Either you were born in the 80s or have become fond of the era since everything around us has revived it in all type of ways, one undisputed truth no one would argue against is the best movies ever are in fact some of the best movies from the 1980s. And they keep sticking; we are all familiar with Netflix TV series Stranger Things as the 21st century transposition of 80s cult movies The Goonies. But back then, there was no Netflix or other streaming service, no Spotify, YouTube, iTunes, nothing where you could possibly hit play and watch films over and over again. We would then all be slaves of VHS players or waiting for our favourite movie to come on telly and watch it again, again and again: that was the type of binge-watching first experienced by those who grew up in the 80s.
Straight down memory lane, here are the best 80s movie you should all watch at least once in your life.
Best 80s horror movies
Director: James Cameron
Writers: James Cameron, David Giler
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn
Sigourney Weaver was the aliens slayer back in the 80s and as kids we have probably all consider this movie scary AF and that’s why we want to put it in the horror category of our best 80s horror movies, even though it is actually set in space.
Director: Tobe Hooper
Writers: Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais
Stars: JoBeth Williams, Heather O’Rourke, Craig T. Nelson
If you were a kid in the 80s and your mum and dad let you watch Poltergeist, first, they might have terrified you for life, second, chances are everytime your TV glitched, you would think some horrific creature would come and get you from your bed at night. So lucky TVs are smart now! This is one of the best 80s movies to watch.
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Writers: Stephen King, Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd
The Shining is probably one of the most iconic horror movies of all time; if you have never watched it, you would surely recognise from somewhere the scenes of the twin girls appearing at the end of a corridor. It’s the story of a family who is looking after a remote hotel in winter, where the father (Jack Nicholson) starts losing his mind and becoming violent.
Director: John Carpenter
Writers: Bill Lancaster, John W. Campbell Jr.
Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David
The remains of a strange creature at a Norwegian research station in Antarctica by a Us team of researcher looks even more worrying than what it is. The Norwegian team members are in fact all dead or missing; a shape-shifting alien is the responsible of all that and it gets scarier. This ‘Thing’ can assume the appearance of its victims.
Best 80s action movies
Director: Ted Kotcheff
Writers: David Morrell, Michael Kozoll
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, Richard Crenna
Rambo is probably the most successful franchise in cinema history as well as one of the best 80s movies and of course, the movie that established Sylvester Stallone’s name worldwide (or Rocky?). In this movie he plays former Green Beret John Rambo, who is chased in the mountains where in order to survive he will have to use all his combat skills.
Director: James Cameron
Writers: James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn
In Schwarzenegger’s other life he used to be known as an evil and brutal half human half android creature sent from 2029 (we are almost there) to 1984: his mission is to catch and kill a waitress, because her son would be the cause of war between mankind and the machines. But he has to fight against a soldier who is sent to protect her.
Director: John McTiernan
Writers: Roderick Thorp, Jeb Stuart
Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia
Bruce Willis is the star of many cult action movies from the past and Die Hard is probably one of the most watched and best action movies of the 80s; here he plays a NYPD officer who tries to rescue his wife as she is made hostage by German terrorists in Los Angeles.
Director: Tony Scott
Writers: Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr.
Stars: Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins, Kelly McGillis
If you haven’t fallen in love with Tom Cruise once in a lifetime, you haven’t lived. Or at least, you haven’t lived in the 80s: his biker jacket and shades, the gelled hair and that stunning smile were the sex symbol of the era, as he played a student at the United States Navy’s elite fighter weapons school.
Full Metal Jacket
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Michael Herr
Stars: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D’Onofrio
More of a war and drama category movie, Full Metal Jacket is one of the best 80s movies to watch today, as it depicts the extreme violence and brutal methods used on boot camp training employed by U.S. Marines during the Vietnam War.
Director: John McTiernan
Writers: Jim Thomas, John Thomas
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Kevin Peter Hall
As if the jungle wasn’t hard enough for a team of commandos to try and accomplish their mission, there’s an extra-terrestrial warrior who they have to beat. Predator is another of Schwarzenegger’s best 80s movies to watch, so much so it has spawned it three sequels, the latest ‘The Predator’ being in 2018 starring Boyd Holbrook, as well as the Predator vs Aliens saga.
Best 80s comedy movies
Back to The Future
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writers: Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson
We have passed the date in which Michael J. Fox travels from in Back to the Future, that’s how much time has gone since this 80s cult movie made us all think ‘nahh, hoverboards will never be a thing’ or the same about holograms and self-tying shoes.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Director: John Hughes
Writer: John Hughes
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara
If you want to know what were the cool things to do and to have back in the 80s then Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is the best 80s movie to watch! Ferris Bueller is a high school student and has cunning plan about using his friend’s father Ferrari to have the best bunking off school day ever.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Melissa Mathison
Stars: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote
Stranger Things’ creator are said to have pinched a lot of from this 80s classic family comedy/fantasy movie. It’s a story to watch with the kids too – as long as you brace yourself for plenty of questions – and is also one good movie to introduce children to the mighty creations of Steven Spielberg.
Director: Richard Donner
Writers: Steven Spielberg (story), Chris Columbus (screenplay)
Stars: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen
The kids who venture into the unknown in finding a hidden treasure are the surely the most relevant kids in anyone who has been a teen back in in the 80s. Adventurous, romantic and funny, it is probably the most influential movie out of that decade, one that has inspired anything and everything in the years to come.
Director: Ivan Reitman
Writers: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis
Stars: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver was the 80s sex symbol by far and name an 80s big movie, she’s in it. This time round, she’s not slashing up alien monsters, she’s teaming up with the goofy Ghostbusters as one of their most eccentric clients; the jumpsuits – the Ghostbusters uniforms- stayed, up until 2019.