princess Mononoke," Miyazaki got his start much earlier than that in the mid-'80s. "Kiki’s Delivery Service" was Miyazaki’s third film under Studio Ghibli, and was the first film to be released in a 15-year distribution partnership with The Walt Disney Company.

The story follows Kiki, a witch who flies around on her broom and delivers goods in order to live with a kind baker. Watch as she makes friends and hangs out with her cat Jiji in this wholesome animated film.

Where to watch: HBO Max

42. Labyrinth (1986)

Directed by Muppets creator Jim Henson and starring Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie, "Labyrinth" is a personal favorite of mine. Sarah Williams (Connelly) wishes her baby half-brother would be taken away by goblins, and her wish comes true. She immediately regrets it of course because she was supposed to be babysitting, so she ventures into the labyrinth to go find him.

With a killer soundtrack and a great cast that includes a lot of puppets (of course), this fun movie will never fail to put a smile on your face and get you singing along.

Where to watch: HBO Max

43. The Land Before Time (1988)

The adorable movie about talking dinosaurs made its debut in 1988, and spawned a lengthy franchise that is still going on today. Follow Littlefoot, Ducky, and Petrie on their adventures to find the Great Valley, an area that is supposedly spared from the famine of their home. Hope you still have those tissues handy.

Where to watch: Netflix

44. Lethal Weapon (1987)

Mel Gibson and Danny Glover star in this buddy cop film, whose success turned the story into a franchise. Danny Glover’s character, Roger Murtaugh, gets contacted by an old buddy to help him with his daughter, who he fears is involved with drugs, prostitution, and pornography. Before they can meet, the daughter turns up dead, putting Murtaugh and his partner Martin Riggs on the case.

This movie is action-packed and critically acclaimed, meant to keep you at the edge of your seat until the credits roll.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

45. The Little Mermaid (1989)

Based on the Danish fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, the story is about mermaid princess Ariel, who makes a magical deal with the sea witch, Ursula, so she can become human to be with her lovely prince named Eric.

Arguably the start of the most legendary Disney animated musicals, "The Little Mermaid" won’t disappoint on any front.

Where to watch: Disney+

46. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

"Ghostbusters" star Rick Moranis plays a florist in an unsuccessful flower shop — until he brings in Audrey II, a flower he bought at a Chinese flower shop during a solar eclipse. Wanting to impress the beautiful Audrey and his boss Mr. Mushnik, he feeds the plant blood to help it grow, but he’ll soon find out he might have let it grow too much.

The soundtrack is amazing, every song a bop.

Where to watch: HBO Max

47. The Lost Boys (1987)

A teen vampire cult classic, "The Lost Boys" follows Michael Emerson as he moves to the beach town of Santa Carla and gets initiated into a biker gang because he’s interested in the leader’s girlfriend. Obviously, the biker gang isn’t a biker gang, it's a vampire gang, and now Michael is trying to reverse his vampirism before it’s too late.

Critics generally favor the movie, and it did well at the box office, but adoring fans will swear up and down that this movie is the best movie of all time, and there’s only one way to find out.

Where to watch: HBO Max

48. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

Another Miyazaki masterpiece (hint: they’re all masterpieces), "My Neighbor Totoro" was Miyazaki’s second movie under Ghibli. The story follows two young sisters, Satsuki and Mei, who move to a home that’s closer to the hospital that their mother is recovering in. Their house is full of spirits that lead Mei to the larger spirit, a cuddly giant named after the roars it communicates with, Totoro.

The girls spend their days playing with Totoro and friends until their mother gets better, providing audiences with a wholesome, fun experience.

Where to watch: HBO Max

49. The Naked Gun (1988)

Leslie Nielsen is back on the list for "The Naked Gun," based on the TV show he also stars in called “Police Squad!” The Police Squad is put in charge of security for Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to LA, and of course, chaos ensues.

The slapstick comedy mind behind "Airplane!," director David Zucker, is back again with another series of brilliantly humorous films that will keep you laughing all night long.

Where to watch: Fandango (Buy/Rent)

50. Near Dark (1987)

Another vampire classic, albeit less known, "Near Dark" has gained a cult following over the years despite box office failures and is often praised by fans as being the greatest movie of all time. Something about those vampire movies, huh?

"Near Dark" follows Caleb Colton, who meets a drifter named Mae, and gets bitten and turned into a vampire, reluctantly forced into joining their gang. Refusing to kill, and endangering the group, Caleb struggles to fit in as a vampire and misses his family.

Where to watch: Amazon (DVD)

51. The NeverEnding Story (1984)

Bastian Bux is a 10-year-old kid with a love for books. One day, he is bullied and forced to escape into a bookstore, where he finds The NeverEnding Story. As he reads it, he realizes he gets dragged into the story and has an effect on how it unfolds.

The movie did exceptionally well in Germany, director Wolfgang Petersen’s home country, and was critically acclaimed. The main theme for the movie has been covered countless times, and was even covered by characters in season three of "Stranger Things."

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

52. Poltergeist (1982)

A Steven Spielberg movie that wasn’t directed by Steven Spielberg? Contractually obligated to stick to directing "E.T." at the time, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" mastermind Tobe Hooper, who pitched the original idea, directed the movie. Guess it was a good thing because "Poltergeist" became a horror classic and was nominated for three Academy Awards.

The Freeling family lives in the planned community of Cuesta Verde, California, where they start to experience moving furniture, bending silverware, and static TVs. Originally harmless, things start to ramp up and the family fear for their lives and call in a medium.

The classic supernatural horror movie still holds up today and is a must-watch for horror movie buffs.

Where to watch: HBO Max

53. Predator (1987)

The story of the popular Predator franchise begins here, with Arnold Schwarzenegger at the forefront. A retired Vietnam war vet, Dutch (Schwarzenegger), and his mercenary rescue team are hired to save a foreign cabinet minister, when things go awry and they’re stalked by the Predator.

Even though critics weren't wild about the film, audiences loved it enough to spawn a popular franchise and a series of crossovers.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

54. Pretty In Pink (1986)

Another teen classic written and produced by John Hughes, "Pretty in Pink" is one of those movies that will never get old. Andie (Molly Ringwald) is part of a working-class family living in a suburb in Chicago. She’s in love with Blane, who likes her, but won’t show her off to his friends. Her best friend Duckie is in love with her, but won’t show it. The movie follows these three teens in this romantic comedy-drama.

With strong performances by the star-studded cast in an age-old story, this movie has real charm and intelligence and will hold up until the end of time.

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Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

55. The Princess Bride (1987)

Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father; prepare to die! Another personal favorite of mine, "The Princess Bride" is one of the most beloved movies ever made. It isn’t a comedy that tries too hard to be funny or focuses too much on the humor, but subtly inserts clever quips and lines with incredible timing and an amazingly talented cast.

The movie is the enactment of a book that a grandfather reads to his sick grandson. Fitting, because the movie is an adaptation of a book. In the story, we follow farm girl Buttercup, and farmhand

'Westley, and their love story that goes very far south.

Where to watch: Disney+

56. Purple Rain (1984)

The rock musical drama starring the Purple Rain singer himself, Prince, was made to showcase his talents and troubled rise to stardom. Backed by the album of the same name and a surprisingly strong performance from Prince in his acting debut, the movie holds up in box office success and critical acclaim.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

57. Raging Bull (1980)

One of Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsese’s many movies together, Raging Bull is a legendary film with an interesting story and mixed critic reviews. Boxer Jake LaMotta’s rise and fall from being the championship title holder, the movie follows his life and love and family ties, in this gripping biographical drama.

The movie was nominated for eight Academy Awards and winning two of them, including Best Actor, DeNiro’s second Oscar.

Where to watch: Fandango (Buy/Rent)

58. Ran (1985)

Japanese film "Ran" actually translates to “chaos” or “turmoil.” Derived from the Shakespeare play “King Lear,” an elderly warlord, Hidetora, wants to divide his kingdom to his three sons: Taro, Jiro, and Saburo, but their plans for the kingdom differ from what Hidetora might expect.

The film was nominated for three Academy Awards, winning the award for Costume Design, and was universally acclaimed by critics and audiences alike.

Where to watch: Prime Video

59. Real Genius (1985)

This sci-fi comedy is about two high-school boys that are tasked with creating a laser weapon for the CIA, powerful enough to commit illegal political assassinations. The boys, of course, don’t know that part and goof off until the time really comes to straighten up and get the job done, eventually finding out what the purpose of the laser is supposed to be.

The film received generally positive reviews and high praise from some renowned critics like Roger Ebert who gave it 3.5 stars out of 4.

Where to watch: Fandango (Buy/Rent)

60. Reanimator (1985)

Based on the H.P. Lovecraft story, "Reanimator" tells the tale of Herbert West who has found a way to bring people back to life — with zombie-ish side effects of course. The horror-comedy follows West’s journey in attempting to find practicality in the use of his serum.

The movie just about broke even in the box office but got a lot of positive reviews from critics and audiences everywhere.

Where to watch: Prime Video

61. The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Zombie horror-comedy was all the rage in the '80s, and this movie is no different, except that it is. "The Return of the Living Dead" invented the idea that zombies wanted to eat our brains, and also showed zombies running and talking for the first time.

This punk rock take on a zombie movie was widely accepted by critics with an added success in the box office.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

62. Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Most nerds get bullied in the movies, but what happens when the nerds get tired of it? Meet "Revenge of the Nerds." The controversial teen sex comedy follows a group of nerds that fight back against the frat bros in an attempt to alter the hierarchy at Adams College.

The good feeling of justice you get from nerds stepping up to their bullies is supplemented by clever comedy that will provide you with a good movie experience.

Where to watch: HBO Max

63. Risky Business (1983)

Speaking of teen sex comedies, "Risky Business" features Tom Cruise as Joel Goodson, a high school student readying to go to Princeton, his father’s alma mater, but gets some freedom once his parents leave for a trip. As all high school students would, he raids the liquor cabinet and his friend calls a sex worker over to his place. Things go wrong when he gets robbed.

Famous for the sequence in which Cruise slides in while only wearing briefs and a button-down while listening to “Old Time Rock and Roll,” "Risky Business" was a box-office success, Tom Cruise’s breakout film, and received critical acclaim across the board.

Where to watch: HBO Max

64. RoboCop (1987)

Meant to shed light on the nature of humanity and identity, RoboCop is a surprisingly intelligent movie for those who haven’t seen it. Police officer Alex Murphy dies in the line of duty and is revived to continue work as the one and only, RoboCop. Not entirely robot, however, Murphy holds on to the bits of humanity he has left, hoping to reconcile his new existence with his old memories.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

65. Say Anything... (1989)

John Cusack stars in this teen romantic comedy (yes, another one) about an underachiever, Lloyd Dobler (Cusack) who falls in love with the valedictorian, Diane Court (Ione Skye) and gets sideways glances from everyone, including her father. So he does the only thing he knows how to and tries to make Diane happy.

If you only know this from the image of John Cusack holding a boom box over his head, you must watch this romantic classic, one of Cameron Crowe's best.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

RELATED: 100 Best 80s Love Songs To Set A Romantic Mood

66. Scarface (1983)

Say “hello” to my little friend! "Scarface" is actually a remake of a much older movie with the same name from 1932, based on the 1929 novel by Armitage Trail. This movie goes way back and follows the story of Cuban refugee Tony Montana as he becomes a drug lord in Miami, Florida.

"Scarface" is a certified classic. The legacy created by Al Pacino’s Tony Montana is still influential to this day, especially in hip-hop.

Where to watch: Netflix

67. The Shining (1980)

Here’s Johnny! This is my favorite '80s horror movie on the list, as this movie scarred me as a child and I have only recently recovered. Eerie, psychological horror, "The Shining" is based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name. With Stanley Kubrick directing, producing, and writing the screenplay, along with actors Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, the movie was destined to be a masterpiece and is truly one of the scariest horror movies ever — and that’s a hill I will die on.

Jack Torrance (Nicholson) takes on a caretaker position for the Overlook Hotel in the Chicago Rockies, a position that was recently vacated by a man who killed himself and his family. He spends this time, his family coming with him, to try writing his novel, to no avail, and begins to lose his sanity. At the same time, his son, Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd), has the ability to look into the past and see what happened at the hotel and everyone that has died there.

Successful in the box office but heavily critiqued upon release by King himself for deviating from his novel, this movie grew into a cultural phenomenon and established its place as one of the greatest horror films of all time.

Where to watch: HBO Max

68. Sixteen Candles (1984)

Molly Ringwald and John Hughes called, they want their '80s back! Another coming-of-age teen comedy starring Molly Ringwald, "Sixteen Candles" tells the story of Sam Baker as she swoons over her crush, Jake Ryan, and fights off advances from the goofy freshman, Ted.

One of the raunchier John Hughes movies, "Sixteen Candles" shines at telling the story of high school kids in another classic that people still look back on fondly today.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

69. Spaceballs (1987)

Directed, produced, written, and starring Mel Brooks, this science-fiction parody film was made to make fun of Star Wars as well as other classic space films, including "2001: A Space Odyssey." The plot is Star Wars, the characters are Star Wars — in fact, if you look at the Wikipedia page and hover over the character names, it will show you all of the Star Wars characters’ pages instead.

Successful at the box office but unsuccessful with critics, "Spaceballs" became a cult classic regardless and is adored by the many loyal fans it charmed with its goofy premise and corny humor.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

70. Stand By Me (1986)

Rob Reiner directed "Stand By Me," a story based on Stephen King's 1982 novella "The Body." The story of a group of boys who find the body of a missing teen, this coming-of-age film shows the minds of kids who have their own struggles and captures their emotional intelligence as they grow up.

King even said that this was the first time any of his works had been successfully translated into a film, and Rob Reiner stands by that movie being his favorite to direct.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

71. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

No, this is not "Spaceballs." A direct sequel to the instant classic, "Star Wars: A New Hope", "The Empire Strikes Back" continues the story of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and the Rebel Alliance after the destruction of the Death Star.

Box office smash hit, cultural phenomenon, and home to one of the most famous movie quotes of all time, "The Empire Strikes Back" was nominated for four Academy Awards with multiple nominees in each, ultimately winning the awards for Best Sound and Special Achievement Academy Award.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

72. Return of the Jedi (1983)

The sequel to "The Empire Strikes" back includes a second Death Star, more lightsabers, Darth Vader, and finally a resolution. While not as popular as the film’s predecessors, the movie has a fitting end and still upholds the story we all know and love.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

73. Terminator (1984)

That's James Cameron’s "Terminator," starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yes, Terminator was directed by the same guy who directed the blue people. The Terminator (Schwarzenegger) is a cyborg assassin sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor, but is protected by another soldier sent back in time, Kyle Reese.

Expected to flop heavily, the action-packed film actually did very well in the box office despite mixed reviews from critics, spawning a franchise (he’ll be back) and becoming a huge cultural influence, launching James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s careers to new heights.

Where to watch: Prime Video

74. The Thing (1982)

Starring Kurt Russell as a helicopter pilot for American researchers in Antarctica, "The Thing" is a parasitic extraterrestrial lifeform that takes over someone’s body and can imitate other lifeforms around it, causing the researchers to get paranoid and not trust each other.

The sci-fi horror film grossed more than the budget, but flopped heavily with critics, sometimes being dubbed as the most hated film of all time, but received a resurgence in popularity and praise and gained a cult following for its clever execution in themes and the cinematic risks John Carpenter took. It's now considered one of the best and most influential horror films ever made.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

75. Time Bandits (1981)

"Time Bandits" is British fantasy adventure directed by Terry Gilliam and a star-studded cast including John Cleese, Sean Connery, and Shelley Duvall. The movie follows 11-year-old Kevin, whose vivid imagination and negligent parents take the audience into a fantastic universe full of fun and adventure. Knights, dwarves, kings, and wars, this movie has it all — even time travel.

Where to watch: HBO Max

76. Tootsie (1982)

This peculiar romantic comedy follows a respected actor named Michael Dorsey and his search for roles. The problem? No one wants to hire him. He’s too hard to work with and requires everything to be perfect. Aspiring to make a change and desperate for work, he impersonates a woman named Dorothy Michaels, and lands a role that becomes a national sensation, which becomes a problem, considering he is not a woman, and he’s in love with a costar who believes he is one.

"Tootsie" is an American classic that took risks and told a serious story that wasn’t afraid of the absurdity that comes with comedy.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

77. Top Gun (1986)

This Academy Award-winning action drama follows a young naval aviator, dubbed “Maverick” (Tom Cruise), who gets the chance to train at the US Navy’s Fighter Weapons School. A strong performance by Tom Cruise and its original soundtrack weren’t enough to make it an instant hit, but it shortly grew into one within a few weeks of release as word of mouth spread about the spectacular premise and cinematography.

Where to watch: Prime Video (Buy/Rent)

78. Tron (1982)

The original Disney story follows Kevin Flynn, a software engineer whose work is plagiarized so he attempts to hack into his old employer’s database in order to find evidence of plagiarism. The problem is, the Master Control Program (MCP), is a tough cookie to crack, and forces Flynn into cyberspace to play games that could take his life.

The origin of the popular light cycle that influenced video game styles over the years, "Tron" was a successful film, even receiving a four out of four stars from Roger Ebert.

Where to watch: Disney+

79. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

This Rob Reiner romantic comedy follows the story of Harry and Sally, two recent college graduates who just never seem to get their timing right. Full of time skips and dialogue depicting differing world views and beliefs, Harry and Sally are clearly attracted to each other, but fall victim to the “wrong place, wrong time” trope, time and time again.

Nominated for Best Original Screenplay, "When Harry Met Sally" is an emotional yet funny romantic comedy that is powerfully driven by the chemistry between co-stars Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan.

Where to watch: HBO Max

80. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

In a world where cartoon characters and people coexist, private investigator Eddie Valiant, played by Bob Hoskins, is tasked with finding out who framed Roger Rabbit.

The charming comedy-mystery loosely based on the 1981 novel "Who Censored Roger Rabbit?" by Gary K. Wolf, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" was a massive success and influenced a revival and golden age of American animation, spurring Disney into coming back into the animation industry and turning it into the animated film giant that it is today.

Universally acclaimed, even by Roger Ebert (who gave it a four out of four stars), box office hit, and winner of four Academy Awards, this movie is a must-watch, and another personal favorite of mine.

Where to watch: Disney+

RELATED: What Classic 80s Movie You Are, According To Your Zodiac Sign

Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice and relationships.