Category: 1980’s Best Movies

BEST MOVIES OF THE 1980’S

When you think of the ’80s, a few images come to mind: shoulder pads, big hair, and all-cheesy-everything. However, the decade had more to contribute to pop culture than being known as the New Jersey of the 20th century. The 1980’s were also an era for incredible classic movies, ones that shifted the film industry as we know it. From John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club to Steven Spielberg’s E.T., the movies of the 1980’s not only shaped its generation, but inspired subsequent generations in every way imaginable.

Red Dawn (1984)

In an alternate 1980s, the United States stands alone as communism grows stronger. When Soviet soldiers invade a small Colorado town, brothers Jed (Patrick Swayze) and Matt Eckert (Charlie Sheen) escape with friends to the forest. With their father, Tom (Harry Dean Stanton), a prisoner of the invading army, the children decide to fight against the Soviets. As the country comes under increasing attack, the group teams up with Lt. Col. Andrew Tanner (Powers Boothe) to take back their town.

The Seventh Sign (1988)

Prior to his death on the crucifix, Jesus Christ (Jürgen Prochnow) was offered a drink of water, a kind act turned away by a Roman soldier. These events play a profound role in occurrences during modern times, which some construe as signs of Christ’s return and the apocalypse. While Abby Quinn (Demi Moore) believes the end is coming and that her unborn child may be in danger as a result, Father Lucci (Peter Friedman), a Vatican agent, is doubtful no matter what evidence she presents.

Platoon (1986)

Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) leaves his university studies to enlist in combat duty in Vietnam in 1967. Once he’s on the ground in the middle of battle, his idealism fades. Infighting in his unit between Staff Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger), who believes nearby villagers are harboring Viet Cong soldiers, and Sergeant Elias (Willem Dafoe), who has a more sympathetic view of the locals, ends up pitting the soldiers against each other as well as against the enemy.

The Great Outdoors (1988)

It’s vacation time for outdoorsy Chicago man Chet Ripley (John Candy), along with his wife, Connie (Stephanie Faracy), and their two kids, Buck (Chris Young) and Ben (Ian Giatti). But a serene weekend of fishing at a Wisconsin lakeside cabin gets crashed by Connie’s obnoxious brother-in-law, Roman Craig (Dan Aykroyd), his wife, Kate (Annette Bening), and the couple’s two daughters. As the excursion wears on, the Ripleys find themselves at odds with the stuffy Craig family.

Student Bodies (1981)

In this seminal horror-comedy, an anonymous killer known only as “the Breather” (Richard Brando) terrorizes the teenagers of Lamab High by killing every student who indulges in sex. The long list of suspects includes the school’s psychoanalyst (Carl Jacobs), nurse (Janice E. O’Malley), principal (Joe Talarowski) and, most surprisingly, virginal student Toby (Kristen Riter), who’s always at the scene of the crime. Toby knows she’s innocent, however, and vows to catch the killer.

Johnny Dangerously (1984)

Johnny Kelly (Michael Keaton) lives a double life: at home, he’s the good apple, looking after his ailing mother (Maureen Stapleton) and sexually obsessed brother, Tommy (Griffin Dunne). But his not-so-secret life is as Johnny Dangerously, an up-and-coming criminal being groomed by local gangster Jocko Dundee (Peter Boyle). Johnny’s crime money puts Tommy through law school, but, when his brother becomes district attorney, Johnny must protect him from the murderous Danny Vermin (Joe Piscopo).

The Color of Money (1986)

Former pool hustler “Fast Eddie” Felson (Paul Newman) decides he wants to return to the game by taking a pupil. He meets talented but green Vincent Lauria (Tom Cruise) and proposes a partnership. As they tour pool halls, Eddie teaches Vincent the tricks of scamming, but he eventually grows frustrated with Vincent’s showboat antics, leading to an argument and a falling-out. Eddie takes up playing again and soon crosses paths with Vincent as an opponent.

Innerspace (1987)

A scientifically miniaturized marine unexpectedly finds himself floating around the body of a hypochondriac and trying to outwit saboteurs who want the device that shrank him. Attempts by his colleagues to retrieve the little man – protected inside a tiny submersible – are hampered by the would-be thieves.

Purple Rain (1984)

A victim of his own anger, the Kid (Prince) is a Minneapolis musician on the rise with his band, the Revolution, escaping a tumultuous home life through music. While trying to avoid making the same mistakes as his truculent father (Clarence Williams III), the Kid navigates the club scene and a rocky relationship with a captivating singer, Apollonia (Apollonia Kotero). But another musician, Morris (Morris Day), looks to steal the Kid’s spotlight — and his girl.

The Cannonball Run (1981)

Contestants in a cross-country car race from Connecticut to California include a speed-loving racing driver disguised as an ambulance driver and his dimwitted sidekick, a pair of Ferrari-driving priests, and a James Bond-type character kitted out with secret weapons. Jackie Chan appears in one of his first US film roles.